Maybe you are looking to add a little more convenience to your dirt bike, or you have just been wondering if it is possible to add an electric start to your dirt bike.
It is possible to add an electric start to a dirt bike, and many new dirt bikes available on the market come standard with an electric start. Adding an electric start to your dirt bike comes with many advantages and disadvantages that should be considered and factored into your decision.
So the short answer, yes, you can add an electric start to your dirt bike, but the question that you need to be asking yourself though is, is it worth it?
When adding an electric start to your dirt bike, there are a few things you should consider. In this article, we will discuss the pros, cons, and alternatives.
The pros of adding an electric start to a dirt bike
Adding an electric start to your dirt bike will add convenience, and you won’t have to struggle with the kickstart anymore. Convenience will mostly come into play while you are out riding, especially your dirt bike stalls. Trying to kickstart the bike while everything is full of mud can be extremely frustrating, and it’s times like these that you’d be glad that you added an electric start to your bike.
The Cons of adding an electric start to a dirt bike
Adding an electric start to your dirt bike is not an easy process, and some people advise against it and go as far as saying, “you could just buy a new dirt bike with an electric start, and it would be less hassle.” I have to agree here.
The cost and labor required to convert a non-electric start dirt bike to an electric start are expensive and time-consuming. You also run the risk of damaging your bike, and if you don’t install the electric start properly, you could face some problems.
You also have to consider the fact that you are adding weight to your bike. While that may not sound like a big deal, you have to remember that your bike might be designed in a certain way, and adding weight to it might affect the handling. The effect could be unnoticeable, or it could be significant.
Finding the parts to add an electric start to a dirt bike
At the time of writing this article, finding aftermarket electric start kits are near impossible. If you do manage to find one, adding it will decrease the value of your dirt bike even though you are adding to the features of the bike.
Adding or replacing original parts with aftermarket ones is frowned upon, unless, those parts are from reputable companies and enhance the performance of the bike. You also run the risk of having your warranties voided.
If you are thinking of converting a Honda dirt bike, you might be in luck as they do offer OEM Honda starter kits. You will have to make sure that the part is compatible with your dirt bike
Depending on your country, it is important to note that when you do decide to add anything to or modify a motorcycle, it might need to be roadworthy or approved to be driven on the road if you plan on doing so.
Alternatives to adding an electric start to a dirt bike
If kick-starting a motorcycle causes an excessive amount of hassle every morning, it might be a good idea to trade your current bike in and purchase a new one, one with an electric start, of course. You could consider purchasing a dirt bike that has both an electric start and a kick-start, I find using the kick-start on cold days actually to be a lot easier.
The best alternative would be just to buy a new bike. More and more manufacturers are adding electric starts to their lineups, and if you consider the cost, labor, and potential damage that can be caused by adding an electric start to your dirt bike, a new bike could actually save you money in the long run.
New bikes with electric start
It seems like manufacturers are starting to turn their back on the old way of doing things. Yamaha, Honda, and KTM have all started adding more electric start motorbikes to their lineup. The only manufacturer still relying on the trusty kick start is Kawasaki, but I can assume that it is only a matter of time before they shift their focus to electric starters as well.
Honda has a wide range of dirt bikes ranging from trail, motocross, adventure, and dulasport bikes. Here are some of the stand out bikes that include electric starters from Honda.
The 2021 Honda CRF250F comes in at a base price of $4700. It has a long motocross seat that is comfortable, the frame is light but strong and it has an electric starter.
If you are looking for something bigger than a 250, the 2020 Honda 2020 CRF450X starts at a base price of $9800. This bike has a light but strong twin-spar frame that makes it one of the best dirt bikes when it comes to handling. Of course, this bike also has an electric start.
The 2020 YZ250F starts with a base price of $8200. This bike features a mobile tuning app that lets you tweak the performance of the bike, right from your smartphone. The bike features Yamaha’s bilateral beam frame features main spars, engine mounts, and mounting positions all designed to centralize mass and provide an ideal balance between cornering feel and straight-line rigidity. It also features an electric start.
The Yamaha YZ450F starts at $9400. Yamaha’s bilateral beam aluminum frame features updated main spars, triple clamps, and engine mounting points that centralize mass and provide an ideal rigidity balance between cornering feel and straight-line confidence. The bike also features the smartphone tuning app as well as an electric starter.
The 2020 KTM 450 SX-F starts at $9999. It comes equipped with a an electric starter that is light so that it does not affect the weight of the bike that much.
In this article, we have covered the pros, the cons, some alternatives, and opinions for adding an electric start to your dirt bike. I have even included some of my favourite dirt bikes that feature electric starters. I think that the most important thing to do is to weigh up the pros and cons.
If you do decide to add an electric starter, make sure you read the manuals from your dirt bike. Make sure you only buy aftermarket parts from reputable companies and don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever you need to, you don’t want to be stuck with a bike that isn’t working because you have bitten off more than you can chew.
Feel free to check out our article on “How To Add Ignition To A Dirt Bike: A Step By Step Guide.”
Happy dirt biking!