How To Push Start A Motorcycle Easily


As a rider, you are bound to encounter a couple of issues on the road. Among the most common is a dead battery. To deal with this particular problem, you will need to learn how to push start a motorcycle.

Whether you left the key in the motorbike, the lights on, or the battery is old, your knowledge will come in handy whenever you need to push start a motorcycle. In fact, this is one of the best skills any rider can learn. In the guide below, you will learn how to push start a motorcycle in a couple of easy to remember steps. Read on to find out more:


What You Will Need


Push starting, or bump starting, refers to the process of starting a motorbike whenever the battery is dead or weakened. This is a simple procedure that isn't unlike how WWI pilots would start the engines on airplanes.

Once you learn how to push start a motorcycle, you will be able to turn the prop on the engine – thereby forcing its cylinders to move. After a couple of pushes, the engine will finally start. Here's what you will need to push start a motorcycle:

  • A motorcycle
  • A helmet
  • A hill (optional)
  • An extra pair of hands

Step By Step Instructions


Before you start learning how to push start a motorcycle, you first need to ensure that the bike needs one. Check the gas level and the kill switch to verify that everything is in order. Then, find out if your key is in position or if the kickstand is down.

Remember, there might be more than one reason why your bike won't start. Some of these problems won't be resolved by push starting the motorbike. For example, the bike might be out of gas.

Here are some things you might want to check first to see if they are the reason why your motorbike won't start:

  • The tank has fuel
  • You've set the petcock to the on position (especially if you own an old bike model)
  • The kickstand is in the up position
  • The transmission is neutral
  • You've set the kill switch to run

That said, the easiest way to learn how to push start a motorcycle is to sit on it and have another person or two push you. However, this might not prove useful if you are stranded on your own.

Below is a step-wise guide on how to push-start a bike:

1. Ignition

First, ensure that the ignition is in the on position. This way, it will complete the circuit controlling the flow of electricity to such essential components as the fuel pump and the spark plugs.

If your ignition is off and you try to push starting your bike, it will not move irrespective of the amount of energy and force you to put into it.

2. Gear Selection

Use the clutch to put your motorcycle in second gear. This gear works best because it will get your engine to move fast enough for the self-sustaining combustion cycle to start. As such, it works in the same way as an electric starter.

3. Push


At this point, you should brace yourself for some pushing. Stand on the side of your bike and hold the clutch in. Then, push your motorbike as fast as possible.Of course, you should ensure that you have a firm grip on the bike's handlebars. After all, you certainly wouldn't want to lose control of your bike after it starts.

4. Acrobatics

At this point, things will get a little tricky. While learning how to push start a motorcycle, you will push your bike at a relatively high speed. When it starts, you need to jump on it and land in the seated position before the bike rolls out of hand.

5. Popping The Clutch

After you are on your bike, release the clutch quickly and pump the gas. The engine will roar to life instantly. Once it starts, pull back the clutch lever so that your engine doesn't stall.

6. Rev The Engine

Now that your engine is on and the bike has started, you won't want to have to repeat the steps above. Therefore, depress the clutch and rev your engine to a medium level. By so doing, your bike won't go dead or choke down.

Revving the engine will come with the extra advantage of charging your battery - especially if this is the reason why your motorbike would not start in the first place.

7. Ride Away

At this point, your bike should be running as normal, and you'll have succeeded in learning how to push start a motorcycle. The engine is unlikely to stop unless you stall it or turn the bike off.

In case your battery was dead or drained, you might want to ride the bike around or rev the engine. This will restore the charge and prevent you from having to do more push starts.

Therefore, before you turn the bike off, you should ensure that the problem that caused it to stall has been dealt with. Remember, the reason why your bike stalled in the first place might be related to the fuel system or the battery - both of which will require that you see a mechanic.

8. Tips

Even after you've learned how to push start a motorcycle, there are some tips you should keep in mind. These include:

  • Push starting your bike works best when you are moving downhill
  • The higher the gear and pushing speed, the easier it will be to start the bike
  • If push-starting fails and you are not too familiar with motorcycle repair and maintenance, call in the experts or get the bike towed to a mechanic's to find out where the problem is

9. Warnings

  • Always leave your helmet on while push-starting a bike
  • Never try to push start a bike on a crowded street
  • All in all, push starting will require that you engage the transmission as the bike is moving. This is impossible if there's no clutch - because you won't be able to engage/disengage the transmission.


So, there you have it - the ultimate guide on “how to push start a motorcycle”. This knowledge will come in handy whenever your bike stalls and you are quite sure that the battery is dead or weak.

Use the information above whenever the need arises. In case you found this useful or you have extra tips to share, please leave a comment in the area below. You can also share this guide with anyone who needs to learn how to push start a motorcycle.


    Peter Hanson

    Nothing can compare to the feeling of riding a motorcycle. The freedom on the ride is the greatest thing I have ever had in my life. As they said, I'd rather be a biker for a minute than a spectator for a lifetime. If you are also a biker, then we are friends. Let's talk about our motorcycles and rides.

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