It's crossed my desk that some newer riders may have never had to start a bike by the time honoured technique of pushing it. If there is already a How-To on here about it, then feel free to delete this. Push starting - or Clutch starting a bike. Batteries can go flat. Starters can go on holiday. Bikes can sometimes just be stubborn and cold blooded. Wouldn't it be nice if there was another way to start them? Fortunately there is. Briefly, switch on the ignition AND the kill switch, put the bike in neutral, and push it. Run like hell for a few steps, until you're going about as fast as you comfortably can, then jump on the bike. Clutch in - select 2nd gear (depends on the bike, 2nd is usually better) and quickly stand up, drop your butt on the seat and dump the clutch. The idea is that the sudden thump of weight will give you a good deal more rear wheel grip for a half second or so, which can be very useful to get the engine turning over the first compression stroke. And that's about it, really. Beyond that, there are a multitude of details, which I will attempt to flesh out a bit, but I'm sure others will add more to fill in the gaps. Some bikes start best with little throttle, some like a bit of throttle. Most prefer to start with the choke on. If starting was difficult because the bike was flooded, then you want the choke off and the throttle held wide open. If the bike was cold and lean then you want full choke and not much throttle, generally. Some bikes are very much easier to push start than others. Smaller and lighter is generally a bit easier than bigger and heavier. Low down (like a cruiser) is easier than high up (like a dirt bike). Multi cylinder is easier than single cylinder. Opposed twins are easier than V twins and wide angle V twins are easier than narrow angle V twins. (I've never ridden a Harley, much less clutch started one, but it would be hard.) Lots of compression is harder than not much compression. Two strokes are way easier than 4 strokes. Some engines just spin more freely than others. Some bikes are kind of awkward with regard to the way the handlebars and stuff are placed, when you're trying to push them. That isn't good. Mind you don't head-butt the windscreen - it can hurt and the friggen things can be worth a lot of money if you break them. Four cylinder jap bikes are usually pretty easy to push start - even big ones. Large single cylinder trail-bikes like the XT600 and the DR650 are amongst the hardest. There are some tricks which may help, but getting up over that first compression stroke can be tough, and you will struggle to do it in 1st gear, because the wheel will just lock, unless you're good deal heavier than me, but when you try it in 2nd, you're not going fast enough, and it still won't start. A hill is a really good thing at this time. There are a very few bikes that can not be push started. They are mostly cruisers, as far as I know, and they have very big engines in a narrow V twin, and a back-torque limiting (slipper) clutch. You roll the thing down a hill, grab a gear and drop the clutch, and the clutch only half engages, so the bike quickly drags to a stop, but without the engine turning over. I understand some of the MotoGP bikes are damn hard to start for the same reason. Like picking up a fallen motorcycle, being big and strong doesn't hurt, but it certainly isn't necessary. Being stubborn, knowing the way to do it, and knowing that it has to be done, are just as important. I'm not very big or strong or fit, and I never was what you'd call a superbly coordinated natural athlete. I rode around on a clapped out Z1-J 1,000 for over a year, that had a stuffed starter clutch. So I push started it. There were times when that was inconvenient, but it was never a huge problem. Now if a drongo like me can do it, ... Once you have clonked into gear, drop your bum and drop the clutch pretty quickly, because there's not a lot of drag in the transmission while the bike's in neutral, but the clutch will drag quite a bit once the bike is in gear, and you will be bleeding off momentum pretty quickly once the bike is in gear. Some people put the bike in gear and then push with the clutch held in. In my experience, that makes the job a lot harder and means a lot more work, because the clutch is dragging the whole time you're pushing. Oh yeah - that trick with singles? Put the bike in gear and roll it forward until you hit the compression stroke. Keep pushing until it's near the top. The first time, you'll go to far, so push more until it comes up against the compression again. You may have to do this a few times to get the feel for it. The idea is that when you start running, the piston is half way up the compression stroke already, so when you dump the clutch it will have about one and a half revolutions to build up a bit of momentum before it comes up against the compression again. Some people push the bike back against the compression. Some engines tolerate being rotated backward and some don't, so that could be one to ask your mechanic about. Remember that up until the mid 1970s all motorcycle road races started with the bikes quiet. You rode a warm up lap, came back to the grid, and shut down the engine. The race began when the flag dropped, and everybody push started their bikes. Some bikes start easily and some don't, and that used to be quite a significant factor. Am I sorry to see the change? No, I'm not - standing starts with the engine running are fairer and more even and way safer. Lots of people have been hit from behind while trying to start a stubborn bike. But it did have the good point that it made manufacturers give some attention to how easily and well their bikes started.