Starting fault - Won't start on sidestand
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  1. #1
    Junior Member garybee's Avatar
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    Starting fault - Won't start on sidestand

    Hi all, couldn't find any good pictures of this when I was looking for info so wanted to upload some.

    Fault: Bike doesn't start on sidestand, starts fine when sidestand up and clutch pulled.

    As you may know there are 2 modes in which the ECU will allow the bike to start:-
    1) gearbox in neutral.
    2) sidestand up and clutch pulled in.

    I had initially thought this couldn't be the neutral switch (as the neutral light worked) After a quick bit of diagnosis it turns out the neutral switch can work well enough to light the neutral light whilst not being good enough to allow it to start on the sidestand.

    Easy way to test this is looking for continuity to earth with the 'diode block' in the fuse box removed. There are 3 connections:-
    a)1 to neutral light
    b)1 to neutral switch that will ground to earth with the 'box in neutral
    c)1 to sidestand switch/clutch switch that will ground to earth with the sidestand up and the clutch pulled in.

    Attach one lead to battery negative and probe the centre terminal (b). This will change state when you go into/out of neutral. With the 'box in neutral there should be very little resistance. Mine was 700 Ohms and inconsistant (sometimes much higher). I also tested for continuity to ground through (c). On my bike this was 3-4 Ohms (with the stand up and clutch pulled).

    Obviously, neutral switch was at fault. They're very cheap (about £10) but according to Haynes manuals and Honda require the engine to be removed. This is wrong, It's easy to replace with the engine in situ. Pictures to follow.
    Last edited by garybee; 03-05-2020 at 06:24 AM. Reason: clarification

  2. #2
    Junior Member garybee's Avatar
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    With the right hand swingarm brace removed the neutral switch is easily accessible. In the pictures below it is the small silver item with the red washer and the rubber boot partially pulled back. You can remove the right hand swingarm brace with the bike on the sidestand. Just leave the bolts in place (large bolts that pass all the way through from the left side) and don't take the left hand one off.

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    Last edited by garybee; 03-06-2020 at 08:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Member vampire's Avatar
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    great write up.
    thanks for sharing
    spun out '

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Berty Boy's Avatar
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    Excellent post Garybee.Respect

  6. #5
    Senior Member COLVERT's Avatar
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    3/ Side stand up, gearbox in neutral ??
    Personal Disclaimer:
    My thoughts are intended to provide a sounding board for your own.
    Some of what I say may go against your own thoughts and may seem harsh, targeted and malicious.
    This is not my intention – I am simply using my experience, including other peoples, as a way of debating and giving advice - of which there is no guarantee that it's correct

  7. #6
    Junior Member garybee's Avatar
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    It will start like that of course, but the side stand isn't playing any part in it as the ECU's path to earth is through the neutral switch. I take your point though, I phrased it badly. Have now edited the OP.

    I'll add pictures of which pin is which and an electrical diagram too. There's lots of conflicting information about this, even on this site. I'd been wanting to post this for ages but had given up as it's taken almost a year for my forum registration to be approved. When I noticed it finally had been last night I threw the post together a bit too quickly.
    Last edited by garybee; 03-02-2020 at 03:36 PM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member doser's Avatar
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    well done!
    piling the mileage on...

  9. #8
    Senior Member MikeRSP2's Avatar
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    Excellent post, this is a common fault I think. Thank you.

  10. #9
    Senior Member COLVERT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garybee View Post
    It will start like that of course, but the side stand isn't playing any part in it as the ECU's path to earth is through the neutral switch. I take your point though, I phrased it badly. Have now edited the OP.

    I'll add pictures of which pin is which and an electrical diagram too. There's lots of conflicting information about this, even on this site. I'd been wanting to post this for ages but had given up as it's taken almost a year for my forum registration to be approved. When I noticed it finally had been last night I threw the post together a bit too quickly.
    I'm glad you are now on the site and have posted a bit of useful info for everyone.

    Looking forward to your electrical diagram too.
    Personal Disclaimer:
    My thoughts are intended to provide a sounding board for your own.
    Some of what I say may go against your own thoughts and may seem harsh, targeted and malicious.
    This is not my intention – I am simply using my experience, including other peoples, as a way of debating and giving advice - of which there is no guarantee that it's correct

  11. #10
    Senior Member DELuth's Avatar
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    What a great first post! Thanks for including details like the ohm reading.

    It's funny to me that if it wasn't a LED neutral light, the problem would have been obvious as the neutral light would have been very dim.

    The CPU in the meter doesn't care that it's a high resistance path to ground. It just sees a path to ground and turns the LED on which fools you into thinking the switch is fine. What a little troll! LOL

    This is the main reason why I hate the new LED test lights as the ones I've tried all suffer from the same problem too, some worse than others. Incandescent test light or DMM only for me!

    Good Job, Garybee!


    If someone reading this suspects their neutral switch but doesn't have a multi-meter, you can still check the neutral switch resistance with a regular non-LED test light. If you don't have a test light, you can make a DIY test light from any non-LED low-wattage 12v bulb with tape and some wire.

    1. Diode in or out doesn't matter. You can leave it in. Key on or off, doesn't matter.
    2. Make sure trans is in neutral, obviously.
    3. Clamp the lead from the test light to the positive battery terminal or any other 12v source.
    4. Touch the test light pointed probe to the negative battery terminal or any GOOD ground and take note of the brightness.
    5. Now move the pointed probe of the test light to the neutral switch and compare brightness to the last step.

    If the brightness is lower, there's your problem. Easy peasy!
    Last edited by DELuth; 03-07-2020 at 01:40 PM.
    "I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

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