Push Starts
bsa499 Offline
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Push Starts
Do you recall the days when most motorcycle races were push starts? My first foray into motorcycle racing was on an RD400 Yamaha production racer and production races were always clutch starts. When I entered open races with the RD which were push starts I was regularly first away as the Yamaha was so easy to start. I’m not a big man and after marriage and starting a family, I returned to racing on a big British single in the era when push starting was still the norm for classic racing. As you can imagine, race starts were no longer my strong point but, that was the way it had always been and I never thought anything of it. The only place where I regularly started well was the Mountain Course, probably because the Glencrutchery Road is slightly downhill from the start line and my machine would have a full fuel load, placing more weight on the rear wheel. My least favourite track for push starting was Oulton Park as the track is slightly uphill from the start line and my machine would have a lesser fuel load, placing less weight on the rear wheel. Did anyone else have experiences of the push start days?
01-12-2022, 10:39 AM
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Nasher Offline

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RE: Push Starts
Not quite the same, but I have 2 classic 'race' bikes (that I've restored) they both require bump starting - and have now been converted to road bikes

My '75 250 Yamaha stroker I can push start easily - when cold select 2nd gear, walk alongside, drop clutch and grab clutch when she fires. Once warm, I can paddle start it

The Honda 350 K4 is another matter, high compression requires much more weight on the back wheel, so a slope or roller starters from cold is the easiest
When warm it will sometimes paddle start, but at the age of 68 I'm reluctant to run and bump by jumping on the saddle
So, I've developed a technique of getting her started. What I do is look for a pretty young lady with a strapping young man on her arm. I then ask him to give me a push, knowing that to impress his lady, there is no way he will stop pushing until it fires!
A couple of years ago, I described this method to an old couple a Laxey beach cafe. When it was time for me to leave, I executed my plan which worked perfectly and as I rode past them them, they were laughing and waving!

More on topic, I believe back in the day, that you were allowed a pusher provided you started at the back of the grid. I seem to recall Pat Mahoney doing it on his reluctant to start TZ700 for the first race when he won his third Lord of Lydden title 1975?
01-12-2022, 12:10 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline

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RE: Push Starts
My first few novice club races late 80's were push start and pretty sure the MGP was clutch then oddly TT was push(I think) ... my crisp pokey TZ350 was a doddle to start, on a workshop stand I could start it with a mate pulling / rotating the back wheel and me quickly flicking / dropping the clutch in/out.....hazy memory tells me that Snetterton was uphill, Castle Combe / Cadwell fairly level on the grid.
02-12-2022, 06:24 PM
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