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Many people know that vehicles must have a battery in order for them to work. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere because the vehicle wouldn’t be able to turn over in the first place.
Some may wonder if motorcycles might be an exception to battery rules because they are smaller and more simple than other vehicles.
Can a motorcycle be run without a battery It is possible for a motorcycle to start and run without a battery, especially smaller motorcycles that are 250 CC’s or less and have a kick starter. The more powerful the engine is, the less likely it will start without a charge. For this to happen, it will take some careful rewiring.
It may seem odd that a motorcycle could possibly run without a battery since most of us know how vital a battery is to a vehicle’s function. Through my automotive experience, I’ve been able to see how and what it’s like running a motorcycle without a battery.
You can’t start a motorcycle without a battery
When I first heard of starting a motorcycle without a motor, I was somewhat disbelieved. I’m a gear head and have been heavily involved with cars since before I was a teenager so I knew how cars worked, but I wasn’t too familiar with motorcycles before I really started getting into them when I went to college.
Since then, I’ve restored over a dozen motorcycles and worked on dozens of others. Although motorcycles share many of the same basic components with cars, there are many differences. For example, you can’t start one without a battery.
There are many ways to find out if a motorcycle can operate without a battery. It depends on the motorcycle and whether it has an electric motor, as well as its type. However, it is possible to start a motorcycle without a battery. This is especially true if the motorcycle is smaller.
It’s easier to start a kick start motorcycle that has a small displacement engine, such as 250 CC’s or smaller. A kick starter is a small engine that can compress enough to start a motorcycle.
To make this work, you will need to first do some rewiring. Though there may be some compression left over to start the engine, you still need an electrical component to fully get it started, so you’ll need to reroute the wires directly to the stator to get that power once the battery is removed or surpassed. Also, if you need to also run the blinkers, headlights, taillights, etc., then you’ll need to reroute them and connect them to your stator.
It is not possible to start a motorcycle if you don’t rewire the electrical components or connect to the stator. The ignition coil needs electrical power from somewhere and if it isn’t getting it from the battery, it needs to come from the stator. The stator might not provide as much current to the motorcycle but it will still be able to turn it on. the mix between the power that’s left within the stator and the compression inside the engine should be able to get the motorcycle started on smaller bikes.
You can do this on larger motorcycles equipped with a kickstart, but it’s not possible. Bigger engines on bigger motorcycles means they require more power to start and the more cylinders there are that you’re fighting against. You won’t have enough power to kick start a bigger engine with left over power in the stator and compression in the engine.
Running A Motorcycle Without A Battery (After You’ve Started It)
There’s actually a little bit of a difference between getting a motorcycle started without a battery and running a motorcycle without a battery. It takes more effort to get a motorcycle going than it does to run it.
Next, people will be most curious to know if the battery can be disconnected and the motorcycle still runs. You can keep the motorcycle going if you take out the battery once it has started.
This is true for all vehicles, not just motorcycles. The battery is what starts the vehicle, and the alternator (or for motorcycles the stator) is what keeps it running. The alternator can be damaged, but the battery will still have its meaning.
If you are stuck somewhere with a dead battery, it’s possible to borrow someone else’s battery to simply get the motorcycle started then remove the battery and likely get yourself safely home. You cannot turn the motorcycle off during that time because you won’t be able to turn it back on.
It’s also possible to jump start a motorcycle without a battery. You just need to connect the jumper cables between the positive and negative terminal wires to make the motorcycle start until you turn it off.
Is it bad to ride a motorcycle without a battery?
You can make a motorcycle functional and do many other things. There are some things to consider if your intention is to start and/or run your motorcycle without the use of the battery.
While it is very possible to run a motorcycle without it’s battery, it’s not advised that you do it. Starting and running a motorcycle without a battery doesn’t necessarily hurt the motorcycle, but it can be a safety hazard for you as the rider.
Most people don’t know how a motorcycle’s electrical components are wired and handled. Though the wiring harness isn’t as complicated as most vehicles, it’s still a difficult component to understand especially if you’ve never dealt with it before.
Because of people’s lack of understanding of the wiring, most people don’t properly rewire and end up tying the ends together and cover it with electrical tape, calling it good. This is the cheapest and most inefficient way to rewire.
Dealing with the wiring that’s coming from the ignition coil also holds it’s own dangers because the extra current could possibly find it’s way through the wire and into your fingers if the batter is still plugged in.
If All Because the wiring was connected directly to the stator, all your lights will not work unless the motorbike is switched on. The brighter your lights will be, the more you power the bike. Your headlight may not provide enough light to allow you to see well if you are going slow at night.
A battery is an advantage for every motorcycle rider. A motorcycle battery shouldn’t be removed unless an emergency occurs. The rider should get a new battery as soon after that.
How To Make Your Motorcycle Look Like It Doesn’t Have A Battery
People remove the battery completely from their motorcycles mainly for cosmetic reasons. Batteries can really be an eye sore if placed on the motorcycle the wrong way, but that doesn’t meant you have to take it out of the picture altogether.
I converted most of my motorcycle repairs into cafe racers. Cafe racers have minimalist bikes, so I had to think of creative ways to conceal the battery. I was able to come up with several ways to make the motorcycle look like it didn’t have a battery at all.
Some of the places you can hide the battery are laying it on it’s side on the rear swing arm, mounting it under the rear swing arm, mounting it under the seat in a battery box, or putting it where the airbox was. See my other article for more information about hiding your motorcycle battery.
You can also give your motorcycle a completely battery-free look by using a lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are smaller than regular motorcycle batteries, and can be placed almost anywhere on the bike without them being noticed.
Can a motorcycle that doesn’t have a kick start run without a battery?Even if you rewire your ignition coil to the stator, a non-kickstart motorcycle will most likely not be able start without a charge. Without adding the compression of the engine activated by the kick starter, there won’t be enough power to start it in the first place.
How long can a motorcycle be left on its battery before it dies? The average motorcycle battery will die after 2 – 4 months without running. Newer batteries can last longer with an average of 3 – 5 months until dying whereas older batteries will last about 1 – 3 months until the battery dies while the motorcycle is sitting. For more information, see my article.