Can You Jump Start A Motorcycle With A Car?

Can You Jump Start A Motorcycle With A Car?

The quick answer is “yes, you can”, however there are some things that you need to take into account before attempting to jump start a motorcycle with a car, else you risk damaging your motorcycle.

Critically Important Note: Ensure that you do not start the car engine. If you haven’t had practice with how to jump start a motorcycle then also look at the other methods below that can get you back up and riding.

Cars have a 12v battery, which will not harm a motorcycle or its battery, however when you start your car engine then you are delivering considerably more than 12v. It is when you are delivering over 12v that can cause damage to the motorcycle. This makes the process of jump starting a motorcycle with a car different to if you were just jump starting another car.
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Battery Jumper Leads - Battery Jumper Leads

There are 3 other options that you should consider:

Push start – This is the easiest and fastest method of getting your motorcycle up and running again, as you don’t even require jumper cables or need to know how to jump start a motorcycle. To push start your motorcycle:

  1. Check that you have gas. It sounds funny, however many times people think that their bike is dying because of a bad battery, when in fact it is just out of gas!
  2. Go to the top of a hill, or have a strong friend or two ready to push you.
  3. Ensure that the bike key is switched to “on”.
  4. Put the bike in 2nd gear. We choose 2nd gear instead of 1st as when you start the bike and let the gear out it will give you less of a “jerk”.
  5. Hold in the clutch lever.
  6. Build up speed and then quickly release clutch lever and the instant you feel the engine begin to grab you need to hit the starter button.
  7. Give it a few revs of the throttle to prevent the engine from stalling.
  8. Your engine should now be started. If not, try again with more speed and more revs, it may take a few attempts to get going.

A battery saver – These are one of the best inventions ever if you are someone who doesn’t ride every day. You simply plug your bike in whenever it is not in use and the battery saver will do the rest. The battery saver will detect when your battery is running low and automatically begin charging. There is nothing else left for you to do and you never find yourself in a situation where you have a flat battery, in theory. Prevention is often better than the cure.

battery saver - Battery Saver

A standard battery charger / trickle charger – most car battery charges are also suitable for charging motorcycle batteries. However, it is still important to check the output of these charges before determining if it’s compatible with your motorcycle battery. Unplug your battery and take it out of the motorcycle for safety. Make sure that you check the battery fluid levels (if it not a sealed battery) and top these up with distilled water if required. Plug it in and in a few hours you will have a battery that is ready to be replaced into your motorcycle, at which point you can be back on the road.

car battery charger - A Car Battery Charger


The next time someone asks you “Can you jump start a motorcycle with a car”, you will have the answer for them, with a few extra points to go along with it. If you don’t know how to jump start a motorcycle then you have a few other options available to get you back on the road.

If you have a question about jump starting a motorcycle, or would like to share your own experiences, then please leave a comment below as we would love to hear from you.


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