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TOPIC: Slipping out of gear?

Slipping out of gear? 16 Jun 2007 21:17 #150108

  • slickware
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What would cause the bike to pop out of gear while in motion? I don't think I'm mis-shifting, I can usually tell if it's not quite in right.
It's happened to me several times lately, in all gears although mostly 5th - I'll accelerate and suddenly the neutral light will come on and my RPMs will skyrocket. I can put it right back into gear no problem, but it scares the shit out of you when you're merging onto the highway.
Any thoughts?
~A

1982 KZ1100 Spectre
Old. Shiny.

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Slipping out of gear? 16 Jun 2007 23:15 #150114

  • katjbus
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could be a bent shift fork, or something wrong with the shift pawl behind the clutch basket area

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Slipping out of gear? 17 Jun 2007 06:18 #150146

  • Z1R rider
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If it's popping out under power, it's most likely damaged or worn engagement dogs.:( The only fix I know of is new gears or undercutting the dogs, in any case it would have to come apart.:pinch:
78 KZ1000, Z1R

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Slipping out of gear? 17 Jun 2007 12:38 #150230

  • RetroRiceRocketRider
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Check your shifter pedal before tearing into the engine.

If the shifter pedal was removed and re-installed onto the splined shaft at a slightly higher upwards angle, it's possible that in any gear you may not being giving it enough "umph" to securely get it into the next gear.

And this may sound silly, but are you wearing diff shoes (boots instead of sneakers for example) than you have done before when riding your bike?
Diff footwear can create an entirely diff feel to how the shifter functions than you're accustomed to, and can possibly be the sole (no pun intended) core of your shifting woes.

Both of the above suggestions should only take a couple of mins to check/adjust, and are 100% free compared to tearing into the trans chasing after "ghosts". ;)
Covina, So Calif!
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Slipping out of gear? 19 Jun 2007 12:05 #150899

  • kzwolfsr
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I've chased ghosts before RRRR. Looking to see why my oil light is on an took off the oil pan to check screen which was clear, made sure the oil pump wasn't about to fall off as a member here mentioned to his father's bike like mine, that exploded. Plus the bike has a good oil flow, oil gets to the head in the cam perfectly. Anyways when is Slickware gonna answer your question on his topic? Peoples! The only way we can help you is if you help us to help you
1979 KZ SR650, stock candy persimmon red and crossover pipes
1981 KZ 1000LTD with non stock and more comfortable handle bars and 4 into one V&H
Original man of the Caribbean

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Slipping out of gear? 19 Jun 2007 16:01 #150942

  • hmondo
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I'd like to hear the fix for this too...since I've just started seeing this on my KZ.
1989 KZ1000 P-8 (Police)
1987 ZL1000
1986 Concours (Project Bike)

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Slipping out of gear? 19 Jun 2007 16:01 #150943

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I'd like to hear the fix for this too...since I've just started seeing this on my KZ.
1989 KZ1000 P-8 (Police)
1987 ZL1000
1986 Concours (Project Bike)

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Slipping out of gear? 20 Jun 2007 10:34 #151147

  • 79MKII
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The only first-hand experience I have with this was a bent shift fork. My MKII would drop back into neutral from 2nd gear on occasion. The fork that needed replaced required transmission removal (crankcase split). So while I had it apart, I sent the trans to orient express for undercutting. Very expensive and a lot of work but it shifts better than ever now.
The Kaw List:
Current: 79 KZ1000 A3 MKII, 78 KZ1000 A2, 78 KZ1000 Z1-R, 78 KZ650 SR, 80 KE175
Former: 03 KLX400SR, 99 ZRX1000, 82 KZ750 LTD, 80 KZ1000 A4 MKII, 80 KZ1000 LTD, 78 KZ1000 A2, 74 H-2 750 Triple, 78 KL250

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Slipping out of gear? 20 Jun 2007 11:41 #151163

  • wiredgeorge
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5th to neutral? Hmmm... never saw shift forks or shift dogs cause this issue. I would think it more likely that the external shift mechanism is buggered. Shift forks/dogs usually have the bike pop out of 2nd gear.

The external shift mechanism is located behind the countershaft sprocket cover. Carefully pull your outer cover off so as not to damage the oil seal around the shift shaft (take off shifter, of course). Then remove the bolts for the inner cover and watch the seal there as well. You will notice that the shift shaft is connected to two arms. The arms grab a pin on a wheel. There is a cover over the pins. Up in the left corner is a banana shaped piece that has a return spring.

OK, the arms that grab the pins are called shift pawls. If the little ends that grab the pins are worn badly, the pawls will just jump off the pin they should be on and you will end up in neutral, I think. If the spring that pulls the arms/pawls together is gone or worn, same deal... the pawls will slip. Last, the little banana deal up in the left corner. It is pulled down into the shift drum where the pins are to keep the drum from slipping. If the spring on it is bad; that is, stretched or missing, the drum can lose orientation.

If you get the urge to pull the round cover off the shift drum, it will either have a fluted washer under the phillips screw that holds it or it won't. If it has the fluted washer, make sure you reinstall it as this round cover will come off when the screw backs out. If there is no washer, make sure you LOCTITE (blue) the phillips screw.

If you get the urge to pull the shift shaft off, make sure you take a good look at how the shift shaft return spring is oriented on a locating dowel (looks like a stud sticking out of the case).

It isn't a bad idea to replace all the springs associated with the external shift mechanism when you rebuild and engine. The spring on the detent mechanism (banana shaped thing), the pawl spring and the shift shaft return spring. Last note: if you replace the shift shaft return spring, there are two types used on the KZ900/1000 models. The 900s use a 3 loop and the 1000s (or at least some) use a 4 loop. If you get the wrong shift shaft return spring, the pawls won't be located quite right and you will never get them to grab pins on the shift drum. There are two different part numbers for the 3 and 4 loop spring. I think it is generally OK to reuse the inner countershaft cover gasket unless you rip it so have another on hand, just in case.
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Slipping out of gear? 23 Jun 2007 10:40 #152072

  • slickware
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To answer the question: I haven't changed boots or anything (well, it happens with any pair of shoes I wear).

I think it might just be my not paying attention. I just got back from a ~400 mile ride and it didn't happen once, so either the oil change fixed things up, or I was extra careful... who knows.

1982 KZ1100 Spectre
Old. Shiny.

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Slipping out of gear? 23 Jun 2007 11:15 #152081

  • katjbus
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My 550 does it but its more of a false nuetral on mine. Mine does it when downshifting from 4th to third if i am to light on the shifter

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Slipping out of gear? 23 Jun 2007 20:10 #152201

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That happens to me too, same gears. In addition to popping out of 5th. But again, it could be my mistake.

1982 KZ1100 Spectre
Old. Shiny.

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Slipping out of gear? 23 Jun 2007 22:32 #152241

  • Grebnaws Inc.
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My 550 has a very slight tendency to slip from 2nd back into neutral. It's worse with a cold engine and a sure shift at a reasonable RPM solves the problem.

If you're having a problem with false neutrals I'd like to introduce you to my Honda 900f :laugh:

Post edited by: Grebnaws Inc., at: 2007/06/24 01:35

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Slipping out of gear? 23 Jun 2007 23:40 #152245

  • mark1122
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I'm with George.It soulds like the shift drum would have to turn around to change gears and if the pauls are good it would not be able too.Excellent description George.
76 kZ, frame gusset work,1200CC.Ported by Larry Cavanaugh,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 1.5mm.over intakes,.ZRX12 rear end,and seat,96zx9 front end.
01 CBR600F4i Track bike.
Cobourg,Ont.Can.

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