And Knowing is Half the Battle

I killed Lenore’s battery today.

I have a bad habit of hitting the engine kill switch, getting distracted, and then leaving the bike’s ignition on. (This is usually someplace safe, like home; otherwise I obsess over the key.) In this case I rode over to a friend’s place, and he’s got a sloped driveway. I had to move the bike around to find a level spot to park it, and by then I forgot all about the key in the ignition.

Forty-five minutes later my hand went to my pocket, and I noticed the key was missing. I went out and found it in the ignition, and when I tried to start her I got nothing but clicks. Swell. I first figured I’d have to jump it, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to jump a bike with a car. Not to mention it would be damn near impossible to get the connectors onto the battery terminals anyway.

Then I remembered learning about bump starting the bike by popping the clutch:

It’s really the only option besides having my wife bring over the trickle charger, then return for the bike in a day or two. I intended to practice bump starting at some point anyway, so I decided I may as well give it a shot.

This is where my friend’s sloped driveway came in handy. I pushed up to the top, found 2nd gear, rolled, popped the clutch… and vroom! I half expected to shoot across the street and break my neck, but it was actually very smooth and easy.

I forget what first prompted me to look up bump starting, but I’m glad I did. I tend to read up on riding tips, and in this case it saved me a lot of trouble. Now Lenore is back home and sipping electricity from the battery minder, and she should be back in action tomorrow.

And there you have it, fellow bike rookies: Ever wondered how to handle a dead battery? Now you know.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

One comment

  1. Mikey says:

    Try this a third time…

    Your cars are all 12 volts. I think your bike is 6 volts. Jumper those two together and you’ll have sparks, smoke, splashing acid, and maybe fire. Officially “bad.”

    If the bike is 12 volts, then the only prob jumping it off a car is the actual connection of the cables.

    The current draw of the load defines the amperage, not the capacity of the supply, so from that perspective you’re also fine. It’s the voltage differential which’ll make liquid lead and boiling sulfuric acid and then splash in your face.

    -Mikey-