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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! My name is Ben and I am new to the forum. I just inherited my dad's 86' CMX450C with 20,000 miles on it. She runs great but occasionally has trouble going into 1st gear. If I am at speed and properly downshift through every gear, usually but not always it will shift properly down to 1st gear. However, if I get on the brakes and come to a stop and need to downshift to get back to first while I am already at a stop it takes me a dozen tries to get it to grab that gear. This has also happened to me occasionally while downshifting under motion as well. Any thoughts on where to start to explore? I am not afraid to open her up and take a peak. Looking forward to being a member on the forum here as well.

Thank you,
Ben
 

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Welcome Ben. Start with the clutch/cable adjustment. Set it to specs. About 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch play before the clutch engages. Usually the issue is with getting into neutral with the older bikes. Some individuals have reported shifting issues when the oil is old/thin and needs to be changed. Good luck.
 

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I can tell you right now the clutch engages almost instantly. It may be too tight, I'll adjust that to spec and test again. That would be an easy fix, thanks for the tip! The oil is new and changed regularly but that was my first thought since these bikes use the engine oil as a gear lube as well is that right?
 

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Welcome to the forum. Virtually every Rebel has a similar issue; it's hard to get the transmission into first if the bike isn't moving. Has to do with the gears meshing. You'll eventually develop the habit of downshifting while braking and it will be less of an issue. You ca also roll the bike forward or backward to reach the point where the gears align. Lubricating the entire shift linkage, including the needle bearings in the front sprocket cover, also makes shifting easier.

If this is your first bike, and you haven't taken an introductory riding course, it's the best way to learn the fundamentals of riding.
 

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Thanks @flitecontrol, I will make sure to lubricate those points as well. I was having issues with the shifter sticking occasionally and I couldn't even properly downshift. It did feel like something was sticking so maybe some juice will help loosen things up a bit.
 

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I have had the same problem with my 450's. The shift linkage is sometimes a real problem to get it in the right length.
Sometimes it takes just a half turn on the shift rod to get it to work most of the time. Sometimes it will take a lot of messing with to finally get it right.
Good luck
 

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I found all shifting easier when I switched to 20w50 oil. Also, for the weirdest of reasons-I cannot explain, cleaning the base of the shifter rod, where it enters the engine, helps too. Again, I cannot explain that one, but after I degreased and sprayed a little lithium, it shifter better.

Adjusting your shift lever to proper fit for your foot and rising position/style and making sure the rod is secure as possible (lock those nuts on both ends) will really help you manipulate that lever better.

The clutch can be finely adjusted at the bars and where it connects to the engine also.

Clean and lube that shifter and then small adjustments to the pedal and/or cable with short test rides in between each. You will pinpoint the 'sweet' (actual clutch engagement) spot and that shifter will come to do exactly what you want, when you want it to.

Good luck!
 

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I'm still a new rider on my 250 Rebel and 1100 Shadow...but I would suggest going to a good high quality oil. I use AMS Oil 10w40 full synthetic in my Rebel...took about 2 oil changes and 2000 miles, now there's zero trouble shifting it. I suspect my bike sat for a long time. Considering how little oil you put in this small bike, it's very worthwhile to put the best in you can I believe and often. Keep that oil clean.
 
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