Author Topic: Turning off engine with key  (Read 1626 times)

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Echoes

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on: December 01, 2019, 12:14:01 pm
My dealership emphasized that I must use the kill switch before turning the ignition off. What would happen if I forgot to use the kill switch and is there a fix if it awakens gremlins?


twocoolgliders

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Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 01:01:49 pm
This is one of those stupid arguments that there seems to be no right answer to.

FWIW...my take....(long answer)

I turn off ALL my bikes with the key....period.  That way, you don't leave the ignition on accidentally and come back to a dead battery.

In most bikes...at least all of mine....the key switch is actually two switches in one.   One of these two is actually wired in series with the engine cut of switch...so turning off the key , does the exact same thing (electrically) as turning off the kill switch!  But the key also turns off the ignition, computer etc.

Many owners manuals say to turn off the bike with the key!

My Honda Cub has no key...it has an on / off switch (similar to a key but with no key) in addition to an engine cut off switch...the manual says to shut off the bike with the on / off switch, not the engine cut switch.

OK all that being said..the other side of the argument...

I am a ride coach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation....

Company policy, on the range....

Motorcycle is always shut down with the following procedure...

Thumb...key....valve....


Thumb is the engine cut switch...key is the ignition...and valve is the fuel valve...

The ONLY reason we do it this way, if for inexperienced riders...their safety, the safety of the coaches, and the other riders...that the engine cut switch is right by the thumb, and it disarms the engine the fastest way.  Also to train the mind hand coordination to use this cut switch in an emergency.

BTW...we are forbidden to use the term "kill switch"....."kill" is politically incorrect....LOL....really!

So short answer...do which ever way suits you!


Cookie






My dealership emphasized that I must use the kill switch before turning the ignition off. What would happen if I forgot to use the kill switch and is there a fix if it awakens gremlins?


twocoolgliders

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Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 01:19:40 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0S4nMx_tbA


Nice video on this subject.

Conclusion....silly argument...either way is fine!


Cookie


Richard230

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Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 01:40:22 pm
The last time I touched a kill switch was in 1971 when I discovered that such a thing existed on my new Triumph Bonneville, after kicking it for 15 minutes and then pushing it up and riding down a hill trying to start it with no success.  It was only then that I noticed that the kill switch had been accidentally turned off.  After that experience, I never wanted to touch a kill switch again.    ;)   Some 30 motorcycles later, I still leave the things alone.  A device designed by the Devil, in my opinion.   ;D
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 01:54:00 pm
I think we may have stumbled on the answer here. The guy at the dealership who advised you to stop the bike with the kill switch--I mean "engine cut switch"--must have recently taken one of those MSF classes, where it's now taught as "twocoolgliders" describes.

Of the three bikes I own, my Enfield Bullet is the only one that even has a kill switch, and its engine is best brought to rest with its decompression lever. So, there's that.
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


twocoolgliders

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Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 02:53:30 pm
One of the (many) dumb things I have done......

I just finished building up my Yamaha SR400 into a beautiful cafe racer.....really proud...so I too her to the big local "bike night"   about 600 bikes there....good time....

As the crowd began to thin down...I decided to head for home too.

This bike is kick start only....starts on first kick, or second kick ....always...

Tonight...no start!....Kick kick kick...no start....wait 15 min...kick kick no start....wait some more....look for problems....crown getting thinner....still no start...what to do?   Thinking of friends with pickup truck....

Now everybody gone....dark out.....restaurant closed....no start....just me....and one guy who hung around to see what happens....he says he is not mechanically inclined so he can offer no help....


Kick kick kick....

they he looks down....turns "on" the kill switch...and says "try it now"!   One kick....vrooom!

I say to myself, out loud....what a f----ing moron I am!   Embarrassed too.


I swear that I did not turn off the kill switch....I never do....I'm sure that someone who was checking out the bike must have either turned it off, intentionally or by accident, rubbing up against it.


Lesson learned!


BTW...Yamaha's are really messed up regarding the kill switch as they have TWO "off" positions....yeah...fully left is off, and fully right is off.....dead center is "on".....go figure.


