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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, I've been riding for about a month now and was wondering what is the kill switch for? What is it's specific purpose, when and what instances do you use it? As I see it wouldn't this be more of a accident waiting to happen specially for beginners since they might mistaken it for the high beam or whatever? Thoughts anyone?


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It's to stop the engine in an emergency eg your throttle could jam open so you just flick the switch to off instead of reaching for the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh ok, what If you accidentaly press the switch would it lock your tires if you are for example moving?


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Well in all my years of riding that's something i've never managed to do,and i very much doubt it would lock up your rear wheel,I'll try it next time i go out and see what happens.
 

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The kill switch just cuts of the engine. You still have control of the steering and brakes etc. Only way it might be a bad situation is if you cut it at full lean.
 
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My old GS500 died mid corner once (fml) when the engine shuts off, it's still in gear and can keep rolling until you stop. Just gotta learn where the controls are, they're generally the same for all power sport vehicles anyway
 

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The kill switch is quite handy when I park on a hill. Stop with both feet down, front brake applied and clutch pulled in (and in first gear). If I let go with either hand it would roll or kill the motor. Simply hit the kill switch, release the clutch and then the brake. The bike stays put.
 

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I flip it to kill and back to turn the bike off at long red lights instead of fiddling with the key.

The other use is for parking, you "should" flip it to off to prevent accidentally starting it before you want to. Or at least that's what the Msf wants you to believe.

I guess I could believe this if you have a tank bag or something sitting upfrint on the bars. If it extends past the tank it could hit the starter if the handlebar is pulled in.
 

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I flip it to kill and back to turn the bike off at long red lights instead of fiddling with the key.

The other use is for parking, you "should" flip it to off to prevent accidentally starting it before you want to. Or at least that's what the Msf wants you to believe.

I guess I could believe this if you have a tank bag or something sitting upfrint on the bars. If it extends past the tank it could hit the starter if the handlebar is pulled in.
You turn your bike off at lights? Why would you ever do that? What if you had to suddenly get out of the way of a car or emergency vehicle?? What if the bike doesn't start back up? You are literally stranding yourself in middle of the road. Just put the bike in neutral for goodness sake.

Outside of the blatant safety issue, starting the bike uses more gas than idling, it drains your battery, and its generally just bad practice to repeatedly turn your engine on and off.

Oh ok, what If you accidentaly press the switch would it lock your tires if you are for example moving?
No, it won't lock your tires. I hit it accidentally one time when I sneezed going 70mph. For a second I thought my throttle just stopped working, lol. I was still moving at speed but I couldn't accelerate. Ended up pulling in the clutch, slowing down and then when I stopped I realized what happened. Start back up and on your way, no harm done as long as you don't freak out and lose control yourself.
 

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In 3+ years of riding I've probably started my bikes... Over 1000 times, 1500 maybe? It's failed once, when it was 10 degrees out and the battery had failed after sitting a few days. I'll take those odds any day.

If I'm in traffic and there's multiple cars behind me, it's harmless to turn it off. Or, if I want to talk to some one on a bike besides me without yelling over an exhaust, harmless. Placing an order at a drive through? Been there done that. Yelling over an exhaust in a helmet is hopeless. Situational awareness goes a long way.

The only issue is with the battery drain, but it's just once in a while so thats a non issue. I have absolutely no worries about being stranded.

The idea of it using more gas and being damaging to motors is no longer true. Many new cars come with an auto kill feature when the car stops. Studies have shown it to save large amounts of fuel and emissions with little impact to motor life.
 

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In 3+ years of riding I've probably started my bikes... Over 1000 times, 1500 maybe? It's failed once, when it was 10 degrees out and the battery had failed after sitting a few days. I'll take those odds any day.

If I'm in traffic and there's multiple cars behind me, it's harmless to turn it off. Or, if I want to talk to some one on a bike besides me without yelling over an exhaust, harmless. Placing an order at a drive through? Been there done that. Yelling over an exhaust in a helmet is hopeless. Situational awareness goes a long way.

The only issue is with the battery drain, but it's just once in a while so thats a non issue. I have absolutely no worries about being stranded.

The idea of it using more gas and being damaging to motors is no longer true. Many new cars come with an auto kill feature when the car stops. Studies have shown it to save large amounts of fuel and emissions with little impact to motor life.
Even aside from all the stuff we both mentioned, the idea of turning my bike or even my car on or off at every red light just seems extremely inconvenient and tedious.

At the end of the day, everyone rides their own ride. I find that practice extremely bizarre but maybe that is just me, lol.
 

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I have a few lights on my commute that regularly take 2-3 minutes to change, and there's plenty of others around, typically off ramps/jug handles that cross highways. Its easy to turn it off and back on. When the engine is warm it turns over in a second or two. On a green light, I can turn it on and be moving before the car next to me is.

Not sure how "normal" it is, I have a few friends that do it and I picked up the habit from them when I was starting out. They are all very experienced riders so I trusted they knew what they were doing ;)
 

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MSF taught us to use it to stop the engine when parking (versus just using key), and I have no problem with using it that way. Given that I keep the vehicle in gear when parking, prob not a bad idea to keep the hand on the brake anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok just to be clear if I use the kill switch it only cut off the engine and leaves the electrical stuff on not like if you use the key to turn off the engine which also turns off the electrical stuff of the bike?


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Ok just to be clear if I use the kill switch it only cut off the engine and leaves the electrical stuff on not like if you use the key to turn off the engine which also turns off the electrical stuff of the bike?
Correct. Instrument cluster/lights remain.
 

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I have a few lights on my commute that regularly take 2-3 minutes to change, and there's plenty of others around, typically off ramps/jug handles that cross highways. Its easy to turn it off and back on. When the engine is warm it turns over in a second or two. On a green light, I can turn it on and be moving before the car next to me is.

Not sure how "normal" it is, I have a few friends that do it and I picked up the habit from them when I was starting out. They are all very experienced riders so I trusted they knew what they were doing ;)
My only concern is it might get your engine temperatures higher than usual, though if there are any consequences to that, I really don't know.
 

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I've never tried this, so just wondering...

Say you accidentally hit the kill switch while the bike is cruising at a good clip.

As the crankshaft is already spinning, if you the switch back to "on" position, will the spark plugs just go back to firing again, and all good?

Or would you have to hit the starter button again? Can you hit the starter again while the bike is still in motion? As long as you're in the appropriate gear, any harm done? Or is just much safer practice to cruise to a full stop, and then start the engine again?
 

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I've never tried this, so just wondering...

Say you accidentally hit the kill switch while the bike is cruising at a good clip.

As the crankshaft is already spinning, if you the switch back to "on" position, will the spark plugs just go back to firing again, and all good?

Or would you have to hit the starter button again? Can you hit the starter again while the bike is still in motion? As long as you're in the appropriate gear, any harm done? Or is just much safer practice to cruise to a full stop, and then start the engine again?
I think you are correct. Don't hit the starter while the engine is already turning, this should be obvious. Hitting the kill switch should be very similar to letting go of the throttle grip = sudden engine braking.
 

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I've never tried this, so just wondering...

Say you accidentally hit the kill switch while the bike is cruising at a good clip.

As the crankshaft is already spinning, if you the switch back to "on" position, will the spark plugs just go back to firing again, and all good?
Yes.
 
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