How To Jump Start A Motorcycle Battery

Discussion in 'Indian Motorcycle Guides and How-To's' started by Baldhead_J, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    Jul 29, 2016
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    Just a fundamental that I figured I'd add to our knowledgebase. -J

    How To Jump Start A Motorcycle Battery
    Plenty of car drivers roll around with jumper cables, which will allow you to use the battery in their vehicle to get your bike cranking. Just find yourself a good Samaritan, have 'em pop the hood, and hook up the cables.

    First, connect to the positive (red) terminals on both vehicles. Then clamp onto the negative terminal of the good battery, but attach the other black clamp to an unpainted chassis part away from your bike's battery. The idea here is that, since the last clamp you connect is going to spark, you want it to happen away from the battery, which could possibly, potentially, maybe be emitting hydrogen gas due to its unhealthy condition. And, as the folks in the Hindenburg found out, hydrogen is flammable. You're not likely to have any issues, especially with modern sealed AGM batteries, but it's easy to minimize the risk to nearly zero by clamping somewhere safe.

    If you’re jump-starting off a car, we recommend having the car off because the car’s battery has so much more capacity than your bike’s battery. If the car is running, you run the risk of overloading your bike’s battery or frying some of your electrical components. In a perfect world, you’d thumb the starter once and your bike would fire up, but that probably would not happen, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

    So with the cables connected, flip your bike’s key, hit the starter, and hopefully, it fires up. With the bike running disconnect the cables—negatives first at both ends—but keep your bike going so the battery can charge up.

    Jumping A Motorcycle With A Power Pack
    Jumper cables are a tried-and-true method, but there’s another option. Jumper packs, like the Portable Power Pack from Deltran, are small and light enough to stash in your backpack and work great to keep your phone charged or as a work light while you’re plugging a flat tire on the side of the road at night, but where these devices really shine is as a portable jump-starter. It uses a lithium-ion battery that’s strong enough to crank a V-8 truck, and while it’s pretty expensive, it’s undeniably convenient, especially for motorcyclists.

    What To Do After Jump-Starting Your Bike
    Once your bike is up and running again, don’t assume everything is all good. At your earliest convenience, you should hook up to a charger to ensure your battery is properly topped off, or go back and try to diagnose the battery. Ideally, use a modern multi-stage smart charger that’ll charge and recondition your battery. And if you’re not sure why your battery died or if you’re having issues with your charging system, stay tuned to MC Garage.

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