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Thread: Neutral Light

  1. #1
    Titan Silver mfifer's Avatar
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    Neutral Light

    Hi Guys. I have a 96 R1100RT and the neutral light seems to have a mind of its own . Sometimes it comes on and sometimes not. Yes I know there is a gear indicator but I have done the relay to neutral light mod for side stand down starting in neutral. The light has been flakey even before this. Anybody got ideas? and how do I get to the switch? Pictures maybe?

    Thanks , Mike
    Mike & Robin Fifer http://www.n-scale-model-trains.com/ 2002 R1150RT Current
    1995 K75S Sold
    1996 R1100RT sold

  2. #2
    TNSTAAFL Troutluck's Avatar
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    1. TADT
    2. Neutral is a highly overrated gear for most motorcycles.
    Jack Pate | '09G650GS | '95 R100RT | Previously: '00R1100R, '87K75T
    NW Arkansawyer |
    BMWMOA #125430 | Fraternal Order of the Mudshark (FOM #0001)

  3. #3
    Certified Beemerphile TheRoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfifer View Post
    Hi Guys. I have a 96 R1100RT and the neutral light seems to have a mind of its own . Sometimes it comes on and sometimes not.
    Mike,
    I have a 2000 R1100RT, Opal Blue like your avatar. Anyway, my neutral light does the exact same thing, has for probably 50,000 miles. I just always pull in the clutch lever to start the bike, and if I am really confused about which gear I am in I look at the gear indicator, and then I go home and park the bike since I am not on the ball that day .

    I wouldn't worry about it, but if you do track down the problem and correct it I'd love to hear the details and see any pictures you take.




    TADT???
    Christopher Ross, Lubbock, Texas

    2012 R1200GSA
    1974 R90S

  4. #4
    SNOONE
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    It's an epidemic! I have the same problem on my 2002 GS.. The problem is the Gear Indicator Switch or gear potentiometer located down on the transmission... I was told by the dealer its a $50.00 part and a $585 labor cost plus tax to get to it and replace. As long as your clutch switch doesn't fry of course you can start the bike with the kick stand up... I'm gonna live with it

  5. #5
    Certified Beemerphile TheRoss's Avatar
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    $585 labor? Did they say what was involved with replacing the switch? At that cost I would expect them to remove the transmission, but surely not!
    Christopher Ross, Lubbock, Texas

    2012 R1200GSA
    1974 R90S

  6. #6
    SNOONE
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRoss View Post
    $585 labor? Did they say what was involved with replacing the switch? At that cost I would expect them to remove the transmission, but surely not!
    Mind you I'm not mechanical at all, but from what I gather this part is in a spot on my bike at least where the swing arm bolts come into play.. and I could be wrong but I think the arm has to be removed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRoss View Post

    TADT???
    "They All Do That." a common response when a shop tech can't figure out why something is acting flakey on your bike. Or when T actually ADT.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  8. #8
    TNSTAAFL Troutluck's Avatar
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    Well, I searched here and at other BMW forums and found numerous references to the problem. General consensus is if you don't have a reason to get that far down into the tranny, it's just not worth fixing. Mine does it, too, and I bet if you did a parking lot survey of oilheads, you'd find most exhibit this to some degree. Maybe should have said "many do that."

    Because this is part of the ignition logic on the bike, this should be part of a recall, IMO. Not holding my breath.
    Jack Pate | '09G650GS | '95 R100RT | Previously: '00R1100R, '87K75T
    NW Arkansawyer |
    BMWMOA #125430 | Fraternal Order of the Mudshark (FOM #0001)

  9. #9
    Titan Silver mfifer's Avatar
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    I am really not concerned that it works but the stand mod relies on current to the light to trip the relay that will allow you to start the bike in neutral and die if it is in gear. IMHO they should have been built this way.
    The bike sits in my Cycle Shell outside on the side stand and I would like to be able to start it while I install my head skid and hand sliders before heading off to work in the dark.

    I too have read that the switch is in the Bat Cave of the bike but thought I would see if anyone has been really resourceful. It almost seems like a grounding issue!?

