How To Jump Start A Harley-Davidson Bike: Step-By-Step Guide To Easily Jump Start Your Harley

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How To Jump Start A Harley Davidson

Do you own a Harley-Davidson bike, but it has stopped responding to your call and isn’t starting with the key? If so, then this article will be perfect for you.

Jump-starting a Harley-Davidson bike involves using the battery terminals and connecting different ends of the cable to force a start. There are multiple ways to do that including with a portable starter, with another motorcycle, with a car, and more. 

In this article, you’ll get to know all about different ways how to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike and get it running in no time. Continue reading to get all the answers that you’re looking for.

Why you should jump start your Harley-Davidson bike?

There are multiple reasons why your Harley-Davidson bike won’t start. It makes total sense to determine whether the battery is the issue before you attempt to jump start your motorcycle.

  1. Ensure that there is gas in the tank.
  2. Ensure that the kill switch is off.
  3. Check that the petcock is on (it’ll apply to older, carbureted bikes).
  4. Check the spark plugs. Clean off the access carbon build-up, ensure that they’re gapped correctly, and change them if needed.
  5. Put the kickstand up, as it’s a safety mechanism on some bikes.
  6. Put your motorcycle in neutral and/or pull in the clutch. Try to start your bike in neutral and with its clutch pulled in. Some bikes will have a built-in safety mechanism for preventing the rider from accidentally starting the motorcycle when it’s in gear.

Can you jump start a Harley-Davidson bike with a dead battery?

Ensure that you know the status of your bike’s battery before you try and jump start your bike. There are a few things that you should check, including –

Check the lights

  • The battery indicator will switch on if there are any issues with the battery, like low voltage or a faulty connection.
  • If your bike’s battery is dead or drained, the backlight and headlights will be dimmer than usual or might not work entirely.

Check the battery’s voltage

If your bike’s battery is completely dead, there won’t be any use to try and jump start it. Instead, you should check the voltage first.

  • If you’ve got a voltmeter or multimeter, switch the setting to DC. Then, place the leads on the negative and positive terminals of the battery.
  • A good voltage reading will depend on the battery’s size. For a 12V battery, the full charge will be 12.66V while the 75% charge would be 12.45V. Anything below this might not be able to start your bike, especially for modern, fuel-injected bikes.

How to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike?

Eventually, a time comes when you’ll kick on or move your key, but your motorcycle won’t respond to your call. After prolonged idleness, you might face issues starting your bike. There are many reasons why your Harley-Davidson bike might not start even after repeated efforts. This will be an obvious problem if you haven’t used your bike for a long time. It’s better to opt for a jump start bike service to get a complete health check-up of your motorcycle before getting on your bike.

Like car batteries, motorcycle batteries also require a charge from time to time when they’re drained of power. It’s possible to jump start your Harley-Davidson bike with another battery in 5-10 minutes using a set of jumper cables. It’ll give your bike enough power to start it and get back on the road.

If you’ve determined that your battery is undercharged but not entirely dead, you can try to jump start it. There are multiple ways you can jump start a Harley-Davidson bike with a dead battery.

How to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike using another motorcycle?

If you’ve jump started a car before, the process will be almost the same for a Harley-Davidson bike. However, accessing the battery terminals will be slightly more difficult. This will require that you or other riders use jumper cables.

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1. Ensure that both bikes are off and in neutral 

You’ll need to make sure that both your Harley-Davidson bike and the other bike are off and in neutral.

2. Find the battery terminals

For most motorcycles, the battery is located under the seat, but it might differ depending on the design and model. If the terminals of the battery are inaccessible, try the terminals on the chassis. 

3. Connect the jumper cables

There isn’t a particular order for connecting the jumper cables, but most people prefer doing it this way –

  • Attach the positive clip (red handle) to the positive terminal (usually a red, rubber, or plastic covered and labeled +) of the dead battery.
  • After that, connect the other positive clip to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  • Now, attach the negative clip (black handle) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  • After that, connect the negative clip to the bare-metal surface on the dead bike. This prevents any potential damage to the battery.
Jumper Cables Connected To Harley Davidson Battery

4. Start the bike that’s in a working condition

Let the bike run for a couple of minutes to ensure that the battery is fully active.

5. Try starting your Harley-Davidson bike

It might take a couple of attempts. You should check the connections and ensure everything on your motorcycle is set to run. Once your Harley-Davidson bike starts, keep both of the bikes running for a while to build up a charge.

6. Disconnect the jumper cables

Start by removing the clips in the reverse order of how you’re putting them on, starting with the negative lip of your bike. Ride the bike for around 15-30 minutes to recharge the battery. If you know that the battery is on its way out and not going to hold a charge well, you won’t have to ride it around for long, as you’ll just be replacing it.

How to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike using a car?

Using a car battery to jump start a bike isn’t an ideal or typical route to take. However, it’ll definitely get you to a mechanic or home. You should only resort to this method if other methods fail.

You’ll risk damaging the battery and/or the motorcycle’s electrical system. This happens as car batteries have a higher amperage than motorcycle batteries. Too much power could get delivered way too quickly. This can overload the battery and burn the starter. For this reason, many motorcycles and battery manufacturers warn the riders against using a car battery for charging or jumping a motorcycle battery. Moreover, doing this might void the warranty in some cases. However, if you still need to resort to this method, this is how you can easily do it –

1. Ensure that both your bike and the car are off

You’ll need to make sure that both your Harley-Davidson bike and the car aren’t on.

