Motorcycle Won’t Start but Battery Is Good: Troubleshooting Tips

Motorcycle Won’t Start but Battery Is Good: Troubleshooting Tips

Most people’s first response to their motorcycle not starting up would be to assume that there is something wrong with the battery, and you might even start looking for a motorcycle battery jump starter when that happens.

While that is a common cause for concern for all motorcyclists, sometimes the problem is not in the battery at all.

Before you resort to hotwiring your bike, let this article help you determine why your motorcycle may not be starting properly, given that your battery is still in working order.

Making Sure Your Battery Is Working

To determine that your motorcycle battery is not the reason why your motorcycle is not starting up, you need to first make sure that your battery is actually working.

Motorcycle Battery

Some signs indicating that your battery is not functional are dimmed lights, faded volume from the horn, a ‘click’ noise when the key is turned, and the motorcycle dying down after starting up for a couple of seconds.

You can also inspect the battery itself to check for bumps, leakage, corrosion, discoloration, etc. In the case of there being no physical signs of a faulty battery, it may just be that the battery is discharged. If so, fetch your motorcycle battery charger and see if you can get the battery to recharge.

What Else (Other than the Battery) Might Be Wrong with Your Motorcycle

If you find that your battery seems to be behaving well, with no leaks or bumps or abnormal voltage readings, it is time to try to find out what else might be preventing your motorcycle from starting up properly.

Motorcycle Won’t Start

A Blown Fuse

You might find that you have a blown fuse in your motorcycle. This problem has a simple enough solution. You will have to replace the old fuse with a new one. Although, if the fuse blows again, then that is a sign of a dead short and will need to be repaired properly before you can start riding again.

An Empty Gas Tank

Often, gas gauges can malfunction and falsely display a full gas tank. If your motorcycle is not starting up, give it a jostle and try to hear any movement (a sloshing sound) from the gasoline. If you do not hear anything, then you are likely out of gas and need a refill.

Wires Are Not Plugged in

Try to see if there are any loose wires on your motorcycle. A lot of the time, motorcycles do not start up because there are electrical issues, and these are usually overlooked because a rider’s eyes don’t really go there unprompted.

Also, if your battery is a new one, it might be that it is not properly installed into its compartment, so check for that issue as well.  

The Clutch Not Engaged

This one is obvious, but even if the gear of the motorcycle is in neutral, the clutch needs to be engaged first before the vehicle can startup. If you find that your clutch’s switch is damaged, try pumping it a few times if you are in a pinch. But a faulty clutch will need to be replaced as soon as possible.

The Kill Switch Not Turned off

Though not a regularly used feature, it is still worth checking to make sure that your kill switch is not turned on. You might have turned it on and forgotten to turn it back off, or maybe you flicked it unintentionally.

Kill Switch Not Turned off

Nevertheless, your kill switch needs to be turned off for your motorcycle to start up.

Faulty Spark Plugs

If you have experienced problems such as a misfiring engine, poor mileage, low-speed throttling, or difficulty starting your motorcycle, then any of those is a symptom of a faulty spark plug.

Spark plugs are easy to reach, so get to them, take one off and see if it is wet. If it is, then wipe it off, put it back on, and try to start your motorcycle.

Muffler Is Clogged

If you are taking out your motorcycle after a long time, you might find that a rodent has made its home in your vehicle’s muffler. It might also be that there is just a lot of gunk that has built up inside the muffler.

Either way, a clogged muffler can and will stop your motorcycle from starting up smoothly.


The above are a few simple ways in which you can find out why your motorcycle will not start even though you have the best motorcycle battery.

Your motorcycle not starting is a common problem, so even if you are unable to detect the real problem, do not lose hope because that is where a professional can help you out.

Remember to always use safety equipment (gloves, eye goggles, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby) when trying to solve issues with your motorcycle. If you are unsure of performing any of the above checks, then definitely consult a professional.

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!