We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does "Kick Start" Mean?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A kick start is a method of starting an internal combustion engine. This method of starting the engine is most commonly executed on a motorcycle or off-road vehicle in lieu of an electric starting system. Most motorcycles in the past featured kick start systems as the exclusive method of starting the engine, but the application of electric starters to motorcycles has largely replaced the kick start method. Some motorcycles feature both an electric start and a kick starter; the kick starter is used if the electric starter fails for any reason. Motorcycles that are used exclusively off-road often forgo electric starters and feature kick starters only.

A kick start engine will feature a metal arm with a foot peg on the end. This arm will fit snugly up against the engine when not in use, and it will be pulled downward when needed. The rider will place his or her foot on the foot peg and push down forcefully on the arm, thereby starting the engine. It may take the rider several kicks to kick start the engine, especially if the engine is cold. Warm engines that have been used recently will start more easily in most cases, sometimes requiring only one kick.

Off-road motorcycles often forgo electric starters because they tend to be heavier than kick start mechanisms. An off-road motorcycle will use the kick start arm exclusively, which can make starting the motorcycle more difficult during racing or intense competition. It does save significant weight, making the overall performance of the bike better and more maneuverable. Many motorcycles, both on- and off-road, that feature kick starters often feature compression release capabilities as well. This feature makes starting the engine easier by essentially taking the compression from the combustion chambers out of the equation when starting. Otherwise, the starting mechanism will work against the force of the combustion when attempting to start the engine.

Kick starters can be difficult and even dangerous to operate for some people. Riders with knee or other leg problems may have difficulty engaging the kick start because of the resistance of the unit, and the kick starter arm can recoil quickly, potentially colliding with the rider's leg. If the kick starter arm is faulty, it may fall from its position next to the engine and interfere with rider movements during riding. It is important to make sure the kick starter is in proper working order, and the rider should wear boots and other protective gear when using it.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.