Push start a motorcycle


It’s funny how life presents you with obstacles that force you to overcome them. Here’s the curve ball thrown at me a few weeks ago. Through some engineering genious Suzuki decided to put one moe detent on the ignition switch on the SV650s, a park setting. Why whould you ever want to park your bike with the fork locked, and the parking lights on. Everyone knows that modern sportbikes have the absolute minimum sized battery to help trim weight off, leaving a battery with just enough juice to start the bike a few times from a cold engine. So as you might have guessed I accidently went into work with the bike in park mode, leaving my lights on all day. The work day ends, I go out…CRAP! I can see the dim glow of my tailights as I walk towards my SV.

I used to push start my 77′ Volkswagen Dasher, so I should be able to push start a motorcycle, heck it’s lighter by at least 2,000 pounds. Damn, becasue they are lighter the gears counter the weight so it’s more complicated than I thought. Well after an hour and a half, and the help from a few kindly HP employees, I was piecing together the details. Here are the final results of this very unfortunate experiment.

If you want to jump start an SV, and probably any other modern bike, here are the key ingredients:

  1. Push the bike, duh. It really helps to have someone halping to push for the next steps.
  2. Drop the tranny into second gear, not first. First gear has to much torque and will stall the engine.
  3. Once the engine kicks over drop it back into neutral, and keep the throttle up to keep the engine running. Pulling the cluth in will not be enough, the clutch has enough resistance to stall the engine even with the lever pulled all the way to the bar.

And that’s the truth. Maybe my exhausting struggle will result in aiding some poor unfortunate soul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.