If you left your lights running or have a weak battery, you make think to yourself, “Can you jump a motorcycle with a car?” Manufacturers generally do not recommend jump-starting a motorcycle with a car as car batteries are more powerful and can damage motorcycle batteries. In a pinch, however, you can usually jump a motorcycle with a car with little risk of damage to either battery. Although we never recommend that you fail to adhere to manufacturer guidelines, when you are stuck without a charge, sometimes you just gotta take a walk on the wild side!
Can you jump a motorcycle with a car? Here’s how to!
1. First, turn off both vehicles. Make sure lights and any accessories are turned off, as well. Use a flashlight or your phone’s built-in light if it is dark outside.
2. Open the hood of the car. Remove the caps protecting the terminals of the batteries on both vehicles.
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3. Begin with the motorcycle battery. Connect a red clamp to the positive terminal, being certain not to touch any other parts of the vehicle. Now connect the black clamp to part of the frame of the motorcycle. Try to avoid painted areas as this can cause scratches or even discolor the paint. Avoid connecting to the negative terminal as this might damage your battery.
4. Next, connect the other red clamp to the car battery’s positive terminal, again being sure not to touch any other parts. Take a moment to verify that you have connected the positive terminal on your bike battery to the positive terminal on the car battery.
5. Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal on the car battery. Use extra caution not to touch the positive terminal or clamp.
6. The car and motorcycle should both still be turned off. Now, start your motorcycle. It should start without any problems. Allow it to run for a few minutes while connected to the car battery to allow the motorcycle engine to warm.
7. Now, disconnect the cables in reverse order of how you connected them. Begin by removing the black clamp from the negative terminal of the car battery, then the red clamp from the positive terminal of the car battery.
8. Finally, remove the black clamp from your motorcycle frame and remove the red clamp from the motorcycle battery. Do not allow the clamps to touch anything metal until the cables are fully detached.
Although you shouldn’t jump start your motorcycle from a car battery, if you are stuck with a dead bike, following the steps listed above should allow you to do so safely without fear of harming your motorcycle or the car battery.
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