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Hard to kick

Technical help for Series one, two and three Lambrettas. Models include the Li, Li Special, TV, SX, GP, Serveta and API/SIL models

Hard to kick

Postby rodney » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:35 pm

Hi, I have just fully rebuilt a series 2 li150 with all new bearings, seals and gaskets. It kicks over fine with no spark plug but as soon as I put a spark in it’s very very hard to kick. Is this just very good compression or a big problem ?
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby ULC Soulagent » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:00 pm

What spark plug been fitted ?
Check the electrode too see if it’s been closed by the piston crown, if that’s ok then probably very good compression ;)
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby rodney » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:30 pm

Correct spark plug fitted and electrode not been closed. Will it loosen up once started for the first time ? Thanks
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby Mel K » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:43 pm

Take it off compression before kicking it over so your piston will be on the down Motion as you press the kickstart.
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby rodney » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:18 pm

Would bump starting it be worth a try to start first time ? As it is so hard to kick over
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby rossclark » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:45 pm

Bump starting won't make it any easier on subsequent starts. A well set up motor shouldn't need more than a couple of kicks to get going even from cold.

How are you trying to kick start it? On/off the stand? Astride?

My RT has fairly high compression and I always find it easier on the stand facing the rear, right foot on the KS and literally stand up on it.

Gearing can also have an impact on how hard it is to turn over.
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby HxPaul » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:07 am

My series 2 is hard to kick over,I think its something to do with the kickstart being a couple of inches shorter than the series 3,plus I agree that the gearing can make a difference.
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby coaster » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:24 am

rodney wrote:Hi, I have just fully rebuilt a series 2 li150 with all new bearings, seals and gaskets. It kicks over fine with no spark plug but as soon as I put a spark in it’s very very hard to kick. Is this just very good compression or a big problem ?


If you have rebuilt it as standard, including head and base gaskets then it probably just needs to run a bit and will most likely loosen up a bit onece the rings have bedded in. As said, the series 2 lever is shorter than an SX lever but they are designed for the larger capacity, you should'nt need any extra leverage on an Li150. I am only 5'6 and kick mine over on the stand facing forward and using my right foot, that works for me but friends all do it in their own way including off the stand astride and standing facing bthe rear. All depends on what works for you but as already said, you need to jump on the pedal, not quite literally but you do transfermost of your weight to the kicking leg. Bump starting is a last resort as it's a risky operation requiring a fair degree of physical agility ;) unless you live on a hill or have some 'pushers'
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby rodney » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:43 pm

Thanks all, I kick over with the bike on the stand using my right leg facing the rear and I almost need to jump on it. Would it be worth taking the head off and putting another gasket on ? I could bump it but if it won’t make any difference on the next time I try to start it is it really worth bumping ?
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby coaster » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:18 pm

rodney wrote:.....Would it be worth taking the head off and putting another gasket on ? I could bump it but if it won’t make any difference on the next time I try to start it is it really worth bumping ?


You could do with giving us a bit more info on the spec of the bike ie standard, modified, kitted? Are you exceptionally light? that shouldnt really be an issue, I could kick start my Li150 when I was 16 and weighed 7 stone :? :?
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby rodney » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:23 pm

All standard and I have no idea why weight makes a difference ?I know what it’s like to kick a lambretta over normally but this seems very tight as it’s the first one I have ever rebuilt. As I have said at the start, easy to kick without spark plug very difficult with.
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby Fast n Furious » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:51 pm

It almost sounds like you have an unusally high compression ratio.
You could rule this out by attaching a compression testing gauge to the spark plug hole and tell us what pressure reading it peaks at when you kick it over.
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Re: Hard to kick

Postby rossclark » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:57 pm

Yes compression test - it sounds too high.

Weight is a factor if you have more of it to put on the pedal ;)
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