Why Your Bike Won't Start After Sitting Out In The Rain

 

Today's modern motorcycles are designed to be weather-resistant no matter what the forecast may be. This is especially true for bikes equipped with electronic parts onboard. Although there are many provisions designed to protect against the elements, all things wear and tear at some point. Many bikes will survive a rain shower here and there. However, if your motorcycle is exposed to constant downpours, you may find yourself in a situation where your bike does not start. 

 

Suppose the situation arises where your bike does not start due to sitting out in the rain? In that case, the probable cause is likely due to your carburetor or other essential electrical components. Water getting into your carburetor will make it difficult for your gas to ignite. Water can also short-circuit your electronics, such as the ignition system, and cause it to malfunction. This article will go over how rain causes issues for your bike and how to solve them. 

 

Carburetor and Ignition System:

 

As mentioned before, the most common two problems when your motorcycle doesn't start after sitting out in the rain are the carburetor and the ignition system. If water gets inside your carburetor, it disrupts the process of air-fuel mixing with the gas. This is what makes your fuel watered down and leaves your bike unable to ignite and get your motorcycle started. The best way to deal with the situation is to clean out your air filter and clean the bowl at the bottom of your carburetor. 

 

If your carburetor isn't an issue, then another culprit could be your ignition system not starting. The two areas that will cause your ignition system not to start are your coils and the switch. Corrosion can cause the windings of your coils to short, resulting in a no-spark condition. This will make it extremely difficult to start your motorcycle. If you find that your coils are shorted, it's best to get them replaced. As for your ignition switch, water can cause your entire circuit to be interrupted. The switch has multiple small electrical contacts that fire off your start position, accessory position and run. While this isn't common, if your ignition were to get wet, your bike will nearly be impossible to start and you'll have to get it serviced. 

 

For the most part, motorcycles are rain-resistant, but not entirely waterproof. Using methods such as storage units and bike covers can keep your bike from water damage around your carburetors and ignition system. If your bike does get wet, be sure to wipe it down as soon as possible to avoid any potential corrosion. For more related articles, visit 

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Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham