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It's really easy to tell. You let off the clutch and if the bike doesn't move, you're not in first. Once you learn to listen to what the bike is telling you, you don't need fancy indicators. You can make sure you don't find yourself in such a situation by habitually down shifting into first, while coming to a stop. Just like they teach in the Basic Rider Course.
I completely agree with you about everything you said but I stand by what I said about it not being a waste or useless, it's a convenience and one I enjoy having for the reasons I previously mentioned and a few others, if you don't want one for yourself to each his own but to say it's a waste is where we disagree.
Not that it really matters but have you ridden a bike with one and then found you disliked it, I'd be intrested to know why or do you have no first hand experience and you just find the idea to be an unnecessary one having never experienced the convenience.
 

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My Wife's FZ6 had one. I thought "how neat is that?" when we bought it. I then realized that I never looked at it again for the next 6 years that we owned the bike. It was a waste of dash space that could have been used for more useful information such as a larger odometer/trip meter or other diagnostic messaging.
 

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My Wife's FZ6 had one. I thought "how neat is that?" when we bought it. I then realized that I never looked at it again for the next 6 years that we owned the bike. It was a waste of dash space that could have been used for more useful information such as a larger odometer/trip meter or other diagnostic messaging.
I'm not familiar with the Yamaha fz6 but It sounds like the indicator was down low by the risers near the triple tree, That totally makes sense that in a real world situation you would never bother looking down to see it and it was a waste.
I mounted my healtech gear indicator up high on the back side of the brake reservoir so it's visible at a glance, on the C-50 with 3 inch risers it's just right for my wife who is 5'3" I am 6'2" and on the C-90 with the 18 inch apes it's right at eye level without having to look down.
I'm glad we've had this discussion and hopefully others will find that location of the gear indicator is important to user satisfaction.
 
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