Abstract This paper proposes a novel engine starter system composed of a small-power electric motor and a simple mechanical valve train. The system makes it possible to design more efficient starters than conventional systems, and it is especially effective to restart engines equipped with idling stop systems. Recently, several idling stop systems, having intelligent start-up functions and highly-efficient generate capabilities have been proposed for motorcycles. One of challenges of the idling stop systems is the downsizing of electric motors for starting-up. However, there are many limitations to downsize the electric motors in the conventional idling stop systems, since the systems utilize the forward-rotational torque of the electric motors to compress the air-fuel mixture gas in the cylinders. Our studies exceeded the limitations of downsizing the electric motors by mainly using the engine combustion energy instead of the electric energy to go over the first compression top dead center.