How to Start a 2 Stroke Dirt Bike? – 5 Steps (w/Tutorial Video)

Written by

James Stevens

Fact-checked by

Robert A. Verdin


Generally, starting a dirt bike is easy, whether you have an electric start or a kickstart. However, there are instances when you run into some issues such as a cold engine, a hot dirt bike, or a dead battery.

To start your motorcycle, the most important thing to do is to ensure your dirt bike engine is not too cold or too hot. Thus, you need to use your choke and throttle properly.

To know more about it, continue reading below because we’ll discuss how to start a 2 stroke dirt bike!

Steps to Start a 2 Stroke Dirt Bike

Starting a dirt bike is not hard even for beginners, especially for dirt bikes with electric start or even a kickstart. You just need to learn the proper ways to do it with finesse.

In general, here’s how to properly and successfully start your 2 stroke dirt bike’s engine.

Step 1: Turn on the gas


Obviously, you need gas to start your motorcycle. Thus, before anything else, make sure your gas is on by turning the valve or petcock on.

Step 2: Pull up the choke


Sometimes, a 2 stroke dirt bike is hard to start when cold. To cold start it, you need to choke your dirt bike by pulling the knob on. This will allow less air into the carburetor and more fuel into the cylinder, making your dirt bike warm up faster.

However, for dirt bikes with already warm engines or dirt bikes that are fuel injected, you can skip this step.

Step 3: Kickstart your dirt bike


To kickstart a dirt bike, make sure your lever is pulled out before you kick it downward. Use your body weight to successfully kickstart your motorcycle. Afterward, make sure you tuck the lever back in for safety purposes.

It’s important to keep in mind that your dirt bike may not start after a single kick. Thus, try and try again until your engine starts.

In contrast, for dirt bikes without kick start, just use the electric start of your motorcycle to start your engine. Pushing the electric button on your handlebar should do the trick.

Step 4: Turn on the throttle


Once your engine is already warmed up, put the choke back. However, when cold starting a dirt bike, you can put back the choke even 20 seconds after starting your engine.

Once your engine is already running, let it warm up before you completely open the throttle. Start with steady RPM first and then slowly increase your revs. This process will allow your engine to clean itself, improving its performance.

However, when trying to hot start your 2 stroke dirt bike, it’s recommended to open your throttle wide while kick starting to allow your dirt bike to have the proper air/fuel ratio. Nevertheless, if your dirt bike has a hot start lever, use that instead.

Step 5: Push start


This step is just an emergency step and not really a requirement unless the situation calls for it. You need to push start a dirt bike when you have a dead battery or a worn-out carburetor, among other causes.

To do this, you need to find a hill or slope where you can run your dirt bike at high speed. When running down the hill, pull your clutch, change into second or third gear, and then slowly release your clutch once you catch momentum to start your dirt bike.

Despite doing all the steps above, there may be instances when your dirt bike won’t really start, especially if you haven’t used it for months. To overcome this problem, try to do the following:

  • Clean your carburetor to drain the fuel and get rid of the gunk.
  • Replace your oil to get rid of the impurities in the oil if your dirt bike has been sitting away in storage for too long before starting it.
  • Make sure it has fresh gas to help it start faster and improve its performance.

For some additional tricks on how to start your 2 stroke dirt bike (whether hot or cold), you may watch this YouTube video!


Starting a 2 stroke dirt bike doesn’t require much effort if you know the proper technique. In general, all you need is to turn on your gas, use your kick-start or electric start, and then turn on your throttle. Then, you should be able to ride your dirt bike with ease.

However, sometimes, you need to hot start or cold start your dirt bike. In this case, you need to work on your dirt bike’s choke and throttle, as described above.

Now that you know how to start a 2 stroke dirt bike, have fun riding!

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James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.