CM400 dying when shifted into 1st
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Thread: CM400 dying when shifted into 1st

  1. #1
    Junior Member wutintar's Avatar
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    CM400 dying when shifted into 1st

    I am unsure if this is normal or not, but when the bike is cold with the clutch still pulled in and shifted into 1st gear the bike will die. Just wondering if this was normal or something was wrong with the clutch? This is on a 81 cm400c.

  2. #2
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    How long did the bike sit before the problem cold start?

    While pulling the clutch lever removes the spring/pressure plate from the equation , if the discs are stuck together (dried oil) the clutch is still engaged and you will stall when putting it in gear....

    IF it ONLY happens when cold, it is likely an adjustment issue.....
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  3. #3
    Junior Member wutintar's Avatar
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    It happens in the first 5 minutes of starting it. It does only happen when cold, i have checked that there is some slack in the clutch cable. What else can i adjust?

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  5. #4
    Super Moderator J-T's Avatar
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    Clutch adjustment and/or engine idle adjustments. What is your idle rpm?

    Do you have the factory service manual?
    JT
    81 CM400T Under re-construction
    82 GL500

  6. #5
    Junior Member wutintar's Avatar
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    Idles just above 1k when warm, but cold maybe around 500-800. Choke cable is broken right now and on the list to be fixed when i get around to removing the tank.

  7. #6
    Junior Member wutintar's Avatar
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    Just realized that the electric start wont work with the clutch pulled in either, only when its in neutral. I would guess these would be related but not sure what it could be.

  8. #7
    Senior Member 80cb400t's Avatar
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    Idle is low, do you have a service manual?

    Should be something like 1200 normally, no choke explains the 500-800rpm cold idle. That is also probably why your bike dies when you pop it into 1st, with the idle that low the typical clunk into gear probably overcomes the engine as both transmission shafts start turning instead of just one + a gear or two on the other shaft (if my understanding is wrong someone please correct me).
    Anyway, this seems perfectly reasonable given the lack of a choke cable. You could try revving the engine up to 1200 and popping into gear, if it doesn't die you've got a good idea of what to do (choke cable).

    The no starter unless in neutral seems like a safety mechanism, but I didn't know they had them on non hondamatic models?
    1980 CB400T - 1 running, 1 parts bike
    1965 CB160 - 1 kind of running, 1 parts bike

  9. #8
    Junior Member wutintar's Avatar
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    I found an owners manual online for an 81 CM400T, I am just guessing they are mechanically the same as the CM400C.

    It says "The electric starter will work when the transmission is in gear with the clutch disengaged" the wording here is confusing me. To me it sounds like they are saying starting it in gear works but that cant be right. It also says when the engine starts to keep the RPM at 1500-2500 with the choke, I will try to adjust the idle to 1500ish and see how that does.

  10. #9
    Senior Member mike in idaho's Avatar
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    There is a circuit in place that keeps the starter from working when it's in gear(most likely some Federal requirement), there is switch on the clutch lever that overrides it so you can crank in gear with the clutch lever in. That's a good safety feature when you stall it in traffic in 1st gear and you need to get it started right NOW.
    Last edited by mike in idaho; 07-12-2019 at 08:06 AM.
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  11. #10
    Junior Member Cyr'sHonda's Avatar
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    Hello. Ditto on the start in any gear as long as clutch is in, my cm400e does that and it makes sense.

    Can anyone drop a link on how to adjust the clutch cable?

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