MXA TEAM TESTED: NIHILO CONCEPTS START/STOP KIT
WHAT IS IT? The Nihilo Concepts Stop/Start Conversion Kit is designed to provide an alternative to the 2023 KTM and Husqvarna combination stop/start switch. Why would anyone want to replace the stock Austrian switch? Three reasons:
(1) The small, low-profile stop/start buttons on the combo switch are hard to operate, especially with a gloved hand. It is not uncommon for a rider to struggle to kill his engine on the first try.
(2) Shorting out. What no one tells you is that the stock KTM/Husky combo switch is not waterproof, and if it gets sprayed with water when you are cleaning the bike, it can short out. This causes an electrical malfunction and will throw an error code to the ECU. Not good. Back in the February issue, we recommended covering the stop/start combo switch with Saran Wrap when cleaning your bike.
(3) After years of racing motocross, riders do a lot of things by rote. One of them is reaching with their left hand to kit the kill button. Guess what? MXA test riders still reach out with their left hand on the 2023 KTM and Husqvarna machines. Then they remember that the kill button is now on the right. Old habits die hard.
WHAT’S IT COST? $112.95.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Nihilo Concepts Stop/Start Conversion Kit.
Nihilo sells a kit that fits on 2023-24 KTMs and Huskys (and 2024 GasGases). They are easy to wire up and put the kill button back on the left-hand-side.
(1) Purpose-built. The Nihilo Concepts Stop/Start Conversion kit is not as trick as KTM’s combo switch, nor is it a high-tech solution to KTM’s cutting-edge idea. In fact, it is just a throwback to the way kill buttons and electric starters have always been—until KTM reinvented the wheel. We fully understand that the KTM/Husky engineers were just trying to save space on what has become a very crowded universe on modern handlebars. The Austrian designer’s combo switch turned two separate buttons into one part. The Nihilo Concepts Stop/Start Conversion kit turns one dual-purpose switch back into two. Is that progress? Unfortunately, it is.
(2) Performance. The Nihilo Conversion kit comes with old-fashioned start and stop buttons that have been standard equipment on motocross brands. Nihilo isn’t breaking new ground, they are tilling the same old soil, but with good reason. If a left-side kill button was good enough for Gary Jones, Bob Hannah, David Bailey, Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto, it is good enough for a modern racer.
(3) Installation. The Nihilo stop/start button is built on a yoke with wires from both buttons going to the single fitting that attaches to the stock wiring harness (where the combo switch was plugged in). The hardest part of the installation is removing the blue insert from the stock stop/start wiring and putting it on the Nihilo connector. Nihilo has a detailed video on YouTube to show you every step.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Going back in time doesn’t normally result in better performance, but in the case of the 2023 KTM’s and Husqvarna’s stop/start button, old-school buttons make more sense.
MXA RATING: We expect the Austrian engineers to come up with a waterproof combo stop/start switch with more accessible buttons for the 2024 model, but that doesn’t help us now. Nihilo does.
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