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Thread: 2009 XB9SX Neutral light doesn't come on after a ride

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    2009 XB9SX Neutral light doesn't come on after a ride

    Hey new to the forum here.

    I searched around to see if I could find some answers and did see that this has happened a few times to others but still wanted to ask about it.

    After a ride when I pull into my garage (and other places of course) my neutral light doesn't seem to like to come on when I shift into neutral. The bike is for sure in neutral and I can wheel it around without pulling in the clutch and start it, the light just doesn't turn on. The weird part is that when I leave it for the night and come back in the morning, I'll start the bike up and the neutral light comes back on no problem. It doesn't do it every time, just sometimes. I'm thinking it's a loose wire somewhere in the system but still wanted to ask if anybody else has had this issue in the past.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Lusiphur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Never heard of this, but am subscribed to see what others say.
    Maybe take the cluster off the bike and check out the connectors and wiring
    2006 Buell XBRS LightningBolt

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Central Soviet state of new jersey.
    This is on a Ully, hopefully it's the same ?

    Quote from Lunaticfringe, " if and when you remove the switch i have found that sometimes it becomes coated with very fine debris from the primary/trans lube and a good cleaning brings it back to life."

    Quote from Rays from Down under

    " Does the bike start in neutral without having to pull the clutch in?
    If yes, then the switch is OK and there is possibly an issue with the bulb in the instrument cluster.
    If no, then check the switch electrical connector is in place (it is a push-fit behind the front pulley cover - partially covered by the front pulley at about the 2 0'clock position) and the continuity of the switch itself.
    A quick test of the instrument light is to remove the connector at the neutral switch and ground that point with the ignition on.
    It is isn't too uncommon to have that switch fail (my '06 Uly had this fail very early in it's life at about the 12,000 mile point).

    Assuming the worst, it is a bit tricky to replace but don't let a shop convince you that they need to remove the front pulley to replace the switch. I modified a cheap socket so it would fit in behind the sprocket with the belt moved out of the way and I have seen some other home-brew tools made that looked like they would work with the belt in place.

    This was my solution but there are others - the switch only has a handful of threads and has a fairly modest torque.

    BTW - with the bike in neutral you should measure 0 ohms between the centre contact you can see in the picture and the body of the switch.
    The neutral light will actually work with some resistance in this switch because of the very low current drawn by the bulb but for the start relay circuit to operate correctly this resistance needs to be very low."

    The picture of the switch didn't copy and paste, you'll find it here,
    Last edited by njloco; 06-24-2019 at 02:45 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silverrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Cheap and fast change the switch ,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    AmishLand, PA.
    are you mechanically inclined???? do you have or can you get the front pulley nut socket and pulley locking tool????
    if YES to the above remove front pulley and replace the switch. any local or online dealer stocks it. common item.
    factory part # is Part Number 33900-99....infinite amount in system as it's the same for many years sportsters. list $15.10

    if NO to the above then first buy the new switch...then buy thin-wall deep 3/8th drive socket to fit and mod it...or borrow one from board member...and then replace. as Ray mentioned to do this you still MUST remove the belt from the pulley to access the switch. you can remove and clean the switch AND the tip of the green wire that attaches to switch post but that fix doesn't always last very long.

    I'll also note that it's been well documented and the reasons why never fully understood....BUT...a faulty neutral sensor switch will also often times result in erratic starting....intermittent warm idle stalling....and erratic warm idle speeds plus a "hanging" idle.

    and it looks like this...................#30 in schematic. MUST HAVE SEALING WASHER INSTALLED WITH IT!

    xb switch.jpg
    Last edited by user_deleted; 06-24-2019 at 03:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    I have a very similar issue on my XB12X. It started when not starting when pressing the starter button when in neutral, without pulling in the clutch. I immediately suspected the neutral switch/sensor. Later the neutral light stopped coming on. I plan on changing it out this weekend. I once clean and tested my neutral switch on a second buell, total waste of time. fixed the issue for about 5 minutes.

    Interesting point about the difficulty starting. I always pop the bike in neutral when I start it (unless stalled at a light), because its a buell... She likes to warm up for a minute, before i touch the throttle. Lately I have had a couple of really weird starting related issues. I found my primary chain very loose and thought that was the issue.

    Changing out the switch, going to cut/shave a socket down. Yanking the pulley sucks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Crawling up your skirt
    A wrench, needle nose vise-grips, crows foot, or even needle nose pliers are easier than trashing a socket, IMO.

    If the neutral light is intermittent, It's 99% going to be the switch itself being dirty and losing contact to ground the neutral light circuit. It is a ball bearing with a spring behind it. Your choice, replace the cheap part, or clean it well and don't forget to depress the ball while doing it. Good luck

  8. #8
    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    I found a socket for $1.49 at a local surplus store, spent 10 minutes cutting it down on a bench grinder. The switch metered funny, with spiking resistance. I'm sure a quick spray of brake cleaner would have fixed it up, but for all the extra work, why bother. I should mention that I should have also ground down the face of the socket that needs to go into the side cover casting. The job really requires a thin wall socket, and the indent on the housing that holds the switch was fulled with debris that didn't make it any easier.

    $1.49 for the socket, not needing to remove the drive pulley, priceless!

    Bike starts fine without needing to pull in the clutch.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Eastern Maryland
    Gee, thanks everyone. The day after this issue came up here, my XT wouldn't show the green neutral light and won't ever start unless the clutch is pulled in. Oh well. At least I got advice on where to start. Duh.

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