Four-Stroke Dead-Engine Starts with Scott Summers - Dirt Rider Magazine

Off-road racer Scott Summers may have more experience with four-stroke dead-engine starts than any other pro on the circuit. He holds five GNCC titles, with 69 victories in major off-road competitions and a total of nine titles in his trophy case. Summers is well known for his ability to win on an XR600R four-stroke at a time when the thumpers were a bit big and not the easiest to race.Returning to GNCC competition after his 2001 injury-forced retirement, Summers will be on a CRF450R, which means that for perhaps the first time in his career, he will race equipment that is equal to his competitors'.Achieving good dead-engine starts with a four-stroke is challenging, as he readily admits. So Summers offers these tips to launching your thumper.First, be sure the bike is warmed up. This is crucial with four-strokes, which should be warm but not too hot. Do a test start, and be sure the bike will fire without the hot-start button depressed. He adds that adjusting the clutch free play so the clutch fully disengages is key.A. "Once your engine is good and warm, you'll want to be sure that you are in gear and that the clutch is fully disengaged. I like to rock the bike back and forth a couple of times to free up the clutch plates so I get a good, clean kick."B. "Gently turn the engine over until you come to top dead center (TDC)—the hard spot. On the Honda CRF, I leave the lever just at TDC. Get your leg up and be ready for the starter. I wrap all four fingers around the clutch lever so it is pulled all the way in, rather than using only two fingers as I usually do."C. "When the starter flag drops, give a solid kick and be careful not to twist the throttle as you kick. Once the engine fires, wait just a second to be sure it catches and revs before you drop the clutch. If you do it too soon, you'll kill the engine and be left kicking as the pack rides away."D. "Once you are under way, the disadvantage of starting a four-stroke turns into the advantage of four-stroke muscle. You can hook up better than your two-stroke competitors, and if you are on a CRF, you have a horsepower advantage. Make the most of it by carefully shifting your weight forward and staying on the gas!"