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5 Things to Check When Your Motorcycle Won’t Start

motorcycle accident

Tips Provided by a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

All motorcyclists have experienced this problem. No matter how you take care of your bike, sometimes, you just have to recognize that they are subject to wear and tear. And this is the reason you need to be on top of everything. If your bike breaks down while driving, the next thing you know, you are talking to a motorcycle accident lawyer for advice. Before troubleshooting, you must check the basic pre-ride requirements.

  • Is your key on the port?
  • Is your ignition turned to On or Run?
  • Do you have fuel?
  • Have you tried the kick start?

If all of these checkout, then it is time to do some basic troubleshooting.

Spark and Ignition

If your motorcycle will not start and you have done all the basic things mentioned earlier, take a look at the spark plugs. Remove the cylinder head and then plug it back. Hold the plug on a metal object, like a bolt, and turn the engine on. If it sparks, then this is not the problem. But if there is no spark or if it is weak, buy a new one and do the same test. Ideally, the bike should start if the spark is strong. If the new spark plug has a spark, and still the engine won’t start, move on to check other issues.


Even if you have a full tank, you may have some problems starting your engine if you did not drive your motorcycle for a while. The gas will eventually break down its chemical components and therefore will not combust. The octane will dissipate.

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To solve this, you just have to pour new gas and start the engine. Shake the bike a little by pushing it back and forth. This should mix the new fuel with the old one. If this solves the problem, get a full tank at the nearest station to improve the ratio of your new gas.

Also, the fuel lines can dry up. If the lines or tubes are cracked, then they need changing. Some bikes need a starting fluid so you should also check the intake of the fluid line. If your motorcycle has a fuel petcock, put it on the Reserve position if your fuel is low. If the lines are cracked, you better call a technician to replace them.


The battery is a key component of the ignition system. It supplies your spark plug with electricity that starts the burning process. Without this, nothing else will start your bike. The battery must be fully charged. To check if your battery is working or not, you must have a tool to check the voltage. With this tool, attach one end to one terminal and attach one end to the other.

The battery must be shooting at least 12.5 volts. If the battery is below this, it does not have sufficient energy to power the spark plug. Without this tool, you cannot check your battery’s condition, and you need to call a technician. If it worked, replace your battery or recharge it as soon as possible.

Clutch Switch

You need to pull the clutch lever in some bikes to start them even if the bike is in neutral. They work like this for safety reasons. This prevents the bike from jerking forward.

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While starting, check if the bike is cranking or clicking. If any of these two are not happening and you have lights on your dashboard, it means you have power, but the ignition is not working. To resolve this, you have to squeeze and release the clutch while starting. If this does not work, press the clutch and hold it while in neutral then push the bike. Immediately move to gear one, release the clutch while revving, and you should have ignition.

Other Little Things

Some bikes will not start if the side stand is down. Fold it up and start the motorcycle. Manufacturers designed your bike this way for safety reasons. Another thing you can check is your muffler. If anything is blocking it, the bike will not start. Any blockage on the muffler causes a restriction on the airflow, which prevents the motorcycle from starting. You may also want to take a look at the wires. The electrical wires can get loose, so all you have to do is to plug and unplug them.


If these five troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, then you may have a bigger problem. Be thankful it did not cause any accident, in which case you would be talking to a motorcycle accident lawyer by now. A common problem is a malfunctioning injection. This is not something you can solve by yourself unless you have a strong technical background on bike engines. Another possible issue is the fuel pump. If the pump no longer works, it does not supply fuel to the engine anymore. In both cases, you need a professional technician to help you out.

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