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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Man, just when I thought all was well something odd has come up. I always do some small laps before going on my route and had a real tough time with shifting/tranny. Very surprised as this has always been a strong attribute of my bike. Damnit, I easily took it to 75 just on Sat. with no prob.

When dropping into first I did not hear the familiar, loud click sound and taking off it was like it was practically in 2nd gear! 450s don't go THAT fast in 1st:cool: How does this happen? wouldn't the bike not kick over properly if it was, perhaps halfway in gear? There was no improper resistance on the kickstarter, like feeling locked. From there, under revs it went right into Neutral. While positively in neutral it dropped into first, again the familiar 'snick' sound not present but it went right into gear only to pop into neutral when I was engaged in 1st! This repeated for a while, I was gentle on it. I wanted to be sure.

It would easily upshift from 2nd to 3rd with no issue but it did not feel as quick as I know it always is around that spot. Which leads me to believe it was not 100% in 3rd at that time?
We're all too familiar with the 450s and popping out of 2nd gear. So I checked it by getting into 2nd and riding quickly, it stayed there. Did it a second time, and nope. Neutral. That seems like a big jump to me; 2nd all the way to neutral. Historically, my K7 never had the infamous pop out of 2nd.

I don't attribute this to operator error because I always line my shifter a certain way; rubber rest right at the stator bottom screw, has been like that for years. Tried it all again and no dice. My neighbor overhead and he stated it sounds like a gear engagement issue. Rereading older threads it sounds like shifting forks/dogs, detent. Out of nowhere this happens? Selling is sounding mighty tempting as my deal with myself was....any bigger time consuming or money draining problem and I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Doing a second series of neighborhood laps it's now at 'dude? where is my 1st gear?' because in neutral and happily at idle the shifter will not move down into first. To take off, I had to upshift to 2nd each and every time! All other shifts from there were fine. Bike kicks over easily, no bad resistance on the kickstarter, no gear grind noises, no pop outs; Purposely rode quickly in 2nd.

Can we surmise that 1st gear for whatever reason naturally wore out over time and is no longer, for whatever reason, accessible? IF so, I don't know how smart or safe it would be to continue operating it even though we take off briefly in first and upshift but I'm thinking how safe/smart from here on it to stay at traffic stops and take off in 2nd. Your thoughts are always welcome.
 

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I just repaired the detents (more the "pizza cutter" than the neutral detent) on my 450 while it was down recently and still had an incident with tight shifting myself. On a ride to try to challenge a friend's bigger (and nicely tweaked) vintage Honda, we ran 3 successive roll-on drag races against each other and after missing 4th gear during the third run - first time since owning the bike - I just clicked up into 5th and rode on, and when we got to the next turn, I couldn't downshift... at all. Came to a stop thinking surely I'd be able to work it back into first with the engine shut off as my clutch cable had stretched a bit from being really hot after successive runs at redline, but no go - it wasn't the clutch dragging a bit, the trans was just stuck. Never in all my 450 ownerships had that happened. Sat for a little while, got the engine push-started, and slipped away in 4th to get going home and after a bit or riding in 4th and 5th (and likely the oil temp coming down a bit), it started shifting normally again and did fine all the way home. Not saying this is his problem, but the pizza cutter could be... mine was pretty sloppy and I didn't notice it during my first complete teardown, and did the repair by pulling the clutch cover during the second disassembly. Both the neutral detent and the shift detent (pizza cutter) were sloppy on all of my engines (2 spares both worn out too), so his is probably worn as well. the bigger problem here is if the jumping out of gear caused some tweak to his shift forks...
 

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Man, just when I thought all was well something odd has come up. I always do some small laps before going on my route and had a real tough time with shifting/tranny. Very surprised as this has always been a strong attribute of my bike. Damnit, I easily took it to 75 just on Sat. with no prob.

When dropping into first I did not hear the familiar, loud click sound and taking off it was like it was practically in 2nd gear! 450s don't go THAT fast in 1st:cool: How does this happen? wouldn't the bike not kick over properly if it was, perhaps halfway in gear? There was no improper resistance on the kickstarter, like feeling locked. From there, under revs it went right into Neutral. While positively in neutral it dropped into first, again the familiar 'snick' sound not present but it went right into gear only to pop into neutral when I was engaged in 1st! This repeated for a while, I was gentle on it. I wanted to be sure.

