How to Kickstart a Motorcycle

Hey, rider! Let’s quickly discover how to kickstart a motorcycle. Meanwhile, most motorcycles with kick starters have a peculiar drill that makes the engine fire. Most of the time, you have to figure out what method kickstarts your motorbike.

how to kickstart a motorcycle

The motorcycle owner’s manual may disclose a close setting for kickstarting the engine. Some motorcycles feature chokes, which must be set properly.


Typically, however, if a choke is recommended for a cold engine, do not open the throttle.

So, let’s go further down!


What to Do Before Kickstarting a Motorcycle

What do you do or check before you kickstart a motorcycle?

  • Your ignition advance setting must be correct, and the points must be set.
  • Check your spark plugs.
  • Your spark plug wire must be in good condition and attached to the plug firmly.
  • Makes sure the valves have correct clearances.
  • Make sure the carbs are functional with no fouled jets.
  • Confirm whether fuel reaches the carbs.
  • Do not have harmful gas in your tank.
  • Ensure that there are no air leaks in the manifolds.
  • Your cylinders’ compression must be functional or in good condition.
  • The fuel lever must be on.
  • Your motorcycle must be properly tuned up.

You may check other basic components before you kickstart the motorcycle.

How to Kickstart a Motorcycle

  1. Bike Must Be in Good Mechanical Condition

As mentioned above, make sure the motorcycle is in good condition and functional. If you parked or rode the motorcycle in heavy rain for an extended time, you may have to prep it first.

Typically, a motorcycle should respond or start on either the first, second, or third kick. If the motorcycle kickstart takes 4+ kicks to fire the engine, make sure to diagnose mechanical problems and fix them.

  1. Slide Kick Halfway

When attempting to kickstart the motorcycle for the first time, slide-kick it halfway for about 2 to 3 times. This action clears previous gases trapped in the cylinders for new air to pump in when you make the first full kickstart. It is also advisable to give a slight choke for your first choke.

  1. Put the Bike in Neutral Gear

Put the motorcycle in neutral gear and pull in the clutch.

  1. Check Fuel Valve

If the first kick does not respond, check that the fuel valve is open; otherwise, turn it on.

  1. Turn Ignition On

Turn the motorcycle ignition on, typically with the motorcycle key.

  1. Kick the Lever Downward

Move the kickstart lever manually until your feel pressure – the cylinder compression stroke. You may prime the carburetor (only when necessary). A typical Amal carburetor is a little side button.

Now, kick the kickstart lever downward and firmly. Depending on your motorcycle condition and engine state, you may kick it multiple times. Kicking more than four times could signify a problem.

  1. Go for Throttle When Engine Starts

Once the motorcycle engine fires, go for throttle. Note, do not go throttle which kickstarting; it can damage the clutch plates.

How Kickstart Works on a Motorcycle

When you kickstart a motorcycle, the kickstart lever rotates a shaft affixed to it. And this shaft has the gear(s) in it.

How can I make my motorcycle kickstart easier

The gear rotates a crankshaft, which generates an initial torque or momentum that reciprocates the piston in cylinders.

Spark is eventually produced, and the fuel starts burning in the cylinder, which fires or starts the motorcycle engine.

If kickstarting is challenging, locate a hill or slope and run your motorcycle downward to roll start it while engaging the lower gear. This action equally rotates the crankshaft, producing similar action as mentioned above to fire the engine when you kick the lever.

Final Thoughts

Note that a kickstart motorcycle can kick back, causing injury, so you must be cautious.

Also, make sure to build your leg muscle momentarily for the quick power you’d transfer for the kick. As mentioned earlier, you may run and bump-start the motorcycle down a slope, especially if the battery is dead. Make sure to run the motorcycle up to 5mph, at least with someone pushing it from behind.

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