2. Connect the jumper cables

  • Attach the positive clip (red handle) to the positive terminal (usually a red, rubber, or plastic covered and labeled +) of the dead battery.
  • After that, connect the other positive clip to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  • Now, attach the negative clip (black handle) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  • After that, connect the negative clip to the bare-metal surface on the dead bike. This prevents any potential damage to the battery.

3. Try to start your bike

Keeping your car off will be necessary. Cranking the bike won’t drain your car’s battery, but cranking the bike with the car battery on will burn out your bike’s electrical system. It needs to start up right away. You might notice that it has cranked more powerfully than usual. In case it doesn’t start straight away, wait for a couple of seconds before you try again. Crank it for only 2 seconds at a time. In case it doesn’t start, your battery may be completely drained, or the issue may not even be the battery.

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4. Disconnect the jumper cables

Start by removing the clips in the reverse order of how you’re putting them on, starting with the negative lip of your bike. Ride the bike for around 15-30 minutes to recharge the battery. If you know that the battery is on its way out and not going to hold a charge well, you won’t have to ride it around for long, as you’ll just be replacing it.

How to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike using a portable jump starter?

A portable jump starter battery pack is an essential tool to keep your bike running, especially during solo trips. It also comes in handy during excursions into remote areas or during long solo rides. Using a battery pack is the simplest and quickest way of getting back on the road. You don’t have to depend on anyone else or risk injuring yourself if you’re trying to push start the bike. For best results, you must consult the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the portable jump starter. Here are the general steps to take that –

1. Ensure that both your bike and the jump starter are off

You’ll need to make sure that both your Harley-Davidson bike and the jump starter aren’t on

2. Connect the attached cables

Jump starter packs generally feature an assortment of attachments. However, the common ones are the familiar clips on traditional jumper cables.

  • Attach the positive clip (red handle) to the positive terminal (usually a red, rubber, or plastic covered and labeled +) of the dead battery.
  • After that, connect the negative clip to the bare-metal surface on the dead bike. This prevents any potential damage to the battery.
  • In case the terminals on the bike’s battery are hard to reach, try to connect to the terminals on the chassis.

3. Turn on the jump starter pack

Some versatile models might come with multiple voltage settings for different battery options. Ensure that the jump starter is set to the correct voltage for the battery. For instance, if you’ve got a 12V battery, it must be set to 12V.

4. Try to start your Harley-Davidson bike

Crank for only 2-3 seconds at a time. Portable jump starters are designed for delivering short bursts of maximum power. Cranking for a long time could end up burning out the battery pack inside the jump starter. Once the motorcycle starts, remove the negative clip first and then the positive one. If your motorcycle doesn’t start right away, wait for a couple of minutes before you try to let the jump starter cool down and recover. In case it doesn’t start after a couple of attempts, it’s likely that your battery will not hold a charge or is dead completely.

5. Disconnect the jumper cables

Start by removing the clips in the reverse order of how you’re putting them on, starting with the negative lip of your bike. Ride the bike for around 15-30 minutes to recharge the battery. If you know that the battery is on its way out and not going to hold a charge well, you won’t have to ride it around for long, as you’ll just be replacing it.

6. Recharge your portable jump starter

Cranking consumes a lot of power out of your portable battery pack. To ensure that you’re prepared for future emergencies, you should charge the battery pack after every use.

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How to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike using the push start method?

Push starting, pop starting, or bump starting a Harley-Davidson bike is a tried-and-tested method to get the engine running once the battery is dead or the starter isn’t working. You don’t require jump cables or special tools, and in a Harley-Davidson bike, you can do this on your own. You won’t need to call your friends or get a stranger to help you. All you’ll need to do is have enough strength to push your bike or, if you’re lucky, roll it down a hill.

1. Find a clear stretch of road

You’ll have to have ample room for your bike to gain enough momentum. An empty street will allow you to push start safely, as you will be less likely to run into someone or get run over.

2. Put your bike into 2nd gear

The second gear will be the easiest and the safest one for most bikes, and it’s the one you should use. Starting in neutral will be another option, and it’ll make the next step easier.

The transmission should be in low gear and make it easier to turn the motor over. Although, first gear can be used as well, it can be a bit too aggressive on certain bikes, which causes it to lurch forward and throw you off. 

3. Pull in the clutch and start pushing your motorcycle

Your Harley-Davidson motorcycle must be going at least 5 mph or 8 km/h to 8-10 mph or 13-16 km/h for the motor to turn over. It can be done in different ways –

  • You can waddle or walk your Harley-Davidson bike forward. This will be easier if your bike has long legs or light.
  • Push while you’re running alongside your motorcycle. You should remember that you have to jump onto the bike once you gain enough speed.
  • Have someone else push the bike for you. This will make it easier for you to get the required speed.
  • You should run down a hill or a slope and let gravity do what it does best.

4. Release the clutch and give it some gas

If you are starting in neutral, you should shift into second gear once you have got enough speed. Pop the clutch when you’re gently rolling on the throttle to almost a ½-turn. You should be listening for some sort of purr from the engine, which will be followed by high engine revs.

This step is straightforward for smaller Harley-Davidson bikes, but for models with larger displacements or high compression, the engine could sputter, or the rear wheel may slip. If things aren’t going very smoothly, you should stay calm, pull in the clutch, and try again. Once the motor starts, you’ll be able to ride as you normally would. You should just ensure that you don’t stall and keep the engine revs high. It’ll help recharge the battery if it holds a charge.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about different ways how to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike and get it running in no time. With your bike’s battery, eventually, it might stop responding to calls when you’re trying to kick on and move the book. This happens when your bike has been in an idle state for a long time. There are multiple ways to jump start a Harley-Davidson bike. The most common ones include using a car’s battery, using another bike, using a portable jump starter, and more.

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