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How to Start a Scooter/Moped

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Whether you’re new to mopeds and scooters, or you’re just new to the one in front of you, learning how to get it started is fairly simple. 

Sometimes, your scooter may be equipped with certain safety features that can make starting it up a little more confusing. 

This guide will go over the common steps involved with starting a scooter or moped. 

Scooter/Moped Start Up Routine

Regardless of whether your scooter is equipped with a kickstart or electronic ignition, there are a few steps you’ll usually need to take everytime you want to start it. 

The first step is to conduct your pre-trip inspection to make sure that everything is in good condition and there are no problems with the scooter. This includes:

  • Checking for leaks. 
  • Inspecting for damage. 
  • Making sure the tires are properly inflated. 
  • Making sure nothing is loose or broken. 

Once you’ve confirmed that the scooter is ready to ride, you’ll need to:

  • Place the key in the ignition, and switch it to the on position. 
  • Switch the kill switch to the running position. 
  • Ensure that the fuel valve is on and there is gas in the tank. 
  • Take the scooter off its center stand. 
  • Get on the seat. 
  • Squeeze the rear brake lever. 
  • Use the kickstarter or the ignition button. 

Remember, most scooters and mopeds are equipped with an automatic transmission. This means that the rear wheel will spin when the engine is running. That’s why it is important to engage the rear brake and get in riding position when you’re starting the scooter. 

How to Kickstart a Scooter or Moped

If your scooter or moped is equipped with a kickstarter, here are the steps you’ll need to take to get it running. 

  • Turn the ignition on and switch the kill switch to the running position. 
  • Ensure that the fuel valve is open. 
  • Squeeze the brake lever. 
  • Straddle the scooter. 
  • Locate the kickstart lever and unfold it from its riding position. 
  • Place your foot over the kickstart lever and smoothly push it down. You may need to open the throttle slightly as you kick it. 

If your scooter doesn’t kickstart after a few kicks, there may be an issue with the fuel supply or battery. 

Avoid pressing the kickstart lever too hard or kicking it excessively if the scooter won’t start. 

How to Start a Scooter Without a Kickstart

If your scooter is not equipped with a kickstarter, you’ll need to use the electronic ignition to get it running. 

Follow the same start up instructions listed above (ignition, kill switch, fuel, brakes), and once you are ready, press the ignition button. 

You should hear the starter motor turn the engine, and it should start up. 

If it does not, avoid continuing to press the ignition button as this can drain your battery. Instead, inspect your scooter to discover why it won’t start. 

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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