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748 Neutral Switch Purpose Query.

Discussion in '748 / 916 / 996 / 998' started by MRL748, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Hi,
    I have a 1996 748 biposto.
    This may sound like a daft question but....
    Is the neutral switch simply there to indicate when the bike is in neutral or does it also prevent the rider from starting the bike in gear?
    I have a couple of slightly later bikes, Triumph and Kawasaki and they can’t be started in gear yet my 748 will turn over in gear.
    Appreciate any replies.
  2. Forgot to mention, that’s with the clutch in or out.
  3. It's only purpose is to indicate when in neutral.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. Brilliant, thanks Steve, I’ll sleep better knowing that.
    I did look at the wiring diagram in Haynes and I couldn’t see it going via a relay but I wasn’t sure.
    Thanks again.
  5. The early ones are very basic, they will start in gear, out of gear, clutch in or out, stand up or down, you will get used to it though.
  6. I agree, they are a lot simpler than I had expected.
    I’ve had it a year or so now, it’s a very low mileage example at 6,500m, obviously been an ornament most of it’s life as it’s in almost new condition. But I am amazed that next to a 1990’s ZXR400 I have it is basic as you say. A lovely thing all the same. Appreciate the help.
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  7. Just don't try starting it on the side stand and in gear with the clutch out, I tried that on my 1996 M900 and almost didn't catch it :eek:
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  8. On the early bikes like the 1996 748/916 the only purpose of the switch is to light the neutral light.
    On later bikes it would cut the engine but the stand had to be up to start it and keep it running. Later still a clutch switch was incorporated so that by around 2003 for most, if not all Ducatis the following applied;

    There are 3 interlock mechanisms for the safety circuit that will cut the engine or prevent it starting. The side stand switch, the clutch switch and the neutral light switch. All of these feed back to the ECU and in the wrong combination the bike won't run or the starter won't operate. So,
    • If the bike is in neutral - the bike will start
    • If the bike is in neutral and the side stand is down - the starter won't operate
    • If the bike is in gear - the starter won't operate and the bike won't start
    • If the bike is in gear and the clutch lever is pulled in - the starter will operate and the bike will start
    • if the bike is in gear and the stand is down - the ignition will cut and the starter won't operate.
    • If the engine is running and in gear - it will cut out if the stand goes down or the switch becomes faulty
    I think that covers it all.
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  10. Good to know. Thanks
  11. For the bikes (like my 01 SS) which would not start unless the side stand is up there is a solution. Basically the side stand switch, when up, provides an Earth to the ecu and when down it doesn’t.

    So, there is another earth that can be used to feed the ecu, but only when in neutral and that is from the neutral switch.

    However with these two potential earth supplies connected to each other the side stand, when up, would provide an earth to the neutral light irrespective of whether the machine was in gear or not. So, to prevent this reverse earth feed from the side stand switch to the neutral light circuit a diode (which only allows electrickery to flow in one direction) needs to be connected into this connecting wire.

    The result is I can start the bike on the side stand in neutral but if I forget to raise the stand and engage a gear the engine dies (because the neutral light is now out).

    When I did this the whole mod cost less than a pound, so well worth doing.

    Hope this is of use.

    #11 Billywiztheelder, Feb 16, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  12. Have just found the spec of the diode I used. It’s a 1N4004 or equivalent. This has now been in use for the last 18 years.
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