Your Motorcycle Won’t Start. Here’s What To Do

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As passionate riders, we can all relate to the feeling of mounting our bike for an exhilarating ride only to be met with frustration when our trusty motorcycle fails to start. It is a disheartening experience that often leaves us scratching our heads and wondering what could have gone wrong. But fear not, because there are several ways in which you can troubleshoot the issue and get your beloved machine back on track. By taking matters into your own hands and attempting some DIY steps, you may save yourself from a costly repair bill or even just spare yourself a few minutes swapping out parts. In this informative article, we delve deeper into the essential touchpoints that must be addressed in order to resolve this situation effectively and efficiently – ensuring many more joyous rides ahead!

The sense of frustration that engulfs you when your beloved motorcycle refuses to start is an all-too-familiar feeling for any bike enthusiast. Despite adhering to a strict maintenance routine, one cannot escape the possibility of encountering unforeseen issues at some point in time. Fortunately, though, motorcycles are intricate pieces of machinery that possess an innate ability to be repaired and restored with relative ease. In such trying times, it becomes imperative for riders to focus on the four fundamental components – Fuel, Spark, Air and Compression (ASFC) – responsible for igniting their prized possessions back into life once again. So let us delve deeper into each element starting from the very basics.


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Inspecting the fuel system is a straightforward procedure that comprises one of the four touchpoints essential for ensuring your bike’s optimal performance. Delving into this task can yield deeper insights about how well-maintained your motorcycle truly is. Commence by popping open the tank lid and performing a visual check on its contents, while also giving it a gentle swirl to listen for any sounds indicating an adequate amount of fuel sloshing inside. Should you notice satisfying results, proceed further and inspect each component with extra care. Following that, move onto tracing down all the fuel lines from their source until they terminate at either carburetor or injection systems. Check thoroughly if there are any signs of leakage or crimped pipelines along these routes as both issues could indicate underlying problems in other parts too; detecting them beforehand might save you time and money spent fixing potential complications later on.


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Moving on to a slightly more technical part, the spark plug. To inspect it thoroughly, you’ll need to take out one or more plugs and examine their operational status closely. Gently unscrew each plug from its socket and place it aside near the engine block before starting up your bike by either kicking it or cranking (assuming that the battery is functional). Here comes the moment of truth- observe carefully for any flashes. If you see a spark that means your ignition system is functional and you can move on to other aspects on the checklist. Using high quality NGK spark plugs ensure longevity and reliability.


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The next aspect is air. If you’ve been riding through dusty environments or muddy and wet regions, your air filter is probably choked. Go ahead and pull out the air filter and give it a dust or a wipe down depending on what kind of filter you have. Wipe the air box and reinstall the filter. If the filter is worn or too dirty, it might be a good idea to swap it for a new one. Switching to a reusable BMC air filter is always a good idea.


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Next is probably the most technical and most important inspection points on this checklist. Checking to see if your engine is operational. This technical task requires a keen eye and attention to detail, as it could determine any underlying damage that needs fixing. Single-cylinder engines can be checked using only your finger, but this does not make the process less significant.

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The first step involves unscrewing the spark plug carefully while ensuring that you keep it close to the engine block for grounding purposes. Next, place your thumb over the spark plug port before cranking up or kicking start the bike’s engine. If you find that you can hold it shut with just one finger without moving off, then there may be potential signs of damaged pistons or leaking compression rings.

For dual or multi-cylinder engines, utilizing a compression gauge would come in handy when determining whether specific figures are met concerning building up adequate pressure levels within each cylinder chamber. The optimal ranges for your specific motorcycle can be found either online or within service manuals. While you’re down in the engine bay make sure to check your coolant and oil levels as well.

What To Do If Your Bike Still Won’t Start

If your bike continues to fail in starting even after addressing the potential issues mentioned earlier, it is possible that a more intricate problem may be at play. Such difficulties could include a malfunctioning injector, bad quality fuel, faulty relay, clogged or dirty carburettor, as well as software glitches within the system on modern day motorcycles. At this point, connecting your motorcycle to a diagnostic tool becomes essential in order to determine whether any fault codes are displayed.

While most of the time these types of problems can be remedied by checking and adjusting previously identified touch points, there are instances where further investigation and technical expertise will be necessary. Regular and proper maintenance for your motorcycle will ensure its reliability and extend its longevity.

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