8 Reasons Why Your Motorcycle Keeps Stalling (Easy Fixes!)

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It’s an embarrassing moment for a rider when he stops his bike at a traffic light, and the motorcycle keeps stalling when he tries to take off.

I faced this embarrassment several times when I was a beginner. Whenever I start the motorcycle, put it in the first gear, and release the clutch lever, the motorcycle stalls, and the engine shuts off.

So, why does the motorcycle keep stalling when releasing the clutch? A motorcycle will keep stalling if your side stand or clutch sensor is faulty. Also, if you release the clutch lever quickly, in that case, the clutch plates quickly engage with the drivetrain. The power received by the drivetrain doesn’t surpass the gravitational force laid due to the motorcycle and rider weight; the engine stops suddenly.

There could be many other reasons a motorcycle keeps stalling in the first gear. We shall find out all the possible reasons for stalling the motorcycle. Read this guide to understand the effect of stalling on motorcycle components.

Motorcycle Keeps Stalling

What Causes A Motorcycle To Keep Stalling?

The following reasons could make your motorcycle stall-

1. Faulty Side Stand Sensor

All modern bikes come with a side stand sensor. This sensor is directly connected to the ignition coil. When you don’t fold your side stand, the engine automatically stops when you put your motorcycle in gear.

Older motorcycles don’t have this feature, but all modern bikes have side-stand sensors. This is a safety feature that prevents the risk of road accidents while turning left.

If your motorcycle side stand sensor is faulty, it won’t send an accurate signal to the ignition system, and your bike will keep stalling or may face a starting problem.

2. Faulty Clutch Sensor

Again, all modern motorcycles have a clutch sensor that detects the position of the clutch lever. If the clutch sensor has gone bad, your motorcycle will stall when you release the lever. To fix the problem, inspect the sensor wire and replace it yourself or get it repaired by a mechanic.

3. Incorrect Air-Fuel Ratio

The air-fuel ratio decides the power generated by the engine. A rich air-fuel mixture input to the engine cylinder creates problems in complete combustion, and a lean air-fuel mixture doesn’t provide enough power to propel the bike forward. In both cases, your motorcycle stalls while riding.

You must have noticed that the motorcycle engine stops once you suddenly twist the throttle to its extreme position. This happens because the air-fuel mixture becomes too rich, and the ignition spark doesn’t burn it completely.

If your motorcycle has a carburetor system, set it for the correct air-fuel ratio. If your motorcycle has an electronic fuel injector, check the oxygen sensor and replace it if it’s faulty.

4. Clogged Fuel Pipe

The fuel tank of any motorcycle is made from metal. Over time, the fuel tank catch rust from inside, which clogs the fuel pipe. Due to a clogged pipe, the gas/petrol doesn’t flow at its full capacity and disturbs the air-fuel ratio.

As a result, the motorcycle keeps stalling when you start the bike and put it in first gear. It happens because of improper storage and maintenance of the motorcycle. So, follow these tips if you’re storing your bike for winter.

5. Dirty Spark Plug

All motorcycles have spark plugs installed on the engine cylinder head that generate sparks to ignite the compressed air-fuel mixture. Over time, a layer of dirt forms around the spark plug preventing the ignition, and the engine fails to generate power.

6. Excess Throttle Cable Play

If you haven’t tightened or replaced the throttle cable for a long time, it could be another reason your motorcycle keeps stalling.

The throttle cable opens the butterfly valve in the carburetor to increase the fuel supply. Due to more fuel supply, the engine gets a richer air-fuel mixture in the cylinder, generating power to push the motorcycle forward.

But, if the throttle cable is already loose (have more play), it won’t open the butterfly valve to increase fuel supply; as a result, your motorcycle won’t move forward and keeps stalling.

7. A Bad Carburettor

Older motorcycles come with a carburetor system that mixes the gasoline/petrol with oxygen for proper combustion of the engine cylinder.

The gasoline/petrol has impurity that blocks the carburetor chamber, resulting in inaccurate air-fuel ratio. Due to the inadequate oxygen molecules, it doesn’t burn completely in the combustion chamber and engine fails to generate power.

So, if you haven’t serviced your motorcycle for a long, then visit the nearest mechanic garage and get it serviced. Else, you can clean your carburetor for a smoother riding experience.

8. Excessively Tight Clutch Lever

A motorcycle uses a multi-plate wet clutch system that engages/disengages the drivetrain with the engine. When you pull the clutch lever, the drivetrain disengages with the engine and the motorcycle stops.

Once you release the clutch lever, the drivetrain engages with the engine, and the motorcycle moves forward.

If the clutch wire/lever is excessively tight, it will not transfer engine power to the motorcycle wheel, and your motorcycle will stall when you twist the throttle.

You can adjust the clutch wire tension yourself and ensure some play left.

How To Stop My Motorcycle From Stalling?

If you’re a beginner, your motorcycle engine may stall until you gain some experience. It happens because you suddenly release the clutch lever.

Due to the sudden engagement of the drivetrain with the engine, the frictional force doesn’t overpower the gravitational force applied on the wheel due to the weight of the bike and rider. As a result, the engine suddenly stops and creates a weird sound.

To stop your motorcycle from stalling, slowly release the clutch lever and push your motorcycle forward with your feet. This will surpass the gravitational force on the wheel, and your motorcycle will move forward.

Once you get some experience in riding your motorcycle, you won’t face stalling problems due to the sudden release of the clutch lever.

Why Does A Motorcycle Stalling In First Gear?

If you suddenly release the clutch lever or the side stand sensor is faulty, the motorcycle stalls in the first gear. So, first, slowly release the clutch lever and gently twist the throttle grip.

If your motorcycle stalls due to a faulty side stand sensor, locate the sensor connector and short both terminals with a metal wire. This will bypass the side stand sensor, and your motorcycle will move forward.

Why Does A Motorcycle Stall When Releasing Clutch?

If your motorcycle stalls when releasing the clutch lever, it could be due to a faulty side stand sensor, a bad clutch sensor, and excessive play in the throttle cable.

You can bypass the side stand and clutch sensor by locating the plastic connector and shortening them. You can also cut and shorten both wires to bypass the sensors.

Why Does My Motorcycle Stall When I Stop?

A motorcycle stalls when the drivetrain receives insufficient power from the engine to move the wheel or keep it rolling.

When you press the brake to stop the motorcycle, the wheels suddenly go to rest, but the engine keeps supplying power. Due to an imbalance in power, your motorcycle stalls when you stop.

So, whenever you’re stopping your motorcycle, pull the clutch lever to disengage the drivetrain from the engine. This will fix the stalling problems when you stop at a red traffic light.

Does Stalling A Motorcycle Damage It?

Stalling a motorcycle will apply excessive force on the chain and sprocket. An excessive force applied on the chain and sprockets could damage these components. Although it doesn’t affect your engine, but excessive stalling could also damage your motorcycle engine valve.

Can A Bad Battery Cause A Motorcycle To Stall?

A motorcycle battery doesn’t affect the performance of your motorcycle because once the engine is started, the alternator starts generating the power. But all modern bikes have a fuel injector and ECU, which requires the current to function properly. So, keep your motorcycle battery charged and replace it whenever required.


A motorcycle will stall when your side stand or clutch sensor is faulty. You can easily bypass both sensors by shorting both wires. Also, a beginner should slowly practice releasing the clutch lever to prevent the bike from stalling.

I hope you found this guide helpful. Feel free to ask your questions in the comment box!

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