How to Roll Start a Motorcycle

It is easy to roll start a motorcycle, especially on a sloppy surface. So, this article reveals how to roll start a motorcycle, even with a dead battery.

When your motorcycle sits for a while with a dead battery, it may not kickstart after several attempts. The best practice is to roll start the bike, also called push start or bump start.

how to roll start a motorcycle

You’d want to be sure that your motorcycle is in good condition before considering a roll-start, though. And not all motorcycles are okay with roll starting.

Is it Bad to Roll Start a Motorcycle?

If your motorcycle battery is dead, consider charging it to avoid roll starting the motorcycle. Nonetheless, roll starting is not bad, especially if you are doing it for the first time or have not roll-start in a while. Meanwhile, tiny motorcycle stators are not designed to charge flat/dead batteries fully, which means they can overheat the wiring, stator, and regulator/rectifier.


How to Roll Start a Motorcycle

Roll-starting is easy; follow the steps below to roll start your motorcycle:

  1. Find a Hill

Find a hill, slope, or any slight decline to aid the motorcycle rolling.

  1. Turn the Key On

Obviously, turn your motorcycle ignition on.

  1. Put in the Second Gear

Put your motorcycle in the second gear, and do not use the first gear, especially if you’re rolling the motorcycle yourself. The first gear can lock the back wheel of your motorcycle, resulting in a crash.

  1. Pull Clutch in and Roll Motorcycle

You must pull in the clutch to start rolling the motorcycle.

You can get someone to push the motorbike from behind to at least 5-10 mph. You can also roll-start the motorcycle yourself, but it’s safer to have someone assist you, especially as a beginner.

  1. Drop the Clutch and Throttle

When the motorcycle rolls at a desirable speed, typically between 5-10 mph, drop the clutch, and the engine should fire. It may not fire at the first attempt, though.

Now, throttle the motorcycle slightly while letting go of the clutch. In some cases, the motorcycle might chug in the second gear, which keeps it going with little gas. Throttling the motorcycle is good, especially in older motorbikes.

Final Thoughts

Most modern motorcycles may not be roll-start friendly, especially models with FI and ECU having a half-dead battery. Rolling a modern motorcycle with a half-dead battery can degrade or damage its electronics. You may roll start the motorcycle when the battery is in good condition; consult the user manual, too.

Nonetheless, do not make it a habit to roll start a motorcycle. Consult a technician to diagnose the motorcycle and fix problems causing the hard start.

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