If you find that your motorcycle battery has died and there is no other motorcycle around, you might be considering using a car to jump-start your bike. Jump-starting your motorcycle gives the battery enough of a boost to power on and gradually begin restoring battery capacity. So can you and should you use a car to jump-start a motorcycle?
You can use a car to jump-start your motorcycle. That being said, you should utilize every other option available to you before resorting to this jump-starting method. Using a car to jump-start your motorcycle could potentially damage your bike’s batteries and electrical components.
This guide will help you better understand the circumstances under which it is appropriate to use a car to jump-start your motorcycle, as well as what to expect when doing so. Using the information provided for you here you can make an informed decision when considering jump-starting your motorcycle with your car.
When Should You Jump-Start Your Motorcycle With A Car?
You should only consider jump-starting your motorcycle with a car when you have exhausted all other available methods. This is because of the inherent risk associated with jump-starting your motorcycle with a car.
You should first consider using some of the other methods for jump-starting your motorcycle included in this guide before resorting to using a car. If you have no other options available to you, there are ways that you can more safely use a car to jump-start your motorcycle.
Because a car battery can produce significantly more power than a motorcycle battery, special care should be taken to ensure that you do not damage your bike during the jump-starting process.
The next part of this guide will cover the different elements that you should consider before attempting to jump-start your motorcycle with a car.
What You Need To Know Before Jump-Starting Your Motorcycle With A Car
One of the most important things you need to know before jump-starting your motorcycle with a car is the voltage of the battery that both your motorcycle and car are using. Most motorcycles and cars operate on a 12-volt battery system, so they will be compatible with each other to some extent.
That being said, the battery installed in your car will be capable of producing much more power than your motorcycle battery has the capacity for. You will need to carefully manage the amount of charge that you let your bike receive from a car.
The amps that your car battery is capable of producing will always be more than your motorcycle can handle without incurring damage. With that being said, you should ensure that if you do have to charge your motorcycle with a car you only do it for a few minutes maximum.
With these things in mind, you can use the next part of this guide to help walk you through the safest way to charge your motorcycle with a car.
Safest Way To Jump Start A Motorcycle With A Car
Once you have eliminated the other common causes for a motorcycle to not start, including being out of gas, switches not being put in the proper position, and the kickstand selector not being positioned correctly, you can begin to consider ways to resolve your battery issues.
The next thing you should do is attempt to push-start your motorcycle. If your motorcycle has a manual transmission, it is possible to encourage the transmission to start by using the momentum of the bike and the computer that controls it.
If you are unable to do this and a car is your only available option, then you should first make sure that both your motorcycle and car are turned off before you begin the jump-starting process. This is important because attempting to connect the jumper cables while either of the vehicles is powered on could cause damage.
The main difference between jumping a car off and a motorcycle is that after successfully connecting the jumper cable to both of your vehicles, you do not power the car on. Because of the battery capacity of your motorcycle, it will not be necessary to power on your car to properly charge it.
If you do turn the car on while attempting to charge your motorcycle battery, it can cause serious electrical damage that can result in your bike being rendered totally inoperable. As soon you connect the jumper cables to your car from your motorcycle you should let it charge for around three minutes.
After three minutes, attempt to power on your motorcycle. Once you are able to successfully power on the motorcycle, you should disconnect the jumper cables and allow your bike to run idle for at least 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes are up you should take your motorcycle somewhere to determine what has caused your battery to die. This can help you avoid this situation in the future.
Best Motorcycle Battery Charging Tools
The most important tools associated with your motorcycle battery charging process are the battery itself, the jumper cables you are using, and in some cases the portable jump starter you have available.
The quality of all three of the tools will affect the overall charging efficiency of your motorcycle. These tools will be discussed in detail in the list below and include price comparisons that you can use to help you choose the best products for you.
Best Batteries For Jump Starting A Motorcycle With A Car
The quality of your motorcycle battery can affect how often it needs charging and the efficiency at which it charges when allowed to die. The type of battery you are using can also play a role in how safely you can jump-start your motorcycle with a car.
The more efficiently your battery charges, the less time it will have to stay connected to a car during the jump start process. This can help lower the chances of damage being incurred during the process.
The table below contains a few of the best motorcycle batteries that can be jump-started with a car. All of the batteries listed have extremely quick charging capabilities, which will help you avoid potential damages during the jump start process.
|Chrome YTX30L-BS||385||$80||19.8 pounds|
|Shorai LFX14L2-BS12||210||$175||1 pound|
|Weize YTX9-BS||135||$30||4.4 pounds|
|Odyssey PC680||170||$135||15.4 pounds|
|Yuasa YTX20HL-BS||310||$95||13.8 pounds|
Best Jumper Cables For Jump Starting Motorcycle With A Car
The type of jumper cables you are using and their quality can affect how safely and efficiently you can jump-start your motorcycle with a car. If you do not have quality jumper cables you will likely have to leave your bike connected to a car longer, which can increase the likelihood of electrical damage to your bike.
The table below contains some of the best jumper cables that you can purchase that will safely and efficiently jump-start your motorcycle with a car. All of these cables have been certified to moderate to amount of amps delivered which can help ensure that your motorcycle battery does not receive a damaging amount of power.
|Brand||Voltage Capacity||Price||Cable Length|
|Cartman Cable||12/24||$24||25 feet|
|Energize Cable||12||$30||16 feet|
|Amazon Basics Cable||12||$12||12 feet|
|Voilamart Cable||12/24||$32||20 feet|
|Forney Cables||12||$220||25 feet|
This guide has provided you with all of the information you need to safely jump-start your motorcycle with a car. Use the information provided for you here to ensure that you can always properly jump-start your motorcycle with a car whenever the situation calls for i
I’m Anthony King, a systems integration, automobile technician & automotive expert who earned his bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I worked on pioneering technologies from the beginning of his career.