From:Harry McGill
Subject:RE: RE: Looking for some advice on my '59 165 Date:Tue Apr 24 11:07:45 2012
Response to:17307

If your bike will start by pushing and not by starting it means you have a bad battery. Push starting causes the engine to spend faster and generate a voltage sufficient for ignition. Works best if your ignition switch is in the ignition only position (no lights). Disconnect the old battery and temporarily connect any good 6V battery, then try kickstarting.

Beautiful original bike! If it starts by pushing but not by kicking, it means you're not kicking hard enough!

Or maybe your kicking is hampered by bad ignition parts.

First thing is a new Champion H8C spark plug - .025 to .030 gap (but put the old one on the shelf). Next is checking the points - .020 Clean up the points with a points file - even if they look clean, the metal sometimes gets an oxidation-like coating on it.

Then replace the points and condenser. My 1948 Farmall Cub tractor and Gravely both developed starting problems. Points and condenser were expensive, but once I replaced them, both started easy as a cake walk. They just don't last forever.

If that doesn't do it, write back. If it does do it, write back with pictures of you "in the wind".


Hello All. I'm new here and I've been doing some research on the ole family bike, so that I can get it back to running condition. Just a little background before I as my question(s). The 165 has been in the family since 1962. My Grandfather purchased it used for $200. (And I still have the original sales receipt) My dad and grandfather rode it quite a bit back then, even my aunt until she put the dent in the tank. It's been kept in very good condition and it's been garage kept all these years. The last time it was run was approx 8 years ago after my grandfather passed. Dad ran it up and down the street, showed it off to the neighbors and then drained the fluids, polished it up and then got it down the stairs to the basement where it sat until just about 3 years ago. Nobody has been able to get the bike kick-started the last 8 years. They've always had to run and clutch it. And, here we come to my questions.
My dad would prefer that I found parts from 1959, as the bike is 100% original as it sits now. I know that's not going to be entirely possible. The wire harness is fraying and the wires themselves have started breaking. There is some light corrosion inside the voltage regulator. The battery seems that it might also need to be replaced. The carb is clean and the motor turns but doesn't start. I've already ordered a Hummer Emporium wiring harness and the fuse holder and clamp. Outside the wiring issue and maybe the voltage regulator keeping it from kicking over, are there any suggestions as to why it would jump start but not kick? Coil?
I'm not mechanically deficient and I can usually narrow things down. But, I thought it might be best to ask some of the veterans before taking too much originality away from it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.