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How to hotwire a motorcycle – Start Without a Key?

Man in Black Helmet Riding a Motorcycle

How many times has it occurred? You go on a long ride. You stay in a hotel, join a party, and get drunk. When you’re about to leave the following day, you realize that the motorcycle’s key isn’t there. At this point, you have three options: call for help (but you’re too far away), remain stranded, or hotwire your motorcycle. 

Hotwiring a motorcycle is a valuable skill that will save you in emergencies. Do note, however, that hotwiring a motorcycle IS ILLEGAL. So, try not to brag if and when you manage to hotwire YOUR OWN bike. 


What tools do you need? 

You really can’t do this process without a few tools, so let’s start with gathering what you need:

  • Electrical Tape
  • A flathead screwdrivers
  • A short piece of speaker wire  
  • Your bike’s wiring system

A quick search on Google will solve your wiring diagram problem. However, because the process is simple, you will probably not need it, but just the same, it’s great to have the diagram with you in case you do. 

The process of hotwiring a motorcycle

1. Find the switch connector

You need to find the one connected to your bike’s ignition system. Usually, it’s in a protective case. You will see a few wires bunched up when you open it. If your motorcycle is an old model, you will not find the protective case. 

Locating the connection is simple. Just follow the wire from the ignition on the handlebar. Here, you will see many cables that run from the ignition switch to the engine and other components.

2. Separate the socket. 

Upon finding the wire, the next thing is to find the three visible cables. They are often separated by a wiring cover to protect them from possible damage caused by the elements. Then, separate the wires for the ignition switch from the bundle. 

Some motorcycle models have a separate casing for the wires and the ignition switch. In this case, simply remove the ignition wiring and separate them from the others before you begin the next step. Just make sure that you have selected the correct cover containing the wires for the ignition system. 

3. Connect the Circuit

Overview: this is the final step where you need to use a piece of speaker wire, connect the circuits, then start the engine. If followed correctly, you will have the engine running in no time. 

Check handlebar. Take the hardcover that holds the ignition wiring and separate it from the others. You should be able to work freely now. You will need this free space if the wires are longer. You will find two sockets on the cover. Take the end part of the wire, put it in the socket, and put the other end on the opposite socket. 

If done correctly, the motorcycle lights will turn on. The wires are running through a different socket. Try pressing the ignition if the motorcycle doesn’t respond (lights do not turn on). 

If the light comes on, then you’ve done it correctly. The motorcycle should start if you press the ignition. This means you have successfully hotwired your bike. 

If the bike doesn’t start, do some troubleshooting:

  • Return to step one. 
  • Recheck if you correctly separated the wires
  • check if you got the correct wire
  • check if the speaker wire is correctly inserted into the socket.
  • It might have fallen off during ignition if you wrapped the speaker wire with electrical tape.  


For this second method, you will need a scissor and wire stripper. You will probably also need an additional speaker wire. 

1. Identify the Wire.

This step is crucial as you need to identify the specific wire you need to work with. Different bikes come with varying colors of wire. Generically, however, it’s just black and yellow, while the battery wires are usually green and red. Identify the battery wires and ignition wires. Gather them. 

2. Strip the wire Cover

Strip the red and green wires ONLY if that is the color in your motorcycle. Then, strip the yellow and black ones. Your challenge is that manufacturers change the colors to confuse thieves and stop them from hotwiring bikes. Your motorcycle should start if you manage to clip the correct ignition and battery wire. 


The third procedure is slightly more complicated than the first two, but it works flawlessly. This process is similar to hotwiring a car.

Here, you will be needing the following:

  • Hammer
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Wire

1. Remove the ignition cap. 

You will need the hammer and a screwdriver to pop it off here. Position the flathead into the ignition and hit it with a hammer. You may have to wiggle it around and repeat the hammering several times until it pops off. 

2. Transfer the battery power to the ignition. 

WARNING: If you’re not careful, you could damage the motorcycle’s ignition if you did not remove the cap correctly. As such, only consider this method IF you are in a dire emergency. 

If you successfully removed the ignition cap, you should be seeing the wires. Using wires, transfer the power from the battery to the ignition. 

Protecting Your Motorcycles from Thieves

If you’ve read this article and you’ve tried hotwiring your own motorcycle, you know too well that it’s possible. Therefore, you need to take the necessary steps to prevent thieves from hotwiring your bike.

What are your options?

1. Proximity Alarm

Please note that this is annoyingly loud and repetitive. The alarm sounds off when someone comes too close to the motorcycle. As such, it is illegal in some areas. If you decide to install this, check your local laws first to ensure you’re not breaking them. 

2. Avoid parking in dangerous places

You will be putting yourself and your motorcycle at risk if you park in a location known for theft. If your residence doesn’t have a parking space, find a better place around the area where you can park. You may have to talk to the property manager to help you find a safe and secure location to leave your bike overnight. Otherwise, find a way to park your bike at a location near your home where you can check it. If the parking spot is overlooking your place, invest in an affordable IP Camera with infrared (and SD card). 

3. Bike Locks are a great idea

Bike locks aren’t limited to bicycles. They are advisable for use on motorcycles as well. Invest in quality bike locks and make sure it’s a type you can use to lock the bike. If you have to leave your motorcycle in a public area, you can lock it with a bike lock and your key, as long as you keep your key with you. 


These methods of hotwiring motorcycles are simple, take no time, and require no special skills. However, paying close attention is essential because you are working on the bike’s electrical, which means a wrong move can damage your ignition. 

Since these are meant for emergency situations, make sure you practice the steps to prevent your motorcycle from being hotwired. 

PS I also want to add that I haven’t tested these methods, so I don’t know if they are true or not. If you have tried them and been successful, please share your experience with us in the comments section.

Thanks for reading this article, and have a nice day.