If you’ve been riding a motorcycle for a long time, you likely have a recollection of a time when your motorcycle abandoned you.
Your motorcycle battery is dead, and now your motorcycle won’t start. In such a scenario, you may push-start your bike. Push starting your bike involves using the bike’s transmission to turn over the engine quickly enough to start instead of a full starting system. Push starting a motorbike is a brilliant technique to have your motorcycle started after your battery is completely depleted and if you have no charge in your battery at all.
This article will tell you how you can jump start your motorcycle and what to do if you cannot achieve that.
Things to check when your motorcycle won’t start.
Here’s a scenario: You come home after an entire evening of riding your motorcycle. You park your vehicle, turn the engine off, and head inside for the rest of the night. A few days later, or even the next day, you come out to ride your bike only to see the ignition turned on. You twist the key, hoping to hear your motorcycle roar to life; instead, you hear a ‘click’ followed by complete silence. You’ve lost her. In such a scenario, your motorcycle won’t start through push start, and you will have to jump-start it with a jumper cable.
A way to check whether your battery has some charge or is completely drained is to see if the headlights light up when the engine is turned on. If the headlight light up even once, this means that there is some power in the battery itself to push start. If there is no power and no light shine, then it means that the battery is completely drained and needs to be recharged.
If your motorcycle doesn’t start, you’ll need to check a few issues that could be preventing it from running properly:
- Check to Make Sure You’re in Neutral
Before starting the bike, double-check that your gear is in neutral.
- Examine the ignition kill switch.
A kill switch is wired in parallel with an ignition switch. If your motorcycle would not start, ensure the kill switch isn’t open or set to the ‘STOP’ position.
- Examine the gas tap
This is for non-EFI/fuel-injected motorcycles. Check that the gasoline tap petcock is turned off.
- Examine the fuel level
It can happen to anyone at any time. Your bike won’t start; check the gas level to ensure you have enough petrol to keep going. You can open the gas tank to check if your gas gauge is broken and fix it to eliminate the gas issue.
- Check if the kickstand is in place.
Most motorcycles will not ignite if the kickstand is not up and the machine is in gear as an added safety precaution. Before trying to start your bike, be sure the kickstand is up.
- Check Spark Plug
Ensure that the spark plugs are securely screwed and that the plug wires are securely connected
Before running down a hill with your bike, always check to see if there are any other issues in the motorcycle that are stopping your motorcycle from starting. Additionally, these are a few tips that you can follow before actually starting your boke.:
- Please read the instructions of push-starting your bike completely before attempting to push-start it
- Try practicing push-starting so you know how to jump start your bike before getting stuck.
- The pop starts your motorcycle at a quiet place where there aren’t many people or cars, to be safe.
- Make sure you have at least 60 to 70 meters of clear road in front of you before you jump-start.
- Try to conduct this on a slope or with someone’s assistance. Pushing your motorcycle down the hill helps you build the momentum you need without putting in the effort of actually making your motorcycle catch that momentum. Jump starting a bike down a steep hill bears the chance of getting trapped at the bottom, but if the bike had started and spluttered to a quiet and you’re positive the battery is the problem, go for it. If necessary, push the bike to the top of a slope.
How to push start a motorcycle?
Here is a step-by-step guide on pushing start/ bump-start or pop start your bike. Using this method, you will be starting your bike without actually turning the ignition and get your engine running as when the bike rolls down a hill spinning the rear wheel, for example, the components recognize the movement, and the motorcycle roars to life when put into gear.
Put your motorcycle into neutral gear (you can check if it’s on neutral by checking if the neutral light is on) to take it to a suitable place for starting. Make sure you are out in the clear with your motorcycle; you don’t want to hit something or someone or want to be hit by someone.
Switch the key to the “on” position. If you fail to do this, the ignition coil will not start and will be unable to deliver a voltage surge to the spark plugs to start the engine, and you will never be able to start it.
Check the amount of resistance you are getting from the engine when you push your bike and set your gear accordingly. Most bikes will easily start in the second gear, but some require you to put the third gear. Some people have recommended starting your bike in the first gear, but we advise against it. DON’T USE FIRST GEAR IF YOU HAVE A HIGH COMPRESSION ENGINE. You can check and test for yourself; the lighter the bike, the more resistance you will feel and need to put a higher gear.
To see if you’re in second gear, try rocking the motorcycle forth and backward without your hand on the clutch. You shouldn’t be able to move over a few inches because of the gear. If you can still easily move forward and backward, you merely went up half a click from first gear. Another click up, and it should put you in second gear.
The next stage is holding the clutch and pushing yourself down the hill. If you’ve got a mechanical drive speedometer, your speedometer will operate to show you the speed, so as you gain speed, look at the speedometer and attempt to maintain a speed of 5 to 10 mph. Lower than this will not spark the engine, and higher than this could cause a jerk while starting.
Let off of the clutch lever as soon as possible. If you do it slowly, the motorcycle will decelerate before the engine starts and will not work smoothly. You must rapidly remove your hand from the clutch with a ‘pop,’ “pop,” starting the engine. The motorcycle will jolt when you let off the clutch ( REMEMBER, it is in the second gear!), so don’t let it thrust you forward on the handlebars.
When you drop the clutch, the motorcycle usually starts right away, but it’s a good idea to additionally click the starter button after you pop the clutch, as this helps with the engine turnover. This will give the ignition coil a surge of power.
And your motorcycle should fire up!
You can watch this awesome youtube video to help you get a better idea!
Still no luck?
If you still cannot turn on your motorcycle, then:
- Check your system again to see any apparent mistakes that you overlooked before?
- Push the motorcycle faster and repeat steps 3 to 6 (you may need to repeat his a few times till you get the hang of it)
- Get Assistance!
You can do two more things to get your motorcycle engine to turn over.
Get someone to push you.
You cannot start your bike because the machine is not getting the required momentum to ignite the engine. Contact a friend or request a passerby to help push you the motorcycle.
This is particularly useful if you can’t find a hill or slope to start your bike. It will help you gain the required speed.
How-to: Get on your motorcycle and slightly push down on the footpegs to put some weight on the rear wheels. Get someone to push you and the motorcycle till it gains some momentum, then repeat steps 3 to 6 to start your bike.
Try this a few times, and if it doesn’t work, only then move on to the next technique.
Get another vehicle to push you.
This technique is a little risky as it creates the strongest jerk when the motorcycle starts, and it could cause you to fall over.
How-to: Get another vehicle, such as another motorbike or a small car, and link a towing rope to the motorcycle’s front and the other vehicle’s rear to maintain balance. Make sure you have plenty of space, so you don’t crash into the back of the machine dragging you. Then repeat steps 3 to 6 to pop-start your bike.
These techniques would work perfectly if the motorcycle only had a dead battery. If there are fuel injection systems or spark concerns, these approaches are unlikely to work as the motorcycle would still require spark and fuel to run.
If you’ve tried these basic steps and still can’t get the motorbike to start while moving down a hill, we would recommend contacting someone who owns a truck or trailer to assist you in getting the motorcycle back home so you can identify the cause.