Quick Troubleshooting Tips: Motorcycle Starting Problems

Out of the many electrical problems a motorcycle can experience, starting problems are perhaps the most common. And the fix is usually an easy one. 

Motorcycle starting problems troubleshooting tips

We've published quite a few articles and videos about motorcycle starting problems. However, not everybody has time to watch videos or read a detailed step-by-step walkthrough on troubleshooting starting problems when they’re ready to ride. So with that in mind, here’s a quick 3-point checklist to troubleshoot common starting problems on a bike. 

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Motorcycle Starting Problems Quick Troubleshooting: Check the Battery

Starting problems are usually caused by the simplest things, so start by checking the battery first.

Motorcycle starting problems battery test

  • Find the battery. Motorcycle batteries can usually be found under the seat, but check the owner’s manual if you’re not sure. 
  • Check to make sure the battery cables are connected and intact.
  • Use a battery tester to check the voltage. A healthy battery should have between 12.5 and 13 volts. If the battery tester shows anything less, you might need to replace the battery.

Motorcycle Starting Problems Quick Troubleshooting: Check the Fuses

If the battery checks out and your motorcycle still won’t start, the next thing to check is the fuses. 

Motorcycle starting problems troubleshoot fuses

  • Find the fuse box and check the motorcycle’s fuses. If there’s no power anywhere on the machine, look to the mains. Some motorcycles have one fuse, others have more than one.
  • Get a multimeter and check the fuses out to make sure there’s power going in and out. If you’ve got power coming in but not out, then the fuse is blown and it’s time to switch it out.

Motorcycle Starting Problems Quick Troubleshooting: Check the Starter Solenoid

If the battery and the fuses check out, then what’s next? Try testing the starter solenoid.

Motorcycle no-start troubleshooting starter solenoid

  • If the lights are working but the motorcycle still won’t start, check out the solenoid on your motorcycle.
  • Use a circuit test light or multimeter to make sure you have power when you hit the starter switch. If there’s power, then you may have to replace the starter itself.

These are just a few quick troubleshooting checks you can do when you encounter a motorcycle starting problem. Motorcycles have other little features that might keep you from starting them up. Maybe you’ve got a kill switch or a cutoff switch on your kickstand. Or maybe you just have a starter switch that’s just not working. Whatever the problem is, Partzilla has the electrical system tools and parts to get it fixed. 



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