Why is my bike so hard to get into neutral?


sixds

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Mar 25, 2007
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When the bike is running, its really hard to get into neutral, today i couldnt even get it into neutral. but when its off, its easy. also when its in first and i have the clutch in the bike rolls a bit.

the bike is a 2002 yz125.
 

Moose

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Sep 16, 2006
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It's usually hard to find neutral in all bikes. Once you get to know your bike good, it'll be a snap. It's usually just a "half-click" up from first gear. Just raise your foot slowly, and you should feel it.
 

IndyMX

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Jul 18, 2006
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That would make it too easy to hit neutral when you don't want to...

I can almost never hit neutral, unless I don't want to.
 

Bunya

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Apr 26, 2007
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Sounds like you clutch is dragging. This will make it hard to hit neutral and cause the bike to creep in first. First, check the oil in the trans. Make sure it's clean and full. Next, make sure your clutch cable is adjusted correctly. With some luck, it's out of adjustment. If it's good, then you'll have to pull the cover and check your clutch. Check to see if any of the plates are warped. Also check for excessive wear on the basket and inner hub which might be causing it to hang up and not fully release. If it uses a bearing on the push rod, check it's condition including the race(s). The only other think I can come up with would be to make sure the nut that retains the inner hub is not loose.

Best of luck,

Marc -
 

76GMC1500

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Oct 19, 2006
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IndyYZ85 said:
That would make it too easy to hit neutral when you don't want to...

I can almost never hit neutral, unless I don't want to.

This is so true. The neutral is small, though, because how often do you really need to hit neutral? Maybe, when you're trying to start the bike after you've dumped it, but that's about it.
 

IndyMX

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76GMC1500 said:
This is so true. The neutral is small, though, because how often do you really need to hit neutral? Maybe, when you're trying to start the bike after you've dumped it, but that's about it.

Well, there you've went and said it...

I do really need to hit neutral alot. There's a good reason I don't have nice pretty plastic on my bike. The damn thing spends alot of time on it's side!! ;)
 

_ghostman

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Mar 14, 2004
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I learned that it is designed to be like that. Just to prevent it from going into neutral when you are riding. Could get messy in a corner or in a jump if you have no gear :)
That was what the KTM dealer told me anyway.
 

Bunya

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Apr 26, 2007
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What?? Clutches are never designed to drag. That puts a lot of extra stress on the transmission for no reason. It also makes it pretty tough to kick start the bike while it's still in gear. You need to determine why it's not fully releasing and correct the problem. If the arm your clutch cable attaches to is on the left side of the engine (I think most mx bikes are), your cable will get tighter as the clutch wears. This will require you to shorten the cable over time. If you don't adjust it, your clutch will start to slip under load. Your problem is the opposite - it won't fully release when you pull it in. Check that your cable doesn't have excessive play. Another often neglected maintenace item is lubricating the cable. If the cable isn't lubricated, it will tend to bind in the jacket causing it's length of pull to shorten. If it's adjusted and lubed, the problem is in the clutch itself. Pull it out and check the items I mentioned in my previous post.

Marc -
 

76GMC1500

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Oct 19, 2006
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Hydrodynamic forces between the friction plates, oil, and steels are what causes a clutch to drag. There is minimal wear on the clutch, some heat is generated. The only way to eliminate the clutch drag associated with motorcycle transmissions is to go to a dry clutch. We're not talking drag that will push the bike forward with the clutch in, we're talking drag that will cause the rear wheel to spin some if you lift it off the ground. Even marine transmissions with wet clutches like the Velvet Drives drag to an extent.
 

Yz250JdT250

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Apr 26, 2004
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I couldnt start my yz while in gear, the clutch basket has grooving but its not horrible yet, and the plates are still fresh, so possibly too much slack in the cable.
 

Yz250JdT250

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Apr 26, 2004
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Bunya

What?? Clutches are never designed to drag. That puts a lot of extra stress on the transmission for no reason.


