How to Find Neutral in a Motorcycle?

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Motorcycle riding requires skills and relevant training. That’s because riding a motorbike is dangerous, and there are always chances of accident and injury. Therefore, it helps if you are in sync with your ride. If you know all there is to know about your bike you can enjoy yourself in confidence.

All motorcycles are pretty much the same except for a few distinct features. The design might vary or the way the bike feels when you ride. But those things aren’t as important as knowing the neutral in your motorcycle.

The neutral gear position is different in some bikes. It all comes down to a brand’s personal preference or design. So, it helps if you know this beforehand. After all, you don’t want to put in the wrong gear at the wrong time.

What is a Neutral in a Motorcycle?

The neutral in a motorbike is a position in the transmission where the gears do not engage. That means even if you twist the throttle while in neutral, the bike won’t move forward. In other words, it is a safety mechanism of sorts that disengages the engine power from the wheels.

The neutral also releases pressure from the clutch because that’s the only mechanism cutting power to the wheels. The motorbike will jerk forward when the clutch is released. Sometimes that can prove dangerous and costly. Therefore, it is better to keep your bike neutral when stationary.

How to Find Neutral

The neutral position differs from one motorbike to another. Therefore, you must check your bike’s user manual before starting it up. The manual has information about your motorbike, and that’s your best guide in such situations.

Some bikes also have a gear indicator on the small screen in front. It shows ‘N‘ for neutral, and that’s where you want to be. Thankfully, the screen comes to life when you turn the switch so you don’t have to start the bike before checking for neutral.

If the motorbike isn’t in neutral, you should press or pull the gear lever with your foot until you see the neutral sign light up. Usually, it is at the start of the gear cycle or right after the first gear. You will figure it out with a bit of trial and error.

Reasons Motorcycle Isn’t Going in Neutral

The gears can sometimes get stuck, restricting you from shifting into neutral. There might be issues with the shifter, or the clutch may be too tight. Thankfully, these problems are solvable and do not require expert help.

If the shifter is stuck, you can try changing gears while pressing the clutch lever. The clutch relieves pressure from the gears and makes it easy for you to find neutral. This trick works even when your bike is in the parking. Also, it helps if you have sufficient oil in the transmission. Otherwise, too much friction will hinder the shifting process.

As far as the clutch goes, it controls shifting. Therefore, it must always have some ‘play’ to work correctly. A tight clutch will restrict the movement of the shifter, and if it is too loose, you won’t be able to shift at all. So, it’s best to find a balance between the two.


There are a few questions people ask when it comes to finding neutral in motorbikes. Here are the most common ones.

Q. Can you put a motorcycle in neutral without starting?

Ans. Yes, you can put the motorbike in neutral before startup. It’s for the rider’s safety, and you don’t necessarily need the clutch to change gears.

Q. How to put a motorcycle in neutral without the key?

Ans. You cannot see the information on the display without the key, so you would have to remember where the neutral is or do some trial and error. The motorbike will only start when in neutral, so if it isn’t starting, then it means you haven’t found neutral.

Q. When parking should you put the bike in neutral or first gear?

Ans. You must never leave your bike in gear when parking. You should always make sure that the motorbike is neutral before turning it off. It isn’t necessary, but a good practice to ensure your safety when you restart your motorbike.

Q. Does a motorcycle have to be in neutral to start?

Ans. Yes, the motorbike must be in neutral before starting. The system doesn’t allow you to start when you have engaged a gear. That’s true for both kick-start and self-start bikes. Interestingly, even if you try to start your motorcycle while in gear it won’t budge. It’s just the way a motorbike is built. That’s why you must always leave your bike in neutral when parking so you don’t waste time finding when restarting your motorbike.