motorcycle 101 guides

How to Jump-Start a Motorcycle

How to Jump-Start a Motorcycle

If you love riding a motorcycle, you should be familiar with the motorcycle’s parts, how it starts, and how it works. Older motorcycles were fitted with levers for you to pull or kick to turn on the ignition but now motorcycles can be started with the push of a button. When you push this button, a complex process takes place inside the engine as the motorcycle starts up. Motorcycle riders should know how the motorcycle starter mechanism works so that if the motorcycle has mechanical issues, they can be identified and resolved quickly.

This article discusses the ways you can jump-start a motorcycle if the battery is drained and which ones are the best to apply in certain situations.

1. What is Jump-Starting a Motorcycle?

The technique to start a motorcycle when its battery is drained is known as jump-starting the motorcycle. Even though there are different ways to jump-start a motorcycle but choosing the right one is important. You can jump-start a motorcycle using another motorcycle, by using a portable jump-starter, or you can also use the push-start method.

2. Why Does Your Motorcycle Not Start?

There can be many reasons why a motorcycle will not start. It could be due to a clogged petcock, a blown fuse, or an issue with the spark plug. The most common reason why a motorcycle does not start is because of a drained battery.

3. Check the Motorcycle’s Battery

If you are somewhere in the middle of a road where you cannot find a mechanic, you should be able to test your motorcycle. Testing your motorcycle’s battery is a basic maintenance process that you should know. Below are the methods to check your motorcycle’s battery.

3.1 Test the Motorcycle Battery’s Voltage through a Digital Voltmeter or a Multi-Meter

Test the Motorcycle Battery’s Voltage through a Digital Voltmeter or a Multi-Meter

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If you have a digital voltmeter or a multimeter in your motorcycle’s maintenance kit, you can use these tools to check the battery’s voltage. You will need to set the voltmeter to DC. The voltmeter has two leads, the black representing negative and the red representing positive. Attach the voltmeter’s red lead to the +ve terminal and the black lead to the -ve terminal. You can then see the battery’s voltage on the screen of the voltmeter.

3.2 What is the Voltage of the Fully-Charged Motorcycle’s Battery?

A fully-charge motorcycle battery has a voltage of 12.7 V or above. If the voltage level drops below 12.45 V, this means that the motorcycle’s battery has low voltage and needs charging.

3.3 Check the Lights of Your Motorcycle

If you do not have a voltmeter or a multimeter, you can check the battery based on the intensity of the lights. If the lights are dim, this means the battery is drained.

4. How to Jump-Start a Motorcycle Using Another Motorcycle

How to Jump-Start a Motorcycle Using Another Motorcycle

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If you are stuck with a drained motorcycle battery, you can ask a nearby motorcycle rider to help you jump-start your motorcycle. One thing that you need is a pair of jumper cables to connect the two batteries.

4.1 What Should Be Avoided?

Before connecting both batteries with jumper cables, make sure that both motorcycles are neutral and switched off. Otherwise, they might damage the electrical instruments of both motorcycles. Also, make sure that the positive and negative clips never touch each other or you risk causing a short circuit.

4.2 Process

The process is very simple but should be done carefully as any mistakes could harm you or the motorcycle’s electrical system.

  1. First, you need to attach the red lead (positive) to the +ve terminal of the drained battery.
  2. Then attach the other end of the +ve lead to the +ve terminal of the charged battery.
  3. Attach the black clip (negative) to the negative terminal of the charged battery.
  4. Attach the other side of the black lead to any metal surface on the motorcycle and make sure it is not near the drained battery. The metal surface acts as the ground.
  5. Start the other motorcycle that has a charged battery.
  6. Start your motorcycle.
  7. When your motorcycle starts, keep both motorcycles running until the charge is adequately transferred.
  8. Remove the clips one by one in the reverse order you connected them.
  9. You need to ride your motorcycle for at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish recharging the battery.

5. How to Jump-Start a Motorcycle Using a Portable Jump-Starter

You can buy a portable jump-starter from a motorcycle shop to charge a drained battery in case there is no other motorcycle available nearby. The leads are connected to the jump-starter. You only have to connect the other sides of the leads to the respective terminals of the drained battery to be charging.

5.1 Process

  1. Connect the red clip (positive) to the +ve terminal of the drained battery.
  2. Connect the black clip (negative) to any metal surface on your motorcycle that is not near the drained battery.
  3. Switch on the jump starter.
  4. Switch on your motorcycle. Make sure not to push the starter for more than 2-3 seconds.
  5. Do not keep pushing the starter if the motorcycle does not start. Otherwise, this can damage the jump-starter.
  6. If your motorcycle starts, remove the leads from the motorcycle’s battery. Remove the negative lead before the positive lead.
  7. Make sure you ride the motorcycle for at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish recharging the battery.
  8. Put your jump starter on charge so that it can be used later if necessary.

5.2 Note

The jump-starter comes with a voltage adjustment feature. Make sure to adjust the voltage of the jump-starter to 12 volts.

6. How to Push Start a Motorcycle

How to Push Start a Motorcycle

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You do not need a jump starter, jumper cables, and another motorcycle if you use the push start method to start your motorcycle. This method is also known as bump-start. You can find yourself in such a situation where there is no other motorcycle available to jump-start your motorcycle.

You should only use this method if the other jump-starting methods are not available.

6.1 Process

  1. Find a clear road.
  2. Put your motorcycle in second gear.
  3. Now start pushing the motorcycle with your legs if you are on it or you can also run alongside.
  4. When the motorcycle reaches a speed of 5 mph, jump on your motorcycle quickly if you are running alongside. Release the clutch and push the starter immediately.
  5. When your motorcycle starts, keep it running to warm up the engine.
  6. Keep riding the motorcycle for at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish recharging the battery.

6.2 Note

If you are near a hill, you should push-start your motorcycle from a position where you can add momentum. It requires more effort to push your motorcycle on a straight road.
Do not put your motorcycle in the first gear while pushing it as this can cause the motorcycle to jerk around wildly.

7. Can You Jump-Start a Motorcycle with a Car?

Can You Jump-Start a Motorcycle with a Car?

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It is highly suggested not to jump-start your motorcycle with a car. Jump-starting a motorcycle battery with a car battery can cause it to overload due to the high difference in amps. There is also a high probability that the motorcycle battery and electrical instruments can get damaged.

Also, the warranty of a motorcycle’s battery and electrical systems can be canceled if the damage is caused by trying to jump-start by using a car battery.

It is better to take the motorcycle to a mechanic and change the drained battery than to jump-start a motorcycle with a car.

8. Takeaway

The portable jump-starter is the best technique to jump-start a motorcycle. You do not need help from anyone and it is hassle-free as well. It is good to have equipment that can save you from trouble and keep your motorcycle running.

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you should know how to keep your motorcycle maintained and keep the necessary equipment while you go on a ride. There are plenty of LUGGAGE options available at Viking Bags to improve the storage capacity of your motorcycle, including the SADDLEBAGS and SISSY BAR BAGS. The other modification parts that are available at the Viking Bags include CRASH BARS, HANDLEBARS, SISSY BARS, and FAIRINGS.

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