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I have read several threads here about turning the kill switch on prior to starting. My question is why should it be off in the first place?

My 2007 LX150 Owners Manual says, on page 47, that the kill switch is for emergency use only, in the event of a runaway engine. Reading the instructions on proper starting, there is no mention of turning the kill switch on. The engine is started and stopped with the key switch. Nothing more, nothing less. If the factory documentation says to do it that way, that is the way I will do it.

My thoughts are that every electrical device has a given average life. A switch has only so many cycles before it is subject to fail. That is probably a large enough number that a switch will last for a long time, but why take a chance? My greatest fear would be a situation where I pushed the kill switch during a true emergency and it broke apart without shutting the engine down.

I have also read that the MSF course says to use the kill switch during a normal shut down. I don't understand why, but maybe it is a carryover from the time before ignition switches. From what I have read here, it seems that most people go by the MSF instructions rather than Vespa. Strange.
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Re: Kill Switch
NightWing wrote:
I have also read that the MSF course says to use the kill switch during a normal shut down. I don't understand why, but maybe it is a carryover from the time before ignition switches. From what I have read here, it seems that most people go by the MSF instructions rather than Vespa. Strange.
European Vespa models don't have kill switches. In all likelihood, the manual doesn't make the kill switch an important part of the start / stop sequence because it's not in the mindset of the European designers, not to mention the folks writing the manual. That doesn't mean the switch is incapable of being used that way, it just means that Piaggio doesn't give a crap about the kill switch mandated in the US.

I had to do an emergency shutdown on my Moto Guzzi once, after blowing all the oil all over my left leg. I reached for the kill switch with one hand and pulled in the clutch with the other, and coasted to the side of the road. I didn't hesitate for a moment, as if it were second nature. In fact, it was second nature, because I had done it a million times before.

And that is exactly why MSF teaches us to use the kill switch, always.
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I think the reasoning is twofold:
    First is to encourage automatic reaction in hitting the switch in an emergency, muscle memory if you will.

    Second is to ensure it works and hasn't seized. Though your fear of wearing it out is well founded.
Personally I shut off with it occasionally to try and fulfill the objectives above, but use the key as standard practice.
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Surprisingly, the kill switch can also foil casual thieves. How often do we start cursing at the scoot for not starting, only to remeber the kills switch is on?
Quote:
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Re: Kill Switch
jess wrote:
European Vespa models don't have kill switches. In all likelihood, the manual doesn't make the kill switch an important part of the start / stop sequence because it's not in the mindset of the European designers, not to mention the folks writing the manual. That doesn't mean the switch is incapable of being used that way, it just means that Piaggio doesn't give a crap about the kill switch mandated in the US.
errrrr, i beg to differ, my european vespa (2006 Gts250ie) has a kill switch

.....and as far as i know ALL gts's have kill switches worldwide......

what prompted you to think the euro spec vespa model range were not fitted with kill switches? (i assume you mean "modern vespas" and not vintage or geared vespa models as this is the "modern vespa" site after all)
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Re: Kill Switch
maver wrote:
jess wrote:
European Vespa models don't have kill switches. In all likelihood, the manual doesn't make the kill switch an important part of the start / stop sequence because it's not in the mindset of the European designers, not to mention the folks writing the manual. That doesn't mean the switch is incapable of being used that way, it just means that Piaggio doesn't give a crap about the kill switch mandated in the US.
errrrr, i beg to differ, my european vespa (2006 Gts250ie) has a kill switch

.....and as far as i know ALL gts's have kill switches worldwide......

what prompted you to think the euro spec vespa model range were not fitted with kill switches? (i assume you mean "modern vespas" and not vintage or geared vespa models as this is the "modern vespa" site after all)
I stand corrected!

We've gotten a few inquiries from people outside the US wondering what the red switch on North American Vespas was for. I (wrongly) assumed that only NA models had the kill switch. Thanks for the correction.