So now I do use the MSF start up procedure...."F-I-N-E-C"


Fuel...on
Ignition...on
Neutral.....check
Engine switch....on
Clutch....pull



Cookie







after kicking it for 15 minutes and then pushing it up and riding down a hill trying to start it with no success.  It was only then that I noticed that the kill switch had been accidentally turned off.  After that experience, ]


olhogrider

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Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 08:53:40 pm
My usual technique is to put the kickstand down to kill the engine followed by removing the key. I haven't left the key on but I have walked away with the key in the ignition. I only do this at home but I park in a shared carport. Good thing I have honest neighbors.  I did leave the key in my Harley at the San Francisco airport. Three days later I was frantically searching for my keys when I spotted them in the ignition!????Better to be lucky than good.


twocoolgliders

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Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 10:40:55 pm
I know many who do that, that is to use the kickstand as the engine stop...again...it's wired into the same circuit as the ignition key, and the kill switch...so electrically, you are doing the exact same thing.

Some bikes even have a tip over sensor...same circuit...so you could just throw your bike on the ground on its side to stop the engine....(Just kidding....!!!)

As for key left in the ignition....couple thoughts. 

I just hate having a big key ring full of keys in my pocket...try to cut to a minimum number of keys.

My cafe racer doesn't even have a key or ignition lock...just two toggle switches.  I figure most crooks are not going to try to steal this bike when they see it is kick start only....and can't figure out the switches, too much trouble or too dumb to know how.

My Honda Cub has "keyless" ignition....that is you need to keep a dumb little fob thingy in your pocket, which the bike the "senses" your mere presence, you just rotate a little knob to turn on, and then hit the start button.  Gas tank access works the same way.  Oh yeah...it even has a burglar alarm...two stages...one if you just touch the bike...and a louder one if you actually try to move the bike.  Kinda overkill for a scooter, I think.  The dumb fob is 4 times bigger than a key...so lump in the pocket all the time!  When watch battery in fob goes dead....you don't start!  So how do you get to the store to buy new battery?

My other two bikes, the key lives in the ignition....all the time...except rare occasions when I park in an unknown neighborhood.   My neighborhood....relatively low crime....we are all crazy rednecks and all have guns, and the crooks know it.

I you really want to steal a bike....key or no key...doesn't matter.  You just drag the bike into a van or onto a trailer and gone.

Cookie




My usual technique is to put the kickstand down to kill the engine followed by removing the key. I haven't left the key on but I have walked away with the key in the ignition. I only do this at home but I park in a shared carport. Good thing I have honest neighbors.  I did leave the key in my Harley at the San Francisco airport. Three days later I was frantically searching for my keys when I spotted them in the ignition!????Better to be lucky than good.


olhogrider

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Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 11:18:57 pm
The last time I touched a kill switch was in 1971 when I discovered that such a thing existed on my new Triumph Bonneville, after kicking it for 15 minutes and then pushing it up and riding down a hill trying to start it with no success.  It was only then that I noticed that the kill switch had been accidentally turned off.  After that experience, I never wanted to touch a kill switch again.    ;)   Some 30 motorcycles later, I still leave the things alone.  A device designed by the Devil, in my opinion.   ;D

Good thing you don't have a new Triumph. Normal key but no start switch!???? The kill switch is three position, off-run-start. You push the kill switch to start the engine. You know how silly I felt? "How do you start it?" I've been riding for over 50 years!


twocoolgliders

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Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 12:17:11 pm



Interesting!


Does the key turn on some electrical stuff, like lights, dashboard, computer etc?  So if you forgot to turn the key off, it would drain the battery?

So what they did is take two simple, relatively inexpensive switches and combined them into one, complicated, expensive switch.  Just hope it doesn't fail.  But overall it makes sense, in terms of simple operation.


Cookie


 




Good thing you don't have a new Triumph. Normal key but no start switch!???? The kill switch is three position, off-run-start. You push the kill switch to start the engine. You know how silly I felt? "How do you start it?" I've been riding for over 50 years!


olhogrider

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Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 11:19:06 pm


Interesting!


Does the key turn on some electrical stuff, like lights, dashboard, computer etc?  So if you forgot to turn the key off, it would drain the battery?

So what they did is take two simple, relatively inexpensive switches and combined them into one, complicated, expensive switch.  Just hope it doesn't fail.  But overall it makes sense, in terms of simple operation.


