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40 yo newbie does embarassing things with gears on his GS500

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by dcm, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. So I’m riding along concentrating on maintaining situational awareness and keeping the shiny side up after a few weeks of road riding when the bike pops into neutral with a mighty roar juxtapositioned against a sudden loss of momentum. Tres embarrassing. Except it’s not REALLY neutral but more of a no-mans land between 5th & 6th (gear five and a half).

    It’s happened once, twice and three times. It seems to fall back into a gear of its own accord after this although I’m usually too surprised to work out if it’s changed up, down or just gone back to where it was.

    I was worrying about my brand new GS500 having some terrible gearbox problem but thinking about it, I have a different theory.

    I think it might be something I’m doing rather than the bike (which is why I’m ‘fessing up and posting it in the newbie bit).

    I’m 193cm tall with feet the size of Shetland ponies. In anything less than top, my toe is parked under the gear shift ready to shift up by default. I’m wondering if I’m putting upward pressure on the gear shift from time to time inadvertently. Not enough to do a clutch-free change up but enough to knock it out of being engaged.

    So first question: is that even feasible? Is it a bad habit?

    If that IS what might be happening, I had a look at the gear shift. It’s on a spline and looks like it might be adjustable. The owner’s manual says nothing but I was wondering if adjusting the position of the gear shift is something that one can do with a new bike without consequences.
  2. im no mechanic champ and u would probably get better replies in "Technical and Troubleshooting Torque" BUT
    i personaly believe regardless how much u push up on the gear lever while being in 5th gear, it should not go to (as u say) 5 1/2 gear (neutral), u say its new, id take it back to the shop for warranty check up, best i can help u with :)
  3. gear shift lever is adjustable. Should be a "how to" in your book. And be more firm in your changes.
  4. I have little to no experience with false neutrals because I've never owned a bike that has problems with it. It sounds like you are pushing the gear lever into false neutrals.

    I'm not sure if it's easy to find a false neutral on a GS500 so I'd be finding out about that if I were you to see if it's known.

    What you can do easily though is adjust your foot position. Leave the middle of your foot on the peg but instead of having your toe touching the shifter, point your toe out a bit so that it's next to the shifter if you know what i mean.

    Also, you'd have to be able to adjust the shifter. I'd be surprised if you couldn't. Get a spanner and have a look at it. If you can't figure it out, take it to a bike shop and ask them. I'm sure they'll point out how to adjust it straight away.
  5. Gear levers, use with force or not at all.
  6. Re: 40 yo newbie does embarassing things with gears on his G

    I'm 189cm, size 48 boots when riding and have a GS500F so I know what you mean...

    I have had the same thing happen a few times, but I believe it is simply user error. Not being firm enough with a gear change. When it has happened to me I know I've shifted like a girl and admonish myself to man up and change gears properly. I still have issues 1-2 when going at full pace sometimes as I'm too quick to change when trying to accelerate hard.

    As said you need to put rear of foot on the peg and swing your feet out at 45 degrees or so, and just move it back in and under slightly to change gears.

    I have tried adjusting the shifter, but there is only 1 spot where it's usable for me. 1 down or 1 up and it's just not possible to get my huge boot in the right spot to change gears.
  7.  Top
  8. Re: 40 yo newbie does embarassing things with gears on his G

    Hold the lever all the way up (or down) when shifting and stop applying the pressure to the shift lever once you have fully released the clutch.
  9. +1 port80 & Hornet
    I've come across the same problem on the H6. It all comes down to applying a FIRM upward force. Dont baby it.
  10. port, hornet, VCM, it sounds like he's *not trying* to change gear, the bike just does it, perhaps his toe is inadvertently putting upward pressure.

    I agree, when changing, do it firmly and hold for a a couple of seconds after releasing the clutch to make sure it snicks in properly and doesn't false neutral or pop out.

    sounds like a simple adjustment of the gear lever position may help.
    theres sometimes a rod with adjustment nuts you can use for small adjustments (depending how far your lever is from the gearbox shift shaft) or if not, you move the lever one notch around on the spline so that when your foot is in normal riding position there is no inadvertent pressure on the lever.
  11. As above and adjust the bloody thing! Very simple, a lock nut at either end of the shaft and then twist to raise or lower the lever. Oce in the right position, tighten lock-nuts.

    My brother has clown feet and these things can be adjusted to suit. .
  12. nope, no shaft on the gs500's. its just the lever attached to the spline. The lever is close enough to the gearbox that they dont need the rod there to extend it like on some of the sportier bikes.

    http://www.norrus.net/catalog/images/SW MOTECH/Suzuki/GS500 E/sbl_gs500e.jpg

    I'd try one or two notches anticlockwise.
    one if you've just got big hoofs, two if you've got freakin clown feet.
  13. Or, take the lever off and take it to an engineer and get him to 'section in' a couple of more centimetres of length :wink:.
  14. It's a common enough problem that riders experience when they change to new boots, for instance, or have their gear lever in a position that allows them to knock it out of gear inadvertantly.
    Adjust the lver so you have a little free-play between the top of the boot and the lever, or make sure you are on the balls of your feet - thus removing your foot from immdeiate contact with the lever..
  15. 1) always ride with the balls of your feet on the pegs if you're not planning to change (you can rest your heels on the steel plates if you're up on your toes - that's how I ride on my GS500)

    2) when you hit a false neutral, always change UP - ie if you think you're between 5th and 6th, reclutch and push it UP into 6th. Never down into 5th - always safer to be in a higher gear than to risk compression lockup.
  16. As said previously, don't baby it :p

    Found my first false neutral on the GS500 trying to babyshift to 6th, that'll learn me!
  17. If you are half knocking it between the high gears wouldn't it just made that god awful grinding sound which isn't quite a neutral but is one hell of a crap place to be??
  18. The girlie (melbourne girl) had some minor gearbox probs on her GS500. I thought it might be user error causing it to jump out of gear (second in her case) but I had the same prob. So we had them look at it at the next service and the gearchange was a lot better'er after that.

    If the problem persists, it might be worth mentioning it to the mechanic next time you drop it in for a service.