Killing the engine

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by shaker, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. shaker

    shaker Active Member

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    I didn't get a hit on my forum searches, although I have to think this has been asked before. I never gave it much thought until today. What is the 'proper' way to shut off the engine? I've always used the kill switch - it's on the handlebars, I can shut the bike off with the brakes on, clutch disengaged, hands on the bars, yada yada. A biker friend of mine told me that he considered it an emergency kill switch, and that he always used the ignition switch to shut down the bike - apparently he had some bad experiences with the bike not starting because of bad contacts on the handlebar switch, etc. Is there a 'correct' way, does it matter? Inquiring minds... well, never mind. Thanks for your feedback.
     
  2. shaker

    shaker Active Member

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    Thanks Smitty. One of the lines of reasoning, if you could call it that, was that shutting off using the ignition switch was better for EFI. I cant see why it would be, and I've never had a problem starting the bike regardless of how I've killed it - including clutch botches...
     
  3. Romain

    Romain Active Member

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    I do remember a thread on that subject but I can't trace it.

    If my memory serves me well, the HD manual instructs us to use the ignition switch off first then to use the key.

    I turn the ignition on with the key, switch on on the handlebar, then fire the engine; switch off on the handlebar, then use the key.

    I think that the handlebar switch developing a fault is as likely (or unlikely) as the main ignition switch developing one.
     
  4. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Engine kill switch is always part of my normal "shutdown sequence" necessary because of where the Sportster ignition switch near the steerer tube down low. Even with many other bikes I've owned, the ignition switch was an unnecessary reach and a distraction. Kill switch when part of the sequence becomes a part of your natural riding instinct.

    True, very few times will you need to use it, but when bike started going over with the engine off it allowed me to grip firmly, steadying the bike, not worring about revving the throttle or locking up the brakes enough to right the bike and the engine guards saved the bike.

    Smitty is right on, not all of us need to use all the tools at our disposal, but knowing when to use them comes with good technique and practice...learning every day I swing a leg over my machine. Ride safe and use the kill switch regularly, so when you need it the engine is off without a wasted motion.
     
  5. Jim B.

    Jim B. Junior Member

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    I use the kill switch first and then the ignition switch to turn off the bike. I got in the habit of doing this because my driveway slants upward to my garage. Using the kill switch allows me to turn off the bike if I'm parking on the driveway while keeping my hands on the bars and both feet on the ground to balance the bike.
     
  6. nolafishr

    nolafishr Active Member

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    I always use the Kill Switch on the Handlebar then the Ignition Switch, it has to do with the Computer.
     
  7. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Noone has mentioned it yet so I'll throw this out there. For what it's worth, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches "thumb - key - valve." Thumb = handlebar kill switch. Key = ignition. Valve = fuel shutoff if installed on the bike.
     
  8. Lancer

    Lancer Junior Member

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    I never use the kill switch, a while back there was a discussion here about high idle issues. One of the work arounds was shut down with the ignition switch. Ususally will let the bike idle for 15-30 seconds then use the ignition switch to shut down. No high idle issues since then.
     
  9. SALSERO

    SALSERO Member

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    I always use the kill switch considering the test sequence when we turn on the ignition and kill switch together (before the start). I just think that the stopping the engine should be the reverse...
     
  10. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    1+ for Hobbit...very highly recommended on all EFI machines in particular from our "resident" go fast guy. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009