How to Start a Long Sitting Motorcycle Safely 

How to Start a Long Sitting Motorcycle Safely

Riding a motorcycle is a unique hobby that gives you the freedom you need while being thrilled. However, before you can learn to ride a motorcycle, you have to learn how to start it. Starting a motorcycle is not as easy as you might think, especially when working conditions are not good. This is because there are a lot of things that need to be confirmed before opening it. I’ve written a detailed guide that can help you start a motorcycle safely.

What Happens When Starting An Motorcycle Engine?

Internal combustion engines are simple in theory, but complex in execution. Long story short, this is what’s going on inside every time you start the motorcycle.

Fuel is mixed with air, compressed in the combustion chamber, and then ignited. The resulting explosion forces the piston to rotate through the connecting rod around the crankshaft with the external sprocket. The sprocket is connected to the rear wheel by a final drive and moves forward with each crank revolution.

What Happens To A Motorcycle When It Sits For Too Long

If you come across a motorcycle that has been sitting for too long, you may notice some cosmetic issues. Beyond that, it’s hard to know if its hibernation could do any other damage.

If you’re trying to start a motorcycle that’s been parked for a while, it’s really helpful to know what’s going on with the motorcycle so you can better understand how to start it.

There are many things that can go wrong when a motorcycle is sitting, but some of the main things that happen are discolored/peeling fuel tanks, damaged seals and gaskets, dead batteries, condensation buildup, and rust.

The constant sunlight hits the motorcycle fuel tank relentlessly. Once the UV rays pass through the clear coat, the paint underneath starts to fade. See my article on other damage to motorcycles from sunlight.

Seals and gaskets are much like rubber bands. The more you use it, the longer it will last. Riding motorcycle heats and expands the seals and gaskets, ultimately making them last longer. Without heat and expansion, seals and gaskets can become brittle.

Constant temperature fluctuations and parasitic discharges lead to the rapid discharge of motorcycle batteries. Once the battery loses so much voltage, it can’t get 100% charge.

Condensation and moisture build-up on a seated motorcycle is the most common and damaging factors. It can cause rust, sometimes so bad that some parts need to be completely replaced. A lot of other things can happen while a motorcycle is sitting, click here to learn more.

How Long Is Too Long To Let a Motorcycle Sitting?

 Is Too Long To Let a Motorcycle Sit?

Motorcycles must not be parked for more than one month without being started or prepared for storage. In addition to starting, if the motorcycle is not ready for storage, it should be driven at least every other month.

You might also be wondering if there will ever be a day when the motorcycle just sits too long to be serviced. There really is no solid answer to this, as it all depends on where the motorcycle is and what type of climate it is in. A lot depends on how much time and money you’re willing to invest in fixing it.

I have restored more than a dozen motorcycles, more than half of which are bikes that have been parked in the fields for years. I have yet to come across a motorcycle that cannot be repaired.

How To Start A Motorcycle When It Sits For Too Long

Keep in mind that there are many types of bikes on the market that vary in design, engine capacity, and engine type. So, the first thing you have to do when you start a motorcycle for the first time is to understand how it works.

Find out if you have a carbureted or fuel-injected bike. Remember that the two engines work differently. Therefore, before starting the motorcycle for the first time, you should confirm the following things:

  • 1. Determine if it is a fuel-injected motorcycle or a carbureted motorcycle

Before you can determine if it is in good working order, you should first determine if it is a jet or carbureted motorcycle. Carburetor bikes have chokes, fuel injected bikes don’t.

One of the easiest ways to determine if your bike is carburized or fuel injected is to look for choke control. The choke control system is usually located on the left handlebar of the bicycle, just above the horn. Keep in mind that some cheaper models and older bikes don’t have modern fuel injection systems.

  • 2. Confirm whether the motorcycle is in working condition

After determining the engine type, the next step is to confirm that the battery is fully charged and the oil level. Remember, a reliable bike should be well maintained, especially if the previous owner used it in cold or wet conditions. So make sure it has new spark plugs, if the spark plugs aren’t worn out, you can clean it and turn it on.

Check your bike’s ignition timing and try adjusting it if necessary. If the ignition switch is not working properly, it can be repaired or replaced. Don’t forget to confirm that the carburetor is clean and serviced.

  • 3. Check the oil level of the motorcycle

Make sure to confirm the oil level of the motorcycle. If the oil level is normal, the bike is well lubricated. However, if the oil level is low or there is no oil, the engine should not be started. Starting the bike with a low oil level can cause the engine to heat up and eventually fail.

  • 4. Check the motorcycle battery

Insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it clockwise until the bicycle light comes on. If this doesn’t happen, then it means the battery is dead. Therefore, you need to install a new battery or charge it.

Final Thoughts

Depending on your unit, starting the motorcycle can be quite challenging. Fortunately, even if your motorcycle’s battery is dead, there are plenty of ways you can start it. Before starting the motorcycle, be sure to confirm the condition of the motorcycle. If you have a carbureted motorcycle, make sure the choke is open before starting the motorcycle.

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