I took the elevator down from the courtyard of my office to where my bike was parked. Like every other time I turned on the ignition, grabbed the clutch with my right hand and shifted to neutral. Then I poked the starter.

It turned over, came to life, and just as quickly shut down.

Not stalled.

Shut down.

I tried again and it did the same thing.

That’s when I noticed that the green “N” on the dashboard was flickering. The neutral/side-stand interlock was kicking in.

Of course I was in neutral.

I ran into this problem before about a year and a half ago when I was coming home from visiting Holly, a friend of mine, at her place. At least I knew what to look for.

Last time I was able to unplug the gear position sensor and squirt in some dielectric grease and it started working again. I tried that again tonight but it didn’t solve the problem.

Looking online I had the thought that I might just need to recalibrate what the computer thinks is the gear positions. The sensor in this case is nothing other than a potentiometer that’s connected to the gear selector shaft. As I shift through gears the shaft rotates and selects various gears. It also rotates the potentiometer (I’ll just call it a pot from now on).

The pot in this case forms a very simple voltage divider. The bike’s voltage — or rather the computer’s voltage, is applied over the pot and the wiper which is attached to the gear selector shaft, essentially “picks” a voltage.

I reset the computer using the GS-911 I have. (It just plugs into the service port on the bike and talks to the computer. It’s like the OBD-II port on cars except seems to be more advanced) Once I followed the directions it seems to have fixed the issue. I’ll know for sure tomorrow… but it seemed 100% better after I tried it.

The nice thing is that for perhaps 30 minutes of work I was able to save around $200-300 that I’m sure the dealer would have charged me. Having the tools to work on, and fix your own things is such a freeing concept.