Cookie

Exactly. It functions just as any other kill switch does and there's no need to do that as long as you turn it off with the key. I suppose having a three function switch is cheaper than two separate switches. There may be another reason for it but I can't imagine what it is. Theft prevention because a thief can't find the start switch?


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Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 01:07:45 pm
It's a design rule where I live. All bikes have to have a kill switch that can shut down the engine. If there's an accident and the engine needs turning off in a hurry, everyone knows where to find the kill switch in an instant. Ignition switches are hidden all over the place: in the dash, under the seat, on the head stock. 
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twocoolgliders

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Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 12:20:26 pm
It is my understanding that the USA made this rule some years back.....Other countries too.

So manufacturers adopted the "kill" switch, to comply with the various markets.

I think it is a good safety item.

But...IMHO it is not the "standard" way to shut off a motorcycle.   But you are free to do so if you wish.

Many bikes (I don't know if it is now a "requirement") have a "tip over sensor" which will kill the engine in the event of a simple tip over all the way up to a crash.  So the engine will stop, without having to have somebody come over and turn off the kill switch.  Again IMHO a good safety device!


Cookie



Cookie


It's a design rule where I live. All bikes have to have a kill switch that can shut down the engine. If there's an accident and the engine needs turning off in a hurry, everyone knows where to find the kill switch in an instant. Ignition switches are hidden all over the place: in the dash, under the seat, on the head stock.


GlennF

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Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 10:03:01 pm
When I first started riding their were quite a few people that shutdown by turning off the fuel cock.

Always struck me as a slightly dangerous thing to do on a two stroke, but who knows.



Richard230

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Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 10:06:05 pm
How about the engines that used a piece of metal on top of the spark plug that you would push down against the engine fins to short out the plug and stop the engine?   ;)  It was a simpler time back then.   ::)
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axman88

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Reply #15 on: December 04, 2019, 11:23:27 pm
I saw a U-tube video, where a moto rider was demonstrating how to make "awesome backfires" by using the kill switch.  He was cruising in low gear in a parking garage, used the kill switch to interrupt the ignition, then switched back on while still rolling to produce a satisfyingly loud blast that echoed through the structure.

This seems like a bad idea to me.  Am I getting old?  Is this "a thing"?


gizzo

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Reply #16 on: December 05, 2019, 06:21:31 am
I saw a U-tube video, where a moto rider was demonstrating how to make "awesome backfires" by using the kill switch.  He was cruising in low gear in a parking garage, used the kill switch to interrupt the ignition, then switched back on while still rolling to produce a satisfyingly loud blast that echoed through the structure.

This seems like a bad idea to me.  Am I getting old?  Is this "a thing"?

AKA "Key Bangers". Too much fun.
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Reply #17 on: December 05, 2019, 02:23:24 pm
I saw a U-tube video, where a moto rider was demonstrating how to make "awesome backfires" by using the kill switch.  He was cruising in low gear in a parking garage, used the kill switch to interrupt the ignition, then switched back on while still rolling to produce a satisfyingly loud blast that echoed through the structure.

This seems like a bad idea to me.  Am I getting old?  Is this "a thing"?

I've seen (and heard) firsthand what I was led to understand was an old street-rodders' show-off trick of fitting a sparkplug into the muffler's exiting exhaust pipe, whereby one kills the ignition briefly, restarts, and a fair helping of unburnt fuel would erupt in an huge earsplitting tongue of flame. Stupid? Sure. The fact that this was done with an amphibious Amphicar ON THE WATER seemed doubly so.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 03:45:50 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


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Reply #18 on: December 06, 2019, 01:54:54 am
How about the engines that used a piece of metal on top of the spark plug that you would push down against the engine fins to short out the plug and stop the engine?   ;)  It was a simpler time back then.   ::)
That's because a magneto is always hot unless it is shorted out.


Richard230

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Reply #19 on: December 06, 2019, 01:57:03 pm
That's because a magneto is always hot unless it is shorted out.

And headlight brightness varied with the speed of the engine - from a dim glow at idle to: "can you see me now?" when the engine was in its power band.   ;)
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Reply #20 on: December 06, 2019, 02:22:56 pm
Off topic, but perhaps interesting to gear heads:


In the world of airplanes, most have magneto ignition.  Also most turn off the engine by moving the (pilot cockpit controlled) mixture control to full lean...

