It’s a frightening feeling when your dirt bike won’t start. You’re ready to hit the road, and your dirt bike stays silent. If you aren’t good at working with machines, it can be frustrating to attempt to determine what is wrong with your dirt bike.
A dirt bike requires spark, fuel, air, and compression to start and stay running. The most common reasons a dirt bike won’t start is from lack of oxygen, a dead battery, bad gas, the engine is losing compression, or it needs new spark plugs.
Those aren’t the only reasons a dirt bike won’t start though. If you’re interested in learning more about these troubles and their fixes, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about seven reasons why your dirt bike might not start and what you can do about them.
You could have a dirty filter on your hands. It’s easy for a filter in a dirt bike to fill with dirt and sand. If these materials have caked up on a filter, they could cause a blockage in the system. You won’t be able to start the dirt bike this way.
Here’s what you can do about the filter:
- Invest in a new filter
- Remove the old one
- Clean the area
- Replace the filter
Ensure the new product is snug in the right place.
With a new filter, everything should be good as new. If the filter looks nice, you have another issue on your hands.
If the old filter is still usable but needs to be cleaned, check out this Air Filter Cleaner Kit from Amazon. It’s usually cheaper to clean and maintain nice filters rather than buying cheap ones all the time.
Your dirt bike system needs oxygen to run. Is the air filter in your dirt bike able to operate normally? You should open the side plate and determine if the bike has one.
If you don’t see an operational air filter, you should:
- Look for pests and remove any nesting in the part
- Check for rags you may have placed in the filter area when cleaning and remove them
- Search for additional blockages
You can then replace the air filter to ensure your dirt bike is getting everything it needs to operate.
Without air, your dirt bike can’t function. If you open the side and see a complete air filter, there is something else that is causing the dirt bike to panic when starting.
Fuel can be a problem with a dirt bike. If it sits inside the system for too long, the fuel can become gummy and block the engine. Use a tool to scrape out the excess gunk, clean it, and fill it with fuel to allow an easy start.
Your tank might also be empty. If there is no gas, you can’t go anywhere. Ensure you have a full tank before attempting to start the engine.
There’s no need to be embarrassed if you forget the fuel. Everyone does it at least once. Grab a canister and fill it up before you try to start again.
A bad carburetor could be the source of your trouble. This portion helps move the fuel from the entry point to the engine. If it’s in less than ideal condition, the fuel can’t start your dirt bike.
Here’s how you can check the carburetor:
- Wait for the bike to get cold
- Check the overflow
- Note if liquid comes out
If liquid does not come out, replace or fix the carburetor.
Liquid might spill out of the overflow. If this happens, the fuel line may have a blockage. Locate that blockage to allow fuel to travel to the engine.
Here’s a helpful video showing how to clean a dirt bike carburetor. This will fix a lot of bogging issues too:
Not everyone has a battery in their dirt bike, but for those who do, a dead battery can be the end of the line for a machine. If your dirt bike can’t start, it may be time to give the battery a little kick.
If you have a battery in your dirt bike, you should:
- Check the charge in the engine
- Remove the battery if necessary
- Charge it
Replace the battery once it has enough charge.
The best thing you can do for your battery life is to store your bike at room temperature. The cold and heat can impact the life of the part.
Spark plugs are necessary to ignite the engine. If you have spark plugs that don’t work, you won’t hear the start-up noise everyone loves in a dirt bike. Corrosion, rust, and backfiring can all affect the life of a spark plug.
Here’s how you can monitor your spark plugs:
- Take the spark plug from the head while leaving it in the boot
- Hold ONLY the boot end, or you may shock yourself
- Press the spark plug to the metal
- Attempt a kickstart
If it works, you’re golden.
The best thing you can do for your battery life is to store your bike somewhere at room temperature. The cold and heat can impact the life of the part.
Compression plays a critical role in getting a dirt bike to start. This event occurs if the piston and piston rings wear down. You will see a lack of energy in the way your bike runs.
Here’s what you can do:
- Turn off the engine and remove the spark plug
- Take off the seat and tank
- Push open the throttle
- Put in a compression gauge
- Kick the engine until the gauge stops measuring
You will have an answer after these steps.
If it looks like there is less compression, check for leaks. Replace parts as necessary to get the number back to where it should be.
Dirt bikes are fun to ride, and it’s frustrating when they won’t start. There are many reasons why a machine might struggle when you first turn it on. There could be no gas, the battery could be dead, or there could be awful spark plugs in the system. It’s up to you or a professional to determine the issue.
We hope this information was helpful! There are a million things that can go wrong with a dirt bike, but with the right information, you should be able to locate and fix them. In no time, you will be riding your dirt bike on the muddiest hills without a care in the world.