Can You Jump Start a Motorcycle with a Car? How to Do It?


Can you jump-start a motorcycle with a car? This article reveals how to jumpstart a motorcycle with a car without damaging the motorcycle.

A car’s battery can be used to jump-start a motorcycle. As there are numerous risks associated with the motorcycle, this approach should only be employed as a last resort. A motorcycle’s electronics may be damaged when a car is running due to the voltage, but if you’re careful, jumping it with a car is an alternative.

Batteries in motorcycles and other sports cars are often much less in capacity. So, how do we start a motorcycle with a car correctly? What should a person avoid? After the motorcycle has been started, is there a way to check for damage?

Consequently, this article explains how to jump-start a motorcycle using a car without causing any damage to the vehicle. Yes, using a car battery to jump-start a motorcycle can be risky, and even the manufacturers advise against it. For a detailed explanation, keep reading.

Can You Jump Start Motorcycle With Car?

I generally concur with the advice of many people to refrain from using a car battery to jump-start a motorcycle. Make sure you’ve tried alternative solutions before attempting to utilize a car battery because doing so can lead to damage.

Proceed with caution if your only option for starting your motorcycle is your friend’s automobile and some jumper cables. When done correctly, this can be done safely; a car has more power available than a motorcycle does, but it still has power. A motorcycle with a dead battery can be restored to working order with the appropriate quantity of power.

If your motorbike’s battery is a 12-volt system and your car’s battery has a 12-volt system as well (which most do), charging your motorcycle should be simple and efficient. So, if you find yourself stranded with nothing but a car and some cables, don’t be terrified; instead, exercise caution and make sure that everything is done correctly.

Things to Remember If You Want to Jump Start Motorcycle With a Car

There are a lot of myths and false information out there that claim using a car to jump-start your motorcycle is a bad idea and will harm your motorcycle. When the procedure is carried out improperly, that is true.

However, when done correctly, jumping to start your motorcycle with a car is perfectly fine.

Here are the guidelines for safely using a car to jump-start your motorcycle.

  • The voltage of the two-vehicle batteries must match. Usually 12 Volts.
  • When using the jumper cable clamps, exercise caution. The clamp should not touch something it should not.
  • The car must be stopped and turned off before jumping on a motorcycle with it.

The Voltage of the Batteries

You want 12-volt batteries, which are what the majority of automobiles and motorcycles use. Ideally, the voltage of both vehicle batteries will match. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing electrical damage to both your bike and your car.

Be aware that larger vehicles such as large pick-ups, work trucks, or semi-trucks are frequently equipped with 24-volt batteries. For your motorcycle, you don’t want any of those.

Car Jumper Cables Size and Improper Touching

Motorcycle battery compartments are compact and claustrophobic. Large and bulky jumper cable clamps might be difficult to fit in your bike and attach to the battery terminal without the clamps touching anything else.

Ever played the “Operation board game”? Remember that game where you had to use tiny tweezers to remove the organs from the cardboard patient without touching the sidewall or else a red light and alarm would go off and you would lose points?

The jumper cable clamps work on the same principle. Take your time, and avoid touching the sidewall. In this cramped area, it is simple to make a mistake and bump into something like the battery’s metal casing.

The clamps could harm your bike and possibly start a fire near a battery if they come into contact with something they shouldn’t.

can you jump start motorcycle with car battery

The Car Should Not Be Running and Be Turned Off

It’s frequently necessary for the healthy car to be running when jumping a car in order to give the dead car extra power to revive it. Not with a motorcycle, please. Motorcycle batteries are much smaller than car batteries, which explains why.

Car batteries are bigger and powerful enough at “rest” to jump a smaller motorcycle battery with no problem. The extra electrical boost that comes from having the car running might be too much for your bike’s electrical system to handle and cause electrical system damage. Therefore, the car needs to be turned off.

Read More:

How to Jump Start a Motorcycle Battery from a Car?

The effort to jump-start a motorbike battery from a car is not advised by the manufacturers. The cause is that vehicle battery, which is more powerful and larger and potentially harms a motorcycle battery, have significantly greater amperage.

However, life doesn’t always play well, and you can find yourself with few other options. The good news is that, with the right safety measures, you can jump-start a motorcycle battery from a car without seriously endangering the vehicle or the battery.

  • Step 1: Disconnect the power to both vehicles and ensure sure all lights and other accessories are off. Remove any protective caps covering the battery terminals on both vehicles by opening the hood. When you have finished starting the motorcycle with a jump start and have detached the jumper cables, turn off the car.
  • Step 2: Connect one red clamp to the motorcycle battery’s positive terminal. Make sure no other metal parts touch the clamp. affix the black clamp to the frame of the motorcycle (try to choose a point free of paint or chrome to avoid scratches or discoloration). Avoid connecting directly to the negative terminal as this raises the risk of battery damage.
  • Step 3: Make sure the other red clamp is connected to the positive terminal of the automobile battery and that it is not in contact with anything else. Make sure you are connecting positive to positive by checking twice. In order to avoid touching the positive clamp, attach the black clamp to the negative terminal of the automobile battery next. Continue to turn off the automobile.
  • Step 4: Start the motorcycle. It should start straight up unless the battery is completely dead. Before cutting the jumper cables, let the motorcycle engine run for a few minutes to warm it up.

