What is a Motorcycle Kill Switch?

What is a Motorcycle Kill Switch?

Have you ever wondered how some riders get off their motorcycle within a second without even touching the key? They do this by motorcycle kill switch button; wait, but what is a motorcycle kill switch? 

A motorcycle kill switch is a button that helps turn off the motorcycle within a second without touching the key. The motorcycle kill switch works by breaking the spark plug circuit, thus turning off the engine instantly. Mostly all motorbikes have kill switches but at different locations. 

But how does this motorcycle kill switch button work? And where is it located? No worries, in this post, we’ve covered all answers to your queries.

What is a Motorcycle Kill Switch? 

A motorcycle kill switch is a button that helps to cut off the power of the motorcycle engine and causes turning off the engine instantly. Generally, the motorcycle kill switch is located on the handlebar. 

The motorcycle kill switch button helps to turn off the motorcycle instantly without touching the key. 

Since the motorcycle kill switch is on the right side of the handlebar, you don’t even have to lift your hand from the throttle. 

What is a Motorcycle Kill Switch? Picture showing ordinary kill switch button.
Motorbike with the kill switch.
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Why Motorcycles Have Kill Switch?  

Why Motorcycle has Kill Switch: 
Protect the rider from accidents by taking off the hands from the handlebar. 
Kill switch helps the rider to turn off the engine if there’s little room for moving arms
Protect the rider from any severe accident if ever the throttle is stuck.  
It helps the rider to disable and again to enable the engine in slow-moving traffic jams. 

You can now identify the kill switch in your motorbike, but have you wondered why manufacturers add a kill switch to your motorbike?

Manufacturers add a kill switch to protect you from lifting your hands from the handlebar; thus, you can turn off the motorbike without raising your hand from the handlebar. Another reason why kill switches exist is that sometimes motorbike throttle stuck, causing the motorbike not to slow down. 

In this case, the rider has two options; the first is pressing the rear tire brake, which might be effective for plains but not for slope. 

The second option is to kill the engine without lifting their hand from the handlebar, as raising the hands from the motorbike might cause an accident. 

The third reason why motorcycle kill switches exist is that the button helps to kill the engine if you’re stuck between cars where you don’t have much space to move your arms. 

The fourth reason why motorcycle kill switches exist is because of traffic jams.

For instance, if you are stuck in one-minute long traffic, will you spend 10 seconds killing the engine and starting the engine again? 

You can turn off and turn on the motorcycle engine instantly in traffic jams or slow-moving jams. 

How Does Motorbike Kill Switch Work?  

Anyone can’t ignore the role of the kill switch in the everyday life of motorcycle riders. But how does this kill switch even work? 

The kill switch is connected to the ignition coil that sends sparks to the spark plug through the wire. The motorcycle engine needs constant sparks from the spark device to work effectively. The motorcycle kill switch works by breaking this spark plug circuit, thus turning off the engine instantly.

When Motorcycle Kill Switch is Disabled: Motorcycle ignition coil sending spark device through spark wire. 

When Motorcycle Kill Switch is Enabled:  Motorcycle ignition coil fails to send spark X spark device through spark wire. 

The easy reachability of the motorcycle kill switch also comes with few challenges, such as turning on the kill switch accidentally.

And motorcycle manufacturers are well aware of this challenge; that’s why they made a kill switch so that you can’t kill the engine simply by turning on the kill switch. 

For instance, you need to press the kill switch for a few seconds until your motorbike engine turns off to disable the motorbike engine. 

The ideal way of killing the engine is by pressing the motorbike clutch and pressing the kill switch button for a few seconds.

Do this until your motorbike turns off and then finally remove the key from the motorbike if you’re parking the motorbike for a longer time. 

Is Motorbike Kill Switch Harms Your Engine?  

It’s one of the biggest myths which many riders still believe.

Using a kill switch in everyday life is like using a button to turn on/off the appliance in your house. However, misusing the kill switch would harm the engine in the long term. For example, pressing the kill switch various times in few seconds would damage the ignition coil.

When You Shouldn’t Use Motorbike Kill Switch? 

There’re many areas where you can use the kill switch button, as I mentioned above. But sometimes, you shouldn’t use the kill switch.

When You Shouldn’t Use Kill Switch: 
Don’t use the kill switch when parking your motorbike for a long time, or make sure you disable the kill switch before parking for a longer time.
Don’t use the kill switch when riding a motorbike at high speed. 
If there’s heavy traffic, then don’t use the kill switch or try and see whether your motorbike starts instantly after disabling the kill switch or not.

