1960 VBB 150

P200 Kickstart change:

One thing that always bugged me about putting a P200 engine in my VBB was the modern look of the P200 kickstart. It has better leverage and makes it easier to start, but it is a dead give away, letting everyone know what type of engine you are running, and takes away from the classic lines of the bike.

It is easy to change this out to an older Rally style or 60s style kickstart if you are rebuilding the engine at any time. Unfortunately you'll need to split the cases to do this conversion. I left it until I had to replace oil seals since I was splitting the casings anyway. The only parts you'll need are a new Rally kickstart shaft and integral gear, and the kickstart itself.


Basically the way the kickstart works is that there is a half-moon shaped gear welded to the kickstart spline inside the engine casings. It has a small beveled area (blue arrow above) that interfaces with a small gear (yellow arrow) on the input shaft (green arrow). When the kickstart is in the normal position, this beveled area slightly lifts the gear away from the input shaft so that the input shaft gears can rotate freely. When the kickstart is pushed, the bevel passes the smaller gear and allows it to drop down on to the input shaft with the help of a spring. It then engages with both the input shaft and the teethed face of the half-moon kickstart spline gear.


Anyway..below is a shot of a typical P200 kickstart spline and gear. The spline area goes between the two red arrows. This is the area that the kickstart lever attaches to.


Below is the Rally equivalent. Everything on the part is the same as the P200 part, except for the position of the splines (shown again with red arrows) - see the difference?


This difference allows you to put an older type kickstart and still have a perfectly functioning starter system. Once the cases are apart, just drive out the old kickstart spline through the flywheel casing with a rubber mallet. There will be a noise when the kickstart spring releases from the casing. Take the spring off the old spline and place it exactly the same way on the new one. Then drive the kickstart spline almost all the way into the casing. At this point you'll have to relocate the kickstart spring end in the hole in the casing. It is easy to do with a large screwdriver. That's it - all you have to do is rebuild the engine and connect the new kickstart lever to the outside spline.

Above is a shot of my seriously beat up (unfortunately that's what happens using a bike in a city and parking it outside for years) VBB with the new kickstart attached. I wish I had done this back when I built the bike.

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