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Stuck in 5th

3510 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  moss
So I was riding around at lunch today and the transmission started acting up. At one point, I tried to downshift and felt the shift lever bobbling under my foot. After that, it would not shift at all. I believe it is now stuck in fifth. Luckily I was only a couple miles from home and apparently the 450 has enough power to start from a dead stop if 5th gear, albeit not very well.

The clutch appears to be working fine as I can pull it out of gear to stop and start. I'm not familiar with transmissions at all and I guess this will be my learning experience. But before I started digging in too deep, I was hoping one of you may give my some guidance to help save me some time. Any ideas what it could be? Will I be cracking open the case to fix this? Hopefully I can get this fixed before the spring.


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There's a good chance it's just the shift shaft, which you can fix on-bike.

You will have to drain the oil and pull the clutch cover off though. That usually involves pulling the CB muffler and right-side footpeg too. Then you'll have to completely loosen the rear brake rod so you can push the lever down far enough to get the cover off.
The shift shaft has an articulated arm-thingy that turns the shift drum, underneath the clutch housing. To really expose it you may have to pull the oil filter and clutch off....
Many times they go bad, but it's a simple replacement.
Also make sure the circlip is still on the end of the shaft under the counter sprocket cover.

450's had a known transmission glitch involving 2'nd gear, but it's very unusual to hear of one with a 5'th gear problem.
Sounds to me like the shift shaft glitched and you just happened to be in 5'th gear.

Also, are you dead sure the shift lever itself is not just loose on the end of the shaft??

Let us know what you find under there......
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Yeah, part #1 is it.

If the circlip is missing, sometimes the sideplay that results will allow the articulated arm part on the other end to not engage the shift drum properly. Or even worse, it can bend the shift shaft apparatus.
The circlip itself is still available, but the washer behind it is not, sadly, and neither is the spindle. And of course, it's a special washer !!
I think I have an extra spindle, or they can be found on EBay.
Flugtechnik said: the clutch is acting up. Seems not to want to work. When I took the cover off, that little ball fell out. I put it back in, but the clutch still doesn't seem to be disengaging all the way now. Well, it's late and I'm tired so I guess I will take a fresh look at it tomorrow. I agree with Robert Pirsig, you can't work on a motorcycle when you are tired.
Probably just needs to be adjusted.
I don't think you did anything that could have messed up the clutch.
Did you put plenty of grease on the little ball when you put it back in??
Is it still actually round - they do tend to get worn and flattened.
Flugtechnik said:
Thanks Bill! Without your advise, I would have the engine half apart by now instead of riding around. I owe you a beer...or coffee...or whatever you like to drink.
Thanks - you can repay me by NOT telling us frozen Northerners about how you are out riding around !!!! :x :evil: :twisted:

I drink Mountain Dew, thanks - I'm cheap (but not easy).
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