When Parking for Longer Time:  

It would be best not to press the kill switch as it will turn off the engine, not your motorcycle.

It means your motorcycle electrical system will still be on after pressing the kill switch. 

Many people still press the kill switch when parking a motorcycle for a long time; as a result, their motorbike battery dies.

I recommend seeing whether the kill switch is on or off before parking your motorbike for a longer time. 

When Riding at High Speed:  

I can understand that sometimes it feels fantastic pressing the kill switch when riding at high speed.

But some motorbikes come with a feature that locks the motorcycle handlebar or wheel the moment you press the kill switch. 

I recommend pressing the kill switch when your motorbike is at low speed so that you can balance the motorcycle if the handlebar or wheel is locked. 

If there’s Heavy Traffic:  

Although there’s no problem using the kill switch on new motorbikes, some old motorbikes have a problem starting again when pressing the kill switch. 

I recommend you must try and see whether your motorbike starts instantly after disabling the kill switch so that you’ll have an idea of how your motorcycle responds to the kill switch. 

Do All Motorbikes Have Kill Switch? 

So far, you understand why it’s essential having a kill switch. Now the question arises, do all motorbikes have a kill switch? 

Almost all motorbikes have a kill switch, and you can find the kill switch button in almost all motorcycles on the right-hand side in the red color. But the exact location of the kill switch varies in different types of motorcycles.  

Location of Kill Switch in Different Motorcycles. 
Street Motorcycle: On the right-hand side as the red color button. 
Kid Motorbike: At the back of the motorbike attached through the rope. 
Off-Road Motorbike: On the left-hand side as the red color button. 

Street Motorcycle:  

In the street motorcycle, you can find the kill switch button (in the red color) on the right-hand side in the handlebar.  

Kid Motorbike:  

In the kid motorbike, you can find the kill switch button at the back attaching through the rope so that parents can disable the kid motorbike instantly.

Off Road Motorcycle:  

 In the off-road motorcycle, you can find the kill switch at the left-hand side of the handlebar in the red color. 

Things to Remember:  

If you use the kill switch frequently, then there are some things that you always need to remember.

Things to Always Remember if Your Motorcycle Comes with Kill Switch: 
Always disable the kill switch before igniting the motorbike again. 
Don’t ride your motorbike with your thumb on the kill switch button. 
Kill switch is also called as “Emergency button”. 

Always Disable the Kill Switch:  

First, always remember to disable the kill switch before starting your motorbike. The problem with many people is that they try to start their motorbike without disabling the kill switch. 

And when the motorbike does not start, they consider their battery to be dead, and even some people buy new batteries. So before reaching any conclusion, it would be best to disable the kill switch before starting your motorbike. 

Don’t Ride While Placing Thumb on Kill Switch:  

Secondly, always remember to ride your motorbike without placing your thumb on the kill switch button.

It’s even more critical when your motorcycle comes with a kill switch button instead of a slider. 

Though manufacturers made kill switches not to enable accidentally, still, it would be best to not riding your motorbike, placing your thumb on the kill switch button.  

Kill Switch also Called as Emergency Button:  

Always remember, some people call the kill switch an “emergency stop” button. So don’t let anyone confuse you with the word “emergency.” 

Also read. do motorbike riders have to give toll and how can you save motorbike toll? Read here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will motorbike kill switch damage your motorbike engine? 

No, the kill switch won’t damage your motorbike engine but it will surely if you misused it.

How does the motorbike kill switch work?  

The motorcycle kill switch works by breaking this spark plug circuit, thus turning off the engine instantly.

Why do motorbikes have kill switches?

Manufacturers add a kill switch so that you can turn off the motorbike without raising your hand from the handlebar. 

Where can you find a kill switch in your off-riding motorbike?

In the off-road motorcycle, you can find the kill switch at the left-hand side of the handlebar in the red color. 

Why shouldn’t you use the kill switch if there’s heavy traffic

Although there’s no problem using the kill switch on new motorbikes, some old motorbikes have a problem starting again when pressing the kill switch. 

Final Verdict:  

What is a motorcycle kill switch? A motorcycle kill switch is a button that helps to turn off the motorcycle within a second without touching the key. 

A motorcycle kill switch is a button that helps to cut off the power of the motorcycle engine and causes turning off the engine instantly. Generally, the motorcycle kill switch is located on the right-hand side of the handlebar.