(but I still don't know which countries don't have kill switches...)
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Re: Kill Switch
jess wrote:
[We've gotten a few inquiries from people outside the US wondering what the red switch on North American Vespas was for. I (wrongly) assumed that only NA models had the kill switch. Thanks for the correction.

(but I still don't know which countries don't have kill switches...)
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

this is a photo of the throttle side switches of a vespa GTs from Jakarta in Indonesia.........

the switch looks like a lights ON/OFF switch but was posted on a UK forum in a topic on problems with a non-starting GTs and faulty kill switch, the switch is highlighted in the photo and the post recommended changing the switch to cure the problem so it sounds like the poster has a kill switch (run/no run switch) that looks different to the normal red switch we have......strange

i will enquire further to see if the kill switch and light dip/ main switch positions are reversed in Indonesia, it looks that way to me.....
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The MSF instructors told me to use it to shut off the engine because you can reach it without moving your hands off the handlebars. But I never thought about it wearing out.
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we've had a few failures with kill switches here in the UK, a few folks have by-passed them and just rely on the key, i've had mine changed when i suffered intermittent starting problems (changed the switch, cured the problem). a couple of UK GTs riders have suffered the engine dying whilst riding and the fault was traced to the kill switch. the switch is a sealed unit so no repair options, just a spray with some electrical cleaner periodicly may be a good idea, i did this with my "faulty" switch, checked it with a meter and now carry it as a spare.
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Re: Kill Switch
maver wrote:
jess wrote:
[We've gotten a few inquiries from people outside the US wondering what the red switch on North American Vespas was for. I (wrongly) assumed that only NA models had the kill switch. Thanks for the correction.

(but I still don't know which countries don't have kill switches...)
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

this is a photo of the throttle side switches of a vespa GTs from Jakarta in Indonesia.........

the switch looks like a lights ON/OFF switch but was posted on a UK forum in a topic on problems with a non-starting GTs and faulty kill switch, the switch is highlighted in the photo and the post recommended changing the switch to cure the problem so it sounds like the poster has a kill switch (run/no run switch) that looks different to the normal red switch we have......strange

i will enquire further to see if the kill switch and light dip/ main switch positions are reversed in Indonesia, it looks that way to me.....
Do they drive on the wrong side of the road like you guys do?
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I just read in a scooter manual that you should turn it off as part of your shut down routine, so it becomes second nature. Then you will have no difficulty finding it when you need to... when your anxiety level may be high.
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maver wrote:
we've had a few failures with kill switches here in the UK, a few folks have by-passed them and just rely on the key,
Bad move - the switch is very easy to clean and very cheap to replace.

Not to be used in normal riding (UK-style advanced riding techniques), but always to be checked for efficacy just in case it's need in an emergency.

I've had just the one 'off', and I'm very grateful for the kill-switch on that occasion.
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scootnjersey wrote:
I just read in a scooter manual that you should turn it off as part of your shut down routine, so it becomes second nature. Then you will have no difficulty finding it when you need to... when your anxiety level may be high.
What scooter manual? Haynes? My info came right from the Owner's Manual that came with my Vespa, page 47.
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I use the kill switch every time I shut down.
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It's also fun to reach over and kill your buddies bike at a stoplight just as the light turns green!
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I don't use the killswitch much, in fact, most of the use it gets is from other people.

Every time I come out to my bike I usually have to flip the killswitch off. I didn't turn it on either so people keep switching for some reason.
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Re: Kill Switch
maver wrote:
errrrr, i beg to differ, my european vespa (2006 Gts250ie) has a kill switch

.....and as far as i know ALL gts's have kill switches worldwide......

what prompted you to think the euro spec vespa model range were not fitted with kill switches? (i assume you mean "modern vespas" and not vintage or geared vespa models as this is the "modern vespa" site after all)
Right now, the kill switch is not universally found on Vespas outside the US. Many countries are moving to require all new Powered Two Wheel Vehicles to have headlights which are on at all times. The resulting removal of a headlamp switch is a natural for filling that space with the US required kill switch. Thus, resulting in only two configurations, not three.

