2010 RT only starting in neutral - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 37 Old May 23rd, 2018, 10:04 pm Thread Starter
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2010 RT only starting in neutral

I'm puzzled and appreciate any suggestions or explanations. The bike runs well but with side stand raised or lowered, it will only start in neutral. Once it starts, the bike operates normally and with the stand raised, I can change gears without the engine stopping.

If the engine is running and the side stand is lowered while in gear, the engine stops even if I pull in the clutch. The engine will not start again until I switch to neutral and I have to raise the stand before changing into first. My initial thought was the side stand switch but I'm thinking that if it was stuck in the "stand lowered position", the engine would cut out once I change from neutral regardless of the side stand position. Has anybody experienced this before?

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post #2 of 37 Old May 23rd, 2018, 10:51 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

You can't start the bike in gear with the side stand extended under any circumstances. It will start in gear with the stand up and the clutch pulled-in. This is how the side stand safety is supposed to operate.
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post #3 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 1:26 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

"it will only start in neutral"
Can you hear your clutch switch click when you put your ear by it and pull the lever all the way back? With the side stand up, you should be able to start the bike in gear and the clutch in if the switch is working. Since you can start it in neutral while the stand is down it seems to be the clutch switch. And just because it clicks does not really mean it works. That will take a meter and some work.
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post #4 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 4:44 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

You say when you lower the stand the engine stops, so the sidestand switch is working.

My money is also on the clutch switch - either the actual switch, a connector or wiring back to the ECU.

Disconnect the clutch switch from the wiring back to the ECU and put a multimeter set to resistance across the 2 switch terminals. Operate the clutch, it should go from open circuit to very low resistance.

If the switch looks ok, test back towards the ECU looking for volts. With the ignition on you should see a reading.
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post #5 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 5:57 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

I had this same issue on my 2009 K13GT. The problem was the clutch lever. I have Pazzo short levers on the bike and the adjuster moved from position 3 to position 2, which caused a shorter pull on the clutch. It was enough to cause the micro switch to not make contact and it would only start in neutral.


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post #6 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 8:36 am
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Yep! That happened to my 2012
Definitely the micro-switch. Dealer ordered up a new one and it was a quick fix. Was covered under my extended warranty so not sure the cost but an easy fix

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post #7 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 11:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Thanks Everyone....

I'll check out the switch and go from there.
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post #8 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 9:34 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

I had the clutch switch fail on my 2009. It would start in neutral but would not start again in gear even if the lever was pulled in (like when you stall it starting out cold in an intersection, you pull in the clutch lever and hit the starter button). You have to disassemble the left handle housing to get to the microswitch. Some folks have opined that if your cruise control release works with the clutch handle then it can't be the microswitch. Not so, there are actually two microswitches in that assembly, one for the starter cutout and one for the cruise control release.

BTW, on the 2009 fiche the part is actually called "dual microphone switch" but it doesn't have anything to do with a microphone. Not sure what it's called on the 2010 fiche.

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post #9 of 37 Old May 24th, 2018, 10:25 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSinNC View Post
Yep! That happened to my 2012
Definitely the micro-switch. Dealer ordered up a new one and it was a quick fix. Was covered under my extended warranty so not sure the cost but an easy fix

Mine is starting to act up intermittently so I started to look at how to replace it.

The micro-switch itself is over $100 and you need to remove the gas tanks in order to reach the connector.
You also need to disassemble the left handle bar cluster to run the cable through the handlebars.

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post #10 of 37 Old May 25th, 2018, 3:21 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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Originally Posted by TWheels View Post
Thanks Everyone....

I'll check out the switch and go from there.
Don't bother!


You seem to have missed a comment or two that said what you experienced is exactly how the safety system is supposed to work! As a matter of fact, I (and several people here) use exactly the feature to shut down the bike. Come to a stop, hold in the clutch with transmission in 1st, and put down the side-stand. Engine shuts off, and all that I need to do is turn off the ignition.

