How To Start Motorcycles With Bad Starter? -(Easy Methods)

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Are you facing problems starting your motorcycle? It could be due to a dirty spark plug, discharged battery, faulty kill switch, or bad electrical starter. It’s possible to start a motorcycle with a faulty starter. This guide teaches you different methods to start a bike with a bad starter.

So, is it possible to start a motorcycle with a faulty starter? Yes, you can start any motorcycle with a faulty starter. Still, the battery should be charged because all modern motorcycles have an electronic control unit (ECU) that monitors and regulates the fuel injector and other components.

To start a motorcycle with a bad starter, turn on the ignition key, put it on the first gear, and on the center stand to elevate the rear wheel, then rotate the rear wheel forcefully with your hand.

Bike Start Button

What Is An Electric Starter In A Motorcycle?

To know the need for an electric starter in a motorcycle, you should first understand how a motorcycle engine (gasoline/petrol) works.

Once you understand the working principle of a motorcycle engine, it would be very easy to understand the need for an electrical starter.

A motorcycle works on a 4-stroke petrol/gasoline engine. The name of all four strokes is as follows: Suction-Compression-Expansion-Exhaust.

Out of four strokes, only one stroke (Expansion) generates power. So, the flywheel, coupled with the crankshaft, stores the power and completes the rest three strokes.

But, to start the engine, we must manually complete the first two strokes (Suction and compression). Once the engine starts, the power stored by the flywheel completes the cycle, and the motorcycle runs.

Earlier, we used to kickstart the motorcycle to rotate the crankshaft, but now it has been replaced by an electric starter.

I know it’s too much technical. So, I will explain in simple words-

An electric starter in a motorcycle takes power from the battery and helps to start the engine. It attaches to the engine crankshaft, rotates the flywheel mechanically, and decouples once the engine is started.

How Do Motorcycle Starters Go Bad?

Bike Starter Motor

A motorcycle starter is a device that converts electrical energy to rotational power and spins the crankshaft of any bike.

But, due to regular use, the internal components of the electrical starter begin to wear, which generates heat. Due to overheating, the coil winding burns, and the starter stops functioning.

What Are The Signs of A Bad Motorcycle Starter Relay?

There are different signs of a bad motorcycle starter relay, but the most common sign is that your motorcycle won’t start.

Let’s find out the most common signs of a bad motorcycle starter relay-

  1. Your motorcycle will not start when you press the start button.
  2. Your starter continues to fire up even when your engine is started.
  3. The starter clicks rapidly, but the engine doesn’t start.
  4. You will notice a weird sound from your starter.

How To Start A Motorcycle Without Starter?

Bike Kickstart Lever

If your motorcycle starter has gone bad, you can still start it manually. There are several methods to start a motorcycle with a faulty starter (or without a starter)-

1. Kickstart

The older bikes come with a kickstart lever attached to the crankshaft. If your motorcycle has a kickstart lever, you can easily start the engine with a bad electric starter.

Put your motorcycle in neutral gear and press the kickstart lever several times. This will rotate the crankshaft to complete the suction and compression stroke. Your engine will start once the flywheel receives enough energy from the kickstart lever.

2. Bump Start

Modern sportbikes don’t come with a kickstart lever. So, if your motorcycle also doesn’t have a kickstart lever, you can try bump start.

Follow these steps to bump start your motorcycle engine:

  • Step 1– Turn on the ignition key and ensure the motorcycle battery is sufficiently charged.
  • Step 2– Set the kill switch button to the run position.
  • Step 3– Wear all motorcycle safety gear like helmet, gloves, shoes, jacket, etc.
  • Step 4– Put your motorcycle in the first gear and pull the clutch lever.
  • Step 5– Now, run with your motorcycle at full speed and leave the clutch lever.

This will start your motorcycle after several tries. But pull the clutch lever once the engine is started immediately.

Pro Tip: Take your motorcycle on a downhill road to reduce your effort. Also, it will increase the chance of starting a motorcycle on the first try.

3. Pushstart

With the above method, a bigger engine size motorcycle (800cc or 1000cc) is difficult to start.

If someone is available for help, you can ask him to push start your motorcycle. The process is the same as the bump start.

Wear all safety gear, turn on the ignition switch, and put your motorcycle in the first or second gear.

Now, ask your friend to push the motorcycle with full force. Once your motorcycle gains sufficient speed, leave the clutch lever, and your bike will start.

Can You Start A Motorcycle Without A Starter Solenoid?

Yes, you can start your motorcycle without a starter solenoid. But, you need to bypass the solenoid coil using a metal-bladed object like a screwdriver or copper wire to complete the circuit from the battery to the starter motor.

Can A Bad Starter Damage The Motorcycle?

A bad starter can damage your motorcycle battery because it consistently consumes power. Also, there are higher chances of short circuits in the wiring system if your electric starter has gone bad. So, get it repaired by a professional motorcycle mechanic.


You might face problems with starting your motorcycle with a bad starter, but still, there is an option for kickstart or bump start the engine. If you’re outside the city and the electric starter has stopped functioning, follow the above methods to start the motorcycle. Once you reach home, get it repaired by a professional mechanic.

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