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Re: Kill Switch
jess wrote:
NightWing wrote:
I have also read that the MSF course says to use the kill switch during a normal shut down. I don't understand why, but maybe it is a carryover from the time before ignition switches. From what I have read here, it seems that most people go by the MSF instructions rather than Vespa. Strange.
European Vespa models don't have kill switches. In all likelihood, the manual doesn't make the kill switch an important part of the start / stop sequence because it's not in the mindset of the European designers, not to mention the folks writing the manual. That doesn't mean the switch is incapable of being used that way, it just means that Piaggio doesn't give a crap about the kill switch mandated in the US.

I had to do an emergency shutdown on my Moto Guzzi once, after blowing all the oil all over my left leg. I reached for the kill switch with one hand and pulled in the clutch with the other, and coasted to the side of the road. I didn't hesitate for a moment, as if it were second nature. In fact, it was second nature, because I had done it a million times before.

And that is exactly why MSF teaches us to use the kill switch, always.
I tell people not to use the kill because that encourages more of them to leave the key on which means more picking up broken scooters for no good reason. I hate picking up broken scooters for no good reason.
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Re: Kill Switch
femsatronic wrote:
I tell people not to use the kill because that encourages more of them to leave the key on which means more picking up broken scooters for no good reason. I hate picking up broken scooters for no good reason.
I'm not following the leap here.  People are leaving the key on... in their garage?  Out in public while they're away?

How does the key being on lead to a broken scooter?  Are we talking about stolen (and subsequently broken) scooters?
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Re: Kill Switch
lostboy wrote:
femsatronic wrote:
I tell people not to use the kill because that encourages more of them to leave the key on which means more picking up broken scooters for no good reason. I hate picking up broken scooters for no good reason.
I'm not following the leap here. People are leaving the key on... in their garage? Out in public while they're away?

How does the key being on lead to a broken scooter? Are we talking about stolen (and subsequently broken) scooters?
key on, battery and lights on. Wouldn't they notice the light on?
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Re: Kill Switch
lostboy wrote:
femsatronic wrote:
I tell people not to use the kill because that encourages more of them to leave the key on which means more picking up broken scooters for no good reason. I hate picking up broken scooters for no good reason.
I'm not following the leap here. People are leaving the key on... in their garage? Out in public while they're away?

How does the key being on lead to a broken scooter? Are we talking about stolen (and subsequently broken) scooters?
Picking up "broken scooters" could very well mean scooters that "won't start" because they failed to return the kill switch to "run". Our son thought there was something wrong with our scoot because it wouldn't start, and he'd forgotten to return the kill switch to "run". And he's 40!

Al
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Jess wrote:

"I stand corrected!

We've gotten a few inquiries from people outside the US wondering what the red switch on North American Vespas was for. I (wrongly) assumed that only NA models had the kill switch. Thanks for the correction."

I have an ET4 (2003) it doesn't have a kill switch, I would prefer it if it had.

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Every time I get off my scoot I dive on the ground and roll... just for the muscle memory sake in case I crash

OK, sorry for the wise-guy comment, I couldn't help it. You know that if JerryG were on line he would have said it!
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just to clarify the picture i posted earlier i contacted the owner of the scoot with the black kill switch and this was his relpy....
bening wrote:
Yes I change the engine kill switch to a headlight hi/lo beam.

I have my son 2.5 year old when I ride together with him he always turn of the engine kill switch so I change with headlight hi/lo beam switch.
so that clears that up 8)
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Re: Kill Switch
Aviator47 wrote:
maver wrote:
errrrr, i beg to differ, my european vespa (2006 Gts250ie) has a kill switch

.....and as far as i know ALL gts's have kill switches worldwide......

what prompted you to think the euro spec vespa model range were not fitted with kill switches? (i assume you mean "modern vespas" and not vintage or geared vespa models as this is the "modern vespa" site after all)
Right now, the kill switch is not universally found on Vespas outside the US. Many countries are moving to require all new Powered Two Wheel Vehicles to have headlights which are on at all times. The resulting removal of a headlamp switch is a natural for filling that space with the US required kill switch. Thus, resulting in only two configurations, not three.

