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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
before I say anything, this is my first bike. I'm ok with cars and boat motors. Got this bike to learn something new. I dont know what to call parts yet, so my descriptions will probably be amusing. Feel free to be entertained...at least the floor show is free, right?

So I picked up an 04 vstar 1100 classic this weekend. it has been sitting at least a year if not more. hotwired the ignition switch (no key) and put on a new battery. Lights, horn, turn signals, etc all work. Speedo lights but i have no neutral light. I havent checked the neutral safety switch but I will.. I have to find the other end so I can do a continuity test on the switch. but. with the kill switch off, I cant turn it over. I'm pretty sure the ignition doesnt think the bike is in neutral - but I'm equally sure it is.

What i did notice is i can go one click on the forward gear shift and one click back (which I'm guessing is neutral). if one click forward is 1st, then I cant get another click forward into 2nd or any higher gear. I can shift back into neutral or forward into first...thats it.

I saw the youtube vids on the screw that backs out on the shift star. So I cracked the case and drained the oil. The screw does not look like its backed out, but I can see where the lever that catches the little posts on the back of the star (causing the gear change) does not catch past first shift. the next post is there and nothing appears broken on it or the shift lever, but it just skips over it. So i used a screwdriver to hold it tight to the next post, thinking something was just loose. When I do that, it will not shift at all forward...like something is locked up. I'm afraid to put too much pressure on it.

i'm going to get a set of star sockets tomorrow to see if I can tighten the screw, but it doesnt look torn up on top like most of the videos I saw and I sure dont want to twist anything off or ruin the bolt head.

One last thing - when I rolled the bike backward off the trailer, i never could get it to roll easy. it felt like it was in gear. it would roll a few inches at a time then want to stop. i didnt seem to have the same problem when i loaded it (moving forward).

Anyone have suggestions on the gear shift or the neutral issue? Any help greatly appreciated.
 

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Sorry, as you said you are new to bikes, do you know that shift pattern is 1 down for first and gears two thru 5 are all upward shift lever movements? Once in a taller gear, one downshifts on the lever to move to a lower gear.
The kill switch kills power... it has to be on for the bike to start. With the clutch pulled, kickstand up, kill switch on and key on, the bike should turn over.
If the bike was stored with gas in the tank, it would be best to drain the tank, check for internal rust, clean your carbs and start with fresh gas. Gas with ethanol can absorb water and gel up over time and gunk up the works.
A final comment, your clutch plates are lubricated with oil. Sometimes, they can stick together if left to sit for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bike has toe and heel shift. I can get a gear with 1 toe shift. I can get out of that gear with a heel shift. All other heel shlfts get nothing.i verified this looking at the star drive.

I toggled the kill switch down (run position I think). I may have phrased that wrong in my original post.
 

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Yep, kill switch down and the bike should run. Question - are you actually moving when you're trying to shift or doing it while stationary?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
That's a good question.

Watching YouTube vids, they were testing gears without moving. 99% of what I've done is stationary with stand down. Right now, stand is completely off so I could crack the case. bike is braced straight up.
 

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Hello @gkevinr and welcome from Virginia. Include some pictures along the way as that does help us help you. I hope you get this bike going again soon.
 

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That's a good question.

Watching YouTube vids, they were testing gears without moving. 99% of what I've done is stationary with stand down. Right now, stand is completely off so I could crack the case. bike is braced straight up.
Got it. If the clutch is sticky, stationary may not work well since it's been sitting. Try to turn the wheel while in gear - may need to pop the plugs out so you're not fighting compression. Does the shifter feel like it wants to into gear but just won't (spongy feel) or is it a hard "I'm not moving" feel? These are things I'd try but I don't have a ton of experience with motorcycle troubleshooting. The more experienced guys will chime in at some point I'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got it. If the clutch is sticky, stationary may not work well since it's been sitting. Try to turn the wheel while in gear - may need to pop the plugs out so you're not fighting compression. Does the shifter feel like it wants to into gear but just won't (spongy feel) or is it a hard "I'm not moving" feel? These are things I'd try but I don't have a ton of experience with motorcycle troubleshooting. The more experienced guys will chime in at some point I'm sure.
shifter feels perfect on one toe shift and one heel shift (1st and neutral?). when you try another heel shift, the shifter moves fine but doesnt do anything. Looking at the star drive and lever that controls shifts, i can see the lever "skipping" over the post and not catching it like it should.
 

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you need to send us pics of what you are doing, don't just start taking things apart. Most bikes when they set for awhile have problems to work through to get it back to normal, things get gummed up, things get sticky, gas, grease and other things harden or time.
We have no idea what you are talking about that you cracked the cased and the star thing isn't moving.
Cracking the cases is one of the last things you start doing, not the first thing.
 

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Are you talking about this? Is the bolt tight?

100827
 
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Discussion Starter #12
ok, the yellow arrow is pointing at the bolt I'm talking about - per other youtube vids, it can back out causing you to lose shifting to one or more gears. It seems tight but I'll check it. The blue arrow points to the lever that engages and turns the star drive connected to the trans.

When you do a toe shift, it will shift one gear (1st). when you do a heel shift, it will shift back into whatever it was (neutral?). then you should be able to do more heel shifts, but the lever does not engage...it just "skips" over the next post on the back of the star drive. I'm guessing it should hook the next post and shift the trans. That

100828
 

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Try turning the back tire when you are attempting to make it change gears. The rotation is what will make it "catch". Also, I'm seeing a lot of debris on bottom of frame. How long did the bike sit? Are you sure the clutch plates are not stuck together? If they are, the bike won't shift correctly. Here's a thread talking about it:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Try turning the back tire when you are attempting to make it change gears. The rotation is what will make it "catch". Also, I'm seeing a lot of debris on bottom of frame. How long did the bike sit? Are you sure the clutch plates are not stuck together? If they are, the bike won't shift correctly. Here's a thread talking about it:
Bike sat at least a year if not more. it is entirely possible the clutches are stuck...probably the first of several things that are stuck. I'll look at the thread you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
looked at the thread. the fix they suggest requires the bike to be started and running, which mine will not currently do. Is there a way to unstick stuck clutches on a bike that wont start?
 

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Maybe, you could get someone to push the bike with you on it. Almost like jump starting a bike. It's hard, but possible.
 
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looked at the thread. the fix they suggest requires the bike to be started and running, which mine will not currently do. Is there a way to unstick stuck clutches on a bike that wont start?
I have heard sometimes if you tie the clutch lever over night the oil might get in and un-stick them
 

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I think you should focus on getting the bike running first then assess the clutches and shifting. You may not have a real problem. My 650 runs fine but doesnt upshift either in a static non moving condition.
 

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Mine won’t go into 3rd sitting still I’d have to roll it a few inches. That’s normal. You might want to bypass the kickstand switch while checking stuff out. Bike will start only in neutral if the kick stand is down. You have to pull the clutch to start if unknown about if in neutral. Neutral is a half click between 1st and 2nd.


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Discussion Starter #20
I think you should focus on getting the bike running first then assess the clutches and shifting. You may not have a real problem. My 650 runs fine but doesnt upshift either in a static non moving condition.
I agree but I cant get the thing in neutral. again, i know very little about bikes, but i thought i had to have it in neutral to get it to crank?
 
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