How to Jump Start a Motorcycle

There’s no worse feeling than being ready to ride, and hearing a series of clicks when you try to fire up your bike. When this happens, all you want to know is how you can get back on the road in Vancouver as fast as possible! In the guide below from Latus Motors Harley-Davidson, we’ll go over the situations in which you can jump start a motorcycle with car jumper cables to recharge your battery, and how to know when you need to replace the battery entirely. Be sure to check out the video above for battery care tips so you’re never without a charge.

Why Your Bike Won’t Start

If your bike won’t start at all, there are a few possible reasons that your battery doesn’t have the juice it needs to get going:

  • Inactive Bike – If your bike has been inactive for more than several weeks, you need to connect a trickle charger to the battery. Otherwise, it will naturally discharge over time and become weaker.
  • Drained Battery – Another common reason for a dead battery is that it was drained by accident. This can happen if you leave parking lamps on, or forget to shut off an auxiliary device such as a phone charger or GPS system. Just as with a car battery, the steady drain can weaken the battery to the point it is no longer capable of turning over the engine.
  • Heated Gear – Heated gear can keep you riding through frigid winters, but it’s a huge draw on your battery and can rapidly drain power if left on by mistake.

How to Jump Start a Motorcycle Battery

Many readers choose to top off a weakened battery by simply connecting it to a charger. This is best for your battery health, but there’s not always time to charge your battery this way. So, can you jumpstart a motorcycle with a car instead? Fortunately, learning how to jumpstart a motorcycle with jumper cables will be a breeze if you’ve ever had to jump your car battery. Here’s how it works:

  1. Connect the red cable to the positive terminal on the dead bike.
  2. Connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the good battery.
  3. Connect the black cable to the car battery’s negative terminal.
  4. Secure the other end of the black cable to a bare metal surface on the dead bike.

Keep in mind that a car battery has far more energy than a motorcycle battery, so there’s no need to keep your bike’s engine running during the jump.

When You Need a New Battery

Sometimes, a jump isn’t enough to restore your battery’s ability to hold a charge. In the following situations, you’ll need to purchase a replacement battery:

  • Battery Lifespan – There’s a limit to the number of times you can jumpstart a motorcycle with a car or a battery charger. Especially in extreme temperatures, batteries eventually lose their ability to accept and hold a full charge.
  • Charging System Failure – If your battery is powering lots of heated gear or other devices, your bike may not be able to generate enough electricity to keep the battery charged while you ride.
  • If this is the case, we recommend scheduling service so that a professional can take a look at your bike and diagnose any other issues.
  • Broken Safety Switch – Modern bikes usually have two safety switches, both of which must be closed before the starter button will crank the engine.

Rely on Latus Motors Harley-Davidson for Bike Care and Service Near Portland

Whether your bike is due for routine maintenance or you want to know how to jumpstart a motorcycle at home in Gresham, the professionally trained technicians at our service center in Gladstone can help. Check out our DIY motorcycle care guide, and then reach out to our team today!

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