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looking for a roller starter

74386 Views 121 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  speedrattle
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anybody have one , our know of one for sale or who sells em, other than the guy in aus... battery or gas or 120v electric, thanks, tom
Firstly what are you trying to start?

Does it need to be mobile i.e. taken to a circuit?

Finally is it to be used regularly?

The above questions are very relevant as starters vary hugely. Most are designed to spin up the rear wheel, dump the clutch and use the inertia of the rear wheel to bump the motor into life. But if you are trying to start fresh engines with high compression you will need something very different.

Battery starters are good but design is everything, they can be single driven roller or twin driven rollers, rollers can be parallel, concave/conical, similar height or have a higher rear roller. They can be 12v, 24V or mains supply.

Petrol Starters that drive a wheel that you put to your rear wheel are good but again vary in quality and require maintenance, fresh fuel, oil changes, the drive tyre will get hot and hard and needs to be changed occasionally.

Then there's the good old fashioned type, twin rollers driven by a car drive wheel.

I have used all three types, use my starters regularly so they must be reliable and durable.

if you can tell me the intended use I can hopefully advise what will work.

Lots of manufactures claim their starter will get anything started. From experience that's pure BS.
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starting 2 stroke engines , so not alot of CR. have to be portable to circuit.used semi- reg. battery prefered ( no outlets at circuit ?). and if im by myself. i cant be at 2 places at 1 time , so a battery roller w/ foot control ? seems like im looking at 1000. so you have any ideas, thanks, tom
Go for something like the "Startingblock" design with a deep cycle battery in 12v, there are a few similar starters out there Alf Mossel Racing makes similar. These starters have a raised rear roller, both rollers are driven and conical to keep the bike central. Go for the most powerful one you can find within your budget. Have a real close look at the starter for quality as most are pure rubbish and tear themselves apart very quickly. Most use car starter motors so are high torque short period usage so be careful not to kill the motor in frustration if you bike develops a problem, if you do put the starter drive motors under severe load the heavy cables will heat and burn their insulation I kid you not. Don't get a belt drive type unless you want to take a box of spare belts with you to every circuit. The chain drive type are better but avoid those that have the drive sprocket welded to the motor shaft which means you'll have to go back to the maker if the motor goes rather than the local motor spares shop.

Another possibly is a crank starter but these only work if your bike had a starting circuit that will result in fast idle, most race bikes especially strokes don't idle at all.

And never loan it to anyone; I have had 3 starters killed on circuit by people who don't understand how they are meant to work rather than spinning the wheel up and dumping the clutch they drive their rear wheel and therefore the engine like the starter is a rolling road, they ether melt the power cables, kill the drive motors or shred the drive mech.

My race circuit starter is 24V (similar to the picture below which is 12v), twin motor, twin rollers and both rollers drive. It in steel and weights a tonne but can start anything from 13:1 500cc British singles to big modern Ducatis to Jap multis both 4 and 2 stroke. I also have a petrol starter for lighter work and engines that are healthy and run in.

Vehicle Yellow Motor vehicle Car Go-kart

Solo Starter

It also depends where you live as the starters mentioned are made in the UK.
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Same as mine, but with the added $200+ dolly feature.

Oops, it has one feature I don't care for - the "back up bar". Which means you must back into it, cant roll right on straight away.
If you are starting a big race Ducati or Hi comp Harley or similar the back bar stop the starter from being shot forward under the bike or the bike being thrown backwards, 24v and two motors is a potent thing. For smaller stuff like British twins its not needed. You could always take it off!

This starter will rip your tyres to shreds too if you use it wrongly.
My old high school buddy built a 1200cc ironhead XL with S&S stroker flywheels, Andrews cams etc. It was a trifle hard to kickstart. So he CCed the heads/pistons etc to work out the compression ratio. It was about 14 : 1. It seems the pistons he got were meant for alky or nitro. He paid $50 for the brand new flywheels and about $100 for the pistons and three crank pins, legit, it was a closing down sale. Went fast. God knows how he started it. But he could. He was a light guy too, so go figure.

Danger, is my business."
14:1 on a roller bearing crank, all that movement and so little space!
The good thing is that at MOST racing venues, someone will lend you a hand with starting. I know I spent a good part of my off-bike time helping other folks in the pits, and lent my rollers to anyone who wanted to use them. In fact, I just left them at the outer foot of the EZ-UP, connected and ready to use, right at the edge of pit lane.
Good for you, just watch out for the idiots that think that roller starters are rolling roads.

I've seen two EZ starters on fire, one was mine after the foot petal stuck in the on position (try getting a bike off that baby when it spinning 1200rpm and lunching on your nice sticky tyres) and the insulation on those lovely big copper cables melted = short, euphemisms and extinguisher. New switch and new cables and she was good to go. The other was a pit lane fool using a EZ as a rolling road, they had no idea how to use a starter and fried it, the cables caught fire.

Do you roll you bike back onto compression before putting on the starter, especially on singles and big twins?
Hee hee I had my pedal stick, too. It looked like the microswitch was installed wrong, so I fixed it. No issues since. I think some people treat it like a mechanical switch, that may contribute to the problem. Sure had toasty connections and burned my thumb getting that ground cable loose. It partially melted the battery terminal!

I do sort the timing of the piston stroke as closely as possible before firing. I haven't had to use it on my 441 yet, but a couple of big thumpers have used it with no worries.
Just put it in gear an roll back till bumps up against compression.

Hardest bike to start I have ever had was a husaberg it was use in single cyclinder racing when we could get it going. We could only start it on car powered rollers with two heavy weights draped over the seat.
Rob, I think your supplier has one listed on EBay now for £225 plus postage. I've got a decent Honda engine laying around that I would want to use.
That's a very robust looking item BUT

1. Its tall, getting your bike on a off will be a pain.
2. It has no side guards to prevent the rear of bike swinging left or right which it will if the bike is not 100% vertical and 100% 90deg to the rollers.
3. When the bike does swing to the right your tyre will get ripped up by the chains and as soon as it hits the chains the bike will be flung backward.
4. It will weigh an absolute tonne and unless you have a big workshop were it can be stationed you'll get fed up moving it about.

That said fit chain guards and something to keep the rear wheel in the business area and it looks half decent.
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