Can You Jumpstart a Motorcycle with a Car Battery?

Can You Jumpstart a Motorcycle with a Car Battery?

Picture this: you mount your motorcycle all geared up to go for a ride, but it just refuses to start up. Or worse, you are already on the road when your battery dies down.

Your first response might be to mildly panic. Your second response might be to wonder if you can jump-start your motorcycle with another vehicle, such as a car.

This article will answer that question, and also walk you through the daunting process of jump-starting your motorcycle using a car.

The Battery May Not Be the Problem

Before resorting to jump-starting your motorcycle, first, make sure that the battery is indeed the problem.

Your motorcycle may not start up for a number of reasons, such as;

  • If there is no gas in your tank
  • If your kill switch is turned on
  • If your spark plugs have built-up carbon on them
  • If your motorcycle has a safety mechanism turned on which prevents you from starting it if it is in gear, and
  • If your kickstand is down

If you find that your motorcycle is not experiencing any of the above issues, you can proceed to buy one of the best motorcycle jump starters or a car battery.

How to Jump-Start Your Motorcycle Using a Car Battery

Though manufacturers recommend not using car batteries to jump-start motorcycle batteries, as car batteries tend to be bigger in size, in reality, a car battery can be used to jump-start a motorcycle battery, as long as both have the same voltage (that is, 12V).

Jumpstart a Motorcycle

We will go through the process of using a car battery to jump start a motorcycle battery in steps so that it is more coherent.

Step 1 - Preparation

Make sure both the motorcycle and the car are turned off (including headlights and other equipment). Lift up the car’s hood to be able to see the battery, and also access the motorcycle battery, then take the caps off of the batteries’ terminals.

Step 2 - Connecting the Jumper Cable to the Motorcycle Battery

Start off by connecting the cable’s positive (red) clamp and the positive terminal of your motorcycle’s battery, making sure the clamp is not in contact with any other metal parts. Then connect the negative clamp (black) to the motorcycle’s frame. Do not connect the clamp directly to the battery’s negative terminal.

Jumpstart a Motorcycle with a Car Battery

Step 3 - Connecting the Jumper Cable to the Car’s Battery

Now connect the remaining red clamp to the car battery’s positive terminal, again being careful to not let the clamp touch anything else. You need to connect positive and positive. Lastly, connect the other negative (black) clamp to the car battery’s negative terminal. Do not let your skin come in contact with any of the clamps.

Connecting the Jumper Cable to the Car’s Battery

Step 4 - Jump-Starting Your Motorcycle

Keeping the car turned off, start up your motorcycle. Let it warm up for a few minutes. Then disconnect the jumper cable in the reverse order of how you connected it. So, disconnect the negative clamp from the car’s battery first and disconnect the positive clamp from the motorcycle’s battery last.

During this process, do not let the clamps touch any metals. Do not turn off your motorcycle and keep it running till you get to your destination (either your garage or a repair shop where you can get a new battery).


Even if you have one of the top batteries for motorcycles in your vehicle or top-notch accessories such as the best motorcycle battery tender, you will most likely still face hiccups such as a dying battery eventually.

Hopefully, this article will help you properly jump-start your motorcycle using a car battery when you are in a pinch.

It is essential to still consult the instructions provided by your motorcycle’s manufacturer before jump-starting it using a car. If you are still unsure about the process after research, definitely consult a professional before taking upon the task of jump-starting your vehicle yourself.

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

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