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How to Start a Motorcycle

If you have just got a new bike and you’re wondering how to start it, then you should consider reading this guide on how to startup a motorbike. However, its highly recommended to first go to a driving-school and learn how to ride a bike so that you can easily ride it after starting.

 

Step-1: Getting your Bearings:

-Know whether you have a carburetor-based or fuel-injected motorcycle: Most motorcycles especially older or less expensive models do not have modern spark plug systems. However, if you aren’t sure then you can tell by looking for a choke control which is normally located on the left handlebar just above the horn. On the other hand, carbureted motorcycles have a choke but fuel-injected bikes do not.

-Sit on the motorbike seat when starting it: This helps to put you in full control of anything that happens once it’s started. However, if you are starting the motorcycle unmounted for some reason then make sure that you shift your bike into neutral (located between 1st and 2nd gear) before you fire the engine.

-Ensure that the motorcycle is in a working condition: The bike should have plenty of gas and a well-charged battery. It is also important to keep the motorcycle properly serviced particularly in damp or cold conditions. Replace the spark plug leads if they look old, worn or frayed and always use only manufacturer-recommended spark plugs and plug leads. Additionally, check the ignition timing and adjust it if necessary. A carburetor service and cleanup will also be a great idea.

-Check the oil level: Before starting the bike engine, make sure it is lubricated by checking the oil level. If there is no oil or the oil level is too low, do not start the engine. Otherwise it will heat up and then break down.

-Check the battery status: After checking the battery, put in the key and turn it clockwise until the lights turn on. If the lights don’t turn on, it usually means the battery is dead and you need to recharge it or install a new one.

 

Step-2: How to Start a Carbureted Motorcycle:

-Look for the “choke” lever or cut-off switch: For cold starting, there is usually a choke lever or “cut-off switch” on the handlebar. However, on some bikes there may be a choke lever mounted on the carburetor. Operating this will provide the necessary rich fuel mixture when the motorcycle is “cold” and when it hasn’t been used for more than a few hours. The dirtier the carburetor or the colder the engine is, the more the choke will need to be engaged. Likewise, you don’t need to use the choke lever when starting a motorcycle “hot”. If the motorcycle has been running and the engine is already hot, you won’t need as much power to get it going. Just use a small amount of throttle and the engine should fire. Lastly, most bikes have a cut-off switch on the kickstand, so make sure that the kickstand is up as well. Having the bike in neutral will disable the kickstand shutoff.

-Open the bike choke lever: Ensure that the cut-off switch is “on” and you will need to leave the handlebar throttle twist-grip closed while operating the starter motor or kick-start lever. Otherwise, the engine will flood making starting difficult or impossible. However, the choke lever is usually not necessary if the bike has already been running in the past few hours.

-Turn the ignition to “on” position: The dash lights should “light up” when it’s in this position. Additionally, if your bike is in neutral then you should notice a green light indicating that you are in neutral.

-Start the bike engine: Squeeze and hold your clutch lever down (located on the left) and push the start button (located on the right). You should hear the blissful sound of your motorcycle cranking up.

-Close the choke & open the throttle: Shortly after the engine fires, close the choke lever progressively and open the throttle slightly as the engine warms. As you ride, you may still need some choke for a short distance but close the choke lever as soon as possible to achieve smooth running. Don’t over-rev the motorcycle when it is warming up.

 

Step-3: How to Start a Fuel-Injected Motorcycle:

-Put the motorbike into neutral: You can always find this position between the first and second gear.

-Don’t worry about the choke lever: For electronically fuel-injected motorcycles, the engine management system will automatically look after fueling needs whether the engine is hot or cold. In fact, there is no choke lever on these motorcycles. So, use a small amount of throttle when starting either hot or cold.

-Pull the clutch in towards the handlebar: The clutch is usually on the left-hand side. In fact, most riders choose to also pull the foot pedal as they work on the clutch.

-Press and hold in the start button: It is usually located on the right handlebar near the bottom of where the hand will naturally rest. So, gently press this button to start your motorbike.

-Consider using the throttle: If the motorcycle does not catch and start, try using the throttle while pressing the start button. Additionally, make sure to keep the clutch held all of the way in while doing this.

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