- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 4/14/2022
With warm weather on the way, it's time to get ready for another riding season. If you're having a hard time starting your motorcycle after pulling it out of storage, it might be because your battery is discharged. Fortunately, you can jump start your motorcycle battery the same way you would a car or truck. Follow these step-by-step instructions to help jump start your battery and get you back out on the open road.
When jumping any vehicle, the first thing you need is a pair of jumper cables. Most jumper cables through are designed for cars and trucks. Because of this, they feature larger clamps which can be difficult to connect to the smaller terminals found on a motorcycle battery. For that reason, it's much easier to use a pair of jumper cables made specifically for motorcycles.
When connecting the jumper cables, be sure not to touch the clamps together. This is important because vehicle batteries give off hydrogen gas, which is flammable. Touching the clamps together will cause them to spark, which can interact with the hydrogen gas. With that in mind, follow these steps to safely jump your motorcycle.
You can also jump start a motorcycle using a jump pack. Jump packs are portable batteries designed to help start up your motorcycle without the need for a second vehicle. When selecting a jump pack, be sure that the model you choose is compatible with your battery's voltage rating. Most motorcycles run on 12-volt batteries. The GB20 Genius Boost Sport from NOCO is perfect for motorcycles and will provide up to 20 jump starts before the unit needs to be recharged. Jump packs also feature smaller clips that are ideal for getting at hard-to-reach batteries.
Some jump packs have different voltage settings, so before you begin, make sure that the unit is set to the same voltage as your battery (most likely 12-volts).
It's also possible to jump start a motorcycle using a car battery, but you should only do that as a last resort. Car batteries have higher amperages than motorcycle batteries and using them to start your bike could potentially void the warranty on your motorcycle battery or burn out some of the electrical components on your bike. The most important thing to keep in mind when jumping a motorcycle battery from a car is to KEEP THE CAR TURNED OFF AT ALL TIMES. The car's battery will be strong enough to power your motorcycle without turning on the engine.
Having trouble with the battery in your motorcycle? Batteries Plus can help. We offer free battery testing at every one of our 700+ locations. Just bring in your battery and we'll let you know if it has enough life left in it for another summer. If you need a new battery, we have flooded, AGM and lithium replacement options. Looking for ways to maintain your motorcycle battery? Learn about the different types of motorcycle chargers, then shop our selection of motorcycle battery chargers online or in-store.