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Shifting troubles

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by bobby93t, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Hi,
    I'm riding a 2007 Suzuki gs500f. Having trouble with the shifter getting stuck when going down through the gears i.e. coming up to the lights in fourth or third and shifting down, the shifter feels roch hard. I'm definitely going through all the gears one by one and the only way I can get it to shift is to come to a complete stop and rock the bike back and forth.

    Just had it in for the first service and mentioned the problem to the mechanic. He couldn't find any trouble after test riding :roll:
    He mentioned something about the way I might be using the clutch.... I've tried blipping the engine while downshifting, and even letting the clutch out a bit while downshifting, but it still locks up occasionally....any ideas?

  2. Just down the gears as you are approaching, so that you're in 2nd by the time you've stopped (ie, using the engines braking).

    If you do end up in a higher gear and can't stamp back into first, as you've learnt - just rock the bike until you can get it down. Happens every now and again, mainly to newer riders so I'm guessing its something you develop out of when you gear down coming up to a stop.
  3. Thats the thing.... I'm shifting down well in advance of the lights. I'd like to know if it is a beginner thing. How can you do it otherwise? Trust me I've tried.
  4. Not sure. Gearbox is new. Make your shifts much more defined (stamp down and jerk up firmly), and see if that makes a difference.

  5. That's because there IS nothing wrong with it - the reason is given in your next sentence...

    The sequential, non-synchro gearbox used in bikes requires its own technique, different to cars or trucks with synchro.

    You must let the clutch out between each gear, in theory. In practise, you often don't need to, but the requirement is still there. The easier the bike shifts without letting the clutch out between each shift, the more worn the gearbox is! You have a nice, tight new bike and gearbox - look after it!

    Blipping the throttle with the clutch in won't help, because the clutch is in. Letting the clutch out a little won't help either, you need to let the clutch out enough so that the gears can rotate a little and allow the dogs to engage with the next gear. Just let it out all the way to be certain, and don't leave your down-shifting to the last moment, otherwise the gears might not rotate enough to allow correct engagement.


    Trevor G
  6. Thanks phizog and Trevor G. I was trying to explain that I am actually slowing down using each gear.......and not at the last second. The blipping was down whilst engaging the next downshift. And the problem is only when downshifting. So I want to slow down approaching the red lights, shift down to third no problem, slow down. Try to shift down to second, gear shifter feels like a rock.
  7. He might not realise you're joking...

    You are, aren't you? That sort of treatment will very easily result in a broken shifter pawl or bent shift drum fork, or some other relatively delicate component in the selection mecahnism.

    If you have to force something mechanical your technique is wrong. In this case, very wrong.


    Trevor G
  8. Doesn't hitting things always fix them? :wink:
    It works for the microwave :LOL:
  9. There is a possibility that the gear lever is not returning fully after your previous downshift. This can be due to a tight spot in the ratchet mechanism which converts the up and down movement of the lever into continuous rotary movement inside.

    Try pulling the lever up a fraction when it won't go down, and then try shifting down again. It's possible that something is already bent in there.


    Trevor G

    PS If it happens all the time and the mechanic can't spot it it is most likely technique. Keep trying.
  10. I'll definitely try that. I'd much rather something work than being caught out with the lights changing whilst still in third.
  11. I didn't mean literally stomp, thats just what I say. I should have been clearer, I meant be committed to the change, don't just push it lightly a little bit, should be all the way down or all the way up, which doesn't necessarily need force, but needs to be all the way.
  12. Wrong! You can only shift one gear at a time but you can still hold the clutch in and click through a couple. I do it all the time. Power on in 1, 2 & 3 then click up to 6th.

    OP: Generally Suzuki boxes are trouble free. Just take things easy and be firm with the shifter. You'll get it.
  13. Something about old expressions: "engage brain before putting mouth in gear"...

    It's great that you can do that...we are so pleased for you! What an achievement..."boy defies odds..." etc. I'm so glad you didn't quote my next sentence which said: "In practise..."

    The other point you seem to have completely missed is that the OP has problems coming back down the gears, not going up.

    There. How's it feel being misquoted? ;-)


    Trevor G
  14. eah us Nobs always seem to get the gear problems lol... I make it a habit to blip through every down change.

    Although today i had a gear "miss" between 2nd and third it just free revved for a sec. i was changing at near 10k though and thats highish for a Hyo lol
  15. well concidering that when majority of riders do their L's course, the are taught to emergency brake, by clutch in (and hold in) shift down through every gear, and be ready to let the clutch back out in a dangerous situation (car about to plough up your ass).

    what you are saying is completely circumstantial, in thoery what you said is correct, but in practice is totally wrong, the dogs are always aligned if there is no rotation, provided you haven't knocked the shifter until disengaging the clutch , or revved the nuts out of the bike, and disengaged the clutch, once you cut power (rotation in the gear box) you are free to shift down to a dead stop (1st gear)
  16. There is no requirement to release the clutch. :wink:
    Condescending remarks wont get you far.
  17. maybe its lack of feel. I found alot of thicker gloves/boots/shoes can adversly effect your smoothness in gear changes.

    Try putting pressure on the gear lever then pulling the clutch in while getting off the throttle.
  18. I wasn't being condescending, I was being rude. Sorry. ;-)

    As far as shifting goes, just tell me: can you stop in fourth gear and then change back to neutral with the engine running, just by holding in the clutch?

    Alternatively. can you slow down in 4th from about 40 kmh or even less and, while still moving and holding the clutch in, change back to neutral without letting the clutch out?

    A lot of times, and for a lot of people, that just isn't possible. It's a characteristic of the motorcycle, non-synchro gearbox. That's why everyone is told: complete your shifting/gear selection while still on the move.

    Usually you have to let the clutch out once or twice between shifts just to rotate the gears a little to help the dogs engage with their matching holes or slots.


    Trevor G
  19. I found my gear lever was a little too high for me, made changing gears a pain in the ass, but husband adjusted it down a few mm and now it's perfect. I had to lift my whole foot to go up and it felt like stomping to go down. Could be as simple as that to fix it... :)
  20. Thanks guys/girls for all the responses. I've done some research to understand the basic mechanics of a bike gearbox and to understand what Trevor G was talking about earlier.
    I'll ride around some more and see if I can spot anything I'm doing that might be causing the problem......otherwise back to the mechanic I go :roll: