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Electric Start vs Kick Start

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 02/06/2023

Starting up your bike's engine is essential to riding. There can be one or two ways to start a motorcycle. Kickstarting and electrical starting are two ways to start a bike. Kickstart works by kicking the lever, which ignites the fuel in the engine. An electric start involves combining an electric current with the wiring to create a current that starts the engine.

Whether you buy a kickstart or electric start bike, remember to purchase insurance for a 2-wheeler. With Tata AIG, you can compare two-wheeler insurance online before selecting the right bike insurance policy for your motorcycle.

Keep reading to learn more about kick start vs electric start and which one is better.

Electric Start vs Kick Start - How Does it Work?

The following section describes how the electric and kickstart work.

Kick Start

A sturdy lever is attached to a ratcheting gear on the crankshaft during kickstarting. In response to the lever kicking, the ratchet twists the crankshaft, compressing and igniting the fuel as the piston compresses. A good ignition will allow the engine to run independently without an external spinning method.

Furthermore, the kick lever can float independently of the engine due to the ratcheting action. The lever would spin if directly connected to the crankshaft, preventing any riding. Also, it eliminates the need to manually reset the lever every time the rider tries to start the engine. Also, the lever should rest against the bike when riding.

Until the mid-1970s, kickstarting was the only way to start a motorcycle. Featuring a V-twin 2-stroke engine, the first Kickstarter motorcycle was the British Scott Motorcycle of 1910. Kickstarter was adopted as motorcycles modernised, as with many inventions from the early 20th century.

Electric Start

Electric starters became increasingly common in the late 1970s and early 1980s as electronics became smaller. It wasn't until 1914 that the Hendee Motorcycle Company produced the first bike with an electric starter, but the design didn't last. It is more common nowadays to have an electric starter on a new bike rather than a Kickstarter. Using a gear to spin the crankshaft makes an engine start electrically like a kick starter. An electric motor spins the engine, however. As a result, the system is more user-friendly and more efficient.

Copper wires are wound tens, hundreds, or thousands of times in a cylinder shape to create electric motors. A rotor with teeth on the end meshes with the engine's ring gear inside this cylinder of windings. As a result of the magnetic force created by an electric current applied to the windings, the rotor spins. During meshing, an actuator pushes out the rotor. Upon releasing the starter switch, the rotor stops spinning and retracts from the ring gear.

The starter will drain your bike's battery the most. This draw occurs only when cranking the engine and quickly recharges once it has started. Due to the vaporisation of fuel being less likely in colder weather, cranking can be challenging. Additionally, your starter might suffer if something goes wrong with your fuel system. The cranking amps of your battery should be adequate because of this.

Kick Start vs Electric Start Which Is Better?

Listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of kick-starting and electric start.

Kick Start - Pros

  • Since kick starters require little maintenance, they always succeed with their riders.
  • Regarding motorcycle races or rainy rides, kickstart bikes are more reliable.
  • Compared to electric start bikes, kickstart bikes are cheaper and more cost-effective.
  • A kickstart bike is significantly lighter than an electric start bike, making it easier for riders to ride through tight trails.

Kick Start - Cons

  • Kickstarting a bike can be challenging. It doesn't always start right away, especially a problematic task during cold times.
  • Physically, it takes a toll. Kicking the pedal can cause your feet to get sore.
  • Kickstart bikes might not give you a chance to win the race. Hope you all sometimes raced on the road.

Electric Start - Pros

  • Starting the bike requires little strength. You just need to push the start button a little bit.
  • The motorcycle begins more easily on steep hills.
  • An electric start is helpful when you stall the bike while waiting for traffic to clear.
  • It is only an electric start that can save your day if you crash your bike during a motorcycle race and have to start again quickly.

Electric Start - Cons

  • If your bike's electric system gets wet, it will be impossible to start it, and if you are alone and do not have a kickstart bike, you are practically stranded.
  • Batteries power electric bikes. If the battery dies, it will fail miserably.
  • A cold place may also cause your battery to die and freeze, which requires additional maintenance.
  • If the bike stops, riders prefer lightweight bikes since batteries make bikes heavier.

Alternative Ways To Start Your Motorcycle

Imagine you are riding along and stopping to enjoy the view. Your bike will not start when you get back on it. If the battery dies or if the starter fails, you are stuck. If you cannot get it going again, don't worry.

Firstly, some bikes come with both electric and kick starters. Many dirt bikes, for instance, have both types of starting. The design can escape both types since these bikes are usually smaller and lighter. When off-road, this is useful in case the battery dies. Your motorcycle should start up if it's dual-equipped.

There are still options available if your bike does not have both starters. Getting someone to jump-start your bike should be possible if you are near other motorists passing by. The battery power of another vehicle powers your motorcycle. ● You can also push-start your bike if it has a manual transmission. The clutch spins the engine backwards by using the momentum of the wheels. Remember to purchase insurance for your two-wheeler; it doesn’t matter whether your bike has a kickstart or an electric start. Choosing the right bike insurance policy with Tata AIG's compare two-wheeler option can be hassle-free since you need not manually compare policies.


The purpose of kickstarting and electric starting is the same, but they serve different purposes. Due to their user-friendliness, electric starters have become much more popular than kickstarting, which was the original method of starting. Although both have pros and cons, there are other ways to start the engine.

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