Not Starting with Clutch In - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Buttonwillow's Avatar
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    Hello all, hope all is well!

    I just recently got my 2007 F800S in mid February. It only has 6500 miles, it runs perfectly except for this problem...

    The bike will ONLY start in neutral. I could be in first gear with the clutch in (kickstand up) and it won't start. I had to unfortunately learn this when I stalled at a (low traffic fortunately) stop light and was frantically looking for neutral hahaha.

    I read that this could be a switch on the clutch lever. I hear the clicking, so is the switch still the issue because of oxidation? I'm comfortable doing work myself, I'm just looking for some info before I take something apart.

    Thanks!

    P.s. I can post video or w/e if need be.

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  3. #2
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    If you have a GS-911 you can see if it actuates when the lever moves. If it does not, or if you can't do this test, take it off and blast the switch with contact cleaner. The screw that holds it is really tiny and easily lost.

    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttonwillow View Post
    Hello all, hope all is well!

    I just recently got my 2007 F800S in mid February. It only has 6500 miles, it runs perfectly except for this problem...

    The bike will ONLY start in neutral. I could be in first gear with the clutch in (kickstand up) and it won't start. I had to unfortunately learn this when I stalled at a (low traffic fortunately) stop light and was frantically looking for neutral hahaha.

    I read that this could be a switch on the clutch lever. I hear the clicking, so is the switch still the issue because of oxidation? I'm comfortable doing work myself, I'm just looking for some info before I take something apart.

    Thanks!

    P.s. I can post video or w/e if need be.
    check the side stand switch. If it starts in neutral but not in gear that should be the source of the problem.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, 

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  6. #4
    MGD109's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ123 View Post
    check the side stand switch. If it starts in neutral but not in gear that should be the source of the problem.
    Not so sure. If the side-stand switch fails it won't start in gear regardless of whether clutch is pulled in or not BUT the engine will cut when you select gear as the bike can be started in neutral and does not cut out when 1st gear is selected it would suggest that the side-stand switch is working fine and clutch switch has failed.
    In the Garage 2013 BMW F800 GT,1994 BMW R80 RT,1986 BMW R80 GS,1999 Yamaha SR125
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  7. #5
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    3rd for clutch lever switch, my GS did this as well. I'd suggest opening the switch up and putting a dab of dielectric grease on the contacts. Mine worked fine if I rode regularly, but if the bike sat for a week it would stop working until I rode it for awhile. Pretty sure it was a corrosion issue, hence the recommendation for dielectric grease. The other option would be to just replace the switch and be done with it.

  8. #6
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    Just a word on switch replacement - the switch is a special version made for BMW of a common switch. I did an exhaustive search a while back for an alternative to the overpriced BMW part to no avail.

    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGD109 View Post
    Not so sure. If the side-stand switch fails it won't start in gear regardless of whether clutch is pulled in or not BUT the engine will cut when you select gear as the bike can be started in neutral and does not cut out when 1st gear is selected it would suggest that the side-stand switch is working fine and clutch switch has failed.
    think I must have speed read through the post and missed that bit!
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, 

  10. #8
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    A new switch is only $40 (US) so it could be worse.

  11. #9
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    Thank you all for your replies, I'm going to do the clutch switch this week. It was still good that DJ mentioned the side stand since it still made me look and let me notice 1 of the 2 bolts almost coming out 😬. I'll probably work on it all tomorrow and give ya'll an update!

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    A new switch is only $40 (US) so it could be worse.
    The switch upon it is based can be had from China at US$0.30 per piece in a quantity of 10. Imagine what BMW gets them for.

    And another tip. If you just disengage the connector at the switch and leave the switch in place you can use a small gauge wire to jumper across the two terminals of the connector. If the bike then starts in gear you know that the switch isn't providing continuity when the lever is pulled in.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwroadsterca View Post
    The switch upon it is based can be had from China at US$0.30 per piece in a quantity of 10. Imagine what BMW gets them for.

    And another tip. If you just disengage the connector at the switch and leave the switch in place you can use a small gauge wire to jumper across the two terminals of the connector. If the bike then starts in gear you know that the switch isn't providing continuity when the lever is pulled in.
    True, but remember what it is we're riding. In the grand scheme, it's nothing for a BMW part.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwroadsterca View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    A new switch is only $40 (US) so it could be worse.
    The switch upon it is based can be had from China at US$0.30 per piece in a quantity of 10. Imagine what BMW gets them for.

    And another tip. If you just disengage the connector at the switch and leave the switch in place you can use a small gauge wire to jumper across the two terminals of the connector. If the bike then starts in gear you know that the switch isn't providing continuity when the lever is pulled in.
    Any of you guys just bypass the switch completely? I'm used to/have the habit of always having the clutch in when starting. Habit from driving stick. Isnt this switch more of a hazard now if it is a repeatable problem? Hahaha

  15. #13
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    I would advise against that. On some bikes, there is a separate fueling/ignition map for when the clutch is in for various reasons. Permanently bypassing the switch 'could' screw with how the bike rides with unknown consequences. I don't know for sure if the BMW does this, but I do know that 'some' brands do this. Smog and noise restrictions have gotten so restrictive that manufacturers will use everything they have to pass and this is one of their tricks.

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttonwillow View Post
    Any of you guys just bypass the switch completely? I'm used to/have the habit of always having the clutch in when starting. Habit from driving stick. Isnt this switch more of a hazard now if it is a repeatable problem? Hahaha
    I doubt it will cause any issues. You should, however, start the bike (unless in gear) with the clutch engaged as the weight of the gearbox being spun helps to start the engine.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, 

  17. #15
    Buttonwillow's Avatar
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    Thank you all

    I pulled out the clutch switch, cleaned it, and it works! Pretty simple but wouldn't have known to look for this problem with out y'all! Thanks!

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttonwillow View Post
    Thank you all

    I pulled out the clutch switch, cleaned it, and it works! Pretty simple but wouldn't have known to look for this problem with out y'all! Thanks!
    That was exactly my experience when I had to do my wife's F650GS. Congrats!

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    Should anyone need to replace the switch a US-based source I've used and trust is Euro Moto Electrics (www.euromotoelectrics.com). They carry the switches.
    -------------
    BMW MOA Member, Graphite F800ST, Silver F650GS 

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