The bikers that have used dirt bikes manufactured in the year 2010 or before have faced the problem related to restarting the bike instantly after experiencing a mid-motor crash. The absence of a fuel injection system in old bikes is the reason why they failed to restart quickly after a crash or stall. Most of the carburetor bikes or the bikes manufactured in the year 2010 or before encountered the flooded engine problem. The problem occurred whenever the biker stalled the bike while the vehicle was hot.
The hot start lever in such situations acts in a similar manner to a choke for cold start. People having years of experience in biking know this better. Dirt bike riders often use the lever along with a kickstart to start-off the bike’s engine again.
What is a Hot Start Lever?
The hot start lever is available on the bike’s handlebar. It is used along with a kickstart to quickly restart the bike’s engine post a crash or stall. The location of the lever makes it easier to use for the riders. This feature helps in restarting the engine instantly by putting in the adequate air into the pilot circuit. The hot start system is connected to the carburetor of the bike that was previously connected directly to the engine.
What is The Requirement of a Hot Start Lever in a Dirt Bike?
The bikes manufactured around the year 2010 or before didn’t have fuel injections installed in them. When such bikes were used, occasionally, the carburetor used to get filled with gas when a bike stopped suddenly. The carburetor got filled with gas because the engine rarely received fuel, once the bike stopped or stalled suddenly. It emitted the mixture of air/fuel, thus limiting the amount of fuel available for ignition.
Similar is the case with old cars. While pressing on the gas along with the car’s engine, the driver used to flood the carburetor with fuel. This is the reason why a minimum of 10 minutes was required to allow the fuel to drain back. The car’s engine could not start before the fuel/air ratio attained an optimal starting level. Back then, there was no hot start system installed in the cars, and hence, people had to wait for several minutes to get the vehicle started again.
The dirt bike manufacturers addressed the issue and hence started installing the hot start system in the bikes, making things easy for bikers. Else, even the dirt bikers would have to wait for minutes to start their vehicles, which could adversely affect the racing spirit and might cost them the entire competition.
How to Use The Hot Start Lever Correctly on a Dirt Bike?
Using a hot start lever is not difficult. The small size and convenient location of the lever make it easy to use without causing any hindrance for the biker. Mostly, the levers are located either on the left or right side of the handlebars. The lever can be spotted easily as it is placed just next to the clutch. As the lever is of small size, around a quarter of the clutch or brake lever, it never interferes with the riding experience.
The rider just needs to pull it in, just the way he or she does with the clutch/brake lever. In some cases, the rider may be required to press or push the system, depending on the make. The lever is to be used in combination with a kickstart to ensure quick starting of the engine. When the rider pulls in the hot lever system with kickstart, more fuel is pushed into the engine. Once the engine starts again, the rider can let go of the hot start lever and get back on track.
Even after using the hot start system in combination with a kickstart, if the bike doesn’t start, then you must not panic. Instead, you can wait for a few more seconds and give two-three more kicks for greater impact. A lot of riders have experienced a similar situation during a race where they were seen frantically trying to kick-start their bike. It just results in draining of the biker’s energy. Take a few seconds out, it may even be close to a minute, and try giving two-three hard kicks while pulling in the hot start lever. The engine will start again, allowing the rider to take part in the race with full energy and enthusiasm.
Old racers who have experience with both the old and new bikes understand this better because they have encountered a similar situation multiple times. If you are new to dirt biking, then take a note of the information shared above. It can help you to get back on track quickly, in case your bike stops after a crash.