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Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:36 PM     #1
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Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

I have a 2008 Road Glide which refuses to consistently start while in gear; sometimes it does (20%?) but more ofter than not, it doesn't. However, when in neutral, light comes on and it starts and runs perfectly.

I've had it back to the dealer for this issue. Dealer checked it out and it started fine in gear; when I got it, it didn't so got the service manager to try and start it in gear and it didn't. No diagnostic code showed. In any event, the service department then ordered and installed new starter switch and it started in gear for about 2 days then failed; back to intermittent starting in neutral again. I told the service manager about it--he has been as cooperative as possible--and only thing he knew to do was to check the wiring system in its entirety which I have yet to do since it starts fine in neutral and, moreover, I'm concerned that screwing around with the electrical/wiring system will ultimately cause more problems.

Bike purchased in Nov., 2007; I've put about 11k on it and with this exception (as well as windshield issues), it runs fine.

Any suggestions? Or, should I leave well enough alone. . .

Thanks.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 04:15 PM     #2
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Re: Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

Two things it could be depending on the circumstances, neutral switch or interlock switch in the clutch handle.

I had a few go bad in my 07RK

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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:33 PM     #3
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Re: Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

interesting.. i start my bike in neutral 99% of the time; when I first started riding,
couple times I didnt pull the clutch lever all in, the bike got away from me.

Looking on the surface of it, I would think the bike not wanting to start
when in gear would be a good thing...........
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Old May 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM     #4
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Re: Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

I would ask if you had changed your hand grips or other controls if you're having this problem. I just put new grips on my 08 fatboy yesterday then all of a sudden I could only start the bike in neutral. I loosened all the screws for the switch housing and clutch clamp and made sure they were seated properly then retightened everything. What do you know I could start the bike when it was in gear again.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 09:16 PM     #5
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Re: Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

On earlier models, there was only the clutch neutral safety switch in hand control assembly. But later models added " OR Neutral Safety switch by the jiffy stand as well...I think Hobbit pointed out that it was "magnetic switch". Is it possible this switch may be playing with your head as well?

I know there are neither on my 2004 Sporty, on one occasion when I was in a hurry I "bumped the starter" with the stand down clutch out and the bike lurched forward, unsetting the jiffy stand, fortuately I had both hands on the grips, or I would have done my version of a Randy Mamola side saddle save. So in a way I concur with Martin14 in Italy, in any language not being able to start in gear is NOT a bad thing.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 06:44 AM     #6
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Re: Intermittent Failure of Starter/Neutral Switch

Nhbouncer, my handgrips have never been changed; only times they have been removed is when the HD mechanics attempted to resovle the issue.
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