Do dirt bikes have keys?

All vehicles that you have driven before had keys, right? Even a construction vehicle has keys! 

Dirt Bike

As odd as it may seem dirt bikes do not have keys. And with that comes a very crucial question...why don't dirt bikes have keys?

Why don't dirt bikes have keys?

The answer to this is quite simple, dirt bikes aren't meant to be used to ride around your town or to go pick up some milk in the nearby grocery store. 

When not used it should be stored safely in your garage or somewhere where people cannot get to it.

Dirt bikes are only used for the track, therefore they do not need a key ignition, the way to turn on the engine is so much easier!

So let's look at the ways you can start your dirt bike...

How do you start a dirt bike?

Well, nowadays there are two main ways to start it. And we will look at them separately.

Keep in mind there are bikes that can be started either way, so you can get the best of both worlds.

Kick starting

The first, and most common way to start a dirt bike is a kick start. This is the most common way due to the fact that this was the traditional way to start it.

Kick starting is a manual way to start the engine with a lever. However, there is a bit of a difference when it comes to a 2 or 4 stroke bike.

2 vs 4 stroke

The 2-stroke will be easier to start as all it takes is only one kick, but a 4- stroke might be a bit more complicated.

Instead of just a quick starting kick, the rider must warm up their 4-stroke by moving the lever gently up and down until the engine is warm enough to start.

Then all that it takes is a regular starting kick, just like the 2-stroke bike. It just takes a bit of warming up.

Electric starting

Electric starting uses a battery to turn on the battery, meaning all it takes is pressing a button, but this can fail sometimes and the battery can end up failing.

If the battery cannot start, you can always kick start the bike, however, some bikes do not have the option to start both ways.

The best decision is to have both starting ways in case one fails you have a backup.

Ways to keep your bike safe

Some people don't have a garage, or are afraid to get their bike stolen. So securing your bike is one of your top priorities.

Well, there are various ways to keep your bike safe even if you do not have a place to store your bike.

The main problem with keeping your bike safe is the fact that dirt bikes do not even have the protection of starting keys.

Lock it up

Quick ways to protect your bike is to secure it to something with a durable, quality lock. Preferably something heavy and harder to move. This will make theft way harder.

One of the best chain and lock combos to keep your bike safe and sound is the: Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New York Disc Lock, 14mm x 60"

You can find it on Amazon, and it's a sturdy lock that will make a thief give up by just looking at it.

Attention Causing Alarms

Another way to quickly secure your bike is to place an alarm on it. This will give you peace of mind and make a thief think twice before attempting to steal your bike.

Whether the thief just sees it, or triggers it, it is sure to cause a commotion making them run away quickly and keeping your bike safe.

Customize it

If you want a quick and easy way to recognize your bike, you should customize it so it can be easily spotted in case it is stolen.

This is a very cheap way to make sure that a thief won't risk it for a bike that is so recognizable.

Hidden kill switches

kill switch makes it impossible to start your bike and even hotwiring won't work. This will only work if the thief does not see the switch, therefore, you should keep it hidden to keep it even more protected.

If hidden well, then you are set. The thief will have no idea and your bike will be safe and won't be able to be stolen.

Use a GPS tracker

When stolen, a crucial part of getting your bike back is knowing its location and where it was last seen.

If you can provide that for the police it will make it way easier to find, and there will be a higher chance that you will get your bike back.

That is why a GPS location tracker will be a great add on to your other security methods that you have in place.

Though it is not going to keep the thief from stealing it, it does help when it comes to finding them.

It is usually an inexpensive device that can be quickly installed, in which some cases requires a monthly subscription.

Overall it's a good way to keep your bike in check wherever you are by just tracking it at any time.

Not enough for you?

A lock might not enough for you. If you have a key for everything, there is hope for you.

Dirt bikes are vehicles that are not equipped with keys. But there is the possibility of putting one in yourself.

There is the advantage of security when installing a key. However, is it worth the money you are going to put in? Just consider if you are going to be able to keep track of one more key...

A thief that knows how to hotwire a vehicle can easily get passed the key ignition. So only unexperienced thieves are going to be deterred by a key.

A key can come in handy to keep a child or teen from turning on the vehicle. But it is not going to keep someone from stealing it.

It is worth so much more to spend some money in a reliable lock then a key ignition.

A heavy-duty lock and chain can seem simpler, but they are more effective at keeping thieves away. Apart from being cheaper and less time consuming to install, they also require more effort to break.

If you want that extra layer of protection, you can find kits online or even in stores to install yourself.

Before buying

Before buying any kit, do your research. Watch videos, read reviews and make sure you are okay with altering your bike.

You should also make sure you have the right equipment and tools you need to install the key ignition yourself.

Make sure you are comfortable with the end product and understand that it might not always work.  There are skills and risks you need to know and posses to make sure it works.

A key ignition requires interfering with the wiring in the bike and that can be a very delicate situation.

Research how to do it previous to messing with the wires. If you don't you can end up losing money! And the bill to take your bike to a mechanic to get fixed, not pretty.

If you have no experience in the field, find someone with more expertise to do it.

Consider both a key and a lock to have the ultimate safe package. You might also want to invest in insurance.


There are a lot of ways to keep your bike even if you do not have a key.

A key will not ensure safety when it comes to someone stealing your dirt bike, but a mix of all these ways to keep your bike safe will certainly make it hard to steal.

So now you know what a dirt bike does not have a key, and how to protect your bike.

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