How To Start Any Motorcycle Using... A Rope?

Image via Evert Lawrence/Facebook
Image via Evert Lawrence/Facebook

A lot of us aren’t badass enough to ride kick-start motorcycles, so when the battery dies we’re not going anywhere. Usually you can get a bike going by push-starting it, but some machines are just too heavy to make that realistic. That’s when this “pull-start” method might come in handy.


If it works, that is.

I’ve never witnessed this method of starting a bike, and I’m not convinced it’s a totally healthy thing to put your motorcycle through but based on this video it does seem to work.

Our host discloses the technique might not work with a completely dead battery, but “if you’ve gone one that won’t quite start it” and a bike that’s too big to push yourself like this Honda Africa Twin, this might beat waiting for AAA.

While broken down, the guy makes a big bowline loop out of a luggage strap, hooks it on to the rear tire’s knobs, and winds the the strap around the tire.

As you can see the Africa Twin’s center stand is invaluable here, but you might be able to get creative and squeeze a rock or some big downed tree branches to make your own if your bike doesn’t have one.

With the motorcycle in its highest gear, key on, kill switch on (don’t forget to triple check your kill switch before heaving your motorcycle onto a makeshift centerstand) the guy just rips the rear wheel forward like he’s pull-starting a lawnmower.


And, lo and behold, it cracks to life!

If you’re stuck someplace and have to try this, first of all I’m sorry, but second make sure you watch where your hands are in case that strap tries to suck you into the rear wheel. I’m also not accepting responsibility for your bike tipping over and running away on you.


Has anyone had a crack at this creative method of getting a bike running? I’d be pretty keen to hear some firsthand horror I mean success stories.

Hat tip to Evert Lawrence and, Aussie Africa Twin Owners and International Brotherhood of Adventure Riders Facebook groups!

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles



The original.