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Delayed neutral light on 99 RT

Dave CR

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Hi all,


I just noticed that it takes around 5 seconds for the neutral light to turn on when the bike is cold in the mornings and I shift from 1st to neutral to start it on the center stand.

It acts normal when riding and I stop on a red light.


Is this normal or an indication of a switch going bad?


Thank you

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Dave, as the saying goes, "they all do that." The neutral switch tends to crud up over time. Getting to the switch is a major PITA. As long as you can start the engine by holding in the clutch lever, I don't think that "fixing" it is worth the effort.


When I had my 1999 RT apart @ 97,000 miles for a clutch replacement, I sprayed some brake cleaning spray in the vicinity of the switch. It seemed to work better when I put the bike back together, and it's still working 95% of the time, mostly in warmer weather; the odometer hit 116,000 miles today.


Perhaps someone else has developed a method for cleaning the switch that doesn't involve removing the swingarm.

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Afternoon Dave


As Selden said it is somewhat normal. The usual cause of that cold delay is a bit of trans gear oil that has migrated into the neutral switch, or other junk in the switch.


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I see. I will ease my mind then. I appreciate you both for your valuable information.

Its awesome how much you guys know.


Greetings from Costa Rica!

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Here are a few more neutral light fun facts. You should be able to start the bike in neutral, or in gear with the clutch pulled in. The bike doesn't recognized that you're in neutral unless you see the green light. The starter circuit does not recognize the N on the RID.


So, if you can't get a green light you can always just pull in the clutch to start the bike no matter what gear you're in. Unfortunately the clutch switch is also prone to failure. It's entirely possible to find yourself with no neutral light and a bad clutch switch at the same time, meaning there is no way to start the bike.


If that happens the quickest fix is to cut the wires going to the clutch switch near the handlebar and wire them together. Then the bike thinks the clutch is always in. You can also jump hole 2 to hole 6 with a thin piece of wire (key on) after pulling the starter relay. That will also turn the starter.

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My neutral light stopped working for a few months last year... I didn't bother trying to fix it as I've ridden loads of bikes with failed neutral lights and have always found neutral... but then anyway it started working again of its own accord and has been fine since LOL


Mine is a European 1150RT without the clutch interlock, only sidestand...

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I agree with the comments already posted re the most likely reason for the slight problem. I would add, though, that my 1996 1100RS developed a problem whereby not only would the neutral light be slow to light up when cold, but it was slow all the time. This also applied to the other gears, so, for example when changing from 2nd to third it would be a while before "3" appeared in the RID. I traced this to a faulty starter relay. Since I replaced this both the neutral and RID displays have worked correctly. The starter relay is wired to take account of the lockout of the starter circuit if the bike is in gear - hence the link between the problem and the cure.


Far more likely to be a faulty switch though, as has been said, but I just thought I'd mention another, less likely, possibility.

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