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looking for a roller starter

74178 Views 121 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  speedrattle
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Doc Z Solo Starters.

Not cheap, but VERY well built
Helpful hint: Doc races Aermacchi (HD) 350 Knuckleheads in AHRMA. I was able to trade an engine for my set as shown in pix, without the batteries and starters (O'Reilley's)
About $800 for the Doc Z unit. I paid $50 each (or something like that) for the starters with a lifetime warranty from AutoZone.
If you have materials, a welder, and half a lick of sense, you can probably make one that would work with a newer technology reduction gear starter for less than a Doc Z...
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.

View attachment 12812
Solo Starter
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.
In the mean time I need something to turn the motor over enough to fire it up before a few other things on the bike can be completed.Then I will need something that can be used at the starting line for LSR runs and trackside at RR tracks...
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.
I've seen two EZ starters on fire, one was mine after the foot petal stuck in the on position ...
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.
I had a Bultaco250 basket case I bought back in the late 70's, put it together and the only way to start it was to tow it behind a car till it was going about 20mph before it would fire off. I lived in the San Fernando Valley outside LA. Had a vacant lot next to my house in the residential neighborhood. I took some old car hoods and made some jumps and set up a little motocross track in that lot and pissed off all the neighbors who had swimming pools that I filled with dirt dust.
I lost my breath just THINKING about how I had to push-start mine almost every time I rode it; never could get the hang of that left-foot kicker...

...but once it fired off, it was a monster!
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Here are the pics of the roller starter
View attachment 13157
Nice. I like that design.

I would be tempted to copy it, but make it a bit narrower, and put a wider base on it. I never liked the extra width of my Solo rig.
I'll repeat:

Auto Zone - Ford Starter - $79 LIFETIME WARRANTY

Duralast Gold/Starter DLG3185 - Read Reviews on Duralast Gold #DLG3185
Lots of people use scooters to do that.

Those rollers look mighty smooth...
So what is so wrong with making a profit on a product that seems to work well and has a customer base willing to pay the cost ?

Long ago, I thought about making a set. The cost to build was way more than I wanted to spend. Over the years, I tried to buy a used set, they get snapped up IMMEDIATELY (mostly on racing forums).

When the opportunity presented itself, I made a trade for my set that basically ended up costing me $300 for an $800 rig. Upon close investigation, I can pretty safely assume "Doc Z" is NOT getting rich making these, and he has sold a BUNCH of them. (I also don't think it's his only gig)

Ask anyone who has made a similar setup, how much it actually cost them to build it, COUNTING THEIR TIME. Throw a stupid number at it like $25 / hr and see what you come up with.
My teenage son needs an engineering project for school, so his challenge is to design and make a paddock starter. ...lets see if a kid can make one.
My guess? YES.
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