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post #11 of 37 Old May 25th, 2018, 4:51 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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Originally Posted by PadG View Post
You seem to have missed a comment or two that said what you experienced is exactly how the safety system is supposed to work!
I think you may have missed his original comment, which was

"The bike runs well but with side stand raised or lowered, it will only start in neutral."
So following your logic, if I stall my bike when pulling away from a stop, you are saying the only way to start the bike is to place the gear in neutral? This is totally incorrect. I can restart my bike after it stalls while it is in first gear, sometimes in second gear (it happens!).
I agree in that if he does not pull the clutch in it should not start while in any gear, except neutral.
I also notice on my 08RT, that if I do stall it, sometimes I have to "wiggle" (move) the clutch handle to get the bike to crank over and start. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

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post #12 of 37 Old May 25th, 2018, 5:02 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
I think you may have missed his original comment, which was

"The bike runs well but with side stand raised or lowered, it will only start in neutral."
So following your logic, if I stall my bike when pulling away from a stop, you are saying the only way to start the bike is to place the gear in neutral? This is totally incorrect. I can restart my bike after it stalls while it is in first gear, sometimes in second gear (it happens!).
I agree in that if he does not pull the clutch in it should not start while in any gear, except neutral.
I also notice on my 08RT, that if I do stall it, sometimes I have to "wiggle" (move) the clutch handle to get the bike to crank over and start. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
Totally correct, pull the clutch in and you can start the bike in gear (sidestand up)- unless the clutch switch or wiring to it is faulty!

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post #13 of 37 Old May 26th, 2018, 8:58 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
I think you may have missed his original comment, which was

"The bike runs well but with side stand raised or lowered, it will only start in neutral."
So following your logic, if I stall my bike when pulling away from a stop, you are saying the only way to start the bike is to place the gear in neutral? This is totally incorrect. I can restart my bike after it stalls while it is in first gear, sometimes in second gear (it happens!).
I agree in that if he does not pull the clutch in it should not start while in any gear, except neutral.
I also notice on my 08RT, that if I do stall it, sometimes I have to "wiggle" (move) the clutch handle to get the bike to crank over and start. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
Sorry! I did miss that part. Somehow it didn't register in my head. Since I always park in 1st, my normal start procedure is to raise the side-stand, pull in the clutch and hit the start button. My bikes rarely sees neutral. So, if his won't start with the stand up and in gear, then it has to be the clutch micro-switch.

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post #14 of 37 Old May 26th, 2018, 10:48 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Probably not necessary at this point but I did want to confirm that it was indeed the clutch switch.
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post #15 of 37 Old May 26th, 2018, 6:03 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

I have the same problem with my 12 RT. It is the clutch switch, well not so much the switch, but the bearings on the clutch lever itself are loose and so they don't always hit the switch at the right angle. If I play around with the position of the clutch lever it will work for a while...

Eventually I will replace the lever bearings, but for now, this works. You may want to check this before you spend the money on replacing the switch.

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post #16 of 37 Old May 28th, 2018, 7:40 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

It is just the micro-switch! Simple fix.

Keep up posted on the resolution.

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post #17 of 37 Old May 28th, 2018, 8:41 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWheels View Post
Probably not necessary at this point but I did want to confirm that it was indeed the clutch switch.
Thank Again Everyone
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSinNC View Post
It is just the micro-switch! Simple fix.

Keep up posted on the resolution.
It helps if you'd read the posts!

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post #18 of 37 Old May 28th, 2018, 8:58 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Quote:
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It helps if you'd read the posts!
That is exactly what I did, hence my comment.

But thank you for the reminder.

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post #19 of 37 Old May 31st, 2018, 4:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

I installed the new switch and still had the same problem. Couldn't figure it out for a while... The old switch tested bad. The new switch tested good ... So I "unmounted" the switch and held it closed in the start position with a small spring clamp. Bike started as it should with the clutch pulled in. Put the switch back and back to the problem. Unfortunately, there isn't an obvious way to adjust the position of the switch.

Has anyone found a way?

Thanks for your help
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post #20 of 37 Old May 31st, 2018, 4:44 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

There is a way to adjust position. A little 2mm allen screw to loosen the switch and move it. All upside down go slow you can figure it out I'm sure. Listen for the click as you work the lever then you have it.

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post #21 of 37 Old Jun 1st, 2018, 6:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

No Joy I'm afraid. I was rather hoping there would be more adjustment somewhere but thanks for the information
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post #22 of 37 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 9:37 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Yeah, I looked at the RepROM for you, and it seems that there is just one screw that attaches the micro-switch to the plastic part. So, it seems that the switch is supposed to fit perfectly in place. Just make sure that it's not upside-down or something stupid like that!

