Bike Won't Start in Gear

Tuning the bike a bit today and wanted to see how it would do on starts. Once its fired up (only 3-4 good kicks cold), it will fire first good kick in neutral. I adjusted the idle and played with the pilot screw a little to find the easiest start warm, and best throttle response off idle.


Do I need to inspect the clutch? When I am clicked into 2nd gear, clutch lever in, there is definitley some resistance from the clutch, but it still rolls. If I am rolling with the engine killed, in gear, clutch lever in, the bike slow noticeably faster than in nuetral also



All 6 of the Yamahas we have owned were very difficult to start in gear. You could do it, but it required the perfect blend of throttle and a super-human kick. Was always told "That's just the way Yamahas are. If you want a bike you can start in gear, buy a Honda!"   :smashpc:

hm all of mine were actually easy to start when in gear, haven't tried it cold though.

Only problem I had if the bikes does not be run in a week it will be harder to start but I think the plug was to old.

i hear it's normal in similar threads



  I know my XR is exactly the same and the clutch has no more throw  so it can't release any more

Either i need to find a way or start, shift then take off haha!

Why is it necessary to start in gear?

Edited by Carcinogen

My 07 starts like a champ in gear... Even with the Rekluse in....

my 05 yz250 is the only bike i have ever had that starts in gear lol will be grea for hare and hounds

Edited by adz_244

I think most would agree that it is clutch drag that keeps the motor from spinning fast enough / long enough to allow the motor to light up.


I generally run thicker trans oil. Do you think thinner oil or ATF would reduce clutch drag enough to make a difference?

My YZ refuses to start in gear. Same with the RM. Just pushes the bike forward and is worthless. It's simple enough to click into neutral and start, unless of course we are talking about starts.

I use ATF usually.


If your bike moves forward when kicking in gear you have clutch issues.

I'm planning on running some local harescrambles and gp races so a dead engine start seems to be common. The bike does not move when its kicked over, it just won't start. Clicking to nuetral and it will fire first or second kick

I've never had issues with my 06 or 11 with starting in gear once warmed up with a standard clutch or with a Rekluse. Would be worthwhile to take a look at your basket and everything else with your clutch to see if everything looks in good shape. Also, make sure you bike is really warmed up good so you don't get as much drag from the trans fluid. 


If you need to start in neutral you'll get burried on your start, but on the other hand you'll get practice passing people.

I got a nasty growling metal sound so the engins is coming out for a tear down. Clutch will be inspected for sure

None of my 250fs would start in gear. My 07 will start in gear if the engine is warm. Not if it's cold.

My Kawi wont at all, my Honda will when its warm but I hardly ever try and have never actually needed to.

It takes 1 second to change into gear once it started.

My 125 does hesitate but all you gotta do is give a good solid kick and your golden.

My 125 starts first kick every time in first when warm.  My 250 was a little harder, as it seemed to like Top dead center and full strokes on the kickstarter to start.  I'd say most of the time it's the clutch going when it wont start in gear, but proper jetting also makes a huge difference too.

I've never had issues with my 06 or 11 with starting in gear once warmed up...


What weight trans oil are you running, Paul?

With the Rekluse I've always run Rotella 15W-40, I change the oil every ~5-7 hrs. Non-Rekluse I ran various Belray trans fluids, regular Gearsaver 80W and the Shockproof 80W. 


With both these setups, I start and warm up the bike in neutral, once warmed up never any issues starting in gear.

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