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Move a Motorcycle By Starting It and Putting It In Gear

By Walter Kern

Step 1: Turn On the Fuel Supply

This feature gives the 10 steps required to move a motorcycle over a short distance. Such a case might be a new rider who has purchased a motorcycle and wants to get to know the motorcycle better. Now, bear in mind that I highly recommend that such a rider enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course and learn the fundamentals the correct way. That's the way I learned, but I also had my own motorcycle at the time which I didn't know how to ride. I wanted to get to know the motorcycle better before I took the course. I wanted to know how to start the motorcycle, get it in gear, and ride short distances in first or second gear -- at least to the end of my driveway.

This article tells you how to move a motorcycle by starting it, putting it in gear, and moving it under its own power.

Some owners lock their machines with padlocks to the wheels. Some even attach them with chains to anchor points. If you can't disable these locks, consult a locksmith before continuing.

Remember that a motorcycle is a machine that responds quickly to human commands made by the hands or feet. Steps given here are done at your own risk. There is always the chance that the motorcycle will fall over or you will not be able to control it.

To begin, assume you are already on the motorcycle with it resting on its side stand.

Reach down and locate the petcock, also called a fuel shutoff and turn it to the ON position. Some bikes have automatic petcocks so this step is not necessary.

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Fuel Petcock
Motorcycle Petcock/Fuel Shutoff Valve in ON Position
© Walter Kern

  1. Turn On the Fuel Supply
  2. Pull Out the Choke
  3. Turn ON the Ignition
  4. Set the KILL Switch to RUN
  5. Depress the Clutch Lever
  6. Shift Into Neutral
  7. Check the Neutral Indicator Light
  8. Start the Motorcycle
  9. Shift Into First Gear
  10. Move the Motorcycle

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