Planning to Jump start a motorcycle battery with a car battery?
Using a car battery to jump start a motorcycle isn’t typical or ideal, but it can help get you home or to a mechanic in a pinch.
This really should only be done if no other method is possible.
You will risk damaging the battery and/or the bike’s electrical system because car batteries have much higher amperage (electrical current strength) than a motorcycle battery. Too much power may be delivered too quickly, overloading the battery and burning out the starter. For this reason, many battery and motorcycle manufacturers will warn against using a car battery to charge or jump a motorcycle battery, and doing so may void warranties.
Nevertheless, if you need to get home, this is how to do it safely:
1. Make Sure Both Your Motorcycle and the Car Are Off
2. Connect the Jumper Cables as You Normally Would
- Attach one positive clip (red handles) to the positive terminal (usually has a red, rubber or plastic cover and labeled POS or +) of the dead battery.
- Attach the other positive clip to the positive terminal of the good battery.
- Attach the negative clip (black handles) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
- Attach the other negative clip to a bare metal surface on the motorcycle.
3. Try Starting Your Motorcycle
- Keep the car off! Cranking your bike likely won’t drain the car battery, but cranking your bike with the car on will likely burn out your bike’s electrical system.
- It should start up right away. You may notice that it cranked more powerfully than usual.
- If it doesn’t start right away, wait a few seconds before trying again. Crank it for no more than 2 seconds at a time. If it still doesn’t start, your battery might be completely drained, or the issue might not be the battery.
4. Disconnect the Jumper Cables
- Remove the clips in the reverse order of how you put them on, starting with the negative clip on your bike.
- Ride around for 15-30 mins, keeping the revs high to help charge the battery. If you plan on replacing the battery, this isn’t necessary.