Warming Up a Motorcycle – How Long Does It Take? [Video]

how long should i warm up my motorcycle

Warming up your motorcycle for about a minute or two helps the piston expand slowly and gradually. It lets the oil circulate throughout the engine to lubricate the parts to get the most out of your machine. Before starting, warming up any engine is a good idea. A properly warmed-up engine is a happy, efficient engine. 

How Long Does It Take to Warm Up a Motorcycle?

One to two minutes should do it. The time spent on warm-up allows the piston and other parts to gradually expand and ensure that the oil is circulating in the upper sections of the engine. 

Personally, warming up the engine is a part of my pre-ride ritual. I started up the bike while gearing up for the ride and prepping everything needed. By the time I’m done zipping up my jacket, donning my helmet, and putting my gloves on, the bike is warmed up and ready to go. 

During the cold season, your bike’s average warm-up time should be between 3 to 5 minutes. This will ensure that the engine, pistons, and other bike components run in their best condition. Avoid putting too much stress on your bike’s engine for the first 15 to 20 minutes of a winter ride.

The Benefits of Warming Up Your Bike

​Your motorcycle is an expensive investment. If you want to keep it going for a long time, you need to keep it in good condition. As part of this care, warming up your motorcycle is essential because not doing so could result in a costly repair that could have been avoided. You damage your engine if you do not warm it up before a ride. 

Remember that the engine does not reach an optimal clearance between parts until the average operating temperature is achieved. Scuffing occurs when a cold piston is subjected to extreme heat and friction, resulting in a damaged engine. Forcing the engine to perform before it’s ready results in an abnormal temperature increase, pistons expanding ahead of the cylinder bores, which increases the chances of scuffing. 

As mentioned earlier, one benefit of warming up your bike is oil circulation. Cold oil does not do well under extreme conditions, which means if you do not warm your bike up, the oil may not flow into the oil pump, which results in bearing and journal damage and wear. 

What About Rides During Winter?

Some riders believe you need to idle your motorcycle for a few minutes to warm it up. Is it a good practice during winter? Unfortunately, this is harmful to your engine. There is no need for you to warm up your bike in the winter, especially if you have no plans of using it.

Idling your bike for half an hour without using it can affect the oil’s lubrication in the engine’s cylinders and piston. It will also result in a faster engine wear out and shortened life span.

Finally, warming up your engine during the winter is an unnecessary fuel waste.  So, if you don’t intend to use it, just leave it alone.

However, if you plan to use it, it is best to warm it up (by idling) for 1 to 5 minutes while you’re getting ready for the ride. Once on the road, go easy on the throttle and let the engine gradually warm up. Once the engine reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can resume your regular riding habit. 

Do All Bikes Need to Be Warmed Up?

person riding sports bike

Motorcycles are mechanical devices, and like all mechanical devices, they require a warm-up before use. This is especially true for motorcycles sitting around for a while. Although this may seem obvious, there are many people who do not realize that their motorcycle needs to be warmed up.

As a rule of thumb, carbureted motorcycles should be warmed up for at least 10 to 20 minutes before riding them. If you are unsure if your bike needs to be warmed up, warm it up anyway.  

MotoGP bikes are always warm-up for 10-15 minutes before being ridden. This keeps the oil and water temperatures and the oil pressure within specific ranges. This will typically hold the motorcycle ready to go out and be pushed to its limit. Because it’s a race and the motorcycle’s performance is critical, you want it to be in peak working order if you’re riding it at high RPMs for extended periods.

What About Carburetor Bikes?

Many modern bikes use an electric starter, which allows them to start right away. Some also have electronic ignition, which does the same thing. This is why most modern bikes can be driven right out of the showroom without waiting for the engine to warm up.

Carbureted motorcycles are a little harder to start than their electronic counterparts. Since they have a different fuel system than electric motorcycles, that is where the extra time comes in. One thing for sure, though, a bike with a carbureted engine needs to be warmed up.


Modern motorcycle engines are able to run at higher RPMs for longer periods thanks to improvements in efficiency. It is always good to warm up your motorcycle before riding it. This will ensure that the engine is at the right temperature and the oil pressure is good. 

Because it is a necessary safety precaution, it is good to warm up your motorcycle before you ride it. It is best to use the engine’s idle speed to warm up the engine. I hope this article has been helpful. 

Do you have any questions about how to warm up your motorcycle? Please leave a comment, and I will be happy to answer them. Cheers!