Baker Reinvents The Kick Start For All Bikes.

bakerkick1bakerkick2New and very interesting. You know that there is an on and off love affair with kick starting a bike. And since a couple of years, with the retro trend it’s torrid love all over again.  Kick starting is kind of a ritual reserved to true bikers. Nothing screams “look how cool I am” more than climbing atop a bike, kicking that pedal down with all your might, and hearing the engine roar to life below you. And people around you love the spectacle of a biker doing his kick starting ceremonial. You never saw a crowd assemble to watch a dude push an electric starter button….
With that in mind, Baker Drivetrain has worked hard to think about kick starting every bike humanly possible. There is already a Baker 6 into 4 for 30’s Pan, Knuckle and Shovelheads, a Baker Frankentranny for Evo style bikes. But the new mission was to improve the bolt-on assemblies that are out there. Their new F5K and F6K kicker kits allow you to put a kicker on any Factory 5 or 6 speed bike, even your bagger. All traditional systems  use a ratchet hub or shaft extension that screw on to the end of the main shaft in place of the jam nut. This system eventually breaks because the end snapped off!

The new F5K and F6K kits use a ratchet hub that presses onto the shank of the main shaft, then the O.D. of the ratchet hub presses into the oversized door bearing, securing it and preventing it from moving or breaking.  These kits feature Hydraulic or Mechanical systemd, Tranny case removal from the bike NOT required for installation, heavy duty stainless steel straight kicker arm, bronze kicker pedal, compatibility with factory starter or BAKER Firestarter, Door and cover pre-assembled, Gaskets, fasteners, and fork rod included, 2 year limited miles warranty. Retrofit ignition and a variety of finishes are available. Baker Drivetrain.

19 Responses to “Baker Reinvents The Kick Start For All Bikes.”

  1. 1 Gina Woods May 5th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Not sure I want to see a kicker on a bagger….it, it it just doesn’t seem right!
    I hope each and every kicker comes with a lifetime supply of aspirin for your knee..after some years of kickin you are bound to feel it! But ya know I was always about what looked cool and there is nothing cooler like you said Cyril!

  2. 2 Dave Blevins May 5th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I wonder if Baker will ever make a right side drive kick box… sure would make 250 tire builds a lot cooler (in my opinion).
    I know I would be interested, probably others as well.

  3. 3 Lyle May 5th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Good to see them doing this. Real motorcycles have kickers. Properly designed, they shouldn’t hurt your knee.

  4. 4 Busfreak May 6th, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I have been thrown over the tank, hit in the back of the knee, busted my ankle, its was really cool to see.

  5. 5 Grayhawk May 6th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Nothing cooler, ha, then watching a dude kick and kick and kick and kick back and kick and sweat and sit for a while and start all over again unless it is you.

    Nice doo dad, cool hang on and I guess if you had a weak battery it would be better than running along side and jumping on, etc.. That is assuming you could kick over that high compression big inch motor that eats starters or compression releases should come in the kit and if you can kick a juice dead battery over to start with an alternator on a newer bikes not a generator like of old that gen’s a bit of its own spark.

    Kicker Always a cool look but just another add on in a lot cases, sounds like they made it functionable/almost bullet proof if used.

    At least your not having to hold your mouth just right or be in the right position on the advance twist, so just pull the enricher or wait on the computer then kick and be cool.

    Ah and to look around to see the gleam in the eyes of the spectators, some in shiny clothes and some just looking with that, “why is that dude kicking that new bike over in amazement”.

    Nothing would be worse then not being able to kick it to a start and having to get some old guy or long legger woman to start it for ya or have to hit the button after the fact, who knows.

    Have fun with whatever floats your boat.


  6. 6 Rock Star May 6th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I’ll wait for the Kuryakyn version.

  7. 7 ben May 6th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    it looks like one has to go have a carb on their bike to use this, according to what I read on their website.

