Sean Fader

"Aint That a Kicker?"

So I was working and I had just replaced the kick start mechanism in a left-hand kick, 1987 Husqvarna CR430 2-stroke motocross bike. Big-bore bikes are not foreign to me, my dirt bike growing up was a 1981 YZ465 Yamaha. Being 5'7" and 140 lbs, pretty much EVERY bike is too tall for me. This Husky of course being overhead, and also having the left-hand kick start, proved to be a challenge. I thought to myself, "Well, my 1977 Husky CR250 is left-hand kick, and it's easy to start using my left or even right leg off the side"....

STUPID. I get on the bike, (using a crate to balance on of course) and attempt to kick it with my left leg. No start. So I stand next to the bike, get on the kicker with my right foot, (like a total idiot) and give it a good kick and follow-through (so I thought). The engine kicks back from pre-ignition and the pedal jams like a jackhammer into my foot. Along with the backfire bang the engine made, there was an unusually loud CRACK like a tree branch breaking. I look up at my girlfriend and as my foot starts to burn she says, "what was that loud noise?" While still holding the bike and standing on one foot I look down and shake my leg. Seeing my foot loosely swing back and forth seemingly unattached, I said "go get your car, I just broke my ankle". I Leaned the bike against a wall, crawled into the car, and off to the hospital we went.
I found out the hard way that the stories about kick starters my Dad and his riding buddies used to scare us with were true!