Let’s face it. If you like riding, there would always be a time where you would find yourself with a dead motorcycle battery and without a charger handy. Worse, if we are on a long trip in the middle of nowhere with no mechanic in sight.
It’s easy to panic at this point, but panic should be the last thing on your mind as I have compiled some easy steps to help you get on your way.
So how do you charge a motorcycle battery without using a charger? There are actually two ways to do it. You can use the push start button of your motorcycle and attempt to jumpstart the battery using another person’s vehicle or a jump starter pack.
As we know, batteries can be charged while the motorcycle is running. For more detailed instruction on how to do the said alternatives, please see below.
Using The Push Start Button
This option is usually called Push Starting. Push Starting is the act of starting the vehicle’s machine by engaging the transmission by pushing the vehicle forward.
How to Push Start your Motorcycle
Step 1: Make sure to look for a road that is clear and big enough to allow you to move safely. Always check for incoming vehicles to avoid any accidents. Use safety gears such as helmets and knee pads if needed.
Step 2: Place the motorcycle in first or second gear. Second gear is the most effective gear for this activity since first gear can cause the motorcycle to move forward and throw you off abruptly.
Step 3: Hold the clutch and start pushing forward. Try targeting five mph to 10 mph. You can push forward through –
Waddling – if your bike is light and if you have long legs, this would be the easiest way. Ride your motorcycle and start pushing with your feet.
Pushing beside your bike – Once you have the right speed, you should be able to jump on to your bike.
Pushing with the help of another person – Easy for you, a bit of effort for the other person
Find a road with a downward slope – No effort required from you, ride and let gravity help you gain momentum.
Step 4: If enough speed has been achieved, let go of the clutch and hit the Starter Button.
Step 5: Give the motorcycle a moderate amount of throttle.
Step 6: If the motorcycle starts, hold the clutch again for you to gain back control.
Step 7: With the clutch depressed, Rev the engine, so it does not die down again.
Step 8: Continue riding and look for the nearest mechanic so your motorcycle can be checked thoroughly.
Jump Start The Battery
Listed below are ways on how to jumpstart your batteries using a car, motorcycle, and portable jump starter pack.
How To Jump Start Your Motorcycle Battery Using A Car
When using this technique, you would need to find someone willing to lend you their vehicles for a few minutes while your battery charges.
Step 1: Turn off the car’s engine.
Step 2: Attach the red clip to the positive terminal of the motorcycle’s battery.
Step 3: Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the car’s battery.
Step 4: Start the motorcycle.
Step 5: Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse of the order you connected them.
How To Jump Start Your Motorcycle Battery Using Another Motorcycle
We usually travel with buddies and with friends; thus, this can quickly be done.
Step 1: Turn off both the motorcycles and make sure they are in neutral.
Step 2: Look for the battery terminals.
Step 3: Once the terminal has been found, Connect the positive clip to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
Step 4: Connect the other positive clip to the positive terminal of the good battery.
Step 5: Connect the negative clip to a metal surface on the dead motorcycle.
Step 6: Attempt to start. If it has started, let it run for a few minutes to ensure that your battery is operational.
Step 7: Disconnect the connections in the reverse order you have connected them in.
How to Jump Start Your Motorcycle Battery Using A Portable Jump Starter Pack
Having a portable jump starter should be a must for motorcycle owners. This is the quickest and safest way to re-start a dead battery.
Step 1: Make sure that the motorcycle battery and the portable jump starter is off.
Step 2: Attach the positive red clip to the positive terminal.
Step 3: Attach the negative black clip to a metal surface on the motorcycle or to the negative terminal. Should the battery terminals be hard to reach, you can connect the terminals on the chassis.
Step 4: Turn the portable jump starter On. Make sure that the portable jump starter is set to the correct voltage required for your battery.
Step 5: Attempt to start your motorcycle. Make sure that you crank for not longer than 2 to 3 seconds at a time.
Step 6: Once the motorcycle starts, detach the black clamp first then proceed to remove the red clamp.
Step 7: Continue riding and look for the nearest mechanic.
Note: Before attempting the above solutions, always check for the basics such as the following:
1.) Make sure there is fuel in your tank.
2.) Make sure that the kill switch is off.
3.) Make sure that the spark plugs are not loose.
4.) While in neutral, attempt to start your motorcycle to bypass the built-in safety feature of some motorcycles where they prevent the rider from accidentally starting a motorcycle when in gear.
5.) Make sure that the kickstand is up. This is another safety feature of some motorcycles wherein they will not start if the kickstand is not up.
The steps above can be applied should you ever find yourself in a position wherein your motorcycle battery died and you require immediate action to re-charge it.
Of course, there are other ways to charge your motorcycle batteries without using a charger. Such as below:
Charging With A Power Supply
Using this step would require a bit of technical know-how on your part and can be a bit more dangerous. Thus, always make sure that you apply all available safety precautions such as using gloves and protective eye goggles.
Be wary that batteries should not be charged at more than one-tenth its rating in amp hours. In other words, if you have a 20 amp battery, it should be charged at two amps over 10 hours.
This is to avoid overcharging. Based on my research, as there are many types of batteries, this technique should be used for lead and lithium-based batteries only.
Lead Acid Battery
Always check the fluid levels before charging. Should you find any cell low in fluid, fill it up using distilled water. When charging, make sure that the vent caps are loosened and your work area is well ventilated. If not handled properly, batteries can be hazardous as they can cause a buildup of hydrogen and oxygen in the battery.
Before attempting to charge a lead acid battery, know the charge required for your battery.
How To Charge A Lead Acid Battery Using A Power Supply
Step 1: Set the desired voltage and current limit required for your battery. This usually is 10 to 30 percent of the rated capacity: example, a 10 AH battery charges at 3A.
Step 2: Observe the battery and take note of the following signs:
• Check on the battery’s temperature. If you feel the charger becoming hot at any given point during the charging process, stop charging as soon as possible. Give time for it to cool off then start to charge again.
• Check if the battery shows any indication of swelling. If you see it swell, stop charging. You might be charging it the wrong way, or there might be something wrong with the charger, and it might need to be replaced.
• If you see smoke, stop charging immediately for you might be charging it wrong.
Step 3: Once the battery is fully charged, proceed to disconnect from the power supply.
Charging a lithium-ion battery is comparable to charging a lead-acid battery. Be extra careful though with these type of batteries because you have to ensure that none of the cells connected in the series exceed the set voltage threshold.
An indication that the battery is fully charged if it measures at 4.20 volts per cell and the current has bottomed out and cannot go down further.
If you use a lithium Ion battery for your motorcycle, then you may want to read the article of that battery of Pros and Cons here.
There are many ways to charge a motorcycle battery without using a charger. Some are super easy and safe while some require a bit more research on your part prior to attempting them. One thing is for sure, should you find yourself with a dead battery, equip yourself with the knowledge and you should be ok.