This is a topic that interests me. With my bike I can get it to start consistently but it usually takes about 40 kicks. I am now going through various starting techniques. I have tried to see what is the best number of tickles, and does it start better with the air open or closed. Still no definitive answer as yet, but was on the point of asking other members their experiences when you posted your article. So I’ve joined in.
I have blown through the passages as Brian suggests, a number of times, but it remains the same. I am assuming that other members bikes do start easier than mine.