Reverse the sequence of the jumper cables as you disconnect them (Steps 2 and 3). Until the cables are completely removed, take care to avoid letting the clamps come into contact with any metal. Until you take the motorcycle home or to a bike shop to acquire a new battery or a full recharge, let it run.

What Happens if You Jump Start a Motorcycle with a Car?

can you jump start motorcycle with car battery

With a good motorbike battery, the voltage typically lowers to 12V or less when you start the vehicle because of the load. Therefore, you shouldn’t rev the motorcycle for more than 15 seconds because doing so will burn the starter. 

On the other hand, when you crank a motorcycle to start it with a good car battery, the vehicle battery doesn’t drop below 13V or close to it. The motorcycle cranks excessively, and if your battery weren’t shorted and the jumper cables didn’t smoke, you’d notice it. The motorcycle is damaged if you crank for a longer amount of time.

If you power the automobile, the alternator generates more current for the motorcycle, preventing it from drawing the 14 or so volts that it would otherwise. Your starter coils heat up at 14 volts and could malfunction in the meantime.

In this instance, turn off the vehicle and jump-start the motorcycle with the vehicle’s battery. Cranks consist of brief intervals of calmness interspersed with one-second blasts.

Start by connecting the positive (+) and negative (-) wires to the bike, followed by the negative cables to your automobile, and finally the positive cables. Cars often have larger batteries and greater space to prevent shorts. Make sure to try to detect any smoke on any part.

Is It Bad for a Motorcycle to Start This Way?

It’s difficult to say whether utilizing a car to jump-start your motorcycle is a good or terrible idea. Will this ensure that your motorcycle starts up and travels in the desired direction? Yes, it will get you there, so that makes it good. However, are there significant risks involved? Yes.

You run the risk of damaging the motorcycle’s electronics by using the car’s battery because the amps coming from a car battery and a motorcycle battery are different. Burned electronics can easily equal the motorcycle’s value, especially on newer models. Without the increasingly integrated computer systems, the bike won’t be able to move. 

Do You Start the Car When Jumpstarting the Motorcycle?

While starting or leaving the car running while jumpstarting a motorcycle is not recommended, it is acceptable. The motorcycle battery or voltage regulator may be damaged or deteriorated. Depending on the car and motorcycle, a motorcycle can be easily jumpstarted using a car battery that is adequately charged.

A 12V charging system is standard in most cars and motorcycles. In order to start the motorcycle, simply connect the jumper cables after turning off the car. When the engine is running, the alternator outputs 14.4V @ 100+ amps, which can harm the regulator/rectifier assembly and ECM. Although it is a possibility, some bikes have a 14V output, so it won’t be an issue for them.

Amperage is not as important a factor as people think. Consider this: a car battery, which can also be used to crank a high-compression V8, can be used to connect a tiny 12-volt LED. The delivery of full amperage does not automatically follow a lack of an electrical connection.

can you jump start motorcycle with car battery

A fully charged car battery should register at least 12.6 volts. It should be between 13.7 and 14.7 volts when the car engine is running. Start your car and turn on the headlights to test your electrical system if you don’t have a multimeter to check the battery voltage.

But hey, I’ve jumped motorcycles while a car was still running a few times with no problems. After a few attempts, purchase a mobile jump/charge kit.

A 12v car system could completely destroy an old bike that uses 6v batteries. However, this is generally long gone. Many 12-volt bikes can be easily jumped off a car without breaking a sweat.

There is protection built into your bike if you worry that some cable might burn from having “too many amps” pass through it. You can refer to it as the fuse box. It will be one of the fuses since that is what they are designed for if anything is burning due to too many amps.

Things to Avoid When Jump-Starting a Motorcycle with a Car

As a short recap, it’s crucial to remember that you shouldn’t start the automobile or let it idle while you’re using it to jump-start a motorcycle. A car’s battery now has a voltage of about 12.6 volts, and when the engine is running, the alternator can boost that voltage to between 13.5 and 14.2 volts. Make sure the automobile is off before charging the bike because leaving it idle could permanently harm the bike’s electronics.

Next, check to see if you have the appropriate jumper cables on hand. As I previously mentioned, automobile cables will function, but because of their size, it may be really challenging to connect them to the terminals on the motorcycle, so be sure to always keep a set of motorcycle jumper cables under your seat. 

Last but not least, be careful not to attempt starting the bike for more than a few seconds at a time. You’ll probably fry your starter motor if you hold the start button down too long, rendering your vehicle immobile.


Can You Jump a Dead Motorcycle Battery With a Car?

The answer is yes, provided that both vehicles have a 12-volt negative-to-ground electrical system. The jumper cable should be connected to the positive terminal of the dead battery once the batteries have been accessed.

How Many Volts Does It Take to Jumpstart a Motorcycle?

Check that the voltage on the portable jump starter is set to the right amount for your battery (12 volts for the majority of motorcycles). Then, turn it on. Just a couple of seconds should be spent pushing the starter on your motorcycle. Wait a few minutes before attempting to start your bike again if the first attempt failed; failing to do so runs the risk of damaging your jump starter.

Final Thoughts: Jump Start Motorcycle With Car

As long as the motorcycle battery has good cranking amps and is at least 12 volts, your motorcycle can jumpstart a car. These days, 12-volt batteries are also used in the majority of vehicles, so I’ll use that value. I only suggest it when absolutely necessary.

Allow a motorcycle that has been jumpstarted by a car to run for up to 30 minutes at highway speeds before attempting a battery start. It won’t, however, charge completely; you can charge it after the ride.

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