Electric Start Conversion.

Camel, Sahara, Kanguro, Coguaro

Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Butch » 31 Dec 2017 15:05

Never mind the whys and wherefores ...

Can folks give me an idea of the amount of work and parts needed to convert my kick start only Camel to include an electric starter please?

Thanks as always.

B
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Haboola72 » 31 Dec 2017 19:27

Hello B,
seems straightforward enough.
Obvious mods include :
Wider R/H crankcase cover to house starter motor and clutch mechanism. ( £30-50 )
Starter motor refurb and clutch ( £150 if you're lucky )
Starter relay and H/D cables to starter motor,chassis earth and battery. (£20)
Handlebar switch unit with wiring for starter and kill switch ( £20 + ? )

Complications include : ( depending on model)
12v conversion
Room for a beefed up battery ( have you room enough ? )
Chassis lugs for starter relay ( probably missing )
Lastly
Do you want the extra 4 K all this adds to the dry weight ? (5K if you include a bigger battery)
The amount of work required is minimal , the problems start when sourcing parts. Motors aren't cheap and a full refurb if you do it yourself will cost you £80 in parts ( worm drive, bearings and seals )
I guess if you're a committed off roader you don't need the hassle of kick starting the bike on a muddy gradient, but for ordinary use I find the motor kicks over nicely ,usually first time , and the weight saved is a bonus...
Happy New Year!
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby pikl » 31 Dec 2017 19:56

Also, the generator rotors were different (or does that clutch ring snap on any rotor?).
I guess some high-tech modern small battery would work, but if it were me, I'd want the biggest one that can be used.
The left-side kickstart on Morini has always troubled me - normally, I get off the bike and start it with my right leg. And yet, the kick start allows you to use a miniature battery that weighs a lot less. The starter is also heavy (3-4 kg, I think).

I do not know about the late-model electric starters, but supposedly they were way better. They were in front of the engine (as on many japanese bikes), and I think the engine casts were different too. I don't know if that engine fits into the Camel frame (I think it needs the longer front engine mounts to clear the starter). They probably work on a smaller battery too.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Haboola72 » 31 Dec 2017 20:39

Sorry B,
forgot the all important flywheel rotor with the clutch drum attached... the later ones, '85 onwards are supposed to be better with stronger magnets.
Hard to find though...
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Ming » 31 Dec 2017 22:01

Can't speak for a Camel, but I have a K2 with electric start and (age 68 with a dodgy knee) it's a damn sight easier to start than my Strada.
Yes it's heavier and may be expensive to do, but if you are of a certain age it can make a big difference.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Butch » 02 Jan 2018 13:57

Thanks for the positive response and item lists folks. I’ll investigate availability and prices on a conversion.

Weight penalty accepted, I have an ongoing issue with my right leg that I’m having to have investigated and I have a strong suspicion that it is all from starting this bike – I stand next to it and kick it into life with that leg before clambering aboard.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby harrymuffin » 02 Jan 2018 17:39

I have some difficulty in understanding why so many Morini riders have to get off their bikes and then stand to one side and cack handedly use their right leg when they are all off balance, have difficulty reaching the twist grip , then having started the bike climb back on board whilst in an impatient traffic jam. I find starting the bike as so many of you do, completely unnatural. Do those who have the kick starter on the correct side - a proper English bike like a Velocette along with the gear change, get off your bikes and then start it with your right leg again all cack handed or do you stay on the bike in a balanced position? MZ's had a left hand kick start and I have never seen anybody doing what you lot do or go about complaining and those who I met with one, all started the bikes with their left legs, no struggling on and off or off set balancing. All my Morinis have had electric starters and the weight issue is neither here or there, no one is racing so what is all the fuss over a few kgs that makes life so simple when starting the bike? I remove all the kick starts from my bikes 'to save weight' and on the odd occasion the starter has been reluctant to get the bike going and run and bump as one was taught as a fourteen year old and when had to on the grid at the start of a race.
Regarding the starter motor, most people removed them because a) the starter solenoid would not conduct the current and would give up the ghost - trick, fit one from a jap crap bike, b) the starter motor bushes would wear away and not conduct the current - trick, go to a Lucas service branch and get them to sort you a set of longer bushes for a few pence, and c) the seal if it fails, would allow the oil to drain into the electrical bits, mix with the carbon from the bushes and glue the lot together. If the shoes, which do slip in the rotor too much then get an automatic centre punch and put dimples on the inside of the drum for the shoes to bite into, not the best of solutions but have the shoes relined with 4mm linings then file into a wedge shape at on end so that they fit perfectly or send them to Saftek who will machine them to the correct operating diameter as Ferodo used to do on drum braked race bikes.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Ming » 02 Jan 2018 20:23

harrymuffin wrote:I have some difficulty in understanding why so many Morini riders have to get off their bikes and then stand to one side and cack handedly use their right leg ... Do those who have the kick starter on the correct side...get off your bikes and then start it with your right leg again all cack handed ... or go about complaining ...

