It’s not always simple to figure out what’s wrong when your motorcycle won’t start, much less fix it in time for your commute or weekend ride. However, you may take action if your motorcycle won’t start, but the battery is still okay, rather than calling a professional right away. After that, you can check out your bike and possibly make it road-worthy on your own with easy fixes.
How to Assess the Condition of Your Motorcycle Battery
You could have a sneaking suspicion that the battery in your motorcycle is in good shape, but you’re not 100% certain. Follow the few steps to determine whether the battery is the issue if it is unclear from looking at the bike when you turn the key (the lights come on, for example).
Dim running lights, a clicking noise when you turn the key, and a short crank of the starter, followed by nothing, are signs of a dead battery. Applying all the aforementioned advice, however, your bike won’t start unless you place an advertisement for sale on a certain business website, such as honda for sale.
Ascertaining that the battery is functional and supplying the maximum voltage should be your first line of defense if you don’t notice these indications or are otherwise unclear about what to look for. Check your battery’s visual condition, voltage, and load to ensure it’s still in good condition.
An examination of a battery visually should include:
- inspecting the terminal for damage
- checking for any misplaced fluid and inspecting the battery for leaks
- examining the battery box for any dents or cracks
To inspect your battery, you may either do it yourself or take it to a nearby shop or auto parts store. Additionally, you should test the battery while the digital voltmeter is still connected to the motorcycle.
For around 30 seconds, the voltage reading should be in the 9.5 to 10.5 range. The battery is good to go if the readout remains stable, but your motorcycle probably has another issue (or a few). Thankfully, there are various methods of troubleshooting that can assist in figuring out why your bike won’t start.
How to Start a Non-Starting Motorcycle (But the Battery is Good)
The bad news is that your motorcycle may have 10 or more issues if it doesn’t start. The good news is that many symptoms and warning signals can assist and guide you toward a solution. Once you’re sure the battery is still functional, you can move on to trying to identify the real issue with less concern.
Generally speaking, the problem could be related to fuel, compression, or spark. You must identify which of those is absent and how to replace it to start the bike. Here are 15 things to examine to fix your motorcycle.
Confirm Gas is in the Tank
Verifying that you have petrol in the tank is a simple pre-trip check, but riders frequently forget to do it. You might not think to check, especially if your gas gauge indicates that the tank is full. Remember that gauges can break down, so before assuming other potential issues, shake your bike and listen for the slosh of gas in the tank.
If you can confirm that there is gasoline in your motorbike, check to see if the fuel pump is working (if the motorcycle has one), and if it has a carburetor, check to see if gas is getting to it as well.
Clutch the Brake
For seasoned riders, it’s usually a no-brainer, but for novices, remembering to engage the clutch might be the difference between an enjoyable ride and a trying trip to the mechanic. Even when you are neutral, many bikes require the clutch to be engaged before they will start.
You can try “pushing” the clutch a few times to see if it resets the switch or if your bike’s clutch switch is damaged. Although you can bypass the clutch switch, a longer-term fix is required (and probably a clutch replacement).
Set (the Correct) Gear on the Motorcycle
It would help if you put the transmission into neutral in addition to engaging the clutch to start it. Putting the bike in neutral and using the clutch can be a helpful troubleshooting maneuver if you’re unfamiliar with it (and save you potential embarrassment).
When Your Motorcycle Doesn’t Start, Do Not
You may take many actions to diagnose the issue with your bike, but there are also some things you should not do. When your motorcycle doesn’t start, follow these suggestions instead.
Never Jump the Battery (With a Car)
You could be tempted to jump-start your motorcycle if you’re unsure whether the battery is the cause of its inability to start. However, it would be best if you resisted this urge. Jump-starting your bike’s battery may not always be a wise move.
You risk damaging your motorcycle’s microprocessor if you jump-start it by spiking the voltage, which many motorcycles do.
Additionally, you should avoid using a car to jump-start a motorcycle because the total amps from the automobile could damage the motorcycle’s system. Even if you have a three-wheel motorcycle, it’s still not the same as a sedan or pickup truck, and there are various requirements for voltage and jump-starting.
Don’t Forget About the Small Things
Simple procedures for ensuring your bike is functioning well are included in the list above. While it may be tempting to forego fundamental actions like engaging the clutch or consulting your manual for the correct start-up procedure, riders frequently neglect the motorcycle’s most fundamental components.
Before removing and cleaning parts or using tools in the repair, try the easiest method of troubleshooting to save yourself the headache.
Purchase No Replacement Parts (Without Consulting a Pro)
Please don’t rush to buy replacement parts for your motorcycle when it doesn’t start unless you are a mechanic. You most likely require expert assistance to identify the issue if you complete every stage of the troubleshooting process and still can’t get your bike to start.
Purchasing spare components will ultimately cost you more money, especially if you later incur expensive repair costs that have nothing to do with the initial issue.
Keep Your Warranty Valid
Make sure you’re not nullifying the conditions of your motorbike warranty by performing DIY troubleshooting or repairs if you have one, whether it’s a factory or extended warranty. Warranties cover many repairs, so you should hold off on making significant changes until you receive permission from the warranty provider.
When repairing, warranty companies typically prefer to be done at a specific location, such as the manufacturer’s dealership or another authorized shop. If you ignore these rules, you risk losing your coverage, which could lower your trade-in value.
Crossing a few things off your pre-trip list can frequently be all it takes to get a recalcitrant motorcycle to start. Other times, you’ll require a total overhaul and the assistance of a specialist before you can resume driving. In another case, following these instructions will help you identify the problem and arrange for the necessary repairs to be made.