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Author Topic: Trouble getting into 1st gear ?  (Read 524 times)

karthiv

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Trouble getting into 1st gear ?
« on: April 11, 2011, 09:39:19 PM »
Hi folks,

 After not having ridden my bike (C5, 260miles on it) for a few weeks, I finally got a chance this morning.  I started it up, let it warm up for a couple of minutes and then got on and shifted into 1st gear - or rather attempted to.  Instead of the nice satisfying "click" that I am used to, the shift lever seem to move a little and meet hard resistance. Tried letting out the clutch a little and the bike rattled and shuddered , with an unpleasant sound - so I guess the gears hadn't engaged fully.  I tried moving the bike as I shifted - with no luck. Tried moving into higher gears and then back into 1st - still no luck.  This went on for a few minutes and finally at some point the gears seem to engage (i.e., the bike moved without the shuddering and rattling) and I proceed to my office. I probably had to go through 6 or 7 stop signs, dropping down to 1st at each one, and had no  difficulty. The ride to work was uneventful, don't know if I'm going to have the same problem when I leave later this evening.

So my question is - has anyone else had this problem ?   Is this just a passing "stickiness" that I probably don't need to worry about, or is it a symptom of something worse (hope not, my dealer is 130 miles away....). Any other thoughts on this ?

thanks,
Karthi
2011 C5 Military

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Trouble getting into 1st gear ?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 10:10:55 PM »
A couple of things....

Rolling the bike a little while attempting to shift is a good idea, often helps.  Nice move there  ;)

Check and set your clutch freeplay.  This bike is fairly sensitive when it gets out of spec and shifting goes from silk smoth to clunky and awkward.  And make sure the cable is lubed and moving freely.

Check your engine oil level, it might be low.

Once you start the bike pull the clutch in and out several times with the bike in neutral and the engine running.  The clutch plates ride in a bath of oil.  If the bike sits for a while they can stick.  That's the reason for the first shift into gear after starting sometimes making that huge clunk.  If they're stuck like that it can interfere with shifting.  Fanning the clutch a few times with the engine running frees them up.  Alternatively, G5 owners can hold the clutch in and crank the kickstarter a few times with the ignition off.

If you check all these things and are still having trouble you should get the bike to the dealer for a look-see.

Hope this helps,

Scott


karthiv

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Re: Trouble getting into 1st gear ?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 03:58:00 PM »
Thanks Scott - as you suggested, it appears to have been just a sticking clutch. I haven't had the problem since (I think that was the longest the bike had sat idle since I bought it,so might have been a factor) . I did check the cluch play and oil level, and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary there.

Karthi
2011 C5 Military

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Trouble getting into 1st gear ?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 04:24:30 PM »
I think that was the longest the bike had sat idle since I bought it,so might have been a factor

The longer they sit the more the oil drains out and the more they tend to stick.  Here's hoping that's  all it was.

Scott

barenekd

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Re: Trouble getting into 1st gear ?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 06:59:30 PM »
My old trick when the clutch stuck on English bikes, not uncommon, was to put the bike on the center stand, start the engine, put it in 2nd gear, pull the clutch lever and drop it off the center stand. The clutch will pop loose immediately and you're good to go.
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Tri750

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Re: Trouble getting into 1st gear ?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 08:23:49 PM »
yes, just the clutch plates sticking.
this is more likely to happen if non- motorcycle motor oil
is in the engine. the bike oil doesn't have the additives
to prevent this.
if it happens regularly after sitting and you have bike oil in it,
the easiest way to fix it is to make an approx. 3 inch diameter loop
out of a wire tie and loop it around the handlebar grip and
the pulled in clutch lever. when u park it, pull the lever in and
slip the wire tie around the lever and the grip. you'll have to adjust the wire tie
for your bike. after it's adjusted. you can slip it on and off
at will. a piece of twine etc. works too.
this is much easier on the drivetrain than slamming it into gear.
Current bikes:
'71 BMW R75/5 racer
'73 Kaw Z1 racer
'77 Tri 750 Bonneville
'99 BMW R1100RT