How To Push Start A Motorcycle With A Dead Battery

how to push start a motorcycle with a dead battery

Call me a dolt, but until recently I had no idea that a motorcycle with a near dead battery could be started up again simply by giving it a little push.

That’s right! If you find yourself with a dead battery (or nearly dead battery), your motorcycle can usually be brought back to life by simply pushing the bike down a hill or down a flat stretch of road.

To get your motorcycle running with a push start:

  • Engage the cluth.
  • Turn the ignition key to on.
  • Place the motorcycle in first or second gear (second gear is recommended, but be ready for the kick once the bike starts up).
  • Turn the ignition switch to the on position (But do not touch the starter button. During a push start, you will never need to press the starter button. The motorcycle will start due to compression within the engine itself and does not require you to press the electrical start button).
  • If you are lucky enough to have the motorcycle positioned on a hill, let the bike coast downhill until you reach a speed of approximately 5 miles per hour. If you are on flat ground, you can try pushing the bike up to this speed yourself, or you may have to have some friends give you a push.
  • Once you reach about 5 MPG, slowly let out the clutch and at the same time give the bike some gas via the throttle.
  • At this point, your bike might jump a bit, but it should start up and send you rolling down the road with the engine fully engaged.

Be sure that when performing a push start you have a clear stretch of road in front of you. Due to the fact that you are starting the bike in second gear and the fact that you are actually rolling the motorcycle before the bike has actually been started, you need to have a clean runway in front of you for a proper push start. A push start, therefore, should not be performed in a garage, short residential driveway, or in a crowded area where people might walk in front of you while you are attempting to start your bike.

It may take a couple tries to push start your motorcycle for the first time, but once you’ve done it a few times, push starting your motorcycle will become a piece of cake. Not necessarily a fun thing to do, but a piece of cake nevertheless.

What experiences have you had with push starting your motorcycle? Are there any other tips you want to share for push starting a motorbike? Leave a comment below and let me know what you have to say.


  1. Chuck

    October 11, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Practice push starting until you can do it every time. It’s tough to learn in the middle of night when the battery is dead. Keep your bike tuned up so it will be easier to start when push starting.

  2. Shri

    May 8, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Useful Stuff…!!!

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