7 Steps To Motorcycle Hotwiring: How To Start A Motorcycle Without A Key

motorcycle ignition

Anybody can start a motorcycle without a key but the only thing is that you need the right knowledge of its electrical systems. The overall technique is quite simple but as you will be dealing with wires, you need to be careful and attentive in the whole process.

The process of starting a motorcycle without a key is called hot wiring and although it is difficult to do on most modern bikes, and new bike models, many old bike models can still be started using the method of hot wiring.

Hotwiring does not involve any key to start the motorcycle, all you need to do is connect some wires properly before hitting the ignition switch connector and if done correctly, your motorcycle engine will start without any key. This process also can be done for the motorcycles that have the feature of kick start instead of electric start. However, since a kickstarter motorcycle is required to spin the engine, a motorcycle engine might not start without a key.

So, let’s look at the steps of hotwiring –

7 Steps to Start a Motorcycle Without a Key

how to start motorcycle without a key
  1. Get a Speaker Wire
  2. Remove the Covering from the Ignition System
  3. Look for the Wiring Socket/Cap
  4. Detach the Wiring Socket/Cap
  5. Insert the Speaker Wire into the Socket/Cap
  6. Connect the Other End of the Speaker Wire to the Battery
  7. Give it a Try

1. Get a Speaker Wire

The first thing is to get yourself a speaker wire.

This type of wire has two clips on both ends which are usually made up of copper and are very thin, somewhere around 0.5mm in thickness.

Make sure that the wire you have got is thin enough for hotwiring purposes or else it will be difficult for you to connect your wires with the ones inside the motorcycle ignition system.

Also, you need to peel off the plastic covering from both ends of the wire so that the inner copper coils get exposed.

2. Remove the Covering from the Ignition Wiring System

motorcycle without a key

After getting hold of the wire, you need to remove any kind of covering over your ignition system so that you can access the socket/cap underneath.

Usually, speakers come with electrical tape or some kind of covering so make sure that you pull it off before proceeding forward with hotwiring steps.

After you remove the ignition cover, you need to look for the location of the ignition wiring system. If you are unable to find the ignition wiring hang up system, look for its location in the manual of your bike. If still, you cannot locate it, then you can conduct an online search with your bike model and surely you will come across videos that cover the ignition wiring system.

When you find your ignition system, start looking for the socket/cap.

3. Look for the Wiring Socket/Cap

The ignition wiring is usually underneath a cap and in order to get access to it, you need to pull it off.

Usually, there are four screws that hold down that particular part of wiring cover on the motorcycle so you need to use a screwdriver or any other tool that you feel will come in handy in removing those screws and when done properly, you will be able to remove the cover of the bike’s ignition system and wiring. You may locate them by taking a close look at the collection of wires that connect the motorcycle’s ignition switch to the engine and other main parts. In a wiring sleeve, tri-coloured wires will be bundled together. All you need to do is to find the plastic wiring cap or socket where the tri-coloured wires terminate by scouring the wiring sleeve. There might be other wires plugged into the wiring cap.

Now check out for a socket or a plug inside your engine where wires are connected from one side and turning the key is the only way they get connected to each other. If it’s not a complete socket then do some more digging until you find a socket that is complete and has at least two or three wires plugged into unused spaces.

4. Detach the Wiring Socket/Cap

how to start motorcycle without a key

When you have located the wiring socket, it’s time to detach the battery power to it from the ignition system.

There are two ways of doing it – one is by using a screwdriver and the other is by using your hands.

If you are using a screwdriver then insert it into the slots located on either side of the socket and twist it inan anti-clockwise direction. If done correctly, the screws will loosen up, and eventually, you will be able to locate the ignition wires and take off the wiring cap.

If you are using your hands then try to prise off the socket with your fingers or use a flat head screwdriver and it will come off with ease.

5. Insert the Speaker Wire into the Socket/Cap

motorcycle without a key

Once you have the wiring cap in your hand, it’s time to insert that speaker wire inside itas we need to hotwire battery wires to our motorcycle now. There is no significance to the wires connected to the handlebars.

The wire has two ends like every other wire but for this method, you don’t need both sides of the wire.

You only require one end since we need to make a connection between this particular end and one side of an ignition switch. So detach this single-end wire from its socket letting the ignition wiring hang down and cut off any excess wires if there are any, using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.

Now stick this stripped end directly to one side of the ignition socket and make sure that it’s tightly in place.

6. Connect the Other End of the Speaker Wire to the Battery

The other end of the wire needs to be connected to the battery, and for this, you need to find a positive and negative terminal on your battery.

If you are not sure about where these terminals are depending on your settings, then have a look at your bike manual or conduct an online search with your battery model number because there are plenty of images and videos that show you exactly where these terminals are located on modern bikes with different batteries.

Once you have found the positive and negative terminals, use a pair of pliers or anyother tool that you feel comfortable using and crimp/twist the wire around them so that it forms a secure connection to cap socket.

7. Give it a Try

motorcycle without a key

Now the only thing left is to try whether your motorcycle starts or not, so sit on your bike with both feet placed firmly on the ground and turn your ignition key clockwise at least three times before you start your engine.

If done correctly then your motorcycle will start up without any problems whatsoever but if not, then there are chances that you have made a mistake somewhere during this entire procedure which means you need to go back over these steps again until everything turns out perfect.

Can Jacking Up a Motorcycle Make it Easier to Start Without a Key?

Jacking up a motorcycle does not affect its ability to start without a key. Removing the key from the ignition or using alternative ignition methods are independent of the motorcycle’s position. However, raising the motorcycle can provide more convenient accessibility for maintenance or repairs.


So what are you waiting for? If your bike isn’t starting up no matter how many times you turn the key or if you just don’t feel like getting your hands dirty, then give this method a try because it’s worth a shot. And who knows, maybe it’ll work for you too!

Well, after trying this method on my own bike I can say for sure that this method really does work because ever since I started using it myself, I’ve had no issues starting my bike whatsoever. It’s quick and easy to do and doesn’t require any sort of professional skills, so anyone can do it. Also, it’s important to consider acquiring enough knowledge of its electrical systems before getting into it for the best results.

Please do not use this technic to steal someone else’s bike. Bike thieves are as bad as motorcycle squids!

Happy Hotwiring!

About The Author

daniel and sarah on motorcycle

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