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The current trend of motorbikes (at least in India, for 160cc and above bikes) is to leave out the kick start. Instead, we have electric start (or self-start, I don't know what's what and why it matters). Now, I'd like to buy a bike in the 200-250cc segment, but my problem is that I use bikes very little. Maybe like once every 3-4 days, and that too for 10-15 km. In winters, it's not uncommon for my bike to remain unused for several weeks (6-8) at a stretch.

I'm wondering if in such cases, the lack of a kick-start will be a huge problem. Won't the battery just drain out and leave me with a nasty problem?

  • Two solutions. 1)You can use a trickle charger to keep the battery in good health. 2) There are lithium ion batteries for motorbikes now. Expensive, but these hold charger for longer periods of time(~6 months). – rana Apr 21 '17 at 16:07
  • @rana 6 months, really? :D That's a relief to hear. So, will the bike specifications say whether it has a Lithium ion battery? – dotslash Apr 21 '17 at 16:08
  • @datslash I don't know any bike that come with Li-ion batteries from the factory, but there are after market replacements that are Li-ion. Here is a youtube video: youtube.com/watch?v=SHdEzXtglJU – rana Apr 24 '17 at 23:31
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Kickstarters are useful but not really that necessary. A 250cc bike is light, if your battery goes flat then you can just roll down a hill or have a friend give you a pushstart. You set the ignition to run, set second gear, and pop the clutch in once you have some momentum. Once it fires get the clutch in again and let it warm up. Do this when you're clear of traffic!

A good new battery will probably still start you up after 6, maybe 8 weeks, although if you can get a trickle charger it will be a surer thing.

  • Will it help if I start up the bike and keep the engine running, say, for a few minutes every week during the non-use period? Or is it as good as not starting it up at all? – dotslash Apr 21 '17 at 18:38
  • If you have time then definitely running it once a week is a good idea, once every two would do as well and is less hassle. Just make sure to run it long enough to charge the battery, otherwise you'll use more charge starting it than you get back from running it. – GdD Apr 21 '17 at 18:43
  • Thanks! How much time do you recommend? It'd be weird to keep the engine running for 30 minutes or so. :P – dotslash Apr 21 '17 at 18:46
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    It's hard to say exactly, it depends on the battery capacity and the alternator, but 10 minutes is probably all you need. With motorcycles I have owned if the battery is low the headlight will be weak, and once the battery is charged it will be strong, but that may not work for all bikes. – GdD Apr 21 '17 at 19:20
  • Remember when all cars came with starting handles and manufacturers gradually phased them out ?? The people asking "what do I do if my battery is flat..." – Solar Mike Apr 22 '17 at 12:12

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