What is a Killswitch?

Motorcycle Killswitch
Motorcycle Killswitch

A killswitch is a simple emergency-off switch that turns off the machine in a click. It acts as a simple safety mechanism enabling the driver to turn off the bike when it cannot be done manually. It shuts down all the running systems without causing any damage to the system.

 Purpose of a Killswitch:

It also enables the riders to turn off the bike quickly without taking their hand off the handle to reach for the key. If you are a relatively new rider, you must have noticed an intimidating red switch on the right side handlebar of your bike.

The name explains its function, which is immediately turning the motorcycle off without affecting the mechanics of the machine. The killswitch is nothing complicated; it simply cuts off the contact from the ignition coil, so the engine shuts down. 

Also Read: The Real Purpose Of Reverse Light?

Does the killswitch affect your bike?

A Kill Switch
A Kill Switch

Utilizing the killswitch does not affect the bike; there is no saturation point after which it affects the machine negatively. A rider can use that switch as much as he wants to turn the engine off.

Although the switch does not damage the system, there can be a situation where it can. If the rider is repeatedly fiddling with the button turning it off when the bike is already off will affect the bike. 

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When the rider continuously plays with the switch in the off condition, it can affect the ignition coil long-term but no immediate damage. It is also not advised to use the kill switch while the bike is in intense motion.

In addition to that, there are a few other things a rider needs to keep in check:

  • It should always be in the on state whenever you turn on the ignition for the ride. This might help you to keep further troubles away that are blamed on the battery.
  • Operate the switch with your thumb, make a habit of doing it while riding.
  • The kill switch is also called an emergency off switch, so you can use it without being alarmed.
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25 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for bringing up an interesting topic. However you did miss the original and still most important part of the kill switch.

    First a little history, for the first hundred years or so of motorcycles consider the environment and the materials that they were constructed with.
    Many roads were not paved people took their motorcycles off-road. Motorcycles did not have o-ring sealed Teflon lined accelerator cables.

    Most throttle bodies were located on the outside of the motorcycle, small pebbles or other debris could jam the throttle body open. Also it was not uncommon for the throttle cable to be pinched in a crash or have rust inside that could prevent the throttle from returning to the off position.

    Having a kill switch accessible by your thumb so you did not have to take your hand off the handlebars was of utmost importance.

  2. Totally unnecessary and a robotic carryover some dude in some safety board’s of very little practical use.. And wrongly activated by a newbie can actually be dangerous

  3. I use kill switch all the time. It shuts the engine, but keeps lights on. Great at night to creep down neighborhood without noise at night, and allows me to park in places with poor lighting. Never had a single issue “using it too much”.

  4. Its use is when u are driving and suddenly a downhill road comes, and u remember that u need to save petrol so u immediately shut off the engine while on the hill without lifting hand from handlebars

  5. Absolutely agree, my wife’s TVS N Torq has this unnecessary doo hickey and it’s not even a different colour, the same black as the rest of the bike and panels, the first couple of times it was switched off when parked, and the 3rd the bike hit a pothole and toppled and her hand must have touched it.Who remembers to check if this stupid button is in the off or on positions when the bike isn’t starting but your lights, horn and fancy instrument panel, showing a full petrol tank all work, albeit without any warning flasher.All it does is make you call for service which arrives only on a weekday, during working hours , charges you a packet just for the visit, and you can hear them sniggering with a “gotcha” as they drive away leaving you standing there feeling downright foolish.

  6. It’s used to turn your motor off without turning the lights off, like at an extremely long red light or when a train crosses the road. Very useful at night if you value your life.

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