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I own a 2002 GL1800 with 97K miles on it. Recently I am experiencing occasional shifting problems. Always (so far) on the upshift...3rd to 4th, or 4th to 5th etcetera. Oil is immaculate, always changed every 3K miles. I can sometimes ride all day without it happening...other days it happens several times.

Any thoughts anyone?:eek:4:
 

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Shifting Problems...

Ahhh...silly me..

When shifting up...it hits a hard wall...shift lever will move up a little as if it is going to shift then stops hard and no amount of pressure will take the next gear. At that point, I can shift down without problem, but say going from an unsuccessful shift from 3-4...then shift back to 2nd, it may then go back to normal operation, or not. Once I had to pull over, downshifting to neutral. Then shut off the engine, restarted, and successfully went on my way. Don't know if that helps or not, but sure has me baffled...to say nothing of visions of large amounts of cash leaving my wallet!
 

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Do you have a heal-toe shifter, fat grips or aftermarket clutch lever? Has the clutch fluid been changed every 12K or been changed recently?
 

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I agree with Greg on the Clutch fluid change part.

It's a 2002 97K bike,How long have you owned it,and what are your fluid change intervals?

Old fluid or moisture comtaminated fluid will cause you issue.

Start with the easy stuff first and flush out the clutch system with new dot 4 fluid and see how it reacts then??.
 

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Do you have a heal-toe shifter, fat grips or aftermarket clutch lever? Has the clutch fluid been changed every 12K or been changed recently?
I agree with Greg here. All four of those conditions could cause hard shifting problems.

Also, have you tried to adjust the clutch lever? (the small dial at the lever pivot)
 
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Good advice. Changing oil, rear end gear oil, brake and clutch fluid is important. Depending on the climate where you live and the amount of riding you do can also have an effect on the fluid change interval. I would change/flush/bleed the clutch and see if that helps. That's the least expensive and easiest to do.

There's a lot of knowledge on this site and I'm sure you'll get good advice. If the above doesn't work, maybe time to have a mechanic take a look-see inside. Good luck.
 

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GL1800 Shifting Problems?

Red Rhino, Larry M, Rocky and GoldWingrGreg,

Thanks for the advice from all of you. I will continue to monitor the original question here to see if any other suggestions come in...but intend to get right onto new clutch fluid, and the rear and gear oil. That is definitely the least expensive solution if it works.

I am interested why Greg asked if I have a heel/toe shifter?? I do not..nor do I have after market clutch/brake levers. I do however have kuriyaken fat/unheated grips on the bike. They have been on it for over 50K of my miles so couldn't think why they might be a causative factor.

Again thanks for all your suggestions. I will report back to let you know the outcome.

Bert
 

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Red Rhino, Larry M, Rocky and GoldWingrGreg,

Thanks for the advice from all of you. I will continue to monitor the original question here to see if any other suggestions come in...but intend to get right onto new clutch fluid, and the rear and gear oil. That is definitely the least expensive solution if it works.

I am interested why Greg asked if I have a heel/toe shifter?? I do not..nor do I have after market clutch/brake levers. I do however have kuriyaken fat/unheated grips on the bike. They have been on it for over 50K of my miles so couldn't think why they might be a causative factor.

Again thanks for all your suggestions. I will report back to let you know the outcome.

Bert
My guess on the heel/toe shifter is maintenance... if you don't keep them clean, adjusted and lubed, there is going to be issues...
 

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Also try adjusting your clutch lever or grabing the clutch lever more toward the inward,toward the right hand part,fat, of the lever, you's be surprised at the shift difference with this change....
 

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Red Rhino, Larry M, Rocky and GoldWingrGreg,

I am interested why Greg asked if I have a heel/toe shifter?? I do not..nor do I have after market clutch/brake levers. I do however have kuriyaken fat/unheated grips on the bike. They have been on it for over 50K of my miles so couldn't think why they might be a causative factor.
Aftermarket Heel/Toe shifters are a hot topic, so I won't give my opinion here, but rather to share with you the reason why he brought it up.

It is a very widespread belief, (although far from a universal belief) that aftermarket heel/toe shifters are the cause for many transmission failures, or at least shifting problems from misadjusted shifters.

A heel/toe shifter not only is capable of exerting a lot of pressure on the shifter arm, but it causes you to lose all feel of the shifter, which can cause the rider to unknowingly abuse the transmission. Bikes that have factory heel/toe shifters are designed for them, and have a more direct link to the transmission. A lot of it supposedly has to do with how well the heel/toe shifter was designed. Apparently there are some bad ones out there.

Fat grips can cause problems. The speculation here by Greg and others is that your clutch is not completely releasing when you pull in the lever. Old clutch fluid can cause this. So can fat grips and worn out clutch lever pivots, by limiting the clutch lever travel. That is why I also suggested checking the clutch lever adjustment.

Even though they have not been a problem on your bike in the past, normal wear can cause fat grips to contribute to the problem. If this is your problem, new clutch fluid and replacing a worn out lever can make the fat grips useable again.
 

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Check with Rocky, but an 02 with that mileage probably needs new clutch and brake handle bushings. These are not an OEM part, unless you order a whole new handle. Rocky has a source for just the bushings. I replaced mine on my 02 at about a 100k, they were very worn...
 

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As it is intermittent, and not a steady situation, changing the fluids is good, but doubt it will cure much.

Check the shift linkage and the shift drum spring on the linkage front, under the front cover. A weak or broken spring maybe??

If not a shift fork is bent and or the shift drum is chipped and sometimes will not make a complete shift and or rotation of the drum and gets stuck in the middle.

Maybe a new spring will cure it.
 

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Kit, don't know what your background is but your suggestions are very spot on...as is techdude...thanks to you guys for your contribution to this board...
 

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I am interested why Greg asked if I have a heel/toe shifter?? I do not..nor do I have after market clutch/brake levers. I do however have kuriyaken fat/unheated grips on the bike. They have been on it for over 50K of my miles so couldn't think why they might be a causative factor.


Bert
PM with your email address so I can send pix and more information as to why. If I post here, it is not taken as educational information and this post may be deleated.
 

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I would like someone to tell me how old clutch fluid can affect the way the bike shifts. I can understand how there can be a problem with air in the system. I replaced the clutch and brake fluid for the first time in my 86 Wing when it was 20 years old and I saw no improvement in braking or shifting. It worked fine before and after the fluid change.

Because the bike shifts well intermittently I don't think it is the fluid. My V-65 Sabre would get difficult to shift occasionally and I found that oiling the shifting linkage cured the problem. I think the problem is mechanical in nature as opposed to hydraulic. Perhaps something is binding.
 

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metalman, just like with air, as impurities and water get into the fluid, the clutch performance can drop.

It may very well not the clutch fluid. But with any troubleshooting steps, you start with the basics. Since it is unknown if the fluid has ever been changed, doing the routine maintenance is a logical place to start instead of replacing parts. It needs to be done anyway, so it is not a waste of time. Who knows. the system might even have air in it.
 

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Going slightly off topic on the brake/clutch fluid. The reason that changing it is part of routine maintenance is that the fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs water from anywhere it can get it, even moisture in the air). This in itself does not cause a problem until things get hot.. Water boils at a relatively low temp in relation to the brake fluid. So with old brake fluid you might not notice anything until you go burning through the twisties a bit.. Water in the fluid turns to gas, expands and displaces the fluid.. You hit the brake and .. nothing.

This is why you see warning about using only fresh new fluid from an unopened container. This is why you have the little site glass on the side of the master cyl. Just opening the top to check the fluid level contaminates the fluid some with moisture.

Bill
 
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