How to Hotwire a Motorcycle

Here's the situation. Let's say you come back to your motorcycle to find out that you've left your keys somewhere or entirely lost them. Learning how to hotwire a motorcycle is not a complicated process, so it's a good skill to know.

We also believe that it helps to know and understand things to prevent problems from happening. That said, if you know how to hotwire your machine, you can purposely make it harder for thieves to steal from you because you know what they'll try to do.

Understanding your motorcycle's wiring and how it works is an essential step in keeping it protected and safe from people with sticky fingers.

Let's get started.

Tools Needed to Hotwire a Motorcycle

First, you'll need to gather your tools. In some situations, you might not need any tools other than some wire. In other cases, you might need a flathead screwdriver, some electrical tape, and a diagram of the wiring system on your bike.

You should have no problem finding a diagram by looking up your motorcycle model online. That said, most scenarios won't require instructions because it's simple enough to see the wires by following their path.

Step 1: Find the Switch Connector

The goal is to get your motorcycle started, so you need to find the wires that start the ignition. They will always have protective cases over them, so you want to look for a bunch of wires bundled up in a case. Sometimes, especially with older models, you won't find a protective covering, so that makes the process even easier.

The best way to locate the connector is by following the path from your ignition on handlebars. The wires run from the ignition switch to the engine and its major components.

Step 2: Separating the Socket

Once you've located the wires, you need you'll find three that are visible. These wires get the wiring cover over them to keep them out of the elements. The next job is to separate the ignition switch wires from the rest of the bundle.

In many situations, this will be easy because they have two separate covers and the ignition switch wiring is often on its own. In this case, you remove the ignition wiring from the rest and move onto the next step. Make sure you only choose the cover that has the ignition system inside.

Step 3: Connect the Circuit

Now it's time for the fun part. Let's see if your hard work and labor pays off when you take your piece of speaker wire and try to connect the circuits. If you correctly learned how to hotwire a motorcycle, now is when you should get it running.

Take the cover that contains the ignition wiring from the handlebar and isolate it from the others. You want to have some room to work, especially if your wire is a little long. Inside the cover, you'll find two sockets. You want to take one end of the wire and put it in one socket and the other end in the opposite socket.

Once you do this, you should start to see some things happening. Maybe some lights turn on; maybe they don't. If no lights are turned on, you can try pressing the ignition because the wires may run through a different socket.

If the lights start turning on, you know right away that you got it right. At this point, you can press the ignition and see what happens. If you hear the motorcycle starting up, you got it right.

When you hit the ignition, if nothing happens, you might want to head back in and see if you separated the right wires and that you inserted your speaker wire into the socket the right way. If you need to use electrical tape to secure the wires in place, ensure that nothing came loose during the ignition.

One point worth making is that this article is to instruct you on hotwiring a motorcycle for your protection. If you don't own a motorcycle, this is not for you. If you'd like to purchase one for yourself, but you aren't sure about motorcycle values or whether or not you can afford one. You might want to check out a motorcycle loan calculator to see if you can fit one into your budget.

Moving on.

Hotwiring Strategy 2

There are a few different methods for hotwiring your motorcycle. While this one might be a little more complicated, it will work if you're looking to prepare yourself for anything. For this one, you'll need a flathead screwdriver, possibly a hammer, and wire once again.

If you've ever hotwired a car, this method will closely resemble that process.

Step 1: Remove the Ignition

The first step is to get the ignition cap off, and you might have to hammer the screwdriver into the ignition to get it to pop off. Sometimes you can stick the screwdriver in and wiggle it until something happens.

Step 2: Transfer battery power to the ignition

This step may require a bit of finesse and patience, but it works like a charm if you keep at it. Now that you have the ignition wires exposed, you want to take power from your battery using the cables and connect them to the ignition.

Beware that this one may cause damage to your ignition when you're trying to get the cap off. We don't recommend heading to the garage to play around with this strategy. Only do this one if you are in an emergency.

Hotwiring Strategy 3

For this final method, you'll want to have a wire stripper or scissors in addition to some of the other tools we've already highlighted.

Step 1: Get the wires together

For this one, you'll want to identify all the wires. The colors will vary depending on your bike, but ignition wires are usually yellow and black, and battery wires are red and green. Locate your ignition wires and your battery wires and get them together.

Step 2: Strip them down

Make sure you only strip the green and red wires or black and yellow ones. You may find that these colors do not line up with what you're seeing and that's because motorcycle manufacturers play with the colors to prevent criminals from hotwiring. Only clip the proper battery and ignition wires. At this point, you should not be able to start the vehicle and get back on the road.

How to Prevent Hotwiring

Knowing how to hotwire sport bikes is only half the battle. Now you need to protect yourself from people who want to steal your valuables. If you're worried about something taking your motorcycle, here are a few things you can do to keep your investment safe. Progressive also provides a lot of useful tips on how to keep your vehicle safe as well.

1. Find Somewhere Safer

It sounds easier said than done, but sometimes there are solutions to problems like these. If you have to park your motorcycle on the street in a dangerous neighborhood, you might be setting yourself up for problems, try and find somewhere better.

Maybe you could communicate with your landlord or property manager about the concerns, and they would provide you with a better location.

If all else fails, ensure that you can park your bike where you might be able to see it from a window.

2. Proximity Alarms

These might be annoying and actually illegal in some towns, so make sure you check up on local laws. If you feel that your motorcycle is a theft target, you can install an alarm that trips when someone gets too close to it.

Truthfully, the alarm may trip more often than you would want so I would only recommend doing this if you can park it somewhere like a driveway or parking pad. If it's on the street, you'll probably be more worried about the noise complaints.

3. Bike Locks

Locking isn't only for pedal bikes; you can find an assortment of locks for your motorcycle as well. There are some that lock similar to a pedal bike and some will even lock your tires so even if someone hot wires your bike, they won't be able to get away without a fight.

If you're worried about someone hot wiring your motorcycle, you should do everything you can to keep it safe. Continue researching and informing yourself.