It would easily upshift from 2nd to 3rd with no issue but it did not feel as quick as I know it always is around that spot. Which leads me to believe it was not 100% in 3rd at that time?
We're all too familiar with the 450s and popping out of 2nd gear. So I checked it by getting into 2nd and riding quickly, it stayed there. Did it a second time, and nope. Neutral. That seems like a big jump to me; 2nd all the way to neutral. Historically, my K7 never had the infamous pop out of 2nd.

I don't attribute this to operator error because I always line my shifter a certain way; rubber rest right at the stator bottom screw, has been like that for years. Tried it all again and no dice. My neighbor overhead and he stated it sounds like a gear engagement issue. Rereading older threads it sounds like shifting forks/dogs, detent. Out of nowhere this happens? Selling is sounding mighty tempting as my deal with myself was....any bigger time consuming or money draining problem and I'm done.
I hear you on more money, not to mention the effort if it's in the bottom end and can't be repaired in the frame. My first thought is, was the neutral light actually on when it was in "neutral"? If not, or if you didn't notice, it's possible that it was in a false neutral between gears. If it jumped out of gear under any level of hard acceleration, it could have tweaked a shift fork... but it could be the shift forks had a little wear on them already and you may not have noticed while you were in there. I can't recall seeing any focus on the shift forks while you had the bottom end apart (and oddly enough, I re-read a lot of your rebuild thread just today). I'd start by putting the bike on the centerstand and, with the engine off, test shifting it by turning the rear wheel and trying to go from 1st through 5th. Let us know what you find... it could just be in the clutch cover as Mike suggested (detent spring or roller)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks so much for all your prompt and in-depth replies. My neutral light disappeared years ago but i know its in N cuz rear wheel freely spins, bike can be pushed, makes the certain sound i know very well when shifter is engaged to N.

What I am wondering if i was to be a smart ass and ride as is, taking off in 2nd daily would cause extra wear & tear cuz the motor and tranny is spinning faster than it should at the get go, correct? i am also sure that whatever is worn/hurt would get much worse, yes? I know it needs extra room to take off in 2nd and I just foresee traffic being impatient, which could cause a big physical risk to me.

I cannot believe this happened out of nowhere considering I rode fine Sat. and it has been at rest until today, what gives? it was sitting doing nothing.
I assume that all tranny and shift forks should now be examined? UGH. My motivation is non-existent and I smartly do not venture into things knowing ahead of time if my skill set is limited in that area. I will change the oil yet again, center stand it, and report back. this is crushing news if that don't work.....considering i had a prospective buyer with $....IF i still sell i doubt it would go once i disclose it could have a potentially bad tranny issue!?
 

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First, knowing where neutral is without a neutral light doesn't guarantee that you were in the proper spot - there can be false neutrals between gears in transmissions of this design. since you've owned it for a long time, I'm sure you are very aware of the position... but from the description of how sudden the situation developed, Mike could well be right about a detent spring - in which case, the fix would be pretty easy and done in the frame. Secondly, no more damage would likely occur except for a little extra wear on the clutch due to slipping a little more to get going, as long as you don't get physical with the shifter trying to get into first when it's not working and resisting the attempts. And yes, full disclosure would be inevitable in a sale situation and would certainly lead to a large reduction in price or possibly a lost sale, when someone with little or no vintage bike experience would assume the worst and not want to get involved with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
@ancientdad

This sounds like some relief. So you're saying if I am gentle and extra conscious I COULD continue riding as is; Reg. starting procedure but being forced to take off slowly in 2nd gear? No forcing the shifter into 1st it it continues resisting. IF so, I think that may be possible as I briefly experimented with that and did not seem to require nearly as much room ahead of me to take off without stalling etc. Please weigh in on that if this poses any safety risk to me or my bike internals. This thread makes me feel better https://www.hondatwins.net/forums/5...etimes-hit-neutral-between-3rd-4th-gears.html

Yes, I think a false neutral could be in play but I find it funny that it would trick me, as well as continue to start so easily. Twins members please weigh in. As the almighty Bill Lane continues saying "It's always something with these bikes."

