Smartphone Not Pairing with Motorcycle? (Troubleshooting)

Smartphone pairing problems in motorcycle

Motorcycle pairing with a smartphone is easy. Just the good old Bluetooth connecting.

Yet, there are so many instances and times when our smartphones have trouble pairing with the motorcycle.

Here are the 5 main reasons why your smartphone won’t pair with your motorcycle:

  • Motorcycle is not in pairing mode
  • Other Bluetooth devices are nearby
  • Temporarily disconnected before engine start
  • Another device is already connected
  • Incompatible phone

These are the main causes for pairing troubles.

Let’s dive deep into each of these reasons and what to do about them.

#1. Motorcycle is not in pairing mode

Motorcycle not in pairing mode is the most common problem when it comes to smartphone pairing with a motorcycle.

Most likely, the Bluetooth pairing mode is not ON.

Or, even if it is ON, you need to reset the Bluetooth pairing.

Whichever may be the case, it is always better to reset the Bluetooth and reset the device pairing.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Turn the motorcycle ignition ON
  • Select the Bluetooth pairing reset menu first. Depending on the motorcycle, the Bluetooth menu position will vary. So find it.
  • Once the Bluetooth icon is on display, select the ‘Reset’ option. You can select using the SET or ENT switch on the motorcycle handlebar.
  • The Bluetooth icon will accompany a YES message once reset. If not, try the above step again.
  • Next, wait for the Bluetooth to pair with the target device. Your smartphone should have Bluetooth ON and be ready for pairing.
  • Give the motorcycle a sufficient time of 2-3 minutes to establish the pairing.
  • Once the device is paired you will see a SUCCESS message appearing above/beside the Bluetooth icon.

#2. Other Bluetooth devices are nearby

The presence of other Bluetooth devices is the second most common reason for pairing trouble.

In case you have another smartphone with Bluetooth ON, then try switching it OFF.

You can also try taking your motorcycle away. Some distance farther away from all the Bluetooth noise can help as well.

So, check your surroundings. Make sure there are no other device(s) being paired.

You can always try the re-pairing option described above.

As long as there are other Bluetooth devices nearby your motorcycle, the pairing can get quite difficult.

The presence of other Bluetooth devices in the vicinity sometimes affects the pairing due to radio wave interference, etc.

In short. Ensure there are no other Bluetooth devices that might interfere with pairing your device to the motorcycle.

#3. Temporarily disconnected before engine start

Sometimes, the pairing connection gets temporarily disconnected.

This disconnection happens usually with slightly older motorcycles. The models where the smartphone pairing was introduced first.

In any case, there is no need to scratch your head.

The temporary disconnection will take care of itself. The motorcycle will pair with the smartphone back in no time.

So wait for 2-3 mins. The pairing will happen.

Here is what most likely would have happened when it comes to temporary pairing disconnection:

The motorcycle-to-smartphone pairing may have disconnected when starting the engine.

This is more normal than you think. And many take it as a normal function rather than a pairing malfunction.

But once the motorcycle engine starts, the smartphone gets reconnected automatically.

You don’t need to reconnect or pair the device again.

So check for temporary disconnection.

Especially if you are starting the engine. The pairing gets disconnected for a short period of 2 to 3 mins.

But once the engine has started, the pairing comes back. And voila, the motorcycle and the smartphone are connected now.

#4. Another device is already connected

Sometimes you already have a device connected to your motorcycle. Yet you are trying to connect to another device.

I know this sounds rare to a few people. Especially those who religiously use a single phone for all purposes.

But for people who use two phones, or multiple for that matter, this is a common problem.

Heck, I mix up my two phones (one personal and one work-related) all the time.

So check once if you have already connected your motorcycle to another device.

If you did, the motorcycle Bluetooth icon will have a YES or SUCCESS label mentioned above or beside the icon.

So check for the label. If the SUCCESS or YES level exists, then the motorcycle is paired already with a device.

In such cases, rest the motorcycle Bluetooth and re-pair it with the target device.

Alternatively, you can turn OFF the connected phone’s Bluetooth as well.

Either way, check once if the motorcycle is already paired with another device.

#5. Incompatible phone

Some smartphones are just incompatible with motorcycle pairing.

There is no other way to say it.

Your phone might not work well with the motorcycle pairing application.

Or even if it works, there sometimes might be the case that the phone has limited functions.

Not the overall smartphone functions. But the motorcycle operational functions on the phone.

Still, we would suggest you first try connecting the phone manually. Automatic pairing may not work, but for a few phones – the motorcycle gets connected with manual pairing.

As for how to manually pair, the instructions will be on your motorcycle’s owner manual. But here is the gist:

Turn the motorcycle ignition ON to view the screen on your bike first.

Go to the Bluetooth menu by navigating through the buttons on your motorcycle handlebar.

Different motorcycle models have different navigations and different positioning for Bluetooth in their menus.

So you might have to go for a trial-and-error method here. Or you can refer to the manual.

Once you find the Bluetooth option, switch it OFF. Yes. Switch it OFF.

Then switch it ON again. I know this sounds like the good old fix of ‘shut down and restart’. But it works really well.

Now, once the Bluetooth is ON on your motorcycle, go to your smartphone Bluetooth settings. And pair the motorcycle.

Before that, delete any previous pairing data with the motorcycle on your phone. That way, we are starting afresh.

It should pair. The Bluetooth icon on the motorcycle will also show SUCCESS.

If this doesn’t work, then most likely your phone is indeed incompatible for pairing.

The only solution is to use a different smartphone to connect with your motorcycle.