Motorcycle Jumper Cables

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Jamie Z, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I've seen several references here about "jumper cables" to be carried on your bike during a long ride. It's a good idea, I think. I've already been in one situation where jumper cables would have come in handy.

    But... what constitutes jumper cables? Surely y'all aren't carrying regular automotive cables. I can imagine a short length of good thick wire would be sufficient (and pack relatively small), but what about the ends? How do you connect it to the batteries?

    Does anyone have any pictures or instructions on how to make good, durable, and reliable motorcycle jumper cables? I've done a search, but all I come up with is people saying, "Make sure you bring jumper cables" and no description thereof.

    Jamie
    #1
  2. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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  3. swjohnsey

    swjohnsey Banned

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    It don't take much. I made mine out of 4 gauge zip cord about 10' long. I used some color coded clips on both ends big enough to clip to a car battery.
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  4. r1150r

    r1150r Out standing in my field

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  5. crooked roads

    crooked roads I'm back

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    you could use- almost- any size to charge. To start I bet #10 or 12 would work . Don't sit and crank starter long. Aligator clips on ends. I've left darn key on and drained my drz batt. Push start works even with dead batt.
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  6. Boatman

    Boatman Membership has it's privileges ;-)

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    I made up a set from 10ga silicone jacketed wire. There is a pigtail coming directly off the battery and connects with 40 amp Sermos connectors. When I don't need the jumper cables the pigtail powers my auxillary fuse block. All parts came from McMaster Carr. The silicone jacket is good in case you overheat them, it will not melt.

    It's a good idea to solder the connection to the clips instead of depending on the cheesy crimp that will promote high resitance in the connection.

    I've jumped by buddies R80G/S a number of times from complete dead with no problems.



    [​IMG]
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  7. Nitzo

    Nitzo Long timer

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    +1

    I have these and have USED them. I won't travel without em.
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  8. Gregg Wannabe

    Gregg Wannabe Just killing time

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    I have the pigtail from a battery charger connected directly to my battery. The pigtail is maybe 12 inches and the gauge is perhaps 16-18. Do you think the pigtail would handle the load for jumping if I made some 10 gauge cables like yours?
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  9. Gregg Wannabe

    Gregg Wannabe Just killing time

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    Oops. Maybe my answer is here.
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  10. Boatman

    Boatman Membership has it's privileges ;-)

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    Like tbirdsp said, it probably won't handle the amperage. Most of those connectors are only good for 10-15 amps mabye 20 at the most.
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  11. Meles meles

    Meles meles Been here awhile

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  12. Cosmic_Jumper

    Cosmic_Jumper Been here awhile

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    This ought to cost you all of $7 or $8:

    Go to Home Depot and get 8 feet of 12 or 14 gauge (two lead) Low Voltage Lighting Cable from the spool in the Electric Wire Section. This is the stuff that's used for low voltage yard lights. It's very flexible. That's gonna cost you about $0.35/foot. Don't get the pre-packaged stuff, get it off the spool.

    Next stop is at Wal-Mart to pick up two sets of small battery charger clamps from the Tire Section --where they sell battery terminals. That'll cost you another $1.88 per set.

    Take everything home, split the wires back about 6 inches on both ends & solder the terminals to the appropriate ends of the wire, being sure to observe polarity.

    If you've got any heat shrink tubing on hand you can slip some over the ends of the wires before attaching the terminals. That will stop the wires from separating further.

    Remember, it's a jumper cable, not a starting cable. It's not gonna work if you try to start a car with it.
    #12
  13. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Thanks for all the tips, guys. It looks like I'll just find some good thick wire and some clips and make my own. The commercial cables look good, but none of them look very compact. I want to be able to pack mine in with my toolkit.

    Now... where can I get some good quality clips? :deal

    Jamie
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  14. jbwjim

    jbwjim Adventurer

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  15. Tasy's BIGJIM

    Tasy's BIGJIM CornerGrinner

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    Look I wouldn't risk the Damage to my Bm electronics by Sparking Jumper Cables? Ampage is it the same between different bikes? Its never going to go if you Fry that! I'd just Push start. I've pushed a Goldwing my Race Bike.... some carry so much not needed stuff ? Jim. :ear ?
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  16. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

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    Battery tenders transmit a few amps at best. Unless it's one that duals as a jumps starter, you need heavier wire than that of the battery tender. If you just used the clips, then you might be fine, but I'm not sure.
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  17. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Hooked up in parallel, amperage doesn't matter.

    You're right that there is a small risk of damaging some electrics, but sometimes that risk is the best option you have. In my personal experience, I was riding with my cousin in a relatively remote area. We didn't know that he was running a weak battery. He stalled out the bike in some loose sand, and the battery was too weak to power up the bike. We couldn't bump start because of the uneven and loose surface. Had I been carrying jumper cables like I've been meaning to, we probably wouldn't have had to mess around for the next couple of hours trying to get his bike started like we did.

    Jamie
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  18. BigX

    BigX n00b - Yeah, right

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    Be-oootiful :super
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  19. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Used several times for different friends bikes. Buy a m/c specific set from JC Whitney cheap and store under your seat...never know when they will come in handy.

    #19
  20. Boatman

    Boatman Membership has it's privileges ;-)

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    Thanks. When I'm not using them I have an old Crown Royal bag that I keep them rolled up and tucked up by the battery.

    If I were to make another set I think I would use a good quality set of alligtor clips instead. Smaller and easier to get clipped on a GS battery.
    #20