Home / Why Your Motorcycle Won’t Start After Winter

It’s your prized possession, your baby, your mode of transportation. When your motorcycle won’t start after winter, you’ll probably experience more than just the feeling of disappointment.

You’ve done all the right motorcycle maintenance, dealt with all your motorcycle problems, and ensured that it stays in good condition. So when your motorcycle won’t start, you feel it a little bit more in your soul.

Luckily, you do not have to feel that pain in your chest for very long. There are a few causes that may explain why your motorcycle isn’t starting. There are even solutions to the causes! Keep reading to learn about what is happening to your motorcycle and how you can fix it.

You Have a Bad Battery

If your motorcycle won’t start, one of the first things that you should check for is the battery. Batteries that are not fully charged will freeze at anything below freezing temperatures of 32°F (0°C).

Even if you are in a cold place but your motorcycle is inside, your motorcycle battery can still become drained. If your battery drains enough, there will not be enough juice in it to start.

In order to test this, you can get a voltmeter. Most motorcycle batteries should read between 12.6 and 12.8 V if they’re working properly.

If you’re getting a lower reading than this, you are probably going to need to get a new battery. If you want to prevent this from happening in the future, invest in a trickle charger. This will keep your battery charged slowly and efficiently during the winter months.

The Motorcycle Doesn’t Like the Cold

If your motorcycle is not starting, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is truly wrong. It may just need some additional elbow grease to get started during the winter months.

In that case, you will want to do a choke for a cold start. A choke lever takes some of the air out of the fuel mixture, which means that when this fuel mixture combines with a combustion chamber, there’s a better chance that it will fire up the pistons to start the motorcycle.

If you want to do a cold start, you need to find the chalk plunger and the choke lever. You should pull out the choke plunger first, then raise the choke lever.

To get the motorcycle to start, press the starter. The motorcycle should now be working if nothing else was wrong!

There May Be a Blockage

Oftentimes, if your motorcycle is not starting, it may not be because of the cold weather. It could simply be because your motorcycle has been sitting unused for a while. When your motorcycle sits for a long time, a few critters may find a new home.

If you store your bike over the winter, you should be placing an exhaust plug in your exhaust line. This will ensure that no small animals can crawl into the exhaust. Additionally, an exhaust plug will keep out any dust or debris in the area where you store your bike.

Before you try to start your motorcycle after winter, you should always check to ensure that your exhaust plug was taken out. If you didn’t place an exhaust plug first, you will still want to check to make sure that there is nothing living in there!

This should ensure that it’ll start.

Check Your Fuel Levels

If you try to start your motorcycle and it still doesn’t start, it may be because you do not have enough fuel. Before you store your motorcycle for winter, you should make sure that you drain your fuel tank and the lines before it sits for a while.

You may forget that you drained the fuel lines when you go to start your bike. If you do not want to waste time trying to figure out why it is not starting, you may want to make a checklist of everything you need before you start. That way, you will remember to check your fuel levels and top it off before you try to start it.

Corrosion May Be the Culprit

When you put a motorcycle in storage, there may be a chance that corrosion occurs. If there is a fluctuation in temperature or levels of humidity, this can do damage to the metal on the motorcycle.

That means that there is a good chance that you have corroded spark plugs and wires. If that is the case, you’ll need to replace the spark plugs. This should be done every 30,000 to 90,000 miles in general.

So, if you are driving 30,000 miles every year, changing them out at the end of winter is always a great idea anyway. This motorcycle maintenance can prevent bigger issues from happening to your motorcycle whether in the winter months or another time during the year.

diagnostic test on motorcycle

Reasons Why Your Motorcycle Won’t Start After Winter

Now you know a few common reasons why your motorcycle won’t start after winter. If you are dealing with these issues, you should be sure to take these precautions and follow the solutions to get your motorcycle to start.

Whether you need a new or used motorcycle or want to perform routine maintenance and services on your bike after winter storage, you should seek motorcycle professionals for assistance. The team at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands is fully equipped to help you with any of your Harley needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Harley Davidson of The Woodlands

Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands has been serving Southeast Texas for more than 20 years. We provide the Greater Houston area with new and pre-owned motorcycles, riding apparel, parts, maintenance service, and more at our state-of-the-art dealership. Whether you’re a new rider or a seasoned Harley vet, our friendly team of Harley-Davidson experts is ready to help you find the perfect bike today. Stop by and visit the Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands Showroom off of I-45 North in The Woodlands, TX.