Al
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I use the kill switch like zwerski above - everytime. is there a sign of when the switch is starting to go bad or does it just not work one time when you go to use it? i want it to work when i really need it of course
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Geo-Vesp wrote:
I use the kill switch like zwerski above - everytime. is there a sign of when the switch is starting to go bad or does it just not work one time when you go to use it? i want it to work when i really need it of course
I suspect it only goes bad when exposed to English rain.
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Geo-Vesp wrote:
I use the kill switch like zwerski above - everytime. is there a sign of when the switch is starting to go bad or does it just not work one time when you go to use it? i want it to work when i really need it of course
i think the best way to describe the failure of the kill switch is to say "it works too well" what i mean is that when it fails it kills the engine and prevents it restarting, i don't think i've ever heard of one letting the engine run when switched to the "off" position........

i found that my GTs wouldn't start, so i flicked the kill switch on and off a few times and it started, over a couple of days this situation persisted while i waited for the new switch to arrive, once the new switch was fitted the problem dissapeared, the same thing happened to a fellow club member a few days later.

i've also heard of GTs riders having the engine cut out whilst riding and the fault has been traced to a faulty kill switch.
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jess wrote:
........I suspect it only goes bad when exposed to English rain.
Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon is it only us Brits who have had the failures???

maybe it is our rain.......
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maver wrote:
jess wrote:
........I suspect it only goes bad when exposed to English rain.
Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon is it only us Brits who have had the failures???

maybe it is our rain.......
Dunno. I use mine every time I ride, and it hasn't failed yet. Maybe letting it sit unused (and exposed to the elements) is a recipe for corrosion of the terminals? Switches tend to stay healthy when used regularly, as the regular contact / release cycle tends to have the effect of polishing the metal contact points.
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Re: Kill Switch
harnadem wrote:
key on, battery and lights on. Wouldn't they notice the light on?
I use my kill switch every time, due to recommendation of MSF instructor.

Never did before taking the MSF course.

The reasoning makes sense to me.

I have found that when parking, I use the kill switch, which stops the motor, leave the key on so the headlight reminds me to take the key.

However, with the key on and the kill switch turned to "kill" (no engine start capability) the tail light is not on, and if I walk away from the rear of the bike, I might miss the headlamp on.

I try not to rely on the headlamp as an indicator as to weather the key is in the ignition or not, any more.

I just try to be conscious of the presence of the key in my pocket prior to walking away from the bike.
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jess wrote:
maver wrote:
jess wrote:
........I suspect it only goes bad when exposed to English rain.
Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon is it only us Brits who have had the failures???

maybe it is our rain.......
Dunno. I use mine every time I ride, and it hasn't failed yet. Maybe letting it sit unused (and exposed to the elements) is a recipe for corrosion of the terminals? Switches tend to stay healthy when used regularly, as the regular contact / release cycle tends to have the effect of polishing the metal contact points.
well i'm a regular user of the switch evertime i ride, which is everyday in all weathers, the scoot is garaged at home but sits in the works open car park all day.....

are you telling me you get less rain in the U.S. than in Great Britain? if it is rain that's doing it then i'd hate to own a GTs in a monsoon climate or IRELAND
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maver wrote:
well i'm a regular user of the switch evertime i ride, which is everyday in all weathers, the scoot is garaged at home but sits in the works open car park all day.....
Dunno. I just haven't heard of that many kill switch failures.
maver wrote:
are you telling me you get less rain in the U.S. than in Great Britain?
The US is a big place with lots of different weather, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that yes, we get less rain than you do.
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jess wrote:
maver wrote:
well i'm a regular user of the switch evertime i ride, which is everyday in all weathers, the scoot is garaged at home but sits in the works open car park all day.....
Dunno. I just haven't heard of that many kill switch failures.
maver wrote:
are you telling me you get less rain in the U.S. than in Great Britain?
The US is a big place with lots of different weather, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that yes, we get less rain than you do.
well do us a favour and throw a bucket of water over your kill switch every morning, that way we'll soon see if it's water that's causing the problem Laughing emoticon Laughing emoticon
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43214
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43214
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
Normal weather does that to me seemingly every day here.

