How to Jump Start a Motorcycle

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When your motorcycle battery is out of juice, jump starting it is relatively easy. This method even works if the battery is going bad but isn't completely shot. Just follow these steps, and be absolutely sure to follow them in this exact order.

Things You'll Need

  • Motorcycle with dead battery
  • Car or motorcycle with good battery
  • Jumper cables
  • Position your dead motorcycle close to, but not touching, the car or motorcycle with the good battery. Make sure that the other car or bike is turned off.

  • Get out the jumper cables and examine them to determine which cable is positive and which one is negative. Usually, positive cables are red and negative cables are black.

  • Find the batteries on both vehicles and make sure that any protective terminal covers are removed from both batteries.

  • Connect a positive cable clamp to the positive terminal on the good battery.

  • Carefully connect the other positive cable clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery, making sure to not touch the clamp to any other metal area of the bike.

  • Go back to the good battery and connect the negative cable clamp to the negative terminal.

  • Go back to the bike and connect the other negative cable clamp to any metal surface of the bike, but not to the battery. It might spark a little, but that's nothing to worry about.

  • Turn on the vehicle with the good battery, then turn on the motorcycle. If the battery is any good at all, it will fire right up.

  • Remove the clamps in the reverse order.

Tips & Warnings

  • When connecting the positive cable clamp to the dead battery, you must be sure that you don't touch the clamp to any area of the bike other than the positive battery terminal. Doing so can send an electrical charge through the entire bike which can do serious damage to electrical and computer components.
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