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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ok...last update on this:

Came up at 1k kms service interval. Changed the oil and filter (among other stuff), but I now know my problem was not imagined or exaggerated - nor was it entirely due to the shifter position....

With fresh oil, the gear changes are so smooth and barely have to tap and it's in gear. Even with the shifter adjustment, I still had to mentally and physically drain myself planning the shift up. That solved the issue about 99% of the time, but still on a couple of occasions, it slipped out of 2nd and into neutral due to a missed shift. I can absolutely feel a real difference with the new oil. Even if I'm "lazy" on the tick up, goes into gear no problem.

I really don't know how much damage the first 1k kms caused on the transmission, and I know the dog teeth are tough, but I'll be monitoring because at this point it's very unlikely that the dealer will open stuff up looking for faults...

I inspected the oil...seemed there were small ball pen tip sized black particles - not sure what those are, but they felt like tiny little grains of sand.
 

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The first oil replacement should indeed have tiny particles as that's what you get with a new engine and gearbox. Surprised the originally provided oil had such issues -- nothing of the kind with my brand new 2019F.
 

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Hey, I've had both of the same issues with m 2016. Sometimes I will be riding and the bike will automatically go into neutral. This needs to be fixed.

Best of Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Hey, I've had both of the same issues with m 2016. Sometimes I will be riding and the bike will automatically go into neutral. This needs to be fixed.

Best of Luck
I am a bit long-winded, but if you follow along, I was able to fix the issue. 150kms since I last posted yesterday and absolutely not a single sound or feel that shouldn't be there. In my case it was a combination of shifter height adjustment and factory break-in oil. Shifts are so smooth now, I don't want to get off the bike 🤣. I am assured that I didn't do any real damage, and that I'd have to have crunched my shift non stop for thousands of kms before any noticeable damage would become apparent.

I don't know what your situation is, but if you just went from 1st to 2nd and it popped back into neutral after a few feet, then that's a missed shift. But if you've been in 2nd (or any gear) and it slipped, then that's very likely a clutch problem. Goodluck.
 

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I am a bit long-winded, but if you follow along, I was able to fix the issue. 150kms since I last posted yesterday and absolutely not a single sound or feel that shouldn't be there. In my case it was a combination of shifter height adjustment and factory break-in oil. Shifts are so smooth now, I don't want to get off the bike 🤣. I am assured that I didn't do any real damage, and that I'd have to have crunched my shift non stop for thousands of kms before any noticeable damage would become apparent.

I don't know what your situation is, but if you just went from 1st to 2nd and it popped back into neutral after a few feet, then that's a missed shift. But if you've been in 2nd (or any gear) and it slipped, then that's very likely a clutch problem. Goodluck.
Sounds to me like a poorly adjusted clutch lever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Sounds to me like a poorly adjusted clutch lever.
The clutch lever freeplay stopped needing readjustment after about 1k kms or so (others here mentioned a similar experience). It was never too tight or too loose - just not consistent. The clutch was fully engaging and disengaging, and I could definitely play around the friction zone well before the lever hit the grip.

I'm coming up now on 1k kms after initial service, and still not a single crunch or " - " symbol on the way up since. On the way down, every now and then I get a tiny bit of weird feeling in the shifter only into 2nd if I'm not firm enough. Nothing like what was happening before though - definitely no crunching! Don't think it was ever a lever issue IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
The issue came back and I finally figured it out (with controlled experiment results this time and ability to replicate on 100% of attempts).

Here are my findings, someone plz let me know if it's considered normal or not:

1) shifter height adjustment played some role, but only in my ability to get my foot in a good position to kick up. Too low = can't get my foot under enough or on the right position to click up. Too high = click up is basically a "half" click and doesn't engage properly. I was able to experiment enough to get it just right (215mm between the top and bottom nut on the shifter for my foot and shoe size).

2) changing the oil definitely helped...at first, but not because of the oil itself - thought it was resolved because out of habit after a fresh oil change I took it easy on the rpm range in each gear.

3) preloading the shifter eliminates the problem 100% 2nd into 3rd which happened sometimes. I tried shifting as low as 3k to as high as 8k. No preload = very slight crunch. With preload = rpm is not relevant, the gear basically selects itself as soon as I back off throttle and barely touch the clutch. So smooth.

4) preloading the shifter does not make a difference 1st into 2nd. I can be as lazy as I want, and if the rpm when shifting is at or below 4500, no crunch at all. Preloading and shifting under 4500 basically just makes the shift more satisfying, but no crunch either way.

1st into 2nd with RPM above 4500 and no preload = nasty crunch, or crunch + goes in N instead. If I kick real hard, it goes into 2nd with a crunch still.

I kept experimenting with different rpm while keeping all other factors as equal as possible including hitting the shifter at the exact angle each time. Same result every single time.

After much frustration, I decided to be a lot more aggressive with the preload AND being absolutely lightening quick with the kick up soon as I pull in the clutch...and there it was...the smoothest 1st into 2nd shift past 4500 rpm I've ever had on the bike 😌. This went on for about an hour with identical results. It just takes so much effort, precision and deliberation at higher rpms to get it not to crunch out of 1st gear - you have to get everything right, and it's very unforgiving...so the question is: is this normal??? If so, can anyone explain why?

