Although most dirt bikes already have electric starters installed in them, some old-model dirt bikes only have kick starts. So, if you own a kick-start dirt bike and wonder if you can put an electric start on it, wonder no more. We did the hard work and researched this question to bring you an answer.
You can put an electric start on a kick-start bike. However, putting an electric start on a kick-start bike has different advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before installing.
Now that you know that you can install an electric start on a kick-start bike, we'll be looking at the pros and cons. We will also give you a step-by-step guide on converting your kick-start bike to an electric start bike. Let's get right into it!
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Can You Put An Electric Start On A Kick Start Bike
Whether you use your dirt bike to run errands or just as a hobby, your bike features are important. One feature that dirt bikes have is how you start them. Dirt bikes come in either an electric start or a kickstart.
Although it is possible to put an electric start on a kick-start bike, you still need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of adding them before deciding.
Pros of Adding Electric Start On A Kick Start Bike
Electric start bikes are becoming popular nowadays because of the many advantages they bring. One of its most sought advantages is that the electric start is more accessible than the kick start bike. All you have to do is push a button and don't need to trouble with kicking, which makes them friendly, especially to beginners.
They are also quieter and more reliable than a kick-start bike. They are also known to improve your performance on the track because it has a lot of torque.
Cons Of Adding Electric Start On A Kick Start Bike
Although putting an electric start on a kick-start bike can bring convenience, doing this also has drawbacks. Adding an electric start can cause you money since you will need to pay for expensive labor and materials in converting.
Moreover, if the electric starter is not correctly installed, there is a chance of damaging your bike. Your bike will also gain weight when the electric starter is installed, which can affect the handling of your bike.
How To Install Electric Start On A Kick Start Bike
Most brands of dirt bikes already sell electric start bikes, and most people find them more convenient. But if you have a kick-start bike and you want to put an electric start on it, here's a step-by-step guide on how you can do it:
1. Remove The Bike Parts
Before you can start with the process, you need to remove some parts first to expose the interior of the bike. Remove the under guard, the seat, the left and right side cover, and the number plate. You will also need to remove the left and right radiator shroud and left radiator grill.
2. Drain The Oil
The next step is to drain all the fluids, including the coolant and the engine oil. You will want to reuse the coolant again later, so make sure to put it in a clean container. Then, you are now ready to remove the fuel tank.
3. Remove The Clutch
Continue by removing the whole clutch assembly and disconnecting the clutch cable from the clutch lifter lever. In this step, you will also want to remove the cylinder head cover, camshaft, decompressor weight, and spring.
4. Replace The Parts
In this step, you can replace the decompressor plunger, spring, and weight. You may want to be very careful in doing this step correctly. Doing it the wrong way may cause damage to your bike's engine.
5. Install The Camshaft
You can now install the new starter clutch and the camshaft in reverse order of removal. Make sure that the timing is correct to prevent your bike from vibrating.
6. Remove The Kick Starter
This step is optional. You can remove the kick starter or leave it in the dirt bike. If you opt to remove it, you should remove both the kick starter spindle assembly and idle gear.
7. Reassemble The Parts
Now that you're already done replacing the parts reassemble them by repeating the removal steps in reverse. Always check if the parts are correctly installed to prevent damage to the engine.
8. Install The New Starter Switch
Since you're converting a kick start bike to an electric start bike, you need to install a new starter switch. Start by removing the engine stop, mode indicator switch, and radiator bolts.
You also need to remove the clutch lever, cable, adjusting dial and cover because you will need to replace it with a new clutch provided on your electric starter kit. Next is to install the new starter button on the handlebar. Then, reinstall the adjusting dial, lever, and cover.
9. Install The Battery Band
You're almost done with the installation because, in this step, you will need to install the battery band to the battery box. Strap in the battery and connect the positive lead. Lastly, attach the ground wire.
10. Reinstall The Remaining Parts
Finally, the last step would be to reassemble all the remaining parts that are not yet installed.
Here's a short video on how you can put an electric start on a kick start dirt bike:
Which Is Better: Electric Start Or Kick Start?
Dirt bikes are sold in different types, colors, and styles that you can choose from. If you're planning to buy a dirt bike and are wondering which would be the best to buy, then you might wonder which is better, an electric start or kick start.
There are different pros and cons for these types that can help you decide what to choose. Here are some:
Most bike brands manufacture more electric start nowadays because they are more convenient for most riders. They do not require a lot of strength to start the bike. It also requires less energy in steep hills when starting.
A kick start, on the other hand, is of lower maintenance than an electric start bike. They are also less expensive and cost-efficient and are more reliable when it's rainy season. And they are also lightweight, which makes them better when driving through tight trails.
Although the electric start is more convenient to start than kick starts, they are not reliable during rainy days. The electric start may not work properly when it gets wet and could be inconvenient, especially when you're alone. They also require more maintenance since they are battery-powered.
Moreover, a kick start also has drawbacks. The most popular among these is that they are more difficult to start especially when they are cold. During races, they are harder to use because you need to give all your strength to kick start the bike.
Can You Run Dirt Bike Without A Battery?
One of the most important parts of a motorcycle is its battery. Batteries enable vehicles to run in the first place and power all their accessories. However, if you own dirt bikes then you might wonder if they can run without a battery.
Unlike motorcycles, most dirt bikes can run without a battery. But, this is only possible if the dirt bike doesn't have electrical components such as lights, electric start, and electronic fuel injection. However, if your dirt bike does have these electrical components, then the use of a battery is required.
Wrapping Things Up
If you want to put an electric starter on your kick start bike, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages that it can give you. The abovementioned pros and cons can help you decide. However, if you choose to put an electric start still, you can follow the guide to help you with the installation.
Moreover, always ask for professional help when putting an electric start on your kick start bike to avoid inconvenience and costly installations. Investing in your safety is of utmost importance.
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