Moto Guzzi sidestand / neutral interlock mod

This mod is to allow the sidestand safety switch to still work, yet allow the engine to run in neutral with the sidestand down. This worked on my 1994 California 1100 and it looks like it will also work on EVs through at least 2002. I believe all of the newer models already have this feature.

First, of course, is the need for a reliable neutral light. Both of mine work very well. I did have to bend the tab on the switch for the California a little bit many years ago.

You will need a small signal transistor like a 2N2222, a 470 ohm 1/4 watt resistor, some small heat shrink and large heat shrink, a small wire tie and a piece of wire to run from the relays to the neutral light switch.

First, find the sidestand relay. Refer to a schematic like the ones at This relay has the sidestand switch on one side of the coil (gray wire). The other side of the coil has a short jumper wire (white wire) that goes to the common contact of the same relay. Cut this jumper wire in half and slip some small heat shrink over each of the wires. Solder the E (emitter) of the transistor to the cut lead going to the coil. Solder the C (collector) of the transistor to the other cut lead from the relay contact. Run a wire from the neutral switch to the transistor. I ran mine under the airbox. Connect this wire to the 470 ohm resistor. Connect the other side of the resistor to the B (base) of the transistor, again using heat shrink over the lead and resistor.

You should now have something that looks like this under the relays.


Now put a small wire tie on the three wires. Slip a piece of heat shrink over the whole thing like this. 

Connect the other end of the wire to the neutral light switch. I spliced into the wire behind the starter. It would probably be better if it were done in the harness under the gas tank if you are going to take it off. I added an inline connector to let me unplug things if I need to. (probably just something to corrode and fail!)

That is it. Now the cutout relay won't have power to cut off the engine when in neutral.

Disclaimer stuff follows. Be aware:

  1. You need a working bulb (power through the bulb is used to CUT OFF the engine).
  2. There is NO surge protection on the transistor. The way this works, it shouldn't be a problem, BUT I haven't done much testing.......
  3. IF this add on fails, the bulb fails, or the transistor fails, the bike will still run and you will get home. What will happen if it fails is that the engine will ALWAYS run. You will lose the sidestand safety feature if it fails. Keep that in mind. Basically, don't blame me if you ride off with the sidestand out for any reason.
  4. The neutral lights on Guzzi's aren't known to be accurate. Mine are, but I don't know about yours. Don't blame me if you think it is in neutral but it really is in gear, you start the bike in gear and you roll around under your running bike looking like an idiot in front of the neighbors.
  5. I did this just for grin just because I wanted to. No I don't idle my bikes to warm them up for 15 minutes like those poor people riding the 'other' air cooled bikes have to do. I usually start them, immediately ride off 1 1/2 miles to the interstate, and blast to work. I've never had a problem with that every day on air cooled bikes for 30 years. So I did this because occasionally I would start the bike sitting on it and ready to ride, realize I forgot something and not want to stop the bike and restart it again.


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last update 11/30/02