At least with more than one Piaggio bike I have some instant spares.
@snapshot05 avatar
UTC

WHOoligan
1985 PX200E Arcobaleno : 2010/14 GTS300 S: RIP GTS250 @ 40K
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6695
Location: Los Angeles Kings, Stanley Cup Champions X2
 
WHOoligan
@snapshot05 avatar
1985 PX200E Arcobaleno : 2010/14 GTS300 S: RIP GTS250 @ 40K
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6695
Location: Los Angeles Kings, Stanley Cup Champions X2
UTC quote
I hate when I start my scoot in the A.M. to let it warm up, and when I put the seat up to get the helmet, the damn seat shuts off the scooter. GRRr.


I have a three year warranty, and if it goes out it get fixed for free, but I still would have the inconveince of waiting for it to be fixed.

Just give me ABS brakes, damn it piaggio.



Manny
@benito avatar
UTC

Moderator
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 16296
Location: Toronto, Canada, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
 
Moderator
@benito avatar
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 16296
Location: Toronto, Canada, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
UTC quote
jess wrote:
maver wrote:
well i'm a regular user of the switch evertime i ride, which is everyday in all weathers, the scoot is garaged at home but sits in the works open car park all day.....
Dunno. I just haven't heard of that many kill switch failures.
maver wrote:
are you telling me you get less rain in the U.S. than in Great Britain?
The US is a big place with lots of different weather, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that yes, we get less rain than you do.
Unless you live in Hilo Big Island Hawaii. They get rain on more than 300 days of the year.
⬆️    About 7 months elapsed    ⬇️
@sibertater avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
GT 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1262
Location: Denver, CO
 
Molto Verboso
@sibertater avatar
GT 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1262
Location: Denver, CO
UTC quote
Mesmer wrote:
It's also fun to reach over and kill your buddies bike at a stoplight just as the light turns green!
*Gasp* I could never do that! 'cuz no one will ever ride with me... Crying or Very sad emoticon But if they did ride with me, I'd totally do that. Someone is going to say, "You could get someone killed doing that!" I actually have a list of people in my notes section that will all chime in...

On a different note, I turn my kill switch off when I park my bike just in case someone steals it, it's one more thing they have to figure out. Dorky, but I figure every little bit helps.

No one that's ever tried to start my bike can figure it out. They're not riders, either, but I would think I'd be able to figure it out.
@witch avatar
UTC

Moderatrice Strega
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7667
Location: Oregone
 
Moderatrice Strega
@witch avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7667
Location: Oregone
UTC quote
Bill of Ojai wrote:
Surprisingly, the kill switch can also foil casual thieves. How often do we start cursing at the scoot for not starting, only to remeber the kills switch is on?
I turn it off every time I leave the bike for this very reason. I didn't used to make it a habit. But one time I came out to find someone had obviously been fiddling with my scoot, and in my mind, the kill-switch being off could possibly have been a reason they didn't try to take off with it.
@sfarchie avatar
UTC

Addicted
'08 GTS 250i.e., 1/2 '58 Allstate (RIP), '09 Ducati M1100S (rolly polly'd), '10 Ducati Streetfighter
Joined: UTC
Posts: 970
Location: San Francisco
 
Addicted
@sfarchie avatar
'08 GTS 250i.e., 1/2 '58 Allstate (RIP), '09 Ducati M1100S (rolly polly'd), '10 Ducati Streetfighter
Joined: UTC
Posts: 970
Location: San Francisco
UTC quote
I wish I used it on Batgirl's bike.
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