Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an email with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: Hi, Keith, I’ve been a longtime reader and now I actually have a question of my own. The knuckle of the kickstarter on my beloved 1971 OSSA Pioneer snapped violently. Read, mid-kick! To my great surprise there are new knuckles available. But here is the problem, post dismantling the broken knuckle from the lever. My question is about the little rod. Now obviously this rod mates to the dimpled areas on both the original and new knuckles, acting as a position locator or such. My question is, how and where in relation to the kicklever itself is this rounded-end little rod inserted and kept in place during reassembly? I have all the pieces, I think. What I think I am missing may be a tiny spring which acts on this rod. But I can’t find a drawing that tells me exactly where and with what, if anything, this little position rod is mounted. Please, Keith, I do love my OSSA and want to be sure this goes back together properly. And thank you for your bimonthly column.
Max Rockatansky/via email
A: I haven’t found a good engineering drawing of the kickstart lever assembly, so I’m going to have to make an educated guess as to how it all goes together. There is probably a hole in the lever part of the assembly that may even still have the spring in it. Triumph/BSA have a similar setup as do many other vintage bikes. If the spring is found, I usually pack the hole with heavy red grease and push the spring and plunger back in place. Often I find I can then hold the plunger in place with a finger while pushing the splined shaft back into the lever. If that doesn’t work you can use a closely sized socket, pipe or a shim as a guide/shoehorn, to push the new shaft in while compressing the spring and plunger. Hope this helps. And thanks for your kind words. MC