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post #1 of 12 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 3:32 pm Thread Starter
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Question Killer Question

Would some one please tell me why motorcycles have kill switches? If I think I am going to crash should I turn it off?
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post #2 of 12 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 3:36 pm
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Re: Killer Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by budzee
Would some one please tell me why motorcycles have kill switches? If I think I am going to crash should I turn it off?
No I wouldn't do that, but if you do have an accident or drop the bike it's much faster to hit the kill switch then it is the key.
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post #3 of 12 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 3:40 pm
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Wink Re: Killer Question

2 answers:
  1. To make you look when you cannot get the bike started
  2. In case the throttle cable starts shaffing and won't allow the RPM to come back down (imagine being stuck at 8000 rpm ). The kill switch is easier to reach than the ignition key.
Historically the ignition key used to be on the side of the bike, near your leg.

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post #4 of 12 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 11:54 pm
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Re: Killer Question

And not every bike has a side stand that provides the same function. I think Buell riders use their kill switch the most, but I am sure some Harley jockey would disagree.

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post #5 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 4:18 am
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Re: Killer Question

But how many use them as a regular practice? I talked to a BMW LEO who said they always kill with the switch then immediately thumb it back so they are ready to restart and go.
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post #6 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 4:31 am
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Re: Killer Question

Don't forget the bystanders. If you drop the bike on top of yourself, and you're not able to see, think, hear or move, it's very handy when all bikes have similar killswitches for bystanders to hit.

I never use it as a regular practice. It's an emergency feature. You don't play with your car's airbags as well do you?
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post #7 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 6:38 am
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Re: Killer Question

The engine Cut off switch is located so that you can shut the engine off with out removing your hands from the handle bars. This is very GOOD feature for novice riders who are still learning how to ride and quite often, especially with a passenger a safer way to shut a bike off than putting the side stand down.

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post #8 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 7:16 am
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Re: Killer Question

First sported on the original 007 movie Godzilla Meets Dr Strange Kong, Kong's air head sidecar was outfitted with 50 millimeter Gatling gun mount... the Kill Switch remotely controlled the machine.. when the green blip on the RADAR screen (where the speedo would be)was centered.. Kong hit the "Kill" switch and a wall of banana lead would take out ole' Zilla.... or so it was the intent.

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post #9 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:59 am
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Re: Killer Question

The kill switch is designed so that you can quickly and easily kill the engine in an emergency. I assume that its location was chosen to be as convenient as possible under the widest set of circumstances where it might be needed.

Each time I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Experienced Rider Course (ERC), they taught us to use the kill switch to turn off the motorcycle every time. Their justification was to turn it into a habit, so that when the emergency comes, we would know what to do.

I followed that procedure for over 25 years and never had a problem. Last year, someone on one of these forums pointed out that the kill switch on my K1200GT is not very robust, and prone to failure from overuse. Now I use the key, because I don't want to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a dead bike 'cause the flimsy kill switch broke. And it does feel flimsy to me.

If someone can show me confidently that the kill switch on my 2007 K1200GT is durable and designed to be used twice a day for 25 years, then I will make it a part of my shutdown sequence again.
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post #10 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 1:54 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Killer Question

I haven't checked on any of my "real" motorcycles but on my Eaton Beamer II scooter the kill switch just shuts off the engine and not the lights. Also if it is so important in an accident why is it not tethered to the switch like on a wave runner? How many people that come upon a motorcycle accident would even know that they had kill switches? They still just make no sense to me.
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post #11 of 12 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 9:57 pm
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Re: Killer Question

Kill switch did come in handy on my LT.
Dropped her while trying to navigate past a truck which encroached on my parking area at work. Me under the right side with the bike in gear and running. Could not reach the clutch. Left a real nice rubber patch on the sidewalk before I remembered the kill switch
Only time I have ever used one.

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post #12 of 12 Old Sep 24th, 2008, 4:29 am
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Re: Killer Question

Engine kill switch??? What does it kill?? LOL I have used the engine cut off switch in emergency once, beside using each and every time I turn the motor off.

I got a flat front at about 65 mph, in a curve. The front steering felt like someone had turn off the power steering. I started to slow and once I got to about 30--40 mph the motorcycle started to wobble. The slower I got the shake/wobble got worst. At about 10-15 mph I was hanging on pretty good, and all I could think about was the engine kill switch and I am sure nobody could of either, could have taken there hands of the handgrip, reached for the key to turn it off. At the time I had not idea what was wrong with the motorcycle. I thought it was going to blow up. It was easy hitting it with my thumb and I know the engine was off, if the motorcycle decided to throw me. I coasted to a nice wobbly stop. Got off, to see what was with bike and before I even got off, I knew the front was flat. I could not turn the front handle bars normally to the left to get off the bike.

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