  8. 8 Doc Robinson May 6th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I visited Baker Drivetrain up in Michigan and can tell readers that it is an extremely well engineered product they have put together. Unlike some junk that is out there, Bert’s unit works well and if a kicker floats your boat, this is the one to use! Since trying one, I can see a kickstart-equipped Bobber in my near future … Nothing is cooler!

  9. 9 Grayhawk May 6th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Point of clarity Doc is on the money in respect to Baker and my comments in no way reflected otherwise they are at the top in durablility and engineering but do see a little of the hang it, the part, on there group to just have it on there and do see that the average check writer may or may not know the computer needs juice to boot up so ? and no matter how much you kick a dead battery if its an alternator based motor and not mag or gen driven your kicking for fun as in my limited knowledge it isn’t going to start. Bare bones is one thing just pushing a button for/from one with old knees is another. Personally I have enough kicking on my old stuff that has no other option. MHO



  10. 10 Lyle May 6th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    My knees are shot and if you know how to kick and your bike is tuned it will start. A 9 V transistor radio battery jumpered into your ignition will get your bike to fire if your battery is shot but it won’t if you only have E-start. Some electronic ignitions won’t fire until the engine has rotated more than a good kick will give but that’s just another good argument for points ignition. That’s what bobbers and choppers are all about. Back to the stripped down basics. Way to go Baker.

  11. 11 ray c wheeler May 6th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Bert is kickin ass and takin names one more time .

    Way to go Bert good job .


  12. 12 Kirk Perry May 7th, 2009 at 12:50 am

    There were only two types of Big Twins designed for kick-starting. Knuckle & Panheads. Both have a short stroke. Both motors were designed to have the kick arm positioned way-y-y down at 8 o’clock. Both motors were designed to start sitting astride the saddle with the rider’s left foot firmly planted on the ground.
    Harley & Davidson both felt that there should be no need for “flop sweat”. The flywheels are heavy. There is a “timer” on both motors (only later would the timer be re-named a circuit breaker). The “timer’s” and handlebar spark control worked as a team. Just like a Model -T Ford. It wasn’t force (like jumping down on the kick arm of a long-stroke Shovelhead) that started the motor……no my friends… was all about style under pressure. The starting routine is as follows:
    1. Your talking to a girl while you start your machine. (Sitting astride the machine, you reach over to the left tank and turn the knurled shut-off knob, left to open, pull up the shut off rod.
    2. Slowly crank the motor over to find the compression stroke (as you continue making small talk with the lady.)
    3. You now have a wet fuel charge in the cylinders. (Here’s where you have to listen to what the lady’s saying, at the same time, while your looking directly into her eyes.
    4. Turn the ignition switch “ON” (but DO NOT move your foot on that pedal, dude, or you’ll mis-fire and blow it most bitterly.)
    5. While answering her question, an initial “bump” on the kick arm is all you need along with
    an electrical charge, to bring the motor to life.
    6. NOTE: If the motor didn’t start on that first “kick”…..and just went pop! instead…..not to worry. DO Not Freak Out and Turn the key “OFF”. Don’t you do it!
    5. You’re not suppose to turn the ignition key “Off”. You’re just suppose to not show any emotion in your voice, or pop ANY beads of sweat. The rider must continue talking to the girl, with the key still “ON” – slowly find the compression stroke AGAIN with the kick arm.
    Oh I know what you’re saying, “The big motor will kick-back and bite me on the leg!!”
    6. Not True! The motor may pop and fume during the re-kick, It will not kick-back and hurt your knee. NOTE: That situation is know as a “hangman drop” and is cause by disengagement of the starter clutch mechanism and won’t ever happen, as long as you start the motor sitting astride the machine.
    7. How you end up winning the girls heart, is when you’re talking to her and the motor has misfired once or twice more, and blue smoke has belched up from the Linkert and is surrounding your head.
    8. It’s the effortless third or fourth kick-through (from an 8 o’clock position) that will win the day. It’s a beautiful thing when the motor roars to life. You’re in total control of the “big motorcycle” and she thinks you hung the moon.
    Again, this is a gift from William S. Harley and the Davidson’s. Only for Knuckle and Pan. Not for Shovel or B.S.A. B-33’s.
    You cannot start any other motorcycle from astride the saddle. They were not designed to do so. You will get hurt and walk like Popeye the Sailor®.

