How to Start a Motorcycle Without Key

Anybody can learn how to start a motorcycle without key. The process is known as hotwiring and may not work on all bikes, especially newer bikes.

Depending on the complexity of the starting system of a motorcycle, you may be able to turn it on with no key. Older motorcycles will start by push starting, also known as bump starting, but require a key to turn on the ignition.

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Hot wiring does not need a key to start. Once you connect the wires appropriately, you press the ignition button and the engine starts.

Can You Start a Motorcycle Without a Key?

Yes, you can start a motorcycle without a key, but it depends on how old the motorcycle is and your knowledge of its electrical systems. In essence, not all motorbikes will turn on without a key since modern bikes are designed to discourage theft.


A modern motorcycle will give a tough time to bypass the starting system without a key. You may fail in the attempt, which is necessary to keep motorcycles from being stolen easily.

Does Motorcycle Engine Need a Key to Start?

Some older motorcycle owners claim they can start their motorcycle by pushing or bump starting with no key. But it is unlikely that a motorcycle engine will fire without a key since the kickstarter must spin the engine.

Without turning on the key on the motorcycle, no spark is created, so the engine will not start. It applies to 2-stroke or 4 stroke motorcycles; no spark means the motorcycle engine will not start.

Nonetheless, motocross bikes have no keys, meaning you can start them without a key. However, note that a machine that does not naturally require a key to start will not require a key to bump start, push start, jumpstart with a car, kick start, etc.


How to Start a Motorcycle Without Key

This section disclosed the various steps regarding how to start a motorcycle without a key:

Get a Speaker Wire

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Get a short wire as seen in the picture above and peel off the rubber or plastic coating on both ends.

Remove the Ignition System Covering

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Your motorcycle depends on the ignition system to start. Unlike older motorcycles, newer motorcycles have covers that protect the ignition wiring system.

After removing the ignition cover, the next step is to find the ignition system location.

You can refer to the motorcycle owner’s manual to determine the appropriate ignition system. Alternatively, search the ignition wiring system for your motorcycle model online. Most modern bikes contain it in a wiring cap or socket.

Find the Wiring Socket/Cap

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Search the wiring sleeve until you discover where the triple-colored wires end with a plastic wiring cap/socket. The wiring cap might contain another group of wires plugged into it.

Detach the Socket/Wiring Cap

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The cap covers the wires as a group and these wires connect important parts of the motorcycle to its ignition system.

The wires should come from the opposite side of the socket or cap. Also, ensure to use the cap that connects to the ignition of the motorcycle directly because there could be similar wiring caps on your motorcycle.

Note that you may see two caps – one from the caps and another connected to the handlebars. The wires connected to the handlebars are not important.

Insert the Speaker Wire in the Socket

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Separate the writing caps and let the ignition wiring hang down. Hold the lower part of the wiring down.

Now, bend the speaker wire and insert one end of it in one of the connection points of the cap socket.

Insert the second end into another connection point or eye of the cap socket.

If the motorcycle does not light up along with an engine click, continue inserting both ends of the wires in different eyes or connection points until it works.

Press the Ignition Button

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When the engine clicks and lights up, press the ignition button on the throttle to start the motorcycle engine without a key.

Read also: pop noise fix when accelerating a motorcycle

What do you do when you lose your bike key?

If you lose your bike key, contact a locksmith to use the ignition cylinder code or the entire ignition cylinder of the bike to forge a new key. Another option is to get a replacement key from your local dealer using bike’s VIN.

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