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Thread: Neutral Light Bypass

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  1. #1
    Macrunch MCrenshaw's Avatar
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    Neutral Light Bypass

    My wife rides a '97 R1100R, approx. 65k miles. While getting the bike ready for the season today I noticed that occasionally the neutral indicator light will not come on, even though the bike is in neutral. The wiring on this model is such that if the light doesn't come on, even with the bike in neutral, the starter doesn't engage. Apparently the neutral indicator switch is located inside the transmission case and I'd rather not pull the transmission unless absolutely necessary. Rocking the bike in neutral will occasionally get the switch to come on but it takes a lot of "fiddling" to get it just right.

    The question is to know if there is a way to bypass the neutral light/starter switch so it doesn't matter if the light is burning. Thanks, Mike

  2. #2
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    I'm just guessing here, but couldn't you just jumper the two wires together, thus completing the circuit ?
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The neutral and gear indicator switch is located external to the transmission case on the back if the transmission. It come out/off after removing two capscrews. The wires run over to the left side and up, and connect right at the frame by the rear of the driver's seat. It is futzy to reach. I might pull the swingarm for easier access, but the subframe and transmission can stay right where they are.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  4. #4
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    +1 to getting at the switch and repairing it.

    You can bypass it by grounding the brown/black wire coming from the switch. Though if you do that, the bike will start in gear, with the clutch out. And hitting the starter at the wrong time could have negative consequences. And the neutral light would always be on too.

    Another work around is to always pull in the clutch to start.

    Here's a link to the schematic: R1100RT Electrical.

  5. #5
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    An argument in favor of repair is: if the clutch switch fails, you won't be able to start the bike.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  6. #6
    Rally Rat
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    Even with the light off (or in gear) it should start with the clutch in. If not, you have bad clutch switch too. The clutch switch is a snap to jump. Cut the wires going to the housing and wire them together. If you ever really get stuck you can jump the whole system by pulling the starter relay and jumping hole 2 to hole 6 with a thin piece of wire (key on).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrenshaw View Post
    ...occasionally the neutral indicator light will not come on, even though the bike is in neutral. The wiring on this model is such that if the light doesn't come on, even with the bike in neutral, the starter doesn't engage. .... Rocking the bike in neutral will occasionally get the switch to come on but it takes a lot of "fiddling" to get it just right.
    The observations don't add up for me.
    When you say the bike is in neutral I assume you mean the RID shows 0 for gear position. False neutrals are common. For example, when my RID shows 0 at a traffic light but my neutral light has not come on, I am very careful not to release the clutch!

    When you say that rocking the bike has some effect, clearly you were NOT in neutral but close to it. In other words, the neutral switch and its indicator light are fine.
    I don't mean to contradict you, but before snipping, replacing, bypassing, etc, could you check the basic observations again? For example, the next time you don't get a neutral light could you just fiddle with the gear lever and clutch- does that 'fix' it?
    Your neutral switch can be pronounced bad only if you could spin the back wheel (really neutral) while the neutral light is off. The bulb is fine since it works at least some of the time.

    Also it seems so unlikely that clutch and neutral switch would fail simultaneously (I use my clutch to start the bike frequently and would know right away when it failed). Could you confirm that your clutch switch never works to crank the bike when in gear?

    When two independent switches seem to fail at the same time I like to look for a common cause before replacing stuff.
    Just trying to save effort.
    The question is to know if there is a way to bypass the neutral light/starter switch so it doesn't matter if the light is burning.
    Sorry, I don't think that is a good question.
    --
    Doug Raymond
    R1150RT '02
    Ambler, PA

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