How to Kick-Start a Motorcycle





Introduction: How to Kick-Start a Motorcycle

Kick starting a motorcycle is a pretty standard affair for dirt bikes and scooters, and is a nice thing to have on older street bikes when the battery or starter kicks the bucket. There are only a few things to consider when doing it, and I'll cover what I know about them in this instructable. Feel free to suggest any other foot-bruising insights below.

Step 1: Get the Bike Ready

There are a few things you may need to do before trying to kick start your bike. These include:

1: Open pressure release if your bike has one. This will make it easier to kick over and less likely to kick the pedal back at you. This could either be located as a small lever on the handlebars or on the engine somewhere.

2: Turn on the key. This is pretty self-explainatory.

3: If you're starting a scooter, put it on the center stand and hold the brake. Many scooters won't start without a brake being held down.

4: Put on shoes. While not an absolute requirement, flip-flops, heels, and bare-feet don't tend to get along well with kick starting motorbikes. I've personally gotten stone bruises from kick starting a quad in flip-flops before. You should have decent shoes on if you're going to be riding a two-wheeled vehicle of any sort anyway.

Step 2: Kick the Thing

Now you're ready to start stomping the kick start pedal. You may have to mess around some to find the best starting position, but for motorcycles it's usually straddling the bike, kicking the start pedal with your right leg in fast, downward motions. You may need to play with the choke or give the bike a little gas to coax it out of it's slumber, but unless you've got other problems the bike should start with a few swift kicks. Scooters are generally kick started standing to the side, holding the brake. If you have a manual compression release you may need to re-engage it every couple kicks.

If you find yourself kicking 'til you're blue in the face you might have another problem and need to refer to this fine instructable.



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    I have a 74 and 72 cb750 the 72 has a electric start but the 74 is a kick only bobber the key is to put the bike in neutral with the clutch out pull the choke and give the bike a few slow kicks to prime and then turn the key on and give it swift hard kicks until the bike starts. if it doesn't start on the first 4 tryes you way want to consider a tune up. if you have a electric start you may want to use the kick to prime the engine first.


    pretty vague saying heres the kicker starter, start it...i have an 80 yammy 650 twin, if u tried to kick it the wrong way youll be over the bars. i find slowly rolling the engine over with the kicker a lil 1st...then stand on that mofo n never forget ta FOLLOW THROUGH!!!!

    Agreed. I had an old brit, 73 Norton Commando 850cc with an 920cc kit and modified carb and exhaust. It had a lot of temper, if one didn't follow through it would kick you right off the seat. These old machines has a tendency to kick back due to ignition before piston reaches the top, so if you aren't fast enough the pre-ignition sends the piston in reverse, which means that it kicks the shit out of your leg if you're not cautious. The lesson it learned me was, follow through but never lock your knee when kicking.

    wat abt gear less bikes?watz it startin system?

    Could you provide an example and use better English? It's pretty hard to understand txtspeak.

    Translation: "What about gearless bikes? How are they started?"

    The only gearless bikes I know of would be scooters, which have a kick starter on them. Most require you to hold the brake(s) in as you kick. There's no way to bump start them however since they use a centrifugal clutch.

    Rishnai: Ahh, spark advance - owned a 1953 Matchless, had a magneto and therefore a manual spark advance lever on handlebar. Always joked that it was the best bike to go out drinking on - if I had too much to drink I would forget to retard the spark and end up lying on my back, looking up at the stars and sober as a judge.

    drinking n riding brilliant!!! ohhh my kingdom for a sarcasm font

    my klx 110 starts the first kick, every time