Honda Foreman 500 Gear Indicator Flashing: Problems And Solutions

Based on the number of times the gear indicator flashes in your Honda Foreman 500, you can identify problems in various parts. This includes ECM, ES, angle sensor, gear position switch, ignition pulse generator, and TP sensor. Moreover, problems in ECM circuits like motor drivers, fail-safe, and voltage converters can also be identified.

The gear indicator in Honda Foreman 500 is designed to blink alongside ECM’s activity to indicate different issues. At times of problems, ECM deactivates ES, which can be reset through the ignition switch. If the reset doesn’t solve the problem, then noticing the indicator flashes becomes key to finding issues.

It’s also important to know about the fixes to all these problems. Keep reading today’s article to get a clear picture. 

Honda Foreman 500 Gear Indicator Flashing Problems  at A Glance

Here’s a table to give you a brief idea about the problems that can be causing the gear indicator flashing in your Honda Foreman 500. Here the numbers of the problem code section are identical to the number of blinks of the gear indicator

Problem CodeProblem
0No issue
1ECM malfunctions
2Problems in the ES switch system
3/8/9Angle sensor issues
4/12Gear position switch defects
5ECM motor driver circuits malfunction
6ECM fail-safe circuit problem
7ECM voltage converter circuit issue
10Ignition pulse generator defects
11Vehicle speed sensor malfunctions
13Throttle position sensor defects

What Does Honda Foreman 500 Gear Indicator Flashing Indicate?

The engine control module (ECM) of the Honda Foreman 500 has a built-in ability to shut or reset the electric shift (ES) system at times of casualties. It’s similar to the process of turning on the ignition switch from OFF.

Usually, turning off the ignition switch from on and reversing the process reboots the ES system. However, if the deactivation of the ES persists afterward, then it indicates underlying problems found by the ECM.

Blinks from the gear indicator accompany this deactivation. The number of blinks is important here because this indicates Honda Foreman 500 codes that indicate problems.

Let’s look at the problems that are indicated by the flashes of the gear indicator in the Honda Foreman 500

Gear Flashing Code 1: ECM Malfunctions

When the gear indicator flashes once, this indicates a problem in the ECM. However, if the indicator flashes 6 times, then this indicates a problem with the fail-safe circuit of the ECM. And if it happens 7 times, the problem lies in the voltage converter circuit.


In any of the above-mentioned scenarios, you will have to change the entire ECM with a renowned one and recheck the system.

Gear Flashing Code 2: Problems in The ES Switch System

If the indicator flashes twice, then there could be a defect in the ES switch system. The causes can include-

  • Defective switch of the left handlebar
  • Handlebar connectors aren’t connected properly
  • Open circuit in the wiring of the ATV


To solve this problem, you will have to take the following measures

  • Substitute the defective left handlebar switch
  • Ensure proper connection of all the handlebar connectors
  • Repair any kind of open circuit

Gear Flashing Code 3/8/9: Angle Sensor Issues

When the indicator blinks 3, 8, or 9 times; this usually indicates a defect in the angle sensor. The underlying reasons include

  • Poorly connected connectors of the ECM and angle sensor
  • The angle sensor is damaged completely
  • Short circuit in the black/red or green/blue or yellow/blue wire


Solve this issue by taking the following steps

  • Properly connect ECM and angle sensor connectors
  • Replace the damaged angle sensor
  • Fix all the short circuits

Gear Flashing Codes 4 and 12: Gear Position Switch Defects

4 or 12 blinks from the indicator point toward this issue. The causes include

  • Poorly connected connectors of the ECM and gear position switch
  • Open or short circuit in the wire harness
  • Permanently damaged gear position switch
  • Faulty ECM


Solve this issue in the following manner

  • Properly connect connectors of the ECM and gear position switch
  • Repair wire harness open or short circuits
  • Supersede damaged gear position switch and ECM if necessary

Gear Flashing Code 5: ECM Motor Driver Circuits Malfunctions

Honda Foreman 500 gear indicator flashing 5 times can indicate this problem. The causes can be the following

  • Poorly connected connectors of the ECM and control motor
  • Loose connections in the circuits of the input line
  • Blown motor fuse
  • Circuit open in any of the red/yellow, red/white, green/blue, orange or red wire
  • Disconnected ground terminals 
  • Malfunctioning motor
  • Defective ECM


Fix this issue in the following manner

  • Properly connect all the loose connections and terminals as well as connectors of the ECM and control motor
  • Get a new motor fuse if the old one’s damaged
  • Fix all sorts of short or open circuit
  • Replace faulty parts like motor or ECM if needed

Gear Flashing Code 10: Ignition Pulse Generator Defects

If the gear indicator blinks 10 times, then this could indicate a problem in the ignition pulse generator. The causes can be

  • Poorly connected connectors of the ECM and alternator
  • Short circuit in the blue/yellow or white wire
  • Sabotaged pulse generator
  • Damaged ECM


If you face this problem, then solve it in the following way

  • Properly connect connectors of the ECM and alternator
  • Resolve all the short circuits
  • Replace faulty parts like ignition pulse generator or ECM if necessary

Gear Flashing Code 11: Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction

When the indicator flashes 11 times, it indicates the issues in the vehicle speed sensor. The reasons may include-

  • Problematic combination meter
  • Poorly connected connectors of the ECM and VSS
  • Open the circuit in the black/orange, pink/green, or green/blue wire
  • Flawed ECM


If this is the case, then you might need to solve it the following way

  • Inspect and fix the combination meter
  • Properly connect connectors of the ECM and VSS
  • Fix the short or open circuits as required
  • Replace the ECM if needed

Gear Flashing Code 13: Throttle Position Sensor Defects

If your Honda Foreman 500’s gear indicator flashes 13 times, then the problem could be in the TP sensor. The causes can be

  • Poorly connected connectors of the ECM and TP sensor
  • Short circuit in the black/red, yellow/black, or green/blue wire
  • Corroded terminals in the TP sensor system
  • Flawed angle sensor
  • Defective TP sensor
  • Faulty ECM 


You can fix TP sensor related issues in the following manner

  • Properly connect the connectors of the ECM and TP sensor
  • Repair any corrosion or short circuit as necessary
  • Replace faulty parts like angle sensor, TP sensor, or ECM as required (our pick: Unlimited Rider Throttle Position Sensor)

You can watch the following video to get more help

Many of these solutions which I have discussed might need a fix or two in the wiring of the Honda Foreman 500. So, here’s a wiring diagram of the Honda FourTrax Foreman TRX500FM to help you.


What is the maximum number of times that the gear indicator can flash in the Honda Foreman 500?

Ans. The gear indicator can blink up to 13 times in Honda Foreman 500 to indicate an underlying problem.

What does it mean if the gear indicator doesn’t flash at all in Honda Foreman 500?

Ans. When this happens, this can mean either your machine is running absolutely fine. 


As Honda Foreman 500 is ES-based, it’s always crucial to look for underlying reasons if the ES keeps stopping. Hence, the number of blinks from the gear indicator and what they indicate becomes vital to ensure a safe and hassle-free ride.

Hopefully, today’s article will give you proper information regarding every flash from the gear indicator of your Foreman 500. Don’t forget to go through all the reasons and their fixes properly.


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