What can you do to make finding neutral easier on your motorcycle? Is it the rider or a fault with the gearbox?
If you have a new motorcycle, it could be a case of your need to become familiar with the gearbox and its quirks. However, there are simple fixes if this is a problem you are experiencing intermittently or frequently.
It could be the clutch needs bleeding, a simple, quick job that should allow you to select neutral.
Why is it so hard to find neutral on my motorcycle?
There are many reasons you may find it challenging to select neutral on your motorcycle. Have you recently changed your boots and have a different foot position?
The size of your feet and boots can impact finding neutral.
Adjust the gear lever a couple of turns. This should resolve the problem.
If the problem persists, then tune your clutch and gear lever. A simple thing such as bleeding the clutch can make gear changes easier.
Is your clutch cable stretched? Try to adjust the free play in your clutch cable; if you don’t have the recommended free play on the clutch lever, your clutch remains engaged all the time.
If you can select neutral and your bike creeping, you have an adjustment problem.
Depending on your motorcycle’s age and the abuse the clutch takes, it may be time for a new clutch.
Where is my motorcycle neutral?
If you are new to riding a motorcycle, it’s easy to find neutral. Shift to the point of your gears and then gently tap up one; this is neutral, you should have an indicator on your instrument display.
Again if you are a new rider and particularly if you have been driving a car, shifting gears with your left foot will be alien to you. Take your time and learn where your gear positions are.
How do I fix the neutral on my motorcycle?
If you have difficulties with neutral, it could be the neutral switch. It’s a simple 20-minute fix, and you only need essential tools to complete the job yourself.
Depending on the style of your motorcycle, you may need to remove a fairing panel to get access. Once this is done, it’s easy to identify the neutral switch.
Your neutral switch will be screwed into the gearbox housing and attach a connecting cable.
Refer to the maintenance manual, remove the wire from the switch and then unscrew the switch. It will drip a little oil, so have a rag ready. Screw in the new switch, and the job is done.
You should now be able to select neutral, and the neutral light will be illuminated on your instrument cluster.
Does a motorcycle have to be in neutral to start?
No, the motorcycle will start as long as you have the clutch depressed. However, it’s good practice to always have your motorcycle neutral before starting. It’s just good practice.