--so does that mean that feathering the clutch puts extra stress as well?
 

olderndirtmom

Member
Apr 28, 2007
424
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Warning: Possibly ridiculous advice to follow. But, I was given this advice by a mechanic & racer & it fit my situation- so for what it is worth- here's the full extent of my knowledge.

On my Suzuki... to find neutral (from 1st at least).... I can only grip my clutch lever 1/2-3/4 in.
Anything more than that and it will refuse to go to neutral. Period.
 

Bent6

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Jul 30, 2000
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Maybe it's all in my head, but all of my Yamaha's have been hard to get into neutral. Both my '95 RM250 and '03 CRF450 were easier to find neutral. Even my Warrior quad can be a PITA to get into neutral. I think it just the nature of the beast :ride:
 

Bunya

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Apr 26, 2007
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Yz250JdT250 said:
What?? Clutches are never designed to drag. That puts a lot of extra stress on the transmission for no reason.

--so does that mean that feathering the clutch puts extra stress as well?

No, completely different. When feathering the clutch the transmission is already in gear and under load.

When shifting from neutral to 1st, the output half of the transmission is stopped, the input shaft is spinning with the engine. Normally, when you pull in the clutch, the input shaft speed drops down fairly low, but doesn't entirely stop due to the hydrodynamic forces that GMC points out. Under these conditions, when you shift into first, the dogs in the trans engage pretty softly. On the other hand, when the clutch is dragging, the input shaft speed doesn't drop nearly as much. This causes the dogs to hit a lot harder when it's shifted into 1st and the extra stress I was referring to.


sixds said:
the clutch has the right amount of play. i dont know what to do now.
As I said previously, if your adjustment is correct and the cable is moving freely, you'll have to pull the clutch to find out what the problem is. It's not very difficult, but if you don't have the tools or ability, you'll have to take it somewhere. I sympathize with your situation. I too was once young and broke, and so was my bike. On the bright side, it's where I started to learn to fix all things mechanical.
 

Clamps

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Apr 3, 2007
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Bent6 said:
Maybe it's all in my head, but all of my Yamaha's have been hard to get into neutral. Both my '95 RM250 and '03 CRF450 were easier to find neutral. Even my Warrior quad can be a PITA to get into neutral. I think it just the nature of the beast :ride:

I have a hard time on my Yamaha too, and it is only 3 weeks old.
 

LBRaptor

Member
Sep 25, 2006
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heres a noob question (i think) sometimes i find it hard to shift into second but sometimes i dont, so, does rpm have anything to do with the easiness of shifting? If the clutch is in shouldn't it not matter?
 

Yz250JdT250

Member
Apr 26, 2004
142
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I'm doing a complete engine rebuild to my 98 yz125. All of the transmission gears have noticable wear on em, but that didnt surprise me at all since i thrash the gears. I'm going to replace everything but the gears and shafts, put a new crank in, wiseco basket, vertex piston, probably reworked cylinder by Eric Gorr, and v-force 3 reeds. I cant wait, its gonna be tight.

My bike was easy to get into neutral, but then sometimes it was a little hard to find. Some days on the track i would hit neutral by accident a lot though :bang: .
 

84cr125

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Apr 8, 2007
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LBRaptor said:
heres a noob question (i think) sometimes i find it hard to shift into second but sometimes i dont, so, does rpm have anything to do with the easiness of shifting? If the clutch is in shouldn't it not matter?

ya when you shift the lower the rpm's are the easier it will be, the clutch doesnt instantly stop the engines rpm it needs like 1 second to slow down enough for the gears to mesh easy.
 

DannyMoto07

Member
Apr 12, 2007
170
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I find that on my RT180 I tend to knock it INTO neutral on accident sometimes, especially on really slow take offs.

I asked a friend who has a YZ125 and his has the same Neutral-miss problem. He told me that he just taps the lever, and doesn't try and feather it into "N" just gives it a light, swift tap up or down.

Apparently this helps a LOT.
 
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