Two problems with this method.....one...it is easy to forget to turn off the mag switch (usually key switch)  and you then kill the battery...


or you have a break in the magneto ground wire...so the mags are "hot" even though the switch is "off"...all it takes is a push on the propeller and the engine can start!  And yes it does happen from time to time.

I hate it when people come over to an airplane and they just feel the need to hang their hand on the propeller.  It is a "loaded gun"

My planes have all been "antiques" with 1930's vintage engines....no mixture control on the carburetor...so I always shut off with the mag switch...Does two things...stops the engine (by grounding out the magnetos) ...and proves the ground wires are still intact.


Cookie


That's because a magneto is always hot unless it is shorted out.


olhogrider

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Reply #21 on: December 06, 2019, 08:23:58 pm
Off topic, but perhaps interesting to gear heads:


In the world of airplanes, most have magneto ignition.  Also most turn off the engine by moving the (pilot cockpit controlled) mixture control to full lean...

Two problems with this method.....one...it is easy to forget to turn off the mag switch (usually key switch)  and you then kill the battery...


or you have a break in the magneto ground wire...so the mags are "hot" even though the switch is "off"...all it takes is a push on the propeller and the engine can start!  And yes it does happen from time to time.

I hate it when people come over to an airplane and they just feel the need to hang their hand on the propeller.  It is a "loaded gun"

My planes have all been "antiques" with 1930's vintage engines....no mixture control on the carburetor...so I always shut off with the mag switch...Does two things...stops the engine (by grounding out the magnetos) ...and proves the ground wires are still intact.


Cookie

Close. The hot mag switch has no effect on the battery. That would be the battery switch. Chopping the mixture ensures that there's no fuel in the cylinders when your friend pulls on the prop. Without a mixture control you must get worse fuel economy and less performance! What a deal. I must say, I was shocked when the consensus of plane manufacturers decided that it was best to run on the lean side of ideal. Lean to max EGT, then lean a little more.


twocoolgliders

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Reply #22 on: December 06, 2019, 09:41:34 pm
Right...sort of ...with a key switch....the mags and the electrics are on the same switch, (most planes)  when you have it on "both"...both mags are ungrounded...and the electrical system is "on" ....that is stuff like avionics, lights etc.  There is also current to the alternator and coil.   So if you shut off with mixture...you still must turn the key to "off" position or you will return to a dead battery


In antique planes like mine....there is no electrical system...no alternator, no generator, no starter, no lights,,
nothing...just magnetos......the mag switch has left, right, both, and off.  And you want the engine ready for a hand prop, so you don't want to run the cylinders dry of fuel...of course just a few pull-throughs of the prop will charge the cylinders if needed.

With airplanes, if you are worried about fuel economy, you have the wrong hobby!

Again with my antiques it give maybe 15 miles per gallon.  (4 gallons per hour at 60 miles per hour) if no wind.. If you don't fly too high...leaning mixture is not necessary.  Low and slow is more fun anyway.  You can adjust the mixture at the carb if you are always at high alt...


Cookie


Close. The hot mag switch has no effect on the battery. That would be the battery switch. Chopping the mixture ensures that there's no fuel in the cylinders when your friend pulls on the prop. Without a mixture control you must get worse fuel economy and less performance! What a deal. I must say, I was shocked when the consensus of plane manufacturers decided that it was best to run on the lean side of ideal. Lean to max EGT, then lean a little more.


olhogrider

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Reply #23 on: December 07, 2019, 01:07:24 am
Right...sort of ...with a key switch....the mags and the electrics are on the same switch, (most planes)  when you have it on "both"...both mags are ungrounded...and the electrical system is "on" ....that is stuff like avionics, lights etc.  There is also current to the alternator and coil.   So if you shut off with mixture...you still must turn the key to "off" position or you will return to a dead battery


In antique planes like mine....there is no electrical system...no alternator, no generator, no starter, no lights,,
nothing...just magnetos......the mag switch has left, right, both, and off.  And you want the engine ready for a hand prop, so you don't want to run the cylinders dry of fuel...of course just a few pull-throughs of the prop will charge the cylinders if needed.

With airplanes, if you are worried about fuel economy, you have the wrong hobby!

