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Thread: neutral safety switch

  1. #1

    Question neutral safety switch

    Last weekend I noticed that my R11RT wouldn't start while in gear and pulling in the clutch (kickstand up). Also, the green neutral light doesn't always come on when trying to start it and I know it's in neurtral like when trying to start it for riding into work in the morning. Has anyone had this problem and would you tell me what you did to fix it? I don't want to use the bike until it's fixed or I know more about it (glad for my backup K-bike). All feedback is greatly appreciated.
    Dave

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Your clutch lever switch has failed, you'll want to get that fixed. (Otherwise you won't be able to start the bike in traffic, in gear, after stalling it.)

    There are three safety switches that affect starting: the clutch lever switch, the neutral switch and the sidestand switch.

    On the 1100s, if the sidestand is down, it won't start or run. So if this switch fails -- a not unknown occurance -- you can't start the bike. There's a conector down the left side of the bike that you can open and jumper across the top half to disable the switch as a temporary fix.

    On all the bikes, the neutral and the clutch lever switches together disable starting. If either one (or both) are activated, then you can start the bike. If they both fail, then you've got a real problem. On the Airheads you could trace the clutch lever switch wires back under the tank and find a connector to open and jumper as a temporary fix, but I'm not sure about that on the Oilheads.

    On the 1150s (and 1200s), if the sidestand is down, the bike won't start or run unless either the clutch or neutral switch (or both) are activated.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  3. #3

    Clutch Lever switch

    Thank you Daryl for the info on the cluth lever switch. Can anyone else tell me where this switch is and how to replace it or disable it? Thanks.

  4. #4

    Clutch lever switch

    Got a reply from BMWST


    [Pretty common occurence on the 1100.
    1. Neutral light doesn't come on: the neutral switch on back of transmission is notorious for getting 'lazy'. Nothing to do except replace it if you ever have to do any clutch/tranny work since it is a sealed unit, and is in an awkward place. Most of us live with it for a long time before getting it fixed. Mine has been lazy for 80,000 miles.
    2. Pulling in the clutch didn't allow you to start without the neutral light - Clutch interlock switch up at the clutch lever is bad. Replace it, it's pretty easy and cheap to do. You have to cut the wire up near the clutch lever assembly to get it out, since you can't get hold of it otherwise. You can then slide a deep socket down over the wire to unscrew the switch. Then unplug the other end from the harness, and use needle nose pliers to put the new one back into the clutch lever assembly - it goes back in easier than it comes out. BTW - some people just cut the wires and twist them together, thereby bypassing the interlock. Some people say you are risking your life, your family, your wealth if you do this since the bike could then start in gear. ]

    I will take a look at my bike later today. Indian summer day here in Western Mass today (80 + degrees this afternoon) great day for a ride!

  5. #5
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    I thnk I'm starting to have the same problem with my R11RT. It will start fine with the clutch lever in, but I don't always get a green light in the morning. Sometimes if I pull the clutch lever in and release it, I will get the green light. I was thinking it may be a linkage missadjustment on the shifter. No such luck Huh? How hard is it to get the the switch on the trans?
    Jay

  6. #6

    Neutral Safety switch

    Reply from BMWST:

    [Actually, the neutral switch is not a sealed unit which is why the problem develops in the first place. It only requires a few ohms of resistance in the switch to cause the "lazy" problem. A plastic safe contact cleaner will help if you can get to the switch to spray it, but is at best only a short term solution. As stated above, most people just live with it until necessary repairs require removal of the rear swingarm.] There were pictures with this reply that I will try to show but this is the first time for me and they may not appear.







    Go to your service manual and find the proceedure for removal of the rear swing arm and you will likely find out why people (such as myself) will live with the problem.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    (Flickr is a PITA to get images for posts here, so I grabbed them for you.)




    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

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