How to Start a Dirt Bike: Beginner’s Guide

Are you tired of not being able to start your dirt bike? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll discuss the different techniques to start a dirt bike and how to troubleshoot common issues. With these tips, you’ll be able to easily start your dirt bike in no time!

how to start a dirt bike

Why won’t my dirt bike start?

Before we dive into the different starting methods, let’s first address the common issue of why your dirt bike may not start. There are several reasons why your bike doesn’t start such as a dead battery, the engine isn’t getting fuel, or ignition system failure. However, if the engine cranks but won’t start up, then the following issues may be the cause.

Check the fuel and air filters

One of the most common reasons why your dirt bike doesn’t start is due to clogged fuel and air filters. Both filters are responsible for regulating the airflow and fuel supply that goes into the engine. When they are dirty or blocked, they can cause problems in the combustion process. So, it is important to regularly check and replace the filters to ensure optimum performance.

Inspect the spark plug

A faulty spark plug can also be the cause of a non-starting engine. A spark plug creates the spark that ignites the fuel mixture to start the combustion process. Without this spark, the engine will not start. Check the spark plug to see if it’s worn out, corroded, or fouled. If it is, then it’s time to replace it.

Look for clogged carburetor jets

The carburetor is responsible for mixing the air and fuel in the right proportion and sending it to the engine for combustion. Over time, the small passages of the carburetor jets can become clogged with dirt or residue, resulting in a lean or rich fuel mixture. Cleaning the carburetor should help resolve the issue.

How to Kick Start a Dirt Bike?

Kicking your dirt bike to start it may be daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple with practice.

start a dirt bike

Make sure the bike is in neutral

Before you start kicking, ensure that your dirt bike is in neutral. Trying to start the engine in gear can be dangerous, and it can cause the engine to lock up.

Engage the choke and turn on the gas

The choke helps to restrict the airflow into the engine and create a richer air-to-fuel mixture during cold starts. Engage the choke by twisting it to the “on” position and turn on the gas. You can find the gas valve on the right side of your bike.

Grab the clutch and kick the lever downward

Press and hold in the clutch on the left-hand side of the handlebars, then kick the kickstarter lever downwards with your right foot. Repeat the process until the engine starts.

How to Start a Flooded Dirt Bike?

A flooded engine is when the carburetor has too much fuel, making it challenging to start your dirt bike. Here’s what you can do to fix it.

Turn off the gas and drain the carburetor bowl

Turn off the gas valve and locate the carburetor bowl near the bottom of your dirt bike. Once you’ve found it, remove the carburetor bowl’s clamp to drain the excess fuel.

Remove the spark plug and kick-start the bike several times to remove the excess fuel

After draining the fuel, remove the spark plug to enable the excess fuel to escape. Kick the bike several times to clear the fuel from the engine.

Replace the spark plug and try starting it again

Once the excess fuel has cleared, replace the spark plug and try starting the engine. The engine should start to run without any issues.

How to Start a Cold 2-Stroke Dirt Bike?

Starting a cold 2-stroke dirt bike may prove to be challenging, but here’s a step-by-step guide for a successful start.

Engage the choke and turn on the gas

In cold weather, your dirt bike needs a rich air-to-fuel mixture to start. Engage the choke and turn on the gas valve.

Turn the throttle 3-4 times to prime the carburetor

Twist the throttle 3-4 times to prime the carburetor and allow the fuel to flow correctly through the system.

Kick the bike to start it while maintaining the choke

Kick the bike to start it while maintaining the choke. Once the engine starts, make sure you push the choke off as soon as you can.

dirt bike

How to Start a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike?

Starting a 4-stroke dirt bike is relatively easy, and you can choose to start it with either a kick-starter or electric start.

Turn on the gas and ensure that the choke is off

Make sure the gas valve is turned on and that the choke is off for a 4-stroke engine. The choke only helps with starting cold 2-stroke engines.

Hold in the clutch and turn the key to the ON position

Press and hold the clutch lever, then turn the key to the “ON” position. Wait for the ignition to power up.

Press the start button until the engine turns over

Press the start button until the engine turns over. Release the clutch after the engine starts.


In conclusion, starting a dirt bike may seem like a challenging task at first, but with the right technique, you can start your bike effortlessly. Always remember to troubleshoot the common starting issues to save time and avoid frustration. With these tips, you should be able to easily start your dirt bike and embark on countless adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is starting a dirt bike a challenging task?

While it can initially seem difficult to start a dirt bike, regular practice will make the process much simpler and more intuitive over time.

Is the clutch necessary when starting a dirt bike?

Yes, the clutch is usually engaged when starting a dirt bike. However, the exact process can vary between different bike models.

In which gear should you initiate the starting process of a dirt bike?

Most dirt bikes are typically started in neutral gear. This allows for a smoother start-up process and prevents unintentional movement.

Are keys required to get a dirt bike up and running?

The need for keys to start a dirt bike depends on the model. Some require keys, while others use a kickstart or electric start system.

Should the choke be in the up or down position on a dirt bike?

When starting a cold dirt bike, the choke should typically be in the up position, or engaged. Once the engine is warm, you can push the choke back down.