  13. 13 IntelWeenie May 7th, 2009 at 6:39 am

    I use to wonder what they meant by “Harley knee”, until I got my first bike. In 1974 I got a 66 Sporty. I learned very rapidly and very painfully exactly what they were talking about. Yup, it’s really cool to watch and to kick, but like many of us old pharts with arthritic joints and all, I’ll stick with the button and let the younger ones learn.

  14. 14 Nicker May 7th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    “… kick and kick and kick and kick back and kick and sweat and sit for a while and start all over again unless it is you…”

    Wow…. makes ya wonder how we ever got by without Electric Starters (not to mention ASB).

    Couild it be that’s in the past people actually had to know how to Maintain, Tune, & Ride their bikes….???

    Ah, but that was way before the country needed “change”………. 🙂

  15. 15 jatinder pal May 10th, 2009 at 4:55 am

    But………….baker is expensive.

  16. 16 leo May 11th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I thought the timing was way off on the twin cams for a kicker to start effectively

  17. 17 Woody's May 12th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I think we’re looking into this a little too deeply. It’s a cool-looking build item from a good guy/company and it makes as least as much sense as a 300 rear tire or handlebar tassles 😉 I’m sure there’s more than a few bikes out there where it’ll tie in well with a retro bobber concept. Always glad to see something “new”.

  18. 18 bill dodge May 20th, 2009 at 2:40 am

    been kickin wit berts transmissions for years
    always work no bullshit
    ive put thousands and thousands and thousands o miles wit his shit
    mags and kickers is the only way to fly
    luv you more everyday bert

  19. 19 Terrence MacArthur Jul 28th, 2009 at 4:25 am

    The Trick To Using A Kick Start On An Evo

    I’ve put kick starts on 2 Evos, an ’85 or ’86 Super Glide (I forget which, but it was the first year the SG got the Evo) that I bought new in Germany, and an ’89 Heritage Softail that I bought used in ’96 in San Francisco.

    The alternator and the computer problems ARE problems if the battery is dead. Although I know you CAN push start a car with a dead battery, so why should a bike be different, when they’re both using alternators? Generators disappeared from cars years before they did from bikes. Maybe it’s a matter of how fast the alternator has to be spinning or something like that? Anyway, I wonder if a low battery might not have enough juice in it to boot the computer and generate a spark while it didn’t have enough to turn the thing over. In a case like that, the kick start ought to get it going.

    There’s a more practical use for having one, though. The main disadvantage to the kick start, the high compression, is also the source of the main advantage of having one. Like someone said, the high compression engines tend to eat starters. But there’s a trick I discovered. The big problem is getting the pistons to start moving in the first place. So you hit the starter button for just a split second, and then kick it over. The starter motor breaks it free, the kick start actually turns it over, and it’s running.

    It takes some practice to get your timing just right, you don’t want to hold the button down for even a fraction of a second past when it breaks the pistons free, and you need to be turning the engine over with the kick start at the exact moment you let up on the starter button, and don’t want to do it before that. You actually end up holding the starter button down for way less than a whole second. But once you have it, besides looking way cool, you’re putting a whole lot less wear and tear on the starter and the whole electrical system every time you start your bike. And I have to admit that for some reason using that kick start just feels a lot more like you’re actually on a real bike than sitting there and just holding a button down for a couple of seconds does.

    So far I haven’t found a kick start kit for the ’06 Softail I recently got. As soon as I finish this, I’m going to the Baker site and seeing if I can afford theirs. If I can, I’ll have ordered one before I shut the computer down tonight.

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Cyril Huze