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Developed a problem with my tranny and shifting today. Actually felt something was "different" the last couple days. Had my 8000 mile service about 5-600 miles ago. And this past Thursday had a new rear tire put on. Both were done by my selling dealer and where I have all my service work done.

On Thursday when I had the tire changed I pulled in the parking lot, pulled in the clutch, dropped the kickstand to kill the engine as the bike was still in 1st from pulling in, cut the kill switch off and headed in to the service desk. I was upstairs in the showroom chit chatting and killing time while they did the tire change. Service writer came up and said they had a problem, they couldn't get my bike to start or in neutral either. Asked if when they hit the kill switch on was there power to bike as some times if there hasn't been movement to the key fob (I have the Digital Guard Dawg ignition system) it goes into idle state. Had power, instruments did the sweep, and lights on. First thought was with the kickstand down and in gear it don't start, but hell they should know that.

I went down and at first couldn't find neutral either but that was because I think in them trying to find neutral (dealer staff mind you) they ended up in 2nd gear. Finally figured that out and put it in neutral. They started it, took it in, and changed rear tire. Rode home with it about 20 miles or so. Didn't get out much Friday the next day as was setting up for Ride for Hope event on Saturday, but it shifted a bit different, softer sounding not as much of a clunk when it went from gear to gear. On Saturday's event ride, 43 miles, which I lead about 80 or so bikes, had a few glitches, kind of stumbles but nothing major.

Today first thing that happened, after about 30 minutes of riding, is I was gearing down to come to stop at intersection/stop sign and when I down shifted to 3rd it was initially fine but then it felt like I was in neutral, no deceleration and I could rev the throttle. It didn't grind or clunk out of gear just like it was all of a sudden in neutral. Hit the shifter again and it went into 3rd. Continued on to my daughter's house (10 miles or so) and pretty much okay. After I left her house heading for gas it happened again in down shifting to 3rd gear/seemed like in neutral.

Ride back was a mixture of not staying in gear, not shifting into gear. I would down shift to 3rd and heard a nice clunk like it went solidly into 3rd but was not in gear again. Couple time it dropped out of 5th gear too. Was difficult to make clean downshifts 3rd through 1st.

Keeping in mind I'm 62 years old, so not a gear head kid anymore. Don't run out full throttle or drag floor boards ever so not aggressive with the bike. In other words I don't beat her.

Any thoughts?? It is baffling me and of course dealer not open until Tuesday.
 

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That is a puzzler. I didn't think you could mechanically be in neutral other than, between 1st and 2nd gear. That one is definitely one for the experts. It sounds as if the clutch is disengaging at times. Keep us posted. Augie
 

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That is a puzzler. I didn't think you could mechanically be in neutral other than, between 1st and 2nd gear. That one is definitely one for the experts. It sounds as if the clutch is disengaging at times. Keep us posted. Augie
Yeah CG I don't think it is actually going into neutral from 3rd gear, just that is how it feels. Like in neutral or as you mentioned like you pulled in the clutch and coasting. Puzzling!! Wish my selling dealer wasn't the only one closed on Monday's in the area. May have to try another dealer I go to for parts/accessories once in a while. About the same distance to either.
 

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There are neutrals between every set of gears. There have to be, or else the transmission would be in two gears at once and would lock up solid. The external shifting mechanism is supposed to keep the transmission from staying in those so-called "false neutrals." I think I'd try to get a look at that before I worried about the transmission itself.
 

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Charon, Good information. I was not familiar with that one. :eek:

I did some research and "False Neutrals" seems to be more common on certain bikes. It could be caused by not shifting aggressively enough (lazy shift), shifter fork problems, external shifter mechanism, worn gears, and probably a few more. Thanks for the info. Augie
 

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The clutch seems to be the likely culprit. Did you have an oil change recently, if so, what oil was used? Augie
Yep change oil at recommended intervals, and always done by dealer. Was just changed at the 8000 mile service which was about 5 - 600 miles ago.

And I tried being aware that I was hitting the shifter lever with authority. As we all do get lazy some times.

Charon that is good info on the false neutrals, learn something here every day!!!!
 

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And I tried being aware that I was hitting the shifter lever with authority. As we all do get lazy some times.

When I reread your last post, this line (dare I say it?) hit me. If you are indeed "hitting" the shifter instead of pushing (or lifting) it, you might be knocking the bike out of whatever gear it is in, but not engaging the next gear because the dog clutch teeth may not be aligned yet. Often when you push the shifter you can actually feel one set of gears disengage, then a short time later feel the next set engage. Just as the instructors on the rifle range said, don't yank the trigger - squeeze it.
 

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Here is an animation of how the motorcycle 5 speed sequential shift transmission works. I cannot wrap my head around the "False Neutral" when I watch it though.

Anyhow, it is very educational to see how this stuff works. Who'd a thunk it? :) Augie

 

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The only real difference between the "true" neutral and the "false" neutrals is that the true one is detented so it stays where you put it. The transmission has to shift out of one gear into a neutral (no gears engaged) before it can be shifted into another gear. If in some way it got into two gears at once, it would literally stop or lock up. A false neutral happens when for some reason the shift is not completed. The transmission is shifted from one gear into the neutral between gears, then for some reason doesn't go into the next gear. Sometimes the dog clutches are not aligned so they don't engage instantly, much as happens sometimes when stopped and the transmission doesn't want to shift into First until you slightly release the clutch and cause gears to move a little. Sometimes we riders don't push the lever far enough or don't have the patience to actually feel the gears engage. We usually call getting caught in a false neutral a "missed shift," and it happens to all of us.
 
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