Do Motorcycle Ignition Coils Need to Be Grounded?

Do Motorcycle Ignition Coils Need to Be Grounded?

Yesterday, my younger brother read somewhere that the ignition coil needs to be grounded. He asked if motorcycle ignition coils needed to be grounded? If so, why? 

According to industry experts, motorcycle ignition coils don’t need to be grounded, even ignition coils don’t need to be electrical ground. However, ignition coils need thermal ground for the heat or energy transfer, and for this, a painted surface is enough. 

Let’s look at what it means and what you can do about it. 

While writing this post, I leave no stone unturned so you can know everything about ignition coils in simpler words. 

Do Motorcycle Ignition Coils Need to Be Grounded? 

Motorcycle ignition coils should be grounded, probably the most significant controversy between the motorbike riders. 

And that’s why it’s my duty to give you some solid scientific knowledge about motorcycle ignition coils.

The motorcycle ignition coil is basically the device for increasing or decreasing the electrical current-voltage to your motorbike battery.

And this is probably the main reason why many riders still think that motorcycle ignition should be grounded. 

Look, motorbikes are nowadays getting smart, and they don’t need an ignition coil that should be grounded. 

However, the coil should be grounded to transfer and make motorbike ignition within the temperature limit. The ignition coil can be grounded on any surface to transfer and manage the temperature. 

Even some motorbike manufacturers use paint surfaces to transfer and manage the temperature.  

Why Should Ignition Coils Be Grounded? 

So far, you understand that the ignition coil shouldn’t be grounded for electrical reasons. Now the question arises, why should ignition coils be grounded. 

The ignition coil functions to manage the electricity voltage going to your motorbike battery. And this function heated the ignition coil, which needed to be cooled down for maintaining battery health. Thus to cool the ignition coil, it should be grounded irrespective of any surface.  

And to extend the battery health, the ignition should not cross the threshold temperature while riding. 

What Happens if Ignition Coils Aren’t Grounded? 

As mentioned above, your motorbike ignition coil should be grounded to dissipate heat while boosting the voltage. Now the question arises, what happens if ignition coils aren’t grounded? 

If your motorbike ignition coils aren’t grounded, then ignition coils won’t dedicate heat generated by boosting the voltage. As a result, your motorbike ignition coils would malfunction, and your motorbike won’t start again. Even your motorbike self-start will malfunction, and you will struggle to start your motorbike.

Thus to avoid this situation, the manufacturer made ignition coils grounded. 

Should Ignition Coils Have to be Grounded on Electrical Surface? 

So far you understand, that the ignition coil should be grounded to avoid overheating. Now the question arises, what should be the grounded surface. 

According to industry experts, any surface can be used for making your motorbike ignition coils grounded. Some manufacturers use paint-coated surfaces instead of electrical surfaces to avoid overheating when converting low voltage to high voltage. 

The main reason why some manufacturers are avoiding electrical surfaces and choosing paint surfaces is because of its cost. 

The electrical surface would cost double the paint surface and is safe and effective, just like a painted surface. 

How Ignition Coils Work? 

For better understanding, you should first understand how motorbike ignition coils work? 

Let’s take a situation where a motorbike battery can only produce 12 volts. Still, your motorbike needs more voltage to start the battery. 

In this situation, manufacturers fitted an ignition coil device, which helps your motorbike produce ignition. 

The ignition coil comes up with two separate coils of wire wound around the part called the central post. 

One coil has a few turns of wire called a primary winding coil, whereas another coil has much more delicate wire wrapped many times. 

These two coils convert low voltage to extent that they spark the plug. 

According to some industry experts, these two coils also do mutual induction. One coil induces current to the other, even though they’re not connected with each other. 

And the conversion of low to high voltage causes the ignition coil to get heat. Thus the ignition coil needs to be grounded irrespective of the surface. 

What If there’s no Ignition Coil in Your Motorbike? 

So far, you understand that the ignition coil should be grounded on any surface irrespective of its surface properties. Now the question arises, what if there’s no ignition coil in your motorbike? 

Ignition coils have to boost the electricity voltage coming out from your battery to ignite the motorbike engine. If there’s no ignition coil, your battery won’t produce enough voltage to ignite the motorbike engine. In easier words, your motorbike won’t start if there’s no ignition coil. 

And to ignite the motorbike engine and start the journey, your motorbike needs an ignition coil. 

