low battery starting

Starting with a low battery

by Duane Ausherman

Ever try to use the electric start, and it just goes click-click?  Did you wish that you had a kick starter?

Your battery is so close to being dead that it won’t operate the headlight or electric starter.  Before you try this trick, reach down and try to wiggle the battery terminals on the battery posts.  If they move, then you have a good chance that you just temporarily fixed it.  No joy, move on to this trick.

This may be the solution.  We used it in the shop many times.  Put your helmet and riding clothes on.  Move the bike to a safe place to push it.  A (pusher) friend can come in useful at this point.  With the key in the up position, move the bike back and forth while you shift the gears up to 3rd.  Now, try to nudge it up just a bit more to be in between 3rd and 4th.  If that fails, move it to neutral.  Run with the bike to what would be the max speed that you are able.  Jump on and with the clutch disengaged, move the shift lever down into 3rd, or up into 2nd gear.  Release the clutch and shove the key into the headlight shell to turn on the system.  While the battery isn’t capable of running the electric starter and the ignition system all at once, it probably can operate the ignition system.  The bike may start quickly, and you now have a chance to get home, or to someplace for more help.

Updated 8 Nov. 2019