Recognizing the neutral, is simple, and everybody knows: the green neutral
indicator flashes, while being in neutral.
To check, if the engines is in first gear, slightly step on the shift lever, as to shift down, but without declutching: If you feel a resistance, you're not in first gear; if you don't feel a resistance, you are.
Checking if engine is in last gear: slightly pull the shift lever, as to shift up, again without declutching: If you feel a resistance, you're not in last gear, if you don't feel a resistance, you are. This works for most bikes. I once rode a buddy's Suzuki VX800, and it didn't work. There was always a resistance.
If you have a Transalp (I guess, most of the readers of these pages will ;-) ), there's another way to tell, if you're in last gear: When being, the pointers of both the speedometer and the tachometer will run (nearly, depends on the state of your tires) in parallel, i.e., if you're riding with 100 km/h, the tachometer shows 5,000/min, when riding with 140 km/h, the tachometer shows 7,000/min, and so on. Of course, this is valid only, when using the stock sprockets (15/47). When using a 49 teeth rear sprocket, the tachometer will show a higher value, when using a 45 teeth sprocket, it will show less.
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