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What Is a Hot Start Lever on a Dirt Bike?

There is nothing worse than to be in a race, suffer a crash and then suddenly you can’t get your motorcycle started.

By installing a hot start lever on your motorcycle, you can quickly start a motorcycle. These levers allow more air into the engine as opposed to a choke. Modern-day motorcycles don’t require a hot start lever, but if your dirt bike is more than 10 years old…it’s a smart idea to get one.

Surprisingly, some riders might have one of these fitted to their dirt bikes yet never know that it’s there or how to use it.

How to Use a Hot Start on a Dirt Bike

The process to using a dirt bike hot start lever in 5 steps:

  1. Pull in the hot start lever (it’s near the clutch)
  2. Start kick-starting until your engine starts
  3. Let go of the hot start lever
  4. Pull tlutch in and select a gear
  5. Start riding your dirt bike again

This process only takes about 8 seconds though dirt bike racers have this down to about 4.5 seconds easily. The more times you do it, the easier it becomes!

You’ll typically find a hot start fitted on the handlebars situated right next to the clutch or brake levers. The lever is quite small (less than half the size of a clutch lever) and it doesn’t really interfere with riding. It’s so small and unnoticable that some riders don’t think that it does anything.

Typically it’s something you pull in just like a clutch lever though you won’t feel the same level of resistance. On some models, it’s actually a press button or a lever that you push. Either way, once you activate them, then you’ll be using the kick start.

Now, don’t go using the throttle just yet because this will just put more fuel back into the engine. The reason why your dirt bike is dead-in-the-water is because of excess fuel so this will bring you back to square one.

Why They Are Important

Flooded engines are a struggle to get started again. Because you don’t have fuel injection, you’re simply flooding the carburetor with fuel and the air/fuel mixture isn’t ideal.

This same issue applies to older cars where, if you pressed the throttle when the engine is off, you’d have to wait around for up to 15 minutes until the optimum fuel to air ratio returns to normal. While cars have evolved, the big manufacturers had to find a way for dirt bikes to evolve, and thus – the hot start button was invented.

They are important to keep you going when you crash and your engine isn’t firing up instantly. It’s most common that you’ll find these on motocross bikes though some recreational trail bike users are fitting these too, as are adventure riders.

Do you need one? Not really, unless you’re racing. Then you’ll absolutely be wishing you had one the day when you simply can’t get her kick-starting and you’re losing valuable lessons and all your hard work.

Getting a Hot Start Installed

Chances are that you don’t need to get a hot start for your modern-day dirt bike. However, if you’ve bought an older used machine, then we can recommend that you get one of these as they are relatively in-expensive. Some 2nd-hand units are available for sale on eBay.

Simply get an after-hours motorcycle mechanic to fit one of these. They aren’t too hard nor time-consuming with many tutorials available on YouTube. You should try using these a few times during practice sessions first, and then in the situation when you need to use one on the race track, you’ll have the steps down-pat and can get back into the

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