How To Start a Motorcycle

By Walter F. Kern

To start a motorcycle is a simple operation. Starting a motorcycle is not the same for all motorcycles but all variations of starting are covered here.

Here's How to Start a Motorcycle:

  1. Get on the motorcycle.
  2. Insert the key in the ignition of the motorcycle.
  3. Locate and turn ON the fuel petcock. Some motorcycles don't have a need for this step.
  4. Pull the choke all the way out unless the motorcycle has been running previously.
  5. Turn the key in the ignition to the ON position.
  6. Make sure the kill switch of the motorcycle is set to RUN.
  7. Make sure the motorcycle gear shifter is in neutral.
  8. Squeeze the motorcycle clutch lever with your left hand all the way to the grip.
  9. Press the start button with your right thumb.
  10. Let the starter motor turn over until the engine fires before you release the start button.
  11. The motorcycle engine should be running at a fast idle.
  12. Over a period of a few minutes, gradually push the choke in as the motorcycle engine warms up.
  13. You have started the motorcycle and are ready to go!


  1. If the motorcycle engine fires and then immediately stalls, just press the start button again until it fires a second (or third) time.
  2. If engine does not start, recheck the kill switch and the fuel petcock.
  3. Modern motorcycles will stall if you attempt to put the bike in gear while the sidestand is down.

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