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Thread: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

  1. #1

    Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    I had a weird motorcycle dream last night (pretty rare) that got me thinking.

    In the dream a person pushed a bike with reverse gears backwards and got it to jump start. Now, in the dream it was a solo bike, so I can't imagine this is practical, but if you had a sidecar bike set up with a reverse gear, could you pop start it when rolling backwards?

    Just asking. And I better not eat or drink whatever it was last night that got me dreaming like this.
    Buzz Kanter
    American Iron Magazine Harley forum
    American Iron Magazine Digital Delivery

    "It is always fascinating to watch the development of rationalizations for an argument"


  2. #2

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    I guess you can bump start a two stroke backwards. Don't see any reason why you couldn't bumpstart a sidecar with reverse the same way. Sometimes I'll roll down the hill in our old '49 Dodge backwards and drop the clutch. Starts right up.
    Matt Walksler


    '38 Knucklehead -- '39 WLDD
    '41 ULH -- '53 Panhead
    '16 J-model Cutdown (in progress) -- '49 Dual-Carb Panhead (in progress)

  3. #3

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    I've done it. In reverse, the engine is turning the same direction. I did it with a hot engine once. Stalled on an uphill, so I did the natural thing; put it in reverse. Started right up. Stopped the backwards roll, put it in first and away we went.

    What's really weird is when I stalled a little Yamaha 2-stroke street bike at a red light 40 years ago; touched the electric start button for just a moment, and it started. But the "gen" light stayed on. Shoulda been my clue. Went to pull away and got yanked back. It was running backwards. Had to shut it off an restart it, then it was running all right. Used it as as "hey, lookit this!" after that.
    Sarge, Gerry Lyons, Fla.
    AGENT ORRNGE Survivor. So far.
    The Friendly Fire that Keeps on Burnin'.
    F.O.G. member: http://flatheadownersgroup.com/
    www.37UL.com
    "It's a 1937, and the downside is, it's out of warranty"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
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    6,259

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    Great story Sarge; seeing you go backwards must have been a priceless image.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Beautiful Northern NM
    Posts
    12,309

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    Went to pull away and got yanked back. It was running backwards.
    H-D lightwieghts will do that. Hummers, 165s, and their kin. they are timed so close to TDC that they will run either direction. So if the crank starts to rotate backwards they will run that way. And often just after a two stroke engine dies but is still rotating it will sort of bounce backwards. and if caught at that point it will restart and run backwards.
    Robbie

  6. #6

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    My 48 servicar will start that way

  7. #7

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    as long as you have enough traction to keep the tire from scooting.

  8. #8

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    I had a 360 Yamaha when I was a kid that would run backwards, If it killed for some reason,like jumping around in some moguls, really hangin' on and unable to grab the clutch, comin' off the top of a jump then hit the side of another without enough momentum and start rolling down the hill backwards...I remember being quite surprised to find out it was in reverse!
    64 Duo-Glide

  9. Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    Mercury Outboards had an ouboard model and a snowmobile model where the 2 cycle motor was started in reverse in order to back up the vehicle.

  10. #10

    Re: Motorcycle Bump Start Backwards?

    Modern Ski Doo snowmobiles have a reverse button on the handle bar, hit the button and the motor shuts off and re-starts in reverse...
    64 Duo-Glide

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