In a car with a manual transmission, you can start it by taking the car out of gear and pressing the clutch, then turning the ignition. You can also start it by pressing the clutch without actually taking the car out of gear.

Bikes, with kickstart mechanism, on the other hand (at least in my experience) can only be started after you take them out of gear, regardless of whether you press the clutch. Why is this?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Is there a specific bike which you're talking about? I'm not a bike expert, but would bet not all bikes are the same. Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 18:50
  • basically every bike in Pakistan. they are around 70-125 CC and have the same mechanical system, whether a honda,yamaha or local brands. basically based around this bike en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_70
    – Maaz Jamal
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 18:53
  • I'm confused by your question - the cars start, not when you press the clutch, but when you release it.
    – mike65535
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 18:53
  • what i meant on a manual car you turn the ignition key even when its in gear, obviously if you dont press the clutch the car will lunge forward or backwards if its in reverse, so you press the clutch so that you can start it and not stall the engine. does that clarify what i meant?
    – Maaz Jamal
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 18:56
  • @Maaz I edited the question to clarify what you're asking, and I removed some of the information that's actually not relevant to the question (after clearing up some confusion). Feel free to revert the edit if that changes the question too much. Cheers!
    – Cullub
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


Actually you could BUT... Motorcycles have WET multiple disc clutches in contrast with cars that usually have a single dry plate clutch engagement. The friction and mainly the drag produced by these multiple discs is often very hard to overcome by kick starter, especially when the engine is cold. You can simulate this by trying to push your bike in gear with disengaged clutch and in neutral. You will feel substantially greater friction when in gear and disengaged clutch. If you had something more powerful than your leg (the electric starter motor for example) you could actually start your bike in gear and the clutch disengaged.


The same can be done with a bike, whether electric or kick start. Except with a kick start bike even with the clutch in, you get a lot of clutch drag transferred through the kickstarter as the clutches are often wet, so they're sat in gear oil making it a lot harder to kick over.

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