How to Start a Dirt Bike Without Kick Start: Easiest Way for Begginers


Most dirt bikes and ATVs are equipped with an electric start. You can turn on the engine just with the press of a single button. Others don’t use electric starts and instead use a kick-start. These are the best backups to use when you run out of battery because the bike has been sitting for too long. But what do you do if the dirt bike doesn’t have either an electric or kick start?

Starting a dirt bike without kick start can be done by doing a rolling start. The dirt bike needs to be put in the second gear, and you can pull the throttle a couple of times to get the fuel moving. Hold the clutch lever and start pushing the bike (make sure that it doesn’t go too fast). Once the dirt bike starts gaining some speed, you need to take your hand off the clutch so that it uses the momentum to start the bike.

The engine might not start from the first try if the dirt bike has been sitting for a long time, and you will probably need to do it a couple of times. It’s best to find a downhill road so that you don’t get tired while pushing. Another good idea is to ask someone to push while you are sitting on the bike.

Learning how to start a dirt bike without kick start is an important lesson. The answer above shows you how to quickly get the job done, but you might want to read on to learn some other important lessons about kick-starting dirt bikes.

infographic showing how to Start a Dirt Bike Without Kick Start

How to Start a Dirt Bike Without Kick Start?

kick start example

Even though dirt bikes are equipped with electric and kick starts, there are many things that can cause the starts to be ineffective. Fortunately, you can always start a dirt bike without a kick start. You will more than often be required to use this special start when the motorcycle has been sitting in the garage for a long time and its battery is drained.

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The important thing when starting a dirt bike without kick start is to find a downhill road. You don’t want it to be a steep hill because the bike will roll too fast to be controlled while the engine is turned off. In my opinion, the best option here is to ask someone to push the dirt bike while you are sitting/riding it. This way, you will have an easier time controlling the clutch and gears.

The clutch needs to be pressed and you should place the dirt bike in second gear. Make sure to pull the throttle so that the fuel starts moving. From the moment that it starts rolling, you need to be ready to take your hands off the clutch and have the engine start. One important thing that you need to keep in mind is that the dirt bike will stop for a second. This catches most people off-guard and it’s best to be ready for it.

What takes most riders by surprise when they first start a dirt bike without kick start is that it doesn’t from the first time. On the bright side of things, you can do this as many times as you want and nothing bad will happen. You can also try to stand up when rolling the dirt bike and “falling” down hard on the seat when you let go of the clutch. Doing this will help get all the mechanical parts (including the fuel) moving if they’ve been sitting for a long while.

What Makes a Dirt Bike Hard to Start?

dirt bike coming out of water

In general, the reason why dirt bikes are hard to start is because the pilot jet gest clogged. On most carbureted bikes, the pilot jet controls the entire fuel flow, starting from idle to about ¼ throttle. Since the pilot jet has many oracies, it can clog quite easily and when this happens, the engine will not get all the fuel that it needs to start.

Another annoying issue that can make a dirt bike hard to start is the decompression system. What happens here is that the system is not adjusted properly and it lets more air escape when opening the exhaust valve. If the decompression system starts malfunctioning, it’s best to visit a mechanic who knows how to adjust the valve clearances. Although, I do need to mention that most models are not equipped with a decompression system.

If the dirt bike is older, you might want to change the spark plugs. Old spark plugs are infamous for making dirt bikes hard to start. You will have to use the kick start method most of the time because the spark plug will be weak and can’t ignite the mixture. You should also keep in mind that temperature and altitude play a role here.

What to Do When It’s Cold Outside?

If your dirt bike is harder to start in the colder seasons, you should follow the guide below to learn how to start it:

  • Turn on the fuel petcock and the choke;
  • Twist the throttle to wide open (do it three times);
  • Roll the engine over with foot until the compression stock is found;
  • Kick it until it starts (it generally takes 3 to 5 kicks).

What to Do When It’s Hot Outside?

If the weather is too hot, you need to follow the next guide:

  • Depress the hot-start lever;
  • Roll the engine over with foot until the compression stock is found;
  • Kick it until it starts (it generally takes 3 to 5 kicks).

Video Guide

The best way to learn how to do something new is to watch a detailed video about it. Don’t worry, I have your back! I have scoured YouTube in search of the best guide on how to start a dirt bike without a kick start. You can find it below:

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at bobtheatvguy@gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

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