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#1
Old 12-14-2010, 11:04 AM
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Getting a motorcycle started on a completely dead battery?

So I went and left my grip heaters on overnight, and my battery is dead dead dead. It's so low my battery tender won't even activate. I tried bump starting it using videos on YouTube as guidance, but I can barely get the bike moving at much more than a walk with the clutch in and in second gear. There are no hills in the area.

What are my options here? How can I get it going?
#2
Old 12-14-2010, 11:16 AM
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Jumper cables?
#3
Old 12-14-2010, 11:18 AM
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Unless there is another bike around to jump start off, then I only know of bump starting.

Try putting it in neutral to start. Get one foot on a peg and push and push, then jump on, clutch in and drop into second, clutch out and vrrrroom!

I've never had a problem, even if hills aren't around.
#4
Old 12-14-2010, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southwestern PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
So I went and left my grip heaters on overnight, and my battery is dead dead dead. It's so low my battery tender won't even activate. I tried bump starting it using videos on YouTube as guidance, but I can barely get the bike moving at much more than a walk with the clutch in and in second gear. There are no hills in the area.

What are my options here? How can I get it going?

You can jump it from a car if its 12 volt or from a portable jumper pack if 6 volt. You can take the battery home and put it on a trickle charger for a few hours. Or you can get a couple people to push you to get more speed to catch it in gear. DO NOT DO THE LATTER IF YOU HAVE A BELT DRIVE. Bump starting a belt drive may - just may - cause belt damage.

My old shovelhead I used to bump start sometimes by dogpaddling it backwards and dumping the clutch in first. It worked. But balance was an issue and I dropped it once doing that.
#5
Old 12-14-2010, 11:27 AM
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Jump start the bike from a car if the car has a 12 volt battery. Do NOT start the car engine - just let current flow from the car battery while you start the bike's engine.
#6
Old 12-14-2010, 11:29 AM
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Get someone to help push you for the bump start.
#7
Old 12-14-2010, 11:37 AM
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Go with the jumper cables and a car, another bike, or a portable battery pack. Push starting can be tough, depending on the bike weight. If you've got heated grips, I'm guessing that you're not riding a 250cc Rebel.

You may also want to route your grip power supply line through a relay or tap it off a switched power line, not directly off the battery.
#8
Old 12-14-2010, 11:39 AM
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Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
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Whatever happened to kickstarting? My scooter works fine that way. Don't bigger cycles have that?
#9
Old 12-14-2010, 11:59 AM
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If this is a newer bike (which I assume it is with your high falutin' grip heaters) push starting might not work with a stone-dead battery, since just like a car they have alternators (which need a reference voltage) and fuel injection (which takes some time to build up fuel pressure).
#10
Old 12-14-2010, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreasyJack View Post
If this is a newer bike (which I assume it is with your high falutin' grip heaters) push starting might not work with a stone-dead battery, since just like a car they have alternators (which need a reference voltage) and fuel injection (which takes some time to build up fuel pressure).
Good point, hadn't thought of that. I have bump started a new bike with fuel injection, but the battery was just drained enough to not kick the engine over (the guy was running every electrical contraption you could think of- grips, vest, gps, radio charger, etc).
#11
Old 12-14-2010, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Whatever happened to kickstarting? My scooter works fine that way. Don't bigger cycles have that?
Not newer ones; even small newer ones. My wife has a 250cc Virago and it doesn't have a place you can fit a kickstarter let alone an actual one.
#12
Old 12-14-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky! View Post
Good point, hadn't thought of that. I have bump started a new bike with fuel injection, but the battery was just drained enough to not kick the engine over (the guy was running every electrical contraption you could think of- grips, vest, gps, radio charger, etc).

Yep, you need enough power from the battery to run the ignition system, the fuel injection system, and the ECU. If that's not there before you start trying to spin the engine, you're screwed.

If the battery tender won't engage, you'll have to hook the dead battery up to a good battery for at least a little bit.
#13
Old 12-14-2010, 07:44 PM
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Didn't know you could jump a bike from a car when I posted this. Good to know. Sadly, my car is at the mechanic's, which is why I needed the bike to get to work this morning. :P

My battery tender won't work if there's fewer than 3 V, so that option is out. I'll have to try giving it a jump.

It's a 2001 Suzuki SV650S. I don't know diddly about electronics, but next time I have the bike into service, I'll ask if they can do something about rewiring that.

Thanks for the help.
#14
Old 12-14-2010, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
Didn't know you could jump a bike from a car when I posted this. Good to know. Sadly, my car is at the mechanic's, which is why I needed the bike to get to work this morning. :P

My battery tender won't work if there's fewer than 3 V, so that option is out. I'll have to try giving it a jump.

It's a 2001 Suzuki SV650S. I don't know diddly about electronics, but next time I have the bike into service, I'll ask if they can do something about rewiring that.

Thanks for the help.
The V-Strom 650 is kinda it's sister (same engine). With the V-Strom there is a factory installed lead for attaching heated grips so that power is controlled by the ignition switch. I would think that the SV has the same wiring harness. You may want to look into it. Basically all you'd need is a Suzuki connector to attach to your heated grips lead. Then just plug into the factory installed connector (in my case located above the front cylinder head).

It's a really easy DIY. Your bike lacks a lot of the fairing of a V-Strom and the connector should be easy to locate.

(V-Strom 1000 owner)
#15
Old 12-15-2010, 12:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Whatever happened to kickstarting? My scooter works fine that way. Don't bigger cycles have that?
If the scooter doesn't have a battery then the ignition is self contained and doesn't require external voltage.
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