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post #23 of 37 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 7:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

"Just make sure that it's not upside-down or something stupid like that! "

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM ! .....

I checked the switch and there are no markings to indicate top or bottom and I assumed it, therefore, didn't matter. But thinking about it now, there are actually two switches there and one is to disable the cruise control when the clutch lever is pulled in a small amount and the other is made when the lever is pulled fulling in to allow starting in gear. So possibly it does matter which side is up. I'll give it a try.

Thanks
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post #24 of 37 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 8:39 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

PadG ... I flipped the switch over and the bike starts in gear.
Thank you!
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post #25 of 37 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 9:15 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Good news! Just double check that the cruise control still dis engages when using the clutch lever.

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post #26 of 37 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 9:20 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWheels View Post
PadG ... I flipped the switch over and the bike starts in gear.
Thank you!
Way to work through the problem.

Anyone can make a mistake especially when the solution is not obvious.

Who would think that they would not make a switch up or down or indicate the operation?

Also great forum when people help out like this.

Happy you are squared away now!
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post #27 of 37 Old Jun 3rd, 2018, 9:44 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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PadG ... I flipped the switch over and the bike starts in gear.
Thank you!
You are very welcome! I was grasping at straws, because the RepROM didn't say anything about which side up either!


I was going to say today that the only thing left to check is the connector that plugs into the switch. If that didn't "make" the contacts properly, you will have the same problem. It could still be the connector, but this time you got it in place fully? Keep that one in mind for the future anyway.


Always good to hear of things going right!

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post #28 of 37 Old Jun 3rd, 2018, 6:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Now I just need some decent weather so I take a test ride

Thanks Everyone
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post #29 of 37 Old Jun 16th, 2018, 4:06 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Had this same problem happen last week on the way back from Americade in Lake George NY. BMW designs their bikes so that they will NOT start in gear with the sidestand down PERIOD. In my case the sidestand switch went bad causing the engine to shut down while on the highway.

Many of the BMWs have this issie most notably the adventure bike and dual sport bikes, after a little thought I decided the safest option is to bypass the switch AS LOSING POWER AT LOW SPEEDS OR IN A TURN IS NOT A FANTASTIC OPTION.

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post #30 of 37 Old Jun 17th, 2018, 12:17 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Yeah, I have sent emails to bmw NA (they say no suggestions needed or accepted) that a warning light and over ride option for each key on cycle to let you start and drive with a bad side stand switch. Easy software, answer is we know best.
If you must, there are instructions on the web it by pass it. IS That BETTER BMW? You listening.

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post #31 of 37 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 7:44 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Summary: The problem magically fixed itself.

I have a 2014 R1200RT with cruise control and recently experienced this same problem (Will not start except when in neutral) so I went after the clutch switch (two switches in the switch unit).

First, there seems to be some inconsistency in bikes so I though it worth mentioning that the switch on my bike is removed with a T9 torx as opposed to a hex wrench as referenced by others. Also, the switch on this bike is up/down asymmetrical so it cannot be installed upside-down. Furthermore, the switch mounts on a locating pin so adjustment is not possible.

Prior to removing the switch, I did confirm that I could hear two clicks as I pulled in the clutch lever so it seems that the switch was being properly activated. I removed the switch and poked at it with an ohm meter but since I don't know how the two switches are wired, I really didn't know what I was looking for, except that things changed when I activated the switch levers. Finally, I re-connected the switch to the bike wiring but left the switch hanging free so I could activate it manually. I then tie-wrapped the clutch handle down, put the bike in gear, held both switches and tried to start the bike. It started! I looked at the actuator lever and saw that when the clutch handle is pulled, one switch is de-activated while the other is activated. I tried the starting process while better emulating the function of the clutch lever and it started again. I re-installed the switch and it still works.

My current speculation is that either the connector contacts are marginal and the removal/re-attachment cleaned the contacts sufficiently to get things working, or the internal contacts are marginal and my repeated activation was enough to get it working. In any case, I am now more comfortable with the idea that the source of the problem is at switch so if this happens again, I will head down to the dealer and plop down the $100 ($89 MSRP) for a new switch and spend less time on the diagnosis.
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post #32 of 37 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 12:32 am
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

Glad it worked out. I think upside down it is hard to tell the difference between a T9 and a 2mm fitting. But it does make a difference. The T9 is used in several switch clusters and the problem is that a T8 "fits" but is not correct. You do not want to strip one of these small screws.