Again with my antiques it give maybe 15 miles per gallon.  (4 gallons per hour at 60 miles per hour) if no wind.. If you don't fly too high...leaning mixture is not necessary.  Low and slow is more fun anyway.  You can adjust the mixture at the carb if you are always at high alt...


Cookie

It has been decades since I flew an antique, a Stearman and a DC-3 but in my 47 years of flying (ATP) and working on them(A&P), every plane with a battery has had a battery master. That is completely unrelated to the magnetos. Otherwise a dead battery would cause an engine failure or a mag failure would cause all your electrics to fail. Neither one of those happen. This may not be the case in a Sopwith Camel or some crazy homebuilt or ultralight but pretty sure it is true of any plane built in a factory in the last 100 years. If you can give me an example of your "key operates the electrical system" I would love to know what kind of plane that is.


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Reply #24 on: December 07, 2019, 01:16:21 am

There is just nothing like seeing someone starting a radial that has sat for a while  ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkcX0KGIBwk


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Reply #25 on: December 07, 2019, 01:27:25 am
There is just nothing like seeing someone starting a radial that has sat for a while  ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkcX0KGIBwk

Love the commentary  ;D My last job was flying an Airbus. Starting was literally pushing a button. Nothing else. The only time you touch the throttles (thrust levers) is on takeoff, then at the 1000' then again in the landing flare.


gizzo

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Reply #26 on: December 07, 2019, 10:09:15 am


With airplanes, if you are worried about fuel economy, you have the wrong hobby!

Again with my antiques it give maybe 15 miles per gallon.  (4 gallons per hour at 60 miles per hour)

About the same as my antique ski boat then (SBC power).  ;D. Maybe a bit more economical.

My aircraft uses no fuel. Just a quick run off a steep slope... Terribly slow way to travel,  though.

Oh,  and I always turn my bike off with the key and put my left glove on first.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 10:12:00 am by gizzo »
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Reply #27 on: December 07, 2019, 10:41:27 am
Not sure this helps but this is what the book says......

ENGINE KILL SWITCH
Engine "OFF" Engine "ON"
CAUTION
Turn off ignition switch when engine is not running. Failure to do so will discharge the battery due to the headlamp
being continuously "ON".

I always turn off at the switch, never had a problem but next time I do I will check to see if headlamp still on!


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Reply #29 on: December 07, 2019, 11:32:12 am


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Reply #30 on: December 09, 2019, 07:51:42 am
Just recently I went into my garage to start my Interceptor to run it for 20 minutes after adding stabilizer to the fuel for winter.  Turned on the key.  Hit the starter.  Nothing happened.  New battery on a battery tender that said fully charged.  Noticed the Neutral light was not on.  Tried shifting the gearbox but the N light would not come on.  Thinking the tranny needed a little goose, manually turned the rear wheel while trying to run the shifter.  No N light no matter what I did.  Bike should start with the tranny in gear but when holding the clutch in.  Tried that.  NADA.  I was standing there scratching my head and ass alternately starting to think I was going to have to rent a trailer and take it to my dealer.  Out of exasperation I flipped the kill switch to the other position.  Nice green N light and it started right up.  A kill switch is there for only one reason .... to make you rent a trailer and take it to a dealer and REALLY FEEL LIKE A DUMB ASS.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 08:03:16 am by jimku »
2019 Interceptor


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Reply #31 on: December 09, 2019, 11:10:16 am
LOL!   Yep that's it!


Cookie





Just recently I went into my garage to start my Interceptor to run it for 20 minutes after adding stabilizer to the fuel for winter.  Turned on the key.  Hit the starter.  Nothing happened.  New battery on a battery tender that said fully charged.  Noticed the Neutral light was not on.  Tried shifting the gearbox but the N light would not come on.  Thinking the tranny needed a little goose, manually turned the rear wheel while trying to run the shifter.  No N light no matter what I did.  Bike should start with the tranny in gear but when holding the clutch in.  Tried that.  NADA.  I was standing there scratching my head and ass alternately starting to think I was going to have to rent a trailer and take it to my dealer.  Out of exasperation I flipped the kill switch to the other position.  Nice green N light and it started right up.  A kill switch is there for only one reason .... to make you rent a trailer and take it to a dealer and REALLY FEEL LIKE A DUMB ASS.