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Stupid Person Question - Starting in Gear

Old 06-14-2019, 12:37 AM
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I think it is a very good habit to start the bike with the clutch pulled, whether you are in neutral or not....

I do know that when in gear AND the stand is down it won't start, even with the clutch in....
Old 06-14-2019, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by chopper_man View Post
Harley started with the neutral safety switch starting in 1965 when the electric start first came out. My 1966 FL has one. They are a contact switch screwed in to the transmission and not in the clutch handle. Not sure when the clutch switch came out.

Easiest way to see if you "should" have a neutral safety switch is to look at the wiring diagram for your year and model. Very possible someone may have jumped the tranny based switch. They are a pain in the *** when you stall at a stop and have to find neutral!
Best advise to the op is learn your bike and maybe get some riding instruction.

Last edited by smitty901; 06-14-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by smitty901 View Post
Best advise to the op is learn your bike and maybe get some riding instruction.
+1, best and safest way is always start it with the clutch lever pulled.

I cant speak to the pre 2004 but from 2004 to 2007 to my knowledge all Harleys will start in gear. I owned (04 KL Roadster 1200, 04 RK Custom, 05 Fatboy) would engage the starter in gear. My 2011 RG Custom had a neutral safety switch.

IMO it is the safest and best habit to park your bike in gear so it cant roll off the jiffy stand and always pull the clutch in to start even if you want to find neutral first. If you dont eventually you will do the starter hop forward and hopefully you wont hit someone next to you or drop the bike as Ive seen happen.
Old 06-14-2019, 11:55 AM
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My '06 has never had a switch on the trans or the clutch lever. I've always automatically grabbed the clutch before hitting the start switch. Is it that hard to remember? If I had a newer bike that had to be in neutral to start,that would be the first thing I'd 'fix', just like the safety switches on my lawn tractor that I disabled.
Old 06-15-2019, 08:57 AM
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Until 2007 model year, a Harley could be started without regard to being in neutral, turn on ignition, press start button, the starter will crank.

The neutral and clutch safety system came out for `07 and later. The transmission must be in neutral, or the clutch lever must be pulled back.

I don`t preach how to ride, but...

You should always park your bike with the transmission in gear...or in neutral.

Whatever you think is best.

You should always start the engine while the transmission is in neutral, or in gear with the clutch lever pulled in, whatever you like to do.

Last edited by Dan89FLSTC; 06-15-2019 at 09:04 AM.

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