I will report back once the rain ceases. I appreciate and await your comments. I wonder if ignoring 1st and taking off in 2nd is doable, while being certain to be in N at stop devices can work out in the longterm



I did locate and purchase an NOS shift detent stopper( aka 'pizza cutter') but I have little idea and right now, inspiration to install.
 

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@ancientdad

This sounds like some relief. So you're saying if I am gentle and extra conscious I COULD continue riding as is; Reg. starting procedure but being forced to take off slowly in 2nd gear? No forcing the shifter into 1st it it continues resisting. IF so, I think that may be possible as I briefly experimented with that and did not seem to require nearly as much room ahead of me to take off without stalling etc. Please weigh in on that if this poses any safety risk to me or my bike internals. This thread makes me feel better https://www.hondatwins.net/forums/5...etimes-hit-neutral-between-3rd-4th-gears.html

Yes, I think a false neutral could be in play but I find it funny that it would trick me, as well as continue to start so easily. Twins members please weigh in. As the almighty Bill Lane continues saying "It's always something with these bikes."

I will report back once the rain ceases. I appreciate and await your comments. I wonder if ignoring 1st and taking off in 2nd is doable, while being certain to be in N at stop devices can work out in the longterm



I did locate and purchase an NOS shift detent stopper( aka 'pizza cutter') but I have little idea and right now, inspiration to install.
Interesting that you found a NOS pizza cutter - possibly not recently? I looked long and hard when I had mine apart recently and there were none to be had, so good for you. as for taking off in second... road race bikes have higher gear ratios for greater top speed on the track and have to slip the clutch a lot more to take off than the typical street bike, no different than you starting out in a higher gear (think car manual trans for a minute - you don't have to start out in first, you can use second but have to slip the clutch a bit more because it's geared for more speed in second and progressively more in third and beyond). The difference here is that the shift pattern doesn't make second gear as easily accessible as the car trans, but the result is the same. Ignoring first does nothing to harm anything else if all that is wrong is the shift mechanism isn't allowing you to go there... so if the mechanism only allows you to go to second, then starting out in second will only cause the need for you to slip the clutch a little more to get the bike up to an appropriate speed for second before you allow it to fully engage so it doesn't chug at low revs, and then you can go about the rest of your riding in the other gears as you would normally. however, I'd plan to look inside the clutch cover as soon as you're able in case the issue is deeper than that, to avoid the outside possibility that you do some damage as a result. Since I can't put my hands on the bike and see how it feels to assess it beyond going by your description, that's the best advice I can give right now. Certainly, starting out in second only poses a safety risk if you don't do it properly and stall the engine in traffic causing others behind you to have to account for your bike stopping... but of course, it would all be at walking speed and it's unlikely anything bad would happen, most drivers today are at least that capable (though I wouldn't put a whole lot more faith in the general car driving public beyond that statement).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
this is relieving news, thanks. Of note, they bike did not lug while taking off in 2nd and there was no delay in getting up to proper speed, nor being too fast to handle:cool: Only lugs when say, slowing way too much in 3rd and motor etc. has to play catch up. Obviously that is improper technique but I did that on purpose to look at all variables yesterday.

Years ago, when I first owned it, the bike did act up with similar issue but all I did was gently rock it gently at a light and Neutral(plus the little light when it used to work) was right there, with no shifting issues. I did prematurely change the oil and that was that. Back then. Not looking for a cheat method but this idea couldn't hurt. Last season, I had a shift issue only one day, and it was like the hottest NY heatwave in a while. I was running Honda 20 50 oil that day and perhaps it was too thick for the weather? Drained, added good ol' Rotella and that was that. Again. :) However, Rotella is currently what's in it....

IF I can ride this thing safely as is with no chance of damages I'm doing it. Historically I have spent too much time and $ and really, all I'm asking is to safely and consistently ride the darn thing. Which I believe are minimal expectations. I'll report back.
 