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post #33 of 37 Old Feb 14th, 2020, 8:48 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

I have 2014 R1200RTW and I too have been experiencing the same problem. When I would stall the engine and try to restart it I would have to put the bike in neutral first to restart which can be a dangerous issue. After reading through this and another forum I found out exactly where this switch was and pulled it out, cleaned the terminals and reassembled it. To test it I cable tied the clutch fully in and held the metal switch down on the contact and the bike started in gear. I re assembled everything back and now it works again. For those that aren't sure where this switch is it's right under the clutch handle. Take out the 2 screws holding the clutch handle to the handle bar and flip it over. There you will see the electrical plug that you can disconnect and then unscrew the switch which on my bike is held on by 1 small Allen screw and pull the switch out. In my case the terminals were not making good contact and I cleaned the plug and terminals and at least for now it is working again.
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post #34 of 37 Old Yesterday, 8:50 pm
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Lightbulb Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

I have a 2011 R12RT that would not start in gear with the sidestand up 100% of the time. After reading the above thought I'd try cleaning the clutch micro switch. I removed the switch from the clutch assembly but left it plugged in under the tank or wherever it plugs in. I used CRC QD Electronic Cleaner, pic below, on the exterior of the switch fully saturating it and pressing the switch levers while doing so. I'm happy to report that it is functions 100% of the time. I'll report back if it fails again and if so I'll order a new one.
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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I have a 2011 R12RT that would not start in gear with the sidestand up 100% of the time. After reading the above thought I'd try cleaning the clutch micro switch. I removed the switch from the clutch assembly but left it plugged in under the tank or wherever it plugs in. I used CRC QD Electronic Cleaner, pic below, on the exterior of the switch fully saturating it and pressing the switch levers while doing so. I'm happy to report that it is functions 100% of the time. I'll report back if it fails again and if so I'll order a new one.


Iím having that same issue. Itís hit and miss in first gear. 1: where did you get the cleaner? 2: do you have a picture of the clutch switch, and where, so I can clean mine?

Great Info




2013 BMW R1200RT 90 Years of Motorrad 2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide

Past Bikes:
2009 Suzuki GSX-R 600
2009 Suzuki GSX-R 1000
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post #36 of 37 Old Today, 1:36 pm
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Thumbs up Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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Originally Posted by tonyt.0906 View Post
Iím having that same issue. Itís hit and miss in first gear. 1: where did you get the cleaner? 2: do you have a picture of the clutch switch, and where, so I can clean mine?

Great Info




2013 BMW R1200RT 90 Years of Motorrad 2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide

Past Bikes:
2009 Suzuki GSX-R 600
2009 Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Tony,

The microswitch is located under the clutch lever assembly. I removed the lever for easier access, it takes a small flathead screwdriver. PAY ATTENTION to the orientation of the switch, it actually has two switches in it, one for cruise control and one to allow it to start. That switch can be reinstalled upside down and then the cruise won't disengage without fully pulling in the clutch. I left the switch connected to the bike with the ignition turned off, placed it inside a cup and shielded the bike from overspray. BE SURE to test your cruise control function once you put it back together.

I bought the cleaner from Amazon and use if for all sorts of stuff.

https://www.amazon.com/CRC-05101-QD-...a-571170828858
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post #37 of 37 Old Today, 5:36 pm
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Re: 2010 RT only starting in neutral

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Originally Posted by Black_Dog View Post
Tony,



The microswitch is located under the clutch lever assembly. I removed the lever for easier access, it takes a small flathead screwdriver. PAY ATTENTION to the orientation of the switch, it actually has two switches in it, one for cruise control and one to allow it to start. That switch can be reinstalled upside down and then the cruise won't disengage without fully pulling in the clutch. I left the switch connected to the bike with the ignition turned off, placed it inside a cup and shielded the bike from overspray. BE SURE to test your cruise control function once you put it back together.



I bought the cleaner from Amazon and use if for all sorts of stuff.



https://www.amazon.com/CRC-05101-QD-...a-571170828858


Thanks, appreciate it!


2013 BMW R1200RT 90 Years of Motorrad 2014 Harley Davidson Street Glide

Past Bikes:
2009 Suzuki GSX-R 600
2009 Suzuki GSX-R 1000
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