10 Things to Check When Your Bike Doesn’t Start

Shari Ives Beginner

If you have ever had to call your buddy to pick you up because your bike will not start these tips on how to start your bike will prevent you from having to make that embarrassing call again.


  1. First things first, always check your battery to make sure it is not dead. If it is, try getting a jump from someone.
  2. Most of the time if your bike will not start it is something as simple as making sure the fuel control valve is not clogged with rust; making sure corrosion has not built up within the valve itself causing dry rot, cracking, or leaking.
  3. If your bike requires the clutch lever to be pulled in in order to start, check to make sure that has been done. Pull the lever all the way to the grip. If that does not work, you can bypass the clutch switch and jam the leads with a staple.
  4. Some bikes that do not require the clutch lever to be pulled in may require the bike to be in neutral to start. If the bike is not already in neutral, go ahead and put it there.
  5. Be sure to check the plunger switch. This switch tells the ignition the side stand is up and ready to go. Sometimes this switch will become stuck. If this is the case you can use WD-40 and a toothbrush to loosen it.
  6. Check the tail pipes. Sometimes animals or kids will clog the exhaust. If this is the case, just remove whatever may be clogging the pipe and try starting the bike.
  7. You may not think to check to make sure you have gas. If your gas gauge is showing, then pull, but just like anything else, that too can become stuck. Try shaking your gas tank and listen for the splashing.
  8. Also check for electrical issues. These can be hard to identify, but are always a possibility. Unplug and re-plug the connectors.
  9. Check the engine cutoff switch. Even if you did not use the switch to turn off the bike, it may have been bumped.
  10. If all these fail, you may need to try riding your bike more often which adds electrons to your batter and a healthier electrical system.

Via Motorcycle.Com