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The "pizza cutter" roller is always a suspect, of course.
However that thing rides on a "star wheel" thingy (as the 350 guys call it) that's on the end of the shift drum.
Over time, the star wheel thingy gets actual grooves worn into it, and even with a good roller the mechanism can't rotate/lift that last minute amount needed to click it all into place.
And the small engagement pins for the articulated shift arm can also get bent or worn.
Now that stuff is held on by a staked screw - too much caveman on it can bend forks or drive the whole shift drum through the opposite side of the crankcase, then you're truly screwed.

If you think the roller is hard to find, try finding a new star wheel thing.
The actual tranny is fairly durable, but with repeated abuse the engagement dogs can wear on the gears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@ancientdad @tbpmusic

Man, these things have minds of their own. On center stand, spinning the rear wheel it shifts correctly but not into 1st...Ok, no sweat, went for a lot of test rides and starting out in 2nd was no problem at all :) All other gears, fine as well....bike seems to feel quick, as it should :) Now, 1st gear did return after a few trips, but I didn't even care/force the issue. I actually tried to make it act up and it did but only once...it's like slightly in 1st going to 2nd and Neutral popped in, which I believe reinforces your point that perhaps in was partially in gear/N previously. I find this strange because wouldn't the kick starter be locked, preventing it from starting? That only happened sometimes, when the kick starter would kick me back.
At that one particular time, I clicked down for 1st and there it was! I made certain to shift very quickly to 2nd, in case needless stress was placed on 1st. No infamous 2nd gear popping out since I owned it. wheew. I am changing the oil once again despite it only being a few hundred miles old; I use Rotella. Would Honda 20 50 improve any symptoms? I don't wanna make too many variables.

I re-positioned my shift lever and re-torqued its set bolt to make certain. My bike now requires flawless/positive shifting techniques and once applied, no issue. For now:-? Going out on longer, reg. route today and I'll just pm you an update, so this thread doesn't go on too long.

*Seems to me 450 shift parts do have freeplay from the get go and don't always engage flawlessly. I did some 'pre-load' technique and it helped. I'm always gentle on the shifting parts anyways.
 

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I don't recall seeing any pictures of the shift forks when you had it apart (and I seem to remember you having the bottom end apart, but not sure) and when things are working normally, as yours was and mine seemed to be when I had my bottom end apart, you generally take the parts at face value when you look at them. Mine shifted nicely on the bench, so I didn't look too closely at the detent parts on the shift drum. Later, it started mis-shifting when going up from second to third and when the top end had to come apart for the minor oil leak while the frame was being repaired, I took the time to look into it. Found the sloppy detent parts and that solved it. So, while the first place for you to look is the easiest - the clutch cover and the detent rollers and the star mechanism - there is the chance that there might be some wear on shift forks which would require the bottom end to be disassembled. But, you start with the clutch cover and the detent mechanisms. As for the kickstarter, it only works in neutral and when the bike is in gear, attempting to kickstart it moves the bike forward based on what gear you're in, it wouldn't lock up but also won't turn the engine over. Seriously doubt the engine oil is a factor here, it's usually the clutch that is affected by the wrong oil and you're using what the majority here use so that's not the issue. If it's jumping out of any gear, it points directly to the shift forks being slightly (or more) bent... what happens is the force pushing back the opposite way that leads to a bike jumping out of gear tends to bend the fork in the direction away from proper engagement, which only makes the problem worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
very helpful, Bill. I actually recall reading that once and perhaps that contributed to my purchase of a later 450 model:D or not....ha ha.
I did not notice any trouble under higher revs with the other gears I commonly use, 3rd and 4th, which my bike seems to like hanging out in every ride. So I am not too concerned if I now have to take off permanently in 2nd, as I know it can be done. I will keep the aforementioned info in mind, and take a closer look should anything else go awry. For now, just gonna ride the damn thing.
As stated, 1st did reappear so I know it's there(but where?! on a consistent basis....)

funny, if the neutral detent stop roller thing worked historically well, why didn't Honda just apply that design and execution for the other parts involved with it?! I swear, sometimes Honda did great engineering on some things and overlooked other, simpler(coils, charging system, etc.), yet necessary things(ummm, this whole detent roller nonsense?).

will report back, perhaps via pm should anything else go awry. Thanks as always! Love my Twins crew.
 
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