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Forum Home > Maintenance > Motorcycle Jumper Cables

Wayne Vick
Site Owner
Posts: 8

The Tail Gunner is one of the most experienced riders in a group. They are chosen for this position because they have the years of experience, knowledge and skills to the handle many responsibilities of the job. They are also prepared for many emergencies. One thing they are prepared for is dealing with a dead battery. This article addresses 7 considerations for selection of motorcycle jumper cables. Jumper Cables is a key tool to carry for Tail Gunners or anyone in the group with the space to spare. However, that’s the issue – space. Motorcycles come with a lot of air space but little storage space. So if we carry jumper cables they must be purpose built and small (1). They should also come with a zippered storage bag (2) to help control them when stored.

Because most motorcycle batteries are found under the seat they are not always easy to get to. The best jumper cables will come in two pieces (3) – one lead mounted to the bike permanently connected to the battery which includes a waterproof connector ready to use without having to take apart the bike. The other end includes the cable with a connector lead for quick use which you store in your saddle bags or trunk.

Cables should be between 8 and 12 foot long (4). Any more would constitute to a waste of wire and space. As to wire thickness there are two considerations; gauge and insulation. Gauge is the thickness of the conductor. The smaller the gauge number the thicker the wire and the better cables. Since motorcycles and ATVs don’t use much cold cranking amperage 8 to 6 gauge (5) is fine. Solid wire (6) is better than stranded cause it will transfer a higher amperage. Insulation is not noted but the thicker the better. Cost (7) is where cables really differ. Prices can vary from as little as $17 to more than $300. I have collected links to four to share with you.

So to recap select a jumper cable system that meets your needs with a solid 8 gauge wire (minimum) 8 to 10 ft. long. I personally chose the Powerlet cables because they address 6 of the 7 areas (no zippered storage case). The system is pictured. Before I found this set I made do with a compact auto one-piece set.

Do a Google search for “Compact Motorcycle Jumper Cables” and you will see about 125,000 entries.

Aerostich Jumper Cables #3524 $17.00


Powerlet Real Motorcycle Jumper Cables $94.00



(The two sets below are really designed for service and tow trucks)

WARN 26769 Quick Connect Booster Cable Kit $131.99

Battery Booster Cable System, Truck Mount $313.00

(Associated Equipment - 6139)


January 30, 2012 at 7:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Wayne Vick
Site Owner
Posts: 8

A short time ago I was on a ride where a rider was having problems with their battery. They needed to change it but first had to complete the ride. Another capable rider was using his jumper cables (similar to the Aerostich Jumper Cables shown above) to give him a jump start and was not having any luck. I noticed that the cables were heating up and the insulation was melting. Previously I had a similar set of jumper cables that, while they looked good, just didn't perform (poor quality conductors). So I offered to use my Powerlet jumper cables.

I pulled my bike up beside him, handed him the clipped ends while I plugged in my end into the permanently mounted special purpose adaptor pigtail . As soon as he touched the starter button the bike started. This is the result of a high quality product designed to meet nearly any need. It's more expensive but doesn't fail me.

If I were to wish for any changes it would ask Powerlet for two things. First I would ask them to add one to two feet more to the cable length to allow me to meet any situation. Second, I would ask them to add a connection diode to the cable side of the connector to show a good powered connection exists when the plug is connected. This may constitute a new (Powerlet Plus) product.

June 7, 2012 at 11:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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