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Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.

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Old 08-18-2010, 07:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Kill Switch

I have a routine when shutting off the bike by flipping the kill switch & then turning the key. Starting it I do the reverse.
Does using the kill switch like this on a regular basis have any negatives on the bike's electrical system?
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Only if you forget to turn the keyswitch off.

I think the MSF teaches this as a way to help ingrain kill switch operation into your muscle memory. The idea is that if you ever need the kill switch in an emergency, you'll be able to it right away if you are used to using it every time you ride.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know what the MSF teaches, but I do know what it says in my owners manual... "Engine kill switch is for emergency use only." This may not be as critical on a non-EFI bike, but still good practice to use the key, IMO. First time you forget to turn the key off, you'll probably agree.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, this is an often debated topic, on this as well as other motorcycling forums. Opinions are generally divided, but the arguments are pretty universal.

Arguments for NOT using the kill-switch generally revolve around "the manual says not to" and "it prevents you from possibly forgetting the ignition on, resulting in a flat battery".

Arguments for using the kill switch are generally safety related. The 'muscle memory' argument is valid enough, if something goes wrong on the bike, like a broken clutch cable or a stuck throttle for instance, someone habitually familiar with kill-switch operation should be able to react quicker to the situation. Also, with the very awkward positioning of the ignition on our bikes, the safety argument holds even more true.

In the end it's your bike and your choice. Just for the record, I've always used the kill-switch on every bike I've owned, FI and carburetor, and I've never experienced any technical problems as a result.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I only use the key, which is what the owner's manual says as well. Not exactly sure of the reason. The only time I use the kill switch is when I accidentally bump it getting off the bike, and then it takes me 5 minutes to figure out why my bike won't start when I get back on...
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Kill switch

I cant see a real issue other than the more you use it the more it is likely to wear and cause issues down the track. Whether this would happen not sure, but you know how in old cars indicators seem to play up sometimes with wear. Mind i suppose you can say the same with the key, it may all depend on which is built the best,but you always have to turn off the key.
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The kill switch is one of the many sources of mayhem you can inflict on your fellow riders,if..and I say if you never use it and one of your buddys fliks it on ,you could be standing there scratching your head wondering why your new machine wont start ! Dont ask me how I know thisJ.B.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It may be more of an issue on efi bikes. I read on this forum a while back that the ecu has to go thru a shutdown procedure, saving data etc. This procedure is triggered by switching off at the main switch. Using the emergency kill switch results in abnormal shutdown.

I don't know if ths is correct or evern if it matters in the real world. Personally, I always use the kill switch to switch off the engine.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think of it this way... think of your EFI bike as a laptop.
Switching off at main switch (key) is like shutting your laptop down using the start menu and computer goes through a 30 sec - 1 minute shutdown procedure.
Using the kill switch is like closing the lid on the laptop, it still shuts down but doesnt have a chance to do a full shutdown procedure and takes longer to load back up when started again.
Not sure if either does any damage (short or long term) but i prefer to shut down using main switch, more so now that i have the D9 ignition relocation bracket which places the ignition right in front of me.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm lazy. Since you have to turn the main switch off anyway, why do two things to switch off and start up when one would do?

To me, the kill switch is for emergencies only. I flip it every so often to make sure it's working and to keep the contacts clean, but otherwise I leave it alone. In an emergency, I know where it is.

No danger of walking away and leaving the lights on and the ignition powered up.
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