Picture this: it’s a beautiful Sunday morning, the weather’s nice, and it seems like your perfect day for a ride.
You grab your gear, sit on your motorcycle, And you hit the start switch. And just as you’re thinking about all the places you’re going to see today, your bike refuses to start.
There is nothing more frustrating than your motorcycle refusing to start when you just wanted to go for a joyful ride.
If you are a relatively new rider, you might panic and call a mechanic. But before you do that, try these 4 simple checks and see if you can fix it on your own.
Check your bike’s fuel and fuel valve
Even if your bike is perfect, this is a fundamental pre-trip check – you should always check your fuel level before heading out.
One of the easiest ways (and an old-school technique) is to shake your bike and listen to the slosh of gas. Sloshing sounds confirm the presence of fuel, and no sound at all means your tank has run dry and needs refueling.
If you hear the fuel sloshing in the tank upon jostling the bike, and it still doesn’t start, this could mean that your fuel valve is either closed or damaged. While a closed valve can be simply rotated to open, a damaged valve would need replacement or repairing.
Remember that fuel valves don’t get easily impaired unless your bike has been in an accident or someone has deliberately tried to damage it. To save yourself from unforeseen expenses, we recommend you get in touch with insurers such as NRMA.
NRMA offers comprehensive motorcycle insurance and covers damage caused by a wide range of sources like accidents, natural disasters, or theft.
Check if your battery is weak or dead
If your bike is only push-starting, know that its starting motor is entirely dependent on a reasonably high voltage from the battery.
A relatively weak battery doesn’t carry sufficient charge to crank up the starting motor. But how do you know if the battery is weak?
A clear sign of a dead or weak battery is when you push the horn button or try to switch on the headlights, none works well or manifests total failure. This indicates that the battery is not supplying enough electrical power and might need recharging or repair.
You can either charge the battery at your place if you know how to do it safely, or you can take it to the workshop and get it charged there.
See if the spark plug is good
The spark plug is a critical component for starting a motorcycle because there is no way to ignite the fuel without a spark.
A common problem for vehicles without an electric push-start option is a loose or bad spark plug.
This can happen due to jerks on off-beaten paths or a friend pulling pranks on you – a customary practice among college friends. A clear sign of a faulty or loosely placed spark plug is the engines’ misfiring sound.
The solution is simple, and you won’t need any mechanic to fix it. Disconnect and take the spark plug out and check if it’s dirty or wet. Clean it and re-plug the connectors, and try to start the motorcycle again (which most probably will work this time).
However, if you notice black, burnt stains on the spark plug, it means that its ceramic coating has cracked due to constant heat, and it will need replacement. Check out this article to learn how to replace the spark plugs.
Look for blown fuses
Like a car or truck, motorcycles have fuses, and they can get blown the same way as in four-wheelers.
The sign of a blown fuse is that the motorcycle will sound completely normal when you try to start it but its starting motor will keep spinning and the bike just won’t start.
In that case, you might want to check the main fuse and see if it’s blown. You can tell if the fuse is blown by its black color or disconnected wires.
If you have got a fuse kit and know how to use it, replace the blown fuse with a new fuse that has the same amperage. Click here to learn more about fuses.
If fuses continue to blow after replacement, you likely have a more serious electrical issue that needs to be checked by an auto-electrician!