Difficulty Shifting to Neutral - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Difficulty Shifting to Neutral

So, I ride about 15 miles to work. When I get to work I have to stop at the entrance and pull out my badge for them to scan. This requires both hands, so I have to shift into Neutral. But my 650 just does not want to go in. I feel like an idiot, because I'm holding up the line of traffic behind me as I'm sitting there trying to mess with my bike.

I try using the slightest pressure and it just pops right into second. Sometimes the neutral light flashes on for a split second as I pass N, but sometimes not. I even have trouble, once I'm parked in my parking spot, as I'm trying to get it into neutral. I've tried coming at N from both 1st and 2nd, I've tried using the toe shifter and the heel shifter to see if one way might be easier. If tried just sliding my foot forward to hit the shifter with the top of my foot, nothing seems to help. If I'm just out, and practicing, it will go in just fine. But sometimes, it takes a good 4-5 tries before I can actually get it to go in N.

I've read this is somewhat common. Is that just the way it is with these bikes? Or is there an adjustment that needs to be done? Any other tips of something that I haven't tried?

2007 V-Star 650 with 13,000 miles.

-KJ from Missouri

2007 V-Star 650 Classic
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 11:00 AM
KCW
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I miss neutral quite a bit when I park outside my garage door. I usually let the bike cool down outside, then duck walk it in the garage an hour later.

When I have to stop for a toll booth or ATM I hit the kill switch, then start it back up to go. The bike is more stable in gear with the engine stopped than it is in neutral with your feet down.

You can hit the kill switch for a minute and leave the ignition (key) on - it wont hurt anything.

This is something to keep in mind if you ever have to get off your bike while stopped on the street: 1st gear, kill switch/key off, kickstand.
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Last edited by KCW; 04-30-2018 at 12:15 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 11:13 AM
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When that starts happening this is what I do...

https://s6.postimg.cc/yh4y1q3sx/kirk1.gif
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No matter what you ride. Just ride!

Last edited by Scrumdown; 04-30-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 12:21 PM
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I really doubt that the difficulty in getting the 650 into neutral is bike related... even if you read that it's a common issue it's only common because a lot of owners who post on forums don't adjust the clutch properly. My 650 goes into neutral with no issues or fanfare and from experience anyone who's had a problem getting into neutral regardless of the bike, the clutch just needed a proper adjustment.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 12:42 PM
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The ex's 650 was very touchy to put in neutral.. When i first got my 750 shadow it was a dream to put in neutral compared to her 650 custom .

Mark

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 12:56 PM
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I sometimes have trouble going into the drive and stopping, then shift from say 4th to 1st then 1/2 shift to N. What seems to happen is it appears I'm in 1st but I'm not. Seems like I'm all the way down. I keep trying to get that 1/2 shift when in 2nd. I sometimes need to slip the clutch just a little then I can get into 1st. Once I'm in 1st, I have no problems.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 01:19 PM
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You should always down shift while the bike is moving. When you are slowing to a stop keep shifting down to the gear you would need to be in, at any given speed, if you needed to speed up again.

When the back wheel stops spinning there are positions of the gears in the transmission that prevent you from shifting - then you have to slip the clutch a bit to get the transmission input shaft spinning so you can shift. If you are jamming your foot on the shifter when the back wheel is not spinning you are mashing metal to metal.

The one exception is you should be able to shift from 1st or 2nd into neutral when the bike is stopped / or the engine is off.

if you are wearing boots you dont have much feedback on your toes for how hard you are pushing on the shifter, so its easy to kick it from 1st to 2nd and back to 1st.

BTW, in the MSF beginners course, one of the exercises is panic stopping from about 25mph in second gear: you apply the rear brake hard, clutch in, progressively apply the front brake, and shift the bike from 2nd to 1st all at the same time. The reason for shifting down is: you panic stop in a dangerous situation and you may need to take off quickly again from the stop - bike needs to be in 1st gear.

You always want to shift down to 1st before the bike stops: if you dont then you either have to take your right foot off the brake as the bike is stopping to put your right foot down, then shift down with your left foot and put your left foot down

or you stop the bike and put your feet down, and now you have to pick up your left foot and find 1st gear before the bike can start moving.

Last edited by KCW; 04-30-2018 at 01:37 PM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
When I have to stop for a toll booth or ATM I hit the kill switch, then start it back up to go. The bike is more stable in gear with the engine stopped than it is in neutral with your feet down.

You can hit the kill switch for a minute and leave the ignition (key) on - it wont hurt anything.
That is a really good tip. Thank You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes415 View Post
I really doubt that the difficulty in getting the 650 into neutral is bike related... even if you read that it's a common issue it's only common because a lot of owners who post on forums don't adjust the clutch properly. My 650 goes into neutral with no issues or fanfare and from experience anyone who's had a problem getting into neutral regardless of the bike, the clutch just needed a proper adjustment.
Can you elaborate some more? What is the issue, and what it adjusting the clutch going to do? I'm not mechanically inclined whatsoever, but if the clutch only engages at the last 5% of travel, and I have it all the way in, what is adjusting it going to accomplish to help me shift?

I just had my bike inspected last month and they said there were no issues with it.

-KJ from Missouri

2007 V-Star 650 Classic
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
... When I have to stop for a toll booth or ATM I hit the kill switch, then start it back up to go...
You're right, this is a good tip. This past weekend going through the tolls in West Virginia it was a lot easier to just shut the bike off while in first gear and fumbling for the dollahs to fork over... I could actually hear the attendees as well with the motor shut off and I didn't have to try and keep the bike from moving back and forth on the less than flat surface coated in oil and grime that tends to accumulate in such places. incidentally, I had to go through three toll booths and each one hit me up for $2... the beautiful ride through West Virginia was well worth the tolls... sure as hell beats the two dozen tolls that exist on the Jersey Pike.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
...Can you elaborate some more? What is the issue, and what it adjusting the clutch going to do?...
If you don't adjust the clutch cable as far down the 'chain' as possible and only use the handlebar lever adjuster you could run out of cable movement to the point that the clutch pack doesn't get separated enough to allow smooth/effortless shifting. You should loosen the handlebar lever adjuster as far as it will go and adjust the cable freeplay at the engine case (as in the photo... disregard the text, I boosted the image from someone else).

That will allow as much clutch cable movement as the system was designed for.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
When I have to stop for a toll booth or ATM I hit the kill switch, then start it back up to go.
Used that technique this morning. So much easier than trying to get it into neutral. Thanks again!!!
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-KJ from Missouri

2007 V-Star 650 Classic
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