There will be days when your motorcycle will not start. There is no way you can stay at home or be stranded at work or the store. You’re too busy and have too much to do. When that happens, you could use jumper cables, but the modern, convenient way to get back on the road is with a compact lithium motorcycle jump starter.
Internal combustion engines require three things to run. The first is good quality fuel. The second is compression and the third is a spark delivered to the compressed fuel and air mix at the correct or appropriate time. When these three items are in alignment, the engine will sputter to life assuming there is power to the starter. Since many motorcycle owners have bikes with electric starters, that can start their bike at the push of a button, you also need an adequate amount of electrical energy from the battery to spin the starter.
If you try to start the bike and you hear a clicking sound or nothing at all, there is a good chance you have a dead battery. The starter needs battery power to turn over and the fact that nothing is happening indicates that it’s not getting enough power. That may mean you’ve left something electrical on while you were away causing the battery to go dead. If you’re just trying to start it for the first time in the Spring and you didn’t choose to hook up a good battery tender for the Winter months, there is a good chance the battery is dead. If your battery is dead for any of a number of possible reasons, you need a motorcycle jump starter to overcome the emergency. It’s possible the battery is bad and needs to be replaced, but jump starting it with a motorcycle jump starter will at least get you to a service station so you can get help figuring it out or may even solve the problem
If you are stuck with a dead motorcycle battery, you must jump start it prior to hitting the road. You can achieve this with assistance from one of the lithium battery jump starter packs. It used to be you would need a set of jumper cables and a Good Samaritan (best with another motorcycle) with a good battery and the desire to help you out. It was even more difficult for bikers because not every vehicle is a good candidate to jump start a motorcycle. Motorcycle batteries are smaller than many other vehicle batteries and if you’re not careful when jumps starting, you could damage your battery or motorcycle’s electrical system. Now, instead of performing the complicated and potentially hazardous process of using jumper cables, you only need a compact battery booster to do the job.
Jumper cables are dumb wires that don’t know if you hook them up wrong and provide no protection against other problems that can occur when you try to jump start your bike. Compact lithium jump starters on the other hand, come with a lot of safety features usually including reverse polarity protection, spark protection, and short-circuit protection. Jumper cables are usually hooked to the positive battery terminal and a grounding point to reduce the possibility of sparking igniting gases around the battery into an explosion. Lithium portable jump starters can be connected directly to both terminals because they provide a spark-proof connection.
Jump starters are portable batteries, but in general are not motorcycle battery chargers. That being said, some combinations of jump starters and battery chargers are available. Lithium battery jump starters are new, only being around for the past few years. Recently in the last year or so they have seen a dramatic increase in popularity. It’s because of their compact size, powerful battery, ease-of-use, and safety features. They use newer lithium battery technology which makes them lighter and more compact for the same power than lead-acid battery jump starters. There is no doubt that they are a more attractive solution to the problem of a dead battery than jumper cables. Of course, they’re more expensive, but when it comes to safety and convenience, they more than make up for the price. Particularly if a biker is not a DIY person or they don’t feel comfortable around bike electrics, a portable jump starter should be in their kit. Lithium portable jump starters are perfect for bikes because of their compact size and weight. Some are pocket-sized, but just about all will fit easily on just about any motorcycle. In most cases, they take up less space than a set of jumper cables anyway.
But that’s not all! Most lithium jump starters also come with at least one USB port and selectable output voltages so that you can charge your portable electronic devices when you aren’t using it to jump start your bike (probably most of the time). They typically have more battery life available than other portable power banks, so they can really come in handy to keep your laptop or mobile phone alive right when you need it most.
They also usually come with at least one multi-modal emergency light that can even send a flashing SOS distress signal if necessary.
Jump-starting a motorcycle battery with a battery jump starter is similar to using jumper cables, but much simpler and easier. Here are the steps:
- First, you have to expose the battery terminals so that you can connect the jump starter. On most motorcycles, the battery is under the seat. Removing the seat is a good start, but on some motorcycles, you may also have to remove other motorcycle parts to access the terminals
- Take the jump starter out of its container
- You usually store the jump starter with the jumper cables unplugged, so you will have to plug them into the jump starter port
- If the jump starter has an on-off switch, switch it on
- Connect the red alligator clip to the positive (+) red terminal post and the black alligator clip to the negative (-) black terminal post
- Check the jump starter to make sure there are no audible or visual warnings about polarity or other problems that might exist. If you get an error, recheck the connections and try again.
- Set the jump starter down near the battery in a safe place
- Start the bike
- By the manufacture’s recommendations, once the bike is started remove the alligator clips as soon as possible. Remove the negative alligator clip from the negative (-) black terminal post and then the red alligator clip from the positive (+) red terminal post
- Unplug the jumper cables from the jump starter port and restore the jump starter in your car. NOTE: If you’re never charged the jump starter, you should check any readouts to see how much charge it has left. In any event, if it’s been more than 3 months, you should charge the jump starter
- At this point, don’t turn off your motorcycle, you should either leave it running or even better take a nice long ride to recharge the battery. Make sure when you get back from your ride and turn off your bike that you restart it to make sure it will start properly.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having roadside assistance. After all, dead batteries are not the only problem that bikers have on the road. On the other hand, if your problem is a dead battery, you can save money and time by having and using a lithium battery booster. It can take hours for a roadside assistance company to get to your emergency and provide a helping hand. Why wait for them to jump-start your dead battery. You can easily carry a jump starter with you and be on your way in a few minutes depending on how easy it is to access your bike’s battery terminals. On the other hand, roadside assistance can definitely be a help if you are unable to jump start your bike with the jump starter.
Lithium Jump Starter Brands
Motorcycle Jump Starter
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