Can’t find neutral when the bike is running - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-18-2018, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Can’t find neutral when the bike is running

I have a 2006 rebel 250 and I could shift it into neutral all day when it’s off, but when it’s running it just won’t do it; if I press down/pull up lightly on the shifter, nothing happens, and if I press down/pull up hard it skips neutral and goes into first/second. But when the bike is off (both before running and after running) it shifts into neutral easy and I never have a problem. What’s with that?
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-18-2018, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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I’ve had the bike for about 5 months now and it’s always been this way
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-18-2018, 04:16 PM
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They're all that way. Think this will answer your concerns: https://www.hondarebelforum.com/f12/...tral-5079.html
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-18-2018, 04:35 PM
 
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Textbook dragging clutch symptoms. Could be as simple as a clutch adjustment, or possibly you'll need to replace warped clutch plates, or file out ridges on the basket. Having said that. even on a good one, there is a little technique involved in using a light touch into neutral.

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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2018, 08:18 AM
 
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Give it a little throttle and it will practically fall into neutral for you.



Lots of theories as to why a LOT of rebel riders have this same issue, but so far no proof.

I have no problem finding neutral when the bike is cold and just beginning to warm up, only when it is actually hot from riding.
And I've not heard yet from anyone saying they replaced their clutch disks/springs/etc and the problem went away, so I'm reluctant to think it's damage/bent/warp/grooves in the clutch, especially since multiple folks with less than 1000 miles on the odometer reported the same thing. I'm more leaning toward a design issue, something like the dogs/dog-teeth are machined with a tiny back angle to ensure a solid engagement and eliminate any possibility to cam apart under load. The small amount of drag inherent in this type clutch might need the few extra rpms to get the oil to float the components a bit more to fully unload them...just making guesses...

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"The bravest thing for me to do is admit when I am wrong" - unknown
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2018, 01:29 PM
 
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As an instructor I get to ride quite a few different small motorcycles. I know that difficulty in finding neutral generally has a couple of components.
First, it does take a delicate touch on the shift lever even if your bike is in good "normal" condition. A heavy foot will blow right through neutral, even when it is not that hard to find. Often a student will get frustrated trying to get neutral and one of the instructors will check it out. Most of the time its not a problem and the student just needs a little technique refinement.

Occasionally however, even an experienced instructor can't get it into neutral, and the bike is clearly experiencing a dragging clutch. This is when pulling up or pushing down on the shifter with clutch pulled meets a lot of resistance, and then finally the pedal lets go and it is virtually impossible to stop the motion in the middle at the neutral detent and it blows right through into first or second. This is a result of the undercut dogs on the gears as Kryton noted. With the dragging clutch, the input shaft has some static torque on it which creates resistance to pulling the dogs sideways out of the slots on adjacent gears because of this undercutting. The undercut dogs are also why you cannot shift gears while the engine is accelerating under power. You can apply quite a bit of pressure to the shifter lever, but it will not move until you roll off the throttle to unload those dogs. This is a design feature of ALL motorcycle transmissions. The dogs tend to drive themselves into the slots under power to prevent any tendency to jump out of gear.

Our training site had the misfortune to buy several Honda Groms a couple of years ago. This batch of Groms were ALL afflicted with dragging clutches, and there was no way to get them into neutral with the engine running. All of these bikes went back to the dealer for new or repaired clutches, so faulty clutches can be present right out of the box. A few years back we had a similar issue with Suzuki DR250's and the dealer was not able to repair them. As a result, we have not bought any more Suzukis.

So, there is no big mystery here. Some Rebels (like mine) will slip easily into neutral, hot or cold when the engine is running, Others have a degree of difficulty doing so, and others will not, under any condition, do so. Unless there is an issue with the shifting forks or linkages, (rare) the problem is due to failure to fully disengage the clutch resulting in some static torque on the input shaft, resulting in high friction on the undercut shifting dogs on the transmission gears, resulting in high force being required to move the shifter lever, resulting in inability to find neutral while the engine is running. It's really that simple.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-20-2018, 06:58 AM
 
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Thank You duckster.
'undercut' I knew there was a better term for it than back angle LOL.

2009 Honda Rebel 250; 2009 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit
"The bravest thing for me to do is admit when I am wrong" - unknown
HRF Answer #1 You should take the MSF Rider Course
HRF Answer #2 You need to clean your carburetor
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-23-2018, 03:30 AM
 
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Hi, i have the same struggle with my 450 gearbox, but also i have noticed, that when the bike gets hot, after full stop with engine on in higher gear (with clutch engaged), it does not allow to lower gears down. Looks like it gets stuck in 2nd or 3rd gear. If the bike is turned off - the gears shift down, or it seams i have to give a little push to a bike, to let it drop the gear.
Tried to tune my clutch cable, leaving few mm of play on the clutch cable at the bottom, and over 10mm in clutch lever at the handle. It looks like i am able to swith gears from neutral to 1st or 3rd with no clutch engaged - is it normal?
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-23-2018, 07:37 AM
 
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Totally normal. Except that it will only go from neutral into either first or second. It cannot go from neutral directly to third.
The transmission shafts need to be turning at least a little to allow for free sliding of the gears sideways on the shafts due to the fact that the dogs (pegs) on the side of some of the gears must mate into slots on the adjacent gears in order to shift. If they are not lined up, you are trying to drive metal through metal.

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1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-27-2018, 10:50 AM
 
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With the engine running and the clutch pulled and fully disengaged, there is (by design) a tiny bit of fluid flow torque trickling through the clutch allowing the shaft/countershaft to idle forward and you should be able to shift through all the gears while stopped.

If you find the friction point is very close to the handlebar grip, you may want to try to adjust the cable and give yourself a little more room between the friction point and "Full-Pull", the clutch might not be as fully disengaging as it needs to properly unload the gears and allow easy shifting.

2009 Honda Rebel 250; 2009 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit
"The bravest thing for me to do is admit when I am wrong" - unknown
HRF Answer #1 You should take the MSF Rider Course
HRF Answer #2 You need to clean your carburetor
HRF Answer #3 Sorry we assumed if you didn't say otherwise
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