Bike won't start? Don't panic. Here's how to coax a reluctant engine back to life


If a bike’s not been started for a long time (and, crucially not been stored properly), the combination of stale fuel and
partially discharged battery will conspire to prevent the engine from running.

So the steps in this week’s How To cover the basics of getting the machine fired up and being one step closer to being ridden…

  1. Does it have power?

Bikes that have been out of use for a while will most likely have a dead battery, so to give the bike a fighting chance of starting up you need a new one.

If you’re unsure of the battery’s condition, give it a charge for a few hours then disconnect the charger and check to see what voltage it produces.

Anything over 12.6 volts indicates it is healthy…

Bruce Dunn

By Bruce Dunn

Datalogger, professionally testing bikes for over 25 years.