Every motorcyclist has faced the issue of a stalled bike. Many beginners stall a motorcycle several times before getting the hang of riding.
This is perfectly normal and your motorcycle will not face any damage except a bit of wear and tear.
This article will explain any effect stalling has on a motorcycle and how to prevent it.
How does Stalling Affect a Motorcycle?
Stalling a motorcycle means the motorcyclist was unable to satisfy the rev requirements of the gear that was in use. Stalling will not damage the motorcycle’s engine but it will cause some wear and tear if it happens repeatedly.
When learning to ride a motorcycle, stalling is something every motorcyclist will need to control and master.
The wears and tears a motorcycle goes through each time it stalls are negligible.
Think of a clutch as a switch which acts as a lever in order to separate the transmission shaft from the engine shaft.
Unlike an electrical switch which can instantly be switched on or off; you need to release the clutch slowly and provide gas simultaneously to prevent it from stalling.
To paint a clearer picture of what actually happens; let’s talk in terms of clutch plates. Before the clutch is released, the two clutch plates are revolving in close proximity to each other without really touching.
As the clutch is slowly released the clutch plates start rubbing against each other and the resulting resistance allows the gearbox to receive power from the engine.
Ideally, you should release the clutch slowly and providing gas to the engine simultaneously.
If the clutch is released too quickly without sufficient gas being provided to the engine, it would lead to a significant decrease in the engine speed.
The already slow engine then tries to overcome the friction between the tires and the ground in order to move forward. But the lack of gas and relatively slow engine results in a stall.
The engine shutting down is a safety mechanism to prevent any damage to the clutch, engine or any other part of the motorcycle.
Hence, stalling will not damage your motorcycle directly unless it happens repeatedly. However, it does pose an indirect threat to the motorcyclist and the motorcycle.
Does Stalling Damage a Motorcycle?
Stalling does not directly damage your motorcycle or any of its parts. However, stalling can damage your motorcycle indirectly, as it could lead you to lose control of your motorcycle and it may be harmed by falling or being run over by another vehicle.
The hurried release of the clutch and insufficient gas being provided can lead to a sudden yank forward.
The sudden forward movement might take you by surprise and cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.
As a result, the bike could fall down. The weight and momentum of the falling motorcycle could break and damage the mirrors, handles, speedometer needles and other sensitive parts. You may hurt yourself in the process as well.
If the traffic is heavy and the jerk forward is powerful the motorcycle may crash into the vehicle ahead. This could be prevented by applying the brakes immediately.
An even more hazardous effect of stalling would be the motorcycle falling and the vehicle from behind running over it due to dense and fast-moving traffic.
Another downside of stalling is that it reduces the life of the starter and battery of the motorcycle. The engine and clutch are created with wear and tear in mind; the battery and starter are not.
However, this should not be a cause of concern. The starter and battery are expected to last hundreds if not thousands of times before breaking down.
The best solution to prevent stalling is practice. I would suggest trying out your motorcycle in open empty spaces. You should only ride on the road when you have a decent amount of control established over the motorcycle.
Remember to wear safety equipment at all times. You can also install crash bars to prevent any significant damage to the motorcycle.
Why does a Motorcycle Stall?
A motorcycle can stall for any of these reasons:
- the clutch is released too slowly
- insufficient gas being provided to the motorcycle
- obstructed air filter
- vacuum leakage
- unclean carburettor
- blocked gas vent
- dirty spark plugs
Motorcycles can also stall due to mechanical reasons. Some of the mechanical problems have easy solutions on Youtube. You can also go to a mechanic and get your bike fixed.
If you are in heavy traffic and your bike is repeatedly stalling due to a mechanical problem, do not panic, instead, slowly manoeuvre your bike out of the main road and inspect it to find the issue.
Do not ride the bike in heavy traffic if it is facing issues. This could lead to a potential accident. You should call for help and get your bike sorted out.
How to Prevent your Motorcycle from Stalling?
Follow these guidelines to prevent your motorcycle from stalling:
- Make sure there are no mechanical faults in the motorcycle.
- When you first start the motorcycle, allow it some time to warm up.
- Slowly release the clutch and simultaneously provide gas from the throttle.
- Once the clutch has been released, continue to provide gas in order to increase the speed of the bike.
- Press the clutch firmly, and change the gear. Repeat steps 3 and 4 again.
The clutch and accelerator are situated and work slightly differently in each bike. Some bikes require you to release the clutch more quickly whereas other motorcycles demand a slower release.
Over time you will get a feel of when and how quickly you are supposed to release the clutch. It will hopefully become second nature with sufficient practice.
I would like to summarise the reasons for a bike stalling.
What happens when a bike stalls?
A bike stalls when there is inadequate power being transmitted from the engine to the rear wheel of the bike. Stalling can happen due to either one of these two reasons: the sudden release of the clutch or a mechanical fault.
The bike stalling is simply the engine protecting itself from damage.
Even the most experienced motorcyclists manage to stall their motorcycle from time to time.
Hence there is no reason to feel embarrassed especially if you are a beginner. Most of the stalling happens in the first few months of riding.
You should always wear a helmet, bike boots, and a jacket. You should never compromise on safety. Happy Riding!