4 Reasons Why Your Ignition Coil is Malfunctioned? 

So far, you understand that your motorbike ignition coils should be grounded. Now the question arises, what’re some reasons behind your ignition coil faultiness. 

So here are some reasons why your ignition coil is faulty. 

Overheating Issues:

The most significant reason motorbike ignition coils become faulty is overheating issues. 

And to avoid this, motorbike manufacturers are now using grounded plates coated with paint. 

Also, read my previous post where I discussed some reasons for motorbike overheating CLICK HERE to read.

Low Fuel Economy:

Low fuel economy is the second most common reason your ignition coil is faulty. 

Low fuel causes less power to reach the spark plug, causing energy to expand more to compensate for insufficient power. 

Motorbike Backfiring:

Motorbike backfiring is caused when your motorbike suffers from exhausting unburnt fuel; this backfiring exerts extra pressure on your motorbike ignition coil. 

And this causes your motorbike ignition coil to malfunction. 

Motorbike Vibrations:

Motorbike vibrations or less seat absorption efficiency can also be the primary reason your ignition coils malfunction. 

As mentioned above, ignition coils consist of primary and secondary coils. 

These coils become loose because of motorbike vibrations, which will malfunction your motorbike ignition coils. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why your motorbike ignition coil should be grounded?

The ignition coil functions to manage the electricity voltage going to your motorbike battery. And this function heated the ignition coil, which needed to be cooled down for maintaining battery health.

What happens if the ignition coil isn’t grounded?

If your motorbike ignition coils aren’t grounded, then ignition coils won’t dedicate heat generated by boosting the voltage. As a result, your motorbike ignition coils would malfunction, and your motorbike won’t start again.

Should the ignition coil have to be grounded on an electrical surface?

According to industry experts, any surface can be used for making your motorbike ignition coils grounded.

What if there’s no ignition coil?

Ignition coils have to boost the electricity voltage coming out from your battery to ignite the motorbike engine. 

Is backfiring caused your ignition coil to malfunction?

Motorbike backfiring is caused when your motorbike suffers from exhausting unburnt fuel; this backfiring exerts extra pressure on your motorbike ignition coil causing your motorbike to malfunction.

Final Verdict:

Do motorcycle ignition coils need to be grounded? According to industry experts, motorcycle ignition coils don’t need to be grounded. 

Even ignition coils don’t need to be electrical ground. But ignition coils need thermal ground for the heat or energy transfer. Even a paint surface can serve the purpose of heat transfer.

The ignition coil functions to manage the electricity voltage going to your motorbike battery. 

And this function heated the ignition coil, which needed to be cooled down for maintaining battery health. 

Thus to cool the ignition coil, it should be grounded irrespective of any surface.  

Here are Some of My Favorite Riding Gears: 

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you build your riding journey successfully. 


Here are some riding gears I use as a rider that I hope you’ll also find helpful.

These are affiliate links, so I’ll earn a commission if you decide to use any of them. But in all honesty, these are the same riding gears that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family.


Motorbike Riding Pants:


For getting started, I like Scorpion EXO Covert Jeans for men (check the latest price on Amazon.com) and Indigo Protective Riding Jeans for women (check the latest price on Tobacco Motorwear).

These riding pants are comfortable so that you can use these pants in summer, and these pants have a lot of space for using knee guards. 


Motorbike Riding Helmet:


Throughout my riding life, I used several helmets, and almost all helmets protect your head well. Still, I personally prefer YM- 929 of Yema helmets as it comes with Bluetooth and aerodynamic ABS shells (check the latest price on Amazon.com).


And suppose you want an eye-appealing and yet effective helmet. In that case, you can go with Icon Airform Sacrosanct Helmet (check the latest price on Revzilla). 


Motorbike Riding Jacket:


Jackets are crucial to protect your upper body. Honestly, every rider has a dream to have an affordable yet best riding jacket. And that’s why I personally recommend the Alpinestars T faster motorbike jacket because of the protection and comfort it offers (check the latest price on Amazon.com). 


Motorbike Riding Gloves:


Almost all riding gloves perform well by protecting your hands from sunburn and cool nights. And if you’re a serious rider, then you should go with Alpinestars SMX-1 Air v2 Glove, which is lightweight and offers you excellent protection. (check the latest pierce on Revzilla).