Perhaps they have difficulty using their left leg? I certainly do, having no cartilage in the knee, and if starting a Kanguro or Camel, you require long legs and good balance.
As for RH kickstarts - sometimes I do, sometimes not. I'm not complaining, it's just part of Morini ownership which I deal with in my own way - besides, I now have a K2 with electric start, so I should be OK for a few more years.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Steve Brown » 02 Jan 2018 20:46

I've almost finished my Mk1.5/2 Camel build and I have fitted an electric start to that. My challenges were mainly about what to do with the footrests and brake/gear linkages. If you keep the Camel left foot gearchange then you only have the brake linkages to worry about. I've gone for a right foot gear shift and brake one the left. That means the standard gear linkage from the 500W/3.5 tourers fits straight on. (I'm sure I'll be tidying that up soon though) I have welded a bracket to the frame to hold the cable outer and will be making a cable to wind through the frame to cross sides. As for the battery, I've got two to try. The sooper dooper lithium one that we all know will not survive the Morini's charging system and a YTZ14 for when it inevitably fails. The YTZ type is good on the 500W tourer but is obviously bigger. It will go into the frame but it does mean moving everything else to get it in there. If you were converting a later monoshock model the exhaust may get in the way of the ideal battery location, I think?

As for why anyone would want to do this, it's 2018 and the bikes belong to us. We have the choice to modify them to suit ourselves (and pay the price if it goes wrong :oops: ) so it's obviously no problem to me! Hope you can get the job done.
All donations to the rest home for old Camels, Leicestershire.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby norbert » 03 Jan 2018 03:12

harrymuffin wrote:I have some difficulty in understanding why so many Morini riders have to get off their bikes and then stand to one side and cack handedly use their right leg when they are all off balance, ...


I do not understand that either. I use to stand above the machine, one foot on each side, looking for compresion, jumping up about 5 cm and give it a good kick with the left, talking about a 501 which is quite another thing to kick than a 350. One rason for that is, that I have to get off before the flowerpots begin to rain from the balconies in my narrow street early in the moring :wink: When I have starting problems I put it on the center stand and kick ... with the left (never kicked it on the side stand, have seen some frames marked by this method). I simply feel very unsafe standing at the left side of the bike (on its wheels) and try to kick with the right leg. I wonder if I ever tried it, don´t think so. Well, maybe it´s also because I´ve allways been a left foot (playing soccer when younger). The most exiting thing is to pass the ankle that close to the modified footrest, but you get used to it :wink:

I think the main problem with the (old) electric starter is that for decades nobody took care of them. I know some people who restored them well an they say it works, maybe not the first start in spring, but working fine at traffic lights and stuff like that. I took them off my bikes and sold 3 1/2 of them a long time ago for 35€ to a guy who had problems with his legs. 5 years ago I bought one of that starters back overhaulesd by another friend for 100€. Not really a good buisiness, but thinking that one not so fine day I might need it ... but till then it will stay in the shelf :lol:

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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby 72degrees » 03 Jan 2018 09:27

Ming wrote:
harrymuffin wrote:I have some difficulty in understanding why so many Morini riders have to get off their bikes and then stand to one side and cack handedly use their right leg ... Do those who have the kick starter on the correct side...get off your bikes and then start it with your right leg again all cack handed ... or go about complaining ...

Perhaps they have difficulty using their left leg? I certainly do, having no cartilage in the knee, and if starting a Kanguro or Camel, you require long legs and good balance.
As for RH kickstarts - sometimes I do, sometimes not. I'm not complaining, it's just part of Morini ownership which I deal with in my own way - besides, I now have a K2 with electric start, so I should be OK for a few more years.


My right leg/knee is much stronger than my left - possibly as a result of having several right hand kickstart only machines before I got my first Morini. I can often start the 2C/375 with my left foot whilst astride it but not always. I always start bikes with a right hand kickstart while astride, though I sometimes struggle with the KTM as it is still a bit high, despite being lowered, for my short legs to get a good angle with my knee to turn it over smartly. Hopefully I will still be able to get the Morinis going 'my way' for a while yet - but need to aim for a very reliable tickover - possibly a bit higher rpm than 'perfect'.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby Butch » 04 Jan 2018 13:20

Well that started some further interesting discussion.

I can’t really explain it, I just really struggle with left side kicking. I had an Armstrong Rotax (MT500) and had exactly the same issues with that. I’m fine with gear shifting either side, and with usual and reverse pattern, and even a hand change – I just can’t do the wretched left foot kicker. I do currently have one other left foot kick start bike which is my Nimbus. That’s kind of OK as it’s a low compression 750/4 and the kicker is tiny and just takes a few prods (you can start it by hand if you’re feeling perverse enough).

On the Camel, once it is warmed up I’m usually OK, particularly if I’m stalled and in a hurry to get away. As I’d noted above, the awkward, cack handed approach to standing next to the bike seems to have led to some damage in my right leg. On the Camel it’s not helped by the height of the kicker at the top of its stroke – so yes agreed, it makes no sense.

On weight gain with the additions required to accommodate an electric start, given that I want the bike primarily for off road work and expect to be picking it up off the ground from time to time, as well as not unduly overstressing things on the bumpy stuff and jumps I’d prefer to keep it as light as possible. (And Lard Lad could do with cutting down on the pies). I guess there is an argument that says I should have bought something like a DR350.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby pikl » 04 Jan 2018 18:42

My Morinis start on the first or second kick with my right leg.
But I just cannot kick it enough to start when cold with my left leg. I often tried, and after few attempts, I just always put it on the centre stand (or my kanguro on the side, since it does not have a centre stand) and it again started on the first kick with my right leg...

I guess it's similar when jumping - some people jump better on the left leg, and some better on the right.
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Re: Electric Start Conversion.

Postby huub » 05 Jan 2018 10:04

the stock ignition doesnt help, the original morini ignition needs a good kick to produce a spark
a 175 cc cylinder should be easy to start.
a friend built a home made ignition for my morini 350 sport a couple of years ago,
it produces fat sparks at zero revs, the bike can be started by turning the rear wheel by hand when it is on the center stand.
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