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Bike won't start in gear

I ride a 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit C2 and last fall I was no longer able to start it in gear.  I narrowed down the problem to the clutch lever switch so I bought a new one and replaced it but that did not fix the problem.  So far in my trouble shooting I have pulled the switch out again and jumpered together the two wires that plug into the switch and low and behold the bike starts in gear so I plugged it back into the switch and it started again.  So I put the switch back into the clutch lever and now it won't start.  I though maybe it has something to do with the actual clutch lever but I just can't figure it out.  I asked my mechanic and he said when I figure it out to let him know!  I am at the point of wanting to cut the little end off the switch so it will work all the time but I don't know what else that switch does.  Can anybody help me figure this out?





If the jumping the wires will allow it to start then something is not activating the switch as it should. As long as the switch is good, i'm not familiar with the function just yet, seems to me a cam or other device may be worn down or stretched out not activating it. Seems to me a mechanic of bikes should know this one !! Have you looked up in the manual how the switch works and diiferent tests to pinpoint problem ! Someone with better knowledge than I should respond shortly.Hope this helps some.

Okay, that is really odd!  It sounds like you are saying that if the switch is not attached it works, but if you attach it it does not work.  If this is the case, all I can figure is you have a grounding problem or somewhere along the path you might have a wire that has gone bad.  You could have a wire that is cracked and if alloed to hang it is making contact, but if it is in the proper position it is not making contact.  At any rate, I might shop around for a mechanic that is better with elec than the one you have.  That answer from a mechanic would make me RUN not walk out of his shop!

Ride safe,


This is probably not the answer to your problem, but I know my Intruder has a kick stand safety switch. I can't start the engine in gear while the kickstand is down. If your Shadow has a safety switch maybe it's intermittently shorting to ground??
Just a thought. Good luck.

This probly does not help but my shadow spirit c2 has the above mentioned safety switch with the kick stand also. will not start in gear witht he kick stand down. sounds to me like it may have something to do with the kick stand swich. Not much help but just another opinion.


So when you remove the switch from the clutch housing and jump it you can start the bike.

I would ask, have you changed the grips or leavers? I know something the ISO grip dont let you pull the leaver to full stop, or if you changed the leavers and they don not contact the switches plunger you would have the same problem, Also check the switches pluger it might have gotten broke or bent...

Keep us updated as to that you find out

Your issue has plagued both my brother on his 2004 VTX1300C as well as recently me on my 2003 VTX1300S.

My sidestand switch failed creating the "the open loop" so even when the stand in the up possition, the bike thinks it is down and will not start in gear. The switch was not very expensive and was VERY simple to replace.  Hope this helps!


Awwww Kyle I was just about to say that!

Is a year already now I have the same problem. I wonder, how did you fix it?

i really am not familiar with the honda , but i have an '01 roadstar, and the no start in gear is a safety factor. it's made specifically "not" to start in gear. the only way around it "is to uncouple the switch from its mount to close the circuit. it's made like the seat switches on lawnmowers. you can jumper wire around them or in some instances just unplug them, depending whether or not they are designed as "open" or "closed" circuits. again, i don't know how the honda is wired. good luck in your quest for the solution.

i had a similar problem with my 06 aero , the kickstand safty switch malfunctioned.

I have the same bike and same problem. The bike will start in gear so long as the clutch is engaged and the kickstand is up. The issue here is not the kickstand sensor, though a very logical place to check. I found similar forums addressing the sensor at the clutch lever so I will explore that further myself this afternoon.

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