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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
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.

20200112_135938.jpg
20200112_135930.jpg
 

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3/ Side stand up, gearbox in neutral ??
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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!
 

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I've had this issue intermittently for a couple of years, & it’s been getting steadily worse over the last few months, so today decided to install a new neutral switch.
Thanks to the OP’s excellent ‘how to’ guide all went well.
One thing I’d advise is to put a piece of rag/kitchen roll on the top of the swingarm, just in case one accidently drops the switch or locknut. It’ll provide a ‘cushion’ & won’t bounce like it will on bare metal & run the risk of going down between the swingarm & engine cases. you’ll at least have a chance of getting it back to try again. IMG_1016.jpg
 

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I currently have the same problem. Thank you very much garybee. For the time being, my solution each morning is to start engine with side stand up, upright position. Not a mechanical man myself, but i get the point...thanks again
 
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