KDX Stuck in Second gear??

May 31, 2000
Well I went riding today at a new spot and everything was going fine and the bike was running great. Then somehow I came into a tight woods section and had to downshift to first and the bike wouldn't shift! I stopped to check out what was wrong and everything looked fine. The shift lever is fine and the clutch is fine. But the bike won't shift out of second gear at all, up or down :( . I ended up having to ride back to the trailer in second but still don't see anything obvious that's causing this. Since I'm no mechanical guru and don't really do much in depth maintainence on my bike which I leave to the shop, I have no idea what's wrong with the bike? The oil was just changed after my last ride, the level is fine. The clutch is new from the end of the season last year. Anyone know what's wrong or what I can do to check out what's wrong? I want to try to fix this on my own if possible but something tells me the cases are gonna have to be split. Any help would be great.


Nov 5, 1999
On my '95 it stuck in 3rd gear. Turned out it wasa bent shifter shaft. Not too bad a repair bill and the cases didn't need to be split.

Good Luck


May 11, 2000
i had that problem once with an suzuki pe 175
i forgot to put the oil back in after a oil change
the prob. was a bent shift fork
due to wear and tear you shift forks
could be thin and bent:eek:

Oct 29, 1999
i dont know if you tried the obvious, but once after changing to a aftermarket shift lever my bike wouldnt shift either so im thinking what the heck, then after i got off the bike and examined the problem a bit closer i saw the shift lever had been hitting the frame not letting it shift into higher gears, just a reajustment in the shift lever and things were ok, so check to if your shift lever may be bent, comming in to contact with something first, also if its a factory shift lever they are notorius for stress cracking right at the weld above the bolt, if it is loose on the shaft it will also mimic this problem, just some easy things to try first before you have to tear into the engine.
Dec 21, 2000
I changed my oil the first time according to the manual. It stuck in first and second gear constantly and really made me mad. I added about a 1/4 quart more of oil and the problem was solved. I later found out that you should put more oil in than is called for. I put in a full quart now and I have heard that is what everyone recommends. Try adding a little more oil. That would be a great $1.00 fix.

May 31, 2000
I'm already using a full quart and have been of Golden Spectro 80W. I checked the shifter and it's not hitting anything that's preventing it from shifting nor is it bent. The shifter moves but it just doesn't click into any gear but just stays in second. I'm going to have to check into Moj's theory with the bent shifter shaft or a bent shift fork. Hopefully it's one of those two and nothing big. Anyone have advice for how to check the shift shaft or shift fork? I'm a total newbie at repairs on the bike so anything helps. Thanks again.
Oct 29, 1999
if its not clicking im pretty sure there is a spring on shifter shaft, if it has broken id be a bit scared to ride the bike, for fear that part of a spring may be floating around in your tranny, by riding the bike if the spring gets between two gears, "you get the picture" some mid 90's KTM had a simalar problem with the kickstarter return spring, so what may have been a $2.00 spring to fix ends up costing big bucks, get a shop manual and start to tear into it.

dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
If it is the shifter return spring (sounds like it to me) it is accessible from the clutch side on the right side of the engine. Maybe when your new clutch was installed, the spring was not located properly, and it has popped loose. The spring is still located around its shaft, so it shouldn't be floating around causing damage to the clutch (it is isolated from the transmission). Maybe you should ask the shop or person who put the clutch in about it.
Oct 14, 1999
My riding buddy had shifting problems that were related to a cracked lever. Couldn't see it until the lever was off the bike.

Doesn't take much 'give' to miss a shift.
Dec 21, 1999
Hey Mort i believe you had said before that your govenor shaft had broke off in your bike. I broke mine and had the shop replace it and my bike did the same thing afterward. I brought it back to the shop and when unloading the bike it popped into neutral and worked fine. I invested $12.00 in a magnetic drain plug and to my surprise i found a rather large piece of my old govenor shaft stuck to the plug my next oil change and i still have not had any problems. I am assuming that this piece got into my transmission side and was binding something up. Knock on wood no further problems. Hopefully this might work for you. The piece i took out was about 1/4 inch long. Good luck.

May 31, 2000
Turns out it was a bent shifter shaft and the shifter return spring needed to be replaced. Not as bad as I thought it might have been. But everything is working fine now. Thanks again everyone, a lot of good info and help in this thread for me.