    Thanks , Mike
    Mike & Robin Fifer http://www.n-scale-model-trains.com/ 2002 R1150RT Current
    1995 K75S Sold
    1996 R1100RT sold

  10. #10
    SNOONE
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    I drove up to Paulbach's today .. We did a short tour of VT and then I circled back home. 450 miles and the neutral light worked all day until I stopped at a rest area on the Thruway.. Doesn't work now.. Probably will work in the AM.. It's just annoying..

  11. #11
    Titan Silver mfifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoone View Post
    I drove up to Paulbach's today .. We did a short tour of VT and then I circled back home. 450 miles and the neutral light worked all day until I stopped at a rest area on the Thruway.. Doesn't work now.. Probably will work in the AM.. It's just annoying..
    I feel your pain! Mine usually comes on after righting the bike, and putting the stand up . Just like it is taunting me!


    Mike
    Mike & Robin Fifer http://www.n-scale-model-trains.com/ 2002 R1150RT Current
    1995 K75S Sold
    1996 R1100RT sold

  12. #12
    bmwmick
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfifer View Post
    I am really not concerned that it works but the stand mod relies on current to the light to trip the relay that will allow you to start the bike in neutral and die if it is in gear. IMHO they should have been built this way.
    The bike sits in my Cycle Shell outside on the side stand and I would like to be able to start it while I install my head skid and hand sliders before heading off to work in the dark.

    I too have read that the switch is in the Bat Cave of the bike but thought I would see if anyone has been really resourceful. It almost seems like a grounding issue!?

    Thanks , Mike
    Mike it IS a grounding issue, the switch provides a ground to the interlock circuits.
    to replace the switch, you have to pull the swingarm. The switch is at the rear of the transmission.

  13. #13
    Titan Silver mfifer's Avatar
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    Thanks Mick , I will mess with it if I get energetic .
    Mike
    Mike & Robin Fifer http://www.n-scale-model-trains.com/ 2002 R1150RT Current
    1995 K75S Sold
    1996 R1100RT sold

  14. #14
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    neutral light

    Actually, it is the NEUTRAL switch, not the GEAR INDICATOR switch. They are bolted together at the back of the transmission, and the swingarm does have to come off since there isn't enuf room to get tools on them otherwise. And, yes indeed, they ALMOST all do that. As long as your clutch interlock works (mounted to the clutch lever on the left handlebar), you will be fine. However, if your clutch interlock switch goes, the next time you stall your bike you will be in rush hour traffic, in the left lane, with 200 cars stacked up behind you. And there will be a twoferone sale on down at the local bar.
    Almost everyone I know has problems with the neutral switch but they never bother to do anything about it, since it is intermittent, and they keep the clutch interlock switch working (or they hot wire around the interlock switch). Mine has been lazy for most of its 130,000 miles.

  15. #15
    Titan Silver mfifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flars10 View Post
    Actually, it is the NEUTRAL switch, not the GEAR INDICATOR switch. They are bolted together at the back of the transmission, and the swingarm does have to come off since there isn't enuf room to get tools on them otherwise. And, yes indeed, they ALMOST all do that. As long as your clutch interlock works (mounted to the clutch lever on the left handlebar), you will be fine. However, if your clutch interlock switch goes, the next time you stall your bike you will be in rush hour traffic, in the left lane, with 200 cars stacked up behind you. And there will be a twoferone sale on down at the local bar.
    Almost everyone I know has problems with the neutral switch but they never bother to do anything about it, since it is intermittent, and they keep the clutch interlock switch working (or they hot wire around the interlock switch). Mine has been lazy for most of its 130,000 miles.
    Yeah , I read all that in the book this weekend. How in the world do you stack 2 switches and one always works flawlessly and the simpler of the 2 is apparently a POS. Life is good (for a BMW Tech )

    Mike
    Mike & Robin Fifer http://www.n-scale-model-trains.com/ 2002 R1150RT Current
    1995 K75S Sold
    1996 R1100RT sold

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