How To Fix Poor Acceleration On A Motorcycle? – 7 Fixes!

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I won’t be wrong if I say- “a motorcycle with poor acceleration is like a bird with a clipped wing.” If your motorcycle throttle response is sluggish or feels like losing power while accelerating, it will ruin your riding experience.

Several reasons cause poor throttle response, and you can fix them easily. This guide explains various methods to fix poor throttle response.

So, why is my motorcycle losing power when accelerating? Your motorcycle is losing power when accelerating because of carbon fouling on the spark plug, a clogged air filter, a dirty carburetor, a faulty O2 sensor, an extremely hot engine, extra slack in the throttle cable, or poor timing advance.

I will explain how to diagnose and troubleshoot poor acceleration on a motorcycle. So, don’t skip this guide.

Similar Guide: How To Make A Motorcycle Go Faster

Motorcycle Throttle

How To Fix Poor Acceleration On A Motorcycle?

I’m happy to know that you decided to read the complete guide. It’s my responsibility to provide you with the best possible solutions for sluggish or poor acceleration.

Generally, a motorcycle faces sluggish acceleration because of missed service or if it’s too old. Anyway, let’s dive into the solutions:

1. Replace Your Spark Plug

If you’re an enthusiast rider, you must know the purpose of a spark plug on an engine. The function of a spark plug is to immediately ignite the air-fuel mixture when the compression stroke ends (the piston reaches its dead end).

Over time, carbon fouling occurs on the spark plug electrodes, which slows down the ignition process. Due to inefficient spark, the air-fuel mixture doesn’t burn completely, and the engine loses power when accelerating.

If you haven’t checked your motorcycle spark plug during the service, please open it and inspect it for carbon fouling.

If the electrodes (tip of the spark plug) look dirty, clean them with a cloth. If it’s more than 20,000 miles, please change it to improve the throttle response.

I have written a detailed guide on- can you use a car spark plug on a motorcycle; please read that.

2. Change Air Filter

The motorcycle air filter supplies clean and dust-free air into the carburetor that goes into the engine cylinder for combustion. A motorcycle air filter lasts up to 15,000 to 20,000 miles if you ride in a dust-free environment.

Over time, the pores of the air filter get clogged with dust, which prevents airflow. If your carburetor doesn’t receive sufficient air, it disbalances the stoichiometric ratio (14.7:1) and supplies too rich air fuel into the cylinder.

The too-rich air-fuel mixture increases the carbon fouling over the spark plug, which results in incomplete combustion and poor acceleration.

3. Clean Your Carburetor

A motorcycle carburetor is a complex device that mixes air and fuel before supplying it to the combustion chamber.

It has tiny holes that inject fuel into the air for mixing. Due to dirt in gasoline or fuel tanks, these holes get clogged over time, which results in a lean mixture, and your engine dies.

So, if your motorcycle is losing power when accelerating, it could also be due to a dirty carburetor. You can clean the carburetor to improve its performance.

4. Check O2 Sensor

An O2 sensor is installed on the exhaust pipe to measure the residual oxygen percentage in the exhaust gases.

The O2 sensors send this data to the ECU that controls the fuel supply. If your motorcycle’s O2 sensor is faulty, it won’t send proper data.

As a result, ECU won’t adjust the air-fuel mixture, resulting in poor acceleration. You can inspect the Check Engine Light and replace the O2 sensor if it doesn’t send any data to ECU.

5. Change Engine Oil

The engine oil not only lubricates the moving parts but also helps to keep the motorcycle engine cool. Over time, the engine oil’s viscosity decreases, reducing the cooling rate.

The increased engine temperature leads to pre-ignition, which causes extreme power loss. It’s recommended to change your motorcycle oil every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. I have written a detailed guide on how often to change the engine oil on a motorcycle.

6. Adjust The Throttle Cable Freeplay

Excessive throttle cable slack is a common reason your motorcycle faces poor acceleration. Too much slack in the throttle cable won’t increase the airflow, and the engine produces less power when twisting the throttle bar to a dead end. So, adjust the throttle cable if it feels too loose.

7. Replace The Battery

A motorcycle battery lasts for 18 to 20 months. However, storing your motorcycle for too long may cause it to die sooner due to sulfation on electrodes.

The battery powers a lot of electronics on your motorcycle. If the battery dies, your motorcycle starts facing various problems. So, you should replace the battery at regular intervals.

Also Read: How To Fix Motorcycle Throttle Not Snapping Back

Why Is Motorcycle Losing Power When Accelerating?

As I mentioned various reasons why a motorcycle feels sluggish during acceleration. However, the most common reason motorcycles lose power when accelerating is the bad spark plug, clogged air filter, and extra slacks in the throttle cable.

Why Is Your Motorcycle Reviving But Not Accelerating?

If your motorcycle engine is reviving but not accelerating, it’s because of a bad transmission. It mostly happens due to clutch plate slippage or bad chain drive. To fix this, you must replace the clutch plates, chains, and sprockets.

Can A Dirty Air Filter Cause Poor Acceleration?

Yes, a dirty air filter causes poor acceleration because the fuel doesn’t burn completely into the combustion chamber, which results in power loss and decreased mileage. To fix this, clean your motorcycle air filter with compressed air and replace it every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.


I hope you found this guide helpful, and now you can increase your motorcycle’s performance by following the above solutions. If the problem is still not fixed, please take your motorcycle to the nearest mechanic garage, and they’ll thoroughly inspect it. I would advise you to take it to an authorized service center.

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