How to Start a Dirt Bike Step by Step


Hey there, fellow thrill-seeker! So, you’ve got yourself a shiny new dirt bike or perhaps you’re about to embark on an exhilarating adventure into the world of off-road biking.

You can’t wait to feel the rush of adrenaline as you conquer rugged terrains and navigate through challenging trails.

But before you hit the throttle and embark on your epic journey, let’s go through the essential of how to start a dirt bike step by step, safely and confidently.

Step 1: Gear Up for Safety

Safety first, always! Before you even think about starting your dirt bike, make sure you’re adequately geared up.

Put on a well-fitting off-road helmet to protect your head.

Invest in quality dirt bike gloves, a sturdy pair of boots, and durable riding attire that provides protection for your limbs.

Wearing the right gear will not only enhance your safety but also boost your confidence as you ride.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Controls

Take a moment to acquaint yourself with the bike’s controls.

Sit on the bike and locate the handlebars, throttle, clutch lever, front brake lever, and gear shifter.

Familiarize yourself with their positions and how they function.

Understanding the controls is crucial for a smooth start and safe riding experience.

Step 3: Ensure the Bike is in Neutral

With your gear on and a good grasp of the controls, confirm that the dirt bike is in neutral.

Gently squeeze the clutch lever and tap the gear shifter a few times to find the neutral position (usually indicated by an “N” on the display, if your bike has one).

You can easily find neutral by tapping downwards on the gear shifter a few times to make sure it is in 1st gear, then tap upwards once to get neutral.

Rock the bike back and forth to check that the rear wheel rolls freely.

If it is locked in place, then your bike is in gear and you need to repeat the procedure again until you find neutral gear.

The neutral position ensures the bike won’t lurch forward or backward when you start it.

Step 4: Engage the Choke (If Needed)

If your dirt bike has been sitting for a while or it’s a cold day, you might need to engage the choke.

The choke is generally located near the handlebars or just under the seat in older carburetor dirt bikes.

Pull it out to allow a richer air-fuel mixture and make starting easier.

If the engine is already warm or it’s a hot day, you can skip this step.

Make sure you put the choke in its original position once the bike starts and is idling nicely.

Step 5: Kickstart or Electric Start

Most dirt bikes have either a kickstart or an electric start.

If you have a kickstart, stand on the footpegs with your weight evenly distributed and give the kickstarter a swift, firm kick downward.

In older dirt bikes you will need to find TDC (top dead center) of the piston.

The easy way to do this is to gently step on the kick starter pedal (not kicking it) and pressing it until you feel tension in it. It may feel like falling through a couple of times before you feel the tension – it is totally normal.

Once you have got tension, then give it a good solid kick to start your bike.

If it doesn’t start on the first kick, repeat the process until the bike comes to life.

On the other hand, if your dirt bike has an electric start, locate the electric start button (usually found on the handlebars).

Press the button firmly and hold it until the engine fires up.

Remember not to crank the electric starter for too long to avoid draining the battery.

Bonus read: Why Does Kickstart Kickback And How To Prevent It

Step 6: Warm Up the Engine

Allow the engine to warm up for a few minutes before riding off.

During this time, avoid revving the engine excessively or riding at high speeds.

Warming up the engine will ensure it runs smoothly and perform at its best throughout your ride.

Step 7: Engage the Clutch

Once the engine has warmed up, gently squeeze the clutch lever while shifting the bike into first gear.

This step will prepare your dirt bike for the ride ahead.

Step 8: Slowly Release the Clutch

With the clutch engaged, give the throttle a slight twist while slowly releasing the clutch lever.

As the clutch engages and the engine’s power transfers to the rear wheel, you’ll start moving forward.

Gradually release the clutch to prevent stalling or jerky movements.

Step 9: Begin Riding at a Steady Pace

Congratulations! You’ve started your dirt bike and are now on your way to thrilling adventures.

Start riding at a slow, steady pace, allowing yourself to get accustomed to the bike’s handling and the off-road terrain.

Keep your focus on the trail ahead, and remember to maintain a safe distance from other riders.


Starting a dirt bike might seem daunting at first, but with practice and a clear understanding of the steps involved, you’ll soon master the art of kickstarting or electric starting your off-road companion.

Always prioritize safety by wearing the right gear, knowing your bike’s controls, and being cautious during your rides.

Embrace the adrenaline, explore new trails, and enjoy the exhilaration that comes with being one with nature on your trusty dirt bike.

So, gear up, get started, and let the adventures begin!