Friday, September 4, 2009

Kick starting your Enfield adds drama to life

Kick starting a Royal Enfield or any motorcycle is a dramatic motion that (hopefully) ends with the motorcycle roaring to life. Few things in life say "Let's Roll!" with more emphasis.

This has been reinforced on television and in the movies, where a kick start typically provides delicious punctuation to any scene including a motorcycle. Americans of my generation watched the television show Then Came Bronson. Motorcyclist Jim Bronson (in the video snippet above) was portrayed as a bit of a drifter, looking for the meaning of life, and repeatedly meeting pretty girls along the way.

Somehow, he never seemed to think any of them were somehow tied up in the meaning of life. When things got gooey, Jim would throw a leg over his Harley-Davidson, give the girl one last lingering look, and swing into action.

I've read that actor Michael Parks actually thumbed an electric starter button as he kicked. I don't know if that is true and I don't see why it would have been necessary. Hollywood has complete control over sound, so it wouldn't have mattered in filming if the motorcycle started, as long as it wasn't immediately supposed to drive off.

A director who did biker movies once commented that one of the most difficult scenes to photograph was the inevitable moment when the gang members charge out of the clubhouse, mount their bikes, kick start and roar off to avenge some wrong or save a buddy.

"The bikes would never start," he said in a documentary on his work.


  1. I've ridden English and now Indian 500 singles for forty years. Enfields are easy to start. Period. I'm thinking of posting the nearly obligatory "Look! I can start my own motorcycle!" video on YouTube. Barefoot.

  2. Anonymous9/10/2009

    aaaa very nice Blog article !!!


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