Motorcycle Buzzing When Trying To Start: 7 Causes And Solution

Have you ever experienced the frustrating moment when you hop on your motorcycle, ready for a thrilling ride, only to hear a buzzing noise when you attempt to start it?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you’re not alone. Motorcycle owners often encounter this issue, which can be caused by various factors.

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the common reasons why your motorcycle buzzes instead of starting and provide you with solutions to get you back on the road.

Chapter 1: Understanding the Buzzing Sound

Before we delve into the troubleshooting process, it’s essential to understand what the buzzing sound signifies. When you turn the ignition key or press the starter button on your motorcycle, a series of electrical components and systems come into play. The buzzing sound you hear could indicate a problem with one of these systems.

Chapter 2: Battery Issues

One of the primary culprits behind a buzzing motorcycle is a weak or dead battery. The battery provides the electrical power needed to start your motorcycle’s engine. If the battery is discharged or has a poor connection, you might hear a buzzing sound when trying to start the bike.

Troubleshooting Battery Issues:

  • Check Battery Voltage: Using a multimeter, measure the voltage across your battery terminals. A healthy battery should read around 12.6 volts or higher. If the voltage is significantly lower, your battery may need a recharge or replacement.
  • Inspect Battery Connections: Ensure that the battery terminals are clean and securely connected. Corrosion or loose connections can impede the flow of electricity.
  • Jump Start: If you suspect a dead battery, you can jump-start your motorcycle using jumper cables and a working vehicle. Once started, ride your motorcycle to recharge the battery fully.
  • Replace the Battery: If your battery is old or no longer holding a charge, it’s time for a replacement. Be sure to choose a battery with the correct specifications for your motorcycle.

Chapter 3: Starter Relay Issues

The starter relay is a critical component in your motorcycle’s starting system. It’s responsible for transmitting electrical current from the battery to the starter motor. A malfunctioning starter relay can result in a buzzing noise.

Troubleshooting Starter Relay Issues:

  • Locate the Starter Relay: The starter relay is typically located near the battery or under the seat. Consult your motorcycle’s manual for its precise location.
  • Test the Starter Relay: Using a multimeter, check the continuity of the starter relay. If it fails to provide continuity when you attempt to start the bike, it’s likely faulty and needs replacement.
  • Check for Loose Wires: Ensure that all wires connected to the starter relay are secure and free of damage.
  • Replace the Starter Relay: If the starter relay is defective, replace it with a new one. Make sure to purchase a relay that matches your motorcycle’s make and model.

Chapter 4: Faulty Starter Motor

The starter motor is responsible for physically turning the engine over when you start your motorcycle. If it fails to function correctly, you may hear a buzzing noise instead of the engine roaring to life.

Troubleshooting Starter Motor Issues:

  • Listen for Clicks: When you press the starter button, listen for clicks coming from the starter motor. If you hear clicks but no cranking sound, it may indicate a faulty starter motor.
  • Inspect Wiring: Examine the wiring connected to the starter motor for any signs of damage or loose connections. Make sure all connections are secure.
  • Test the Starter Motor: If you have experience with electrical testing, you can use a multimeter to check the resistance of the starter motor. A significantly high or low reading may indicate a problem.
  • Seek Professional Assistance: Diagnosing and repairing a faulty starter motor can be complex. If you’re unsure about your ability to troubleshoot or replace it, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

Chapter 5: Ignition Switch and Key Issues

Your motorcycle’s ignition switch and key are essential for starting the bike. A malfunction in this system can lead to buzzing when attempting to start the motorcycle.

Troubleshooting Ignition Switch and Key Issues:

  • Check Key and Lock: Ensure that your motorcycle key is not damaged and that it turns smoothly in the ignition lock. A worn-out key or faulty ignition lock can prevent proper engagement.
  • Test Ignition Switch: With the key in the “on” position, test the ignition switch by wiggling it gently while trying to start the bike. If the buzzing stops or changes, it may indicate a problem with the switch.
  • Inspect Wiring: Examine the wiring connected to the ignition switch for any visible damage or loose connections. Repair or replace damaged wires as needed.
  • Replace Ignition Switch: If you suspect a faulty ignition switch, it’s advisable to replace it with a new one. Consult your motorcycle’s manual or a professional mechanic for guidance on this procedure.

Chapter 6: Fuel Delivery Issues

In some cases, a buzzing sound may not be electrical in nature but related to fuel delivery problems. If your motorcycle is not getting the right amount of fuel, it can lead to starting issues.

Troubleshooting Fuel Delivery Issues:

  • Check Fuel Level: Ensure that your motorcycle has an adequate amount of fuel in the tank. Sometimes, a low fuel level can mimic starting problems.
  • Inspect Fuel Filter: A clogged fuel filter can restrict fuel flow to the engine. If you suspect this issue, replace the fuel filter following your motorcycle’s maintenance guidelines.
  • Examine Fuel Lines: Inspect the fuel lines for kinks, leaks, or damage. Damaged fuel lines can disrupt the flow of fuel to the engine.
  • Clean or Replace Carburetor: If your motorcycle is equipped with a carburetor, it may need cleaning or rebuilding if it’s clogged or malfunctioning.

Chapter 7: Spark Plug and Electrical Issues

The spark plug plays a vital role in igniting the fuel-air mixture in your motorcycle’s engine. If there’s a problem with the spark plug or the associated electrical components, starting issues can occur.

Troubleshooting Spark Plug and Electrical Issues:

  • Check Spark Plug: Inspect the spark plug for fouling, wear, or damage. A damaged spark plug may not generate the necessary spark for ignition.
  • Replace Spark Plug: If your spark plug is in poor condition, replace it with a new one. Ensure that you choose the correct spark plug for your motorcycle model.
  • Inspect Spark Plug Wires: Examine the wires connected to the spark plug for damage or loose connections. Damaged wires can lead to a lack of spark.
  • Test Ignition Coil: Use a multimeter to test the resistance of the ignition coil. If it’s out of spec, consider replacing it.

Chapter 8: Professional Help and Maintenance

While this guide covers several common issues that can lead to a buzzing sound when trying to start your motorcycle, some problems may require professional diagnosis and repair. If you’ve gone through the troubleshooting steps and are still unable to identify or resolve the issue, it’s advisable to consult a qualified motorcycle mechanic.


Experiencing a buzzing noise instead of a roaring engine when trying to start your motorcycle can be frustrating. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can pinpoint the problem and take appropriate action to

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