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Gears "stuck" when slowing down...

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by cameo, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Hi all,

    Over the past few days I've had this problem a few times - would like to try to fix it myself if I can, so I'm posting here to hear some suggestions about what might be causing the issue.

    Basically, a few times when I start to slow down (usually when approaching traffic lights or a roundabout), when I go to change between 4th and 3rd gear it seems to "stick" - ie, I can't click the gear lever down at all.

    In each of these instances I've immediately focused on safely manoeuvring my bike off the road to a stop. Once stopped I have been able to get the gear lever to change all the way back down to 1st/neutral again, but usually it has taken a lot of swearing, rocking, and mindless kicking of the gear lever without even really knowing what I'm doing.

    I was still riding despite this issue because I was trying to figure out what was wrong, but as it only happens when I'm NEEDING to stop, I've decided that I should stop messing about out there and just try to get it fixed.

    Bike is a '99 VTR250, 27,000kms, serviced about 1,000kms ago and chain and sprockets replaced 200kms ago.


  2. One possibility that springs to mind is that the clutch may not be fully disengaging when you pull the lever in (due to the cable stretching over time). Can be checked/fixed by turning the tension adjuster near the clutch lever a little bit and seeing if that improves things.


    Edit: Just to expand on the above, if it is that the clutch cable has stretched over time, you should find it relatively easy to shift when the bike is coasting or at constant speed, and harder to shift when there's significant engine braking going on. Clutchless shifting (assuming you know how to do it up and down gears) will be unaffected if it is the clutch cable.
  3. Does it only stick between 4th and 3rd? What's the change from neutral to first like when the engine is warm? Does the bike want to go forward even with the clutch pulled in? And also does your clutch have 10-20mm of free play?
  4. Spots: Hmm I see... well that's something simple that I can have a bit of a play with. Thanks!

    Edit: answering JP:
    I'm not 100% sure it's only happening when going from 4th to 3rd... I was trying to get more an idea of this. It's usually happened when I've been in 5th gear and the traffic light goes red and I stop pretty quickly, and somewhere early on it is getting "stuck" - I'm pretty sure I've gotten into 4th each time, but not 3rd - it takes a few clicks to get into 1st by the time I've got it working again.

    The change from neutral to 1st when warm seems fine, and no the bike doesn't seem to want to go fwd when clutch is pulled in. Will check the freeplay when I get home tonight, but I haven't noticed anything different.

    Though actually come to mention it, yesterday a couple of times I had a lot of trouble getting it into neutral - usually I can click up to neutral fine, but I was playing around at the traffic lights a few times and occasionally I just couldn't get it into neutral.
  5. surprisingly it may be outside the gearbox and clutch.

    After you've checked the clutch movement and made sure there is no slop in the external gear linkages, check chain tension, suspension linkages and rear tyre movement/misalignment.
  6. Just to clarify on that point, is the bike rolling when your trying to change down gears or have you already stopped?
  7. JP: bike is defo moving when I'm trying to change the gears and they stick. But that said, once I've stopped, the bike is then stopped while I keep trying to do it.
  8. When you are stopped and it does not want to change down , keep the foot on the gear lever , and slightly let the clutch out , you will find it will drop down a gear then.
  9. Blipping the throttle would make changing down easier.

    Just a thought.
  10. ^ to add to that.

    Its the same as being in fifth fear and at a standstill (which you may find yourself in after an e-brake). Start the engine if you stalled it then weigh down the gear lever with your foot (no more than normal change pressure) and then briefly engage clutch to fiction point and then disengage it. The gear will jump into the one you selected. You cannot jump two gears becasue the box internals won't allow you to do. To go from fifth to first means you do this friction point hoopla four times.

    Obviously it would help to have the front brake applied. You do not even need to have fast idle, but it may help.

    Sorry for treating you like a nOOb, but i have an almost identical bike: 06 VTR250.
    Considering your not new to bikes, does the bike have the correct weight oil, correct type, not too old (over 5000km and its old!) warmed up engine etc. My gears can be a little hesitant with cold oil, but they never resist if I use that method above. If it still resists, you may need to have the box checkup out to make sure the shift fork isn't dodgy.