General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: ste on 19 Mar 2017 at 01:14

Title: Hard to start
Post by: ste on 19 Mar 2017 at 01:14
my TS only starts if I run beside it and start it on quite high throttle.
After watching 4-5 videos on Youtube of similar models starting, after 5-6 steps, or even turning the back wheel whilst on the rear stand, I feel quite disillusioned. What am I doing wrong? Magneto with a weak spark? Should I get it overhauled? Carburettor not set correct?
I have looked forward to this moment for almost ten years and I find I put the bike back in the garage in total disgust, let alone exhaustion.
How do I get the bike to start without so much effort please?
I will post a photo sometime.
Title: Re: Hard to start
Post by: cardan on 19 Mar 2017 at 08:47

Hi Stephen,

Well I feel for you! I've been out today on my single-speed run-and-jump non-Douglas V-twin and easy starting is a must. Pity you're not a bit closer as I'd be happy to help.

From afar let me make a couple of suggestions.

1. Make sure you have compression on each cylinder. Pull the back wheel on the stand - you should have real resistance on each cylinder. (With the valves lifted the motor should turn over smoothly, with little "sticktion".)

2. Check the valve timing. At TDC on the non-firing stroke the exhaust valve should be just closing as the inlet is just opening. (Mark TDC on the flywheel with a texta pen for later)

3. Check for air leaks in the inlet manifold - at the joints with the cylinders and at the carby flange.

4. Check the fuel level in the carburettor. It should be just below the top of the main jet.

5. Check that the spark is about 35 degrees before TDC on full advance.

6. Decent clean spark plugs - Champion D16 or whatever.

7. Fresh petrol

8. OK. Tickle carby until it floods, magneto at almost fully advance, air lever closed, throttle lever 1/4 to 1/2 open, lift exhaust valves, push in preferred gear, once the motor is spinning drop valves.

9. Hey presto? Maybe not. Is there anyone experienced nearby who can help?

Good luck,


Title: Re: Hard to start
Post by: ste on 19 Mar 2017 at 09:17
Thanks Leon, you are most informative as always.
I will fettle tomorrow.

Title: Re: Hard to start
Post by: ste on 20 Mar 2017 at 02:44
It goes again!!!!
1. Compression was fine.
2. Valve timing seemed OK
3.Seems to be a bit of bubbling on the large nut below the rear cylinder spark plug.
4. Fuel level was a bit high I think. Flooded once before I started it.
5. Not sure of this one
6. New plugs, rear one was black, front clean. NGK AG-6
7.Petrol is new.
Started with my neighbour pushing me. Ran only on one cylinder then two after a few metres. Stalled when turning but fired straight away on restart.
Thanks again Leon, really appreciate your help.

Title: Re: Hard to start
Post by: Ian on 21 Mar 2017 at 04:10
I have found that the TS needs to be flooded before a cold start. If you follow what Leon said it should be very easy to start - in fact we do often start them on the stand just by pulling the back wheel. Air lever fully closed and a bit of throttle should do it

The black rear and clean front is an indication of an issue somewhere ! Do make sure the inlet manifolds are properly sealed as Leon suggests.

The bubbling on the nut is some compression "escaping"
Title: Re: Hard to start
Post by: eddie on 21 Mar 2017 at 07:50
To seal the loose flange on the inlet manifold, I have found a Viton 'O' ring from a Dragonfly inlet manifold works perfectly.