5) Changing on the way down was always less problematic - but sometimes I'd get a strange click and feel in the shifter. The trick to that was to be a little more aggressive and it seems to like that more 🤷‍♂️.

Anyway - maybe this helps someone with a similar issue.

Edit: while not as fun, I decided to set the white shift blinker/light on the dash to start coming on at 4500rpm as a quick visual to help me until I get the hang of it (the lowest setting is 5k, but you can customize how close to that you want the light to start blinking slow then fast when you get there). Seems to work.
 

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It might help to think about what changing a gear in a dog box like those in most motorcycles actually does in comparison to, say, a synchronized automotive gearbox.

Although dog boxes are constant-mesh like synchronized boxes, the means by which freely-rotating gears are connected to a shaft (main or counter) is quite different. In the synchronized unit the act of moving the shift lever causes the synchro to equalize the rates of rotation of the constant mesh gear and the shaft-coupled synchro hub. In a dog box there is no such sync. You basically have four (give or take) large protrusions on one part engage recesses in another and they're just sort of smushed together as you move the shift lever. As there is no assurance the parts will be spinning at the same rate, if the act of moving them together is done in a slow and lazy you're going to get crunching as the protrusions of one part bounce off the protrusions of the other until the bits mesh. So the faster the movement the better; jam them together with authority, denying them a chance to bounce off each other in the process.

Of course gearbox loading from the drive chain and clutch will make a difference. When under load, the dogs are pretty solidly engaged; when you preload the lever you're putting force on the shift fork trying to pull the dogs out of engagement between two loaded gears. Only when you unload the gearbox (e.g. rolling off the throttle momentarily) will the dogs be able to decouple and allow the other half of the shift to complete. It's also important to note that preloading doesn't really do anything to directly assist the next gear to be engaged (it acts to disengage the gear currently selected) but it will help make the shift lever movement more assertive which can help with that next gear selection.

Why is yours so finicky? I don't know. Newly machined parts will have sharp edges and may have microscopic burrs that might impede smooth shifts. As the gearbox wears in these edges get a bit of a radius and the burrs are worn off (this is why the first oil change is so early, to help get this and other similar swarf out of the engine) and the gearbox will smooth out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
@Blackfin - thank you as always for the detailed response.

It makes complete sense to me what you're saying. Having watched countless vids that go into microdetail on every transmission part, I completely get what you're describing and understand where the issue is happening exactly. Maybe it's better to lower the shifter position further so I can angle my foot in a way that will give me more leverage and more ankle movement...anything below what it currently is and my foot can't seem to fit right without being in a very awkward angled position.

I guess I'm just surprised by how finicky it is also, especially coming off a 300 Rebel where the shifts seem so smooth in comparison even when you're absolutely reving the heck out of it (that single loves to rev very high). One thing comes to mind is the position of the shifter itself between the 2 - the rebel is much more laid back as opposed to sporty, so I can get a good grip with my toe without having to adjust the shifter by the mm, or at all actually. Another thing I can think of is the power output difference maybe...I donno.

Based on your explanation and my understanding, I believe this issue was happening from day 1; I guess I just didn't notice until later on toward the end of the break-in period because I was babying it. I really am slapping the heck out of it out of first gear now, but I think I'll just not rev past 4500 in first now that I can replicate the exact scenario and avoid it altogether. Still - seems like way too much effort for a beginner to be able to achieve all that exactness and consistency each shift (I'm not a beginner, but I mean this bike is considered a beginner friendly bike).

For downshifting into 2nd...any tips to avoid this issue also? Just boot full of sure pressure?
 

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TBH, the way you're describing things I come back to it sounding like the clutch is not releasing completely during shifts.

I know you've been down this path and have had everything checked but it just seems like, despite things being checked, something is just not right. The way you describe the shifts vastly improving by clutchless shifting (some upward pressure on the level, roll off the throttle momentarily and the thing just snicks into the next gear) suggests that removing the clutch from the equation fixes the problem. Upshifts and downshifts of many gears being screwed up makes the idea that this is just sharp edges and possible burrs from machining unrealistic; maybe one particular gear, in one direction, but not all of them.

That suggests that the gearbox is not being fully unloaded during a shift and that, in turn, points to a clutch issue. I'm trying to picture whether or not a chain-tension issue might contribute to this; how much slack do you have in the drive chain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
TBH, the way you're describing things I come back to it sounding like the clutch is not releasing completely during shifts.

I know you've been down this path and have had everything checked but it just seems like, despite things being checked, something is just not right. The way you describe the shifts vastly improving by clutchless shifting (some upward pressure on the level, roll off the throttle momentarily and the thing just snicks into the next gear) suggests that removing the clutch from the equation fixes the problem. Upshifts and downshifts of many gears being screwed up makes the idea that this is just sharp edges and possible burrs from machining unrealistic; maybe one particular gear, in one direction, but not all of them.

That suggests that the gearbox is not being fully unloaded during a shift and that, in turn, points to a clutch issue. I'm trying to picture whether or not a chain-tension issue might contribute to this; how much slack do you have in the drive chain?
I keep coming back to that idea as well...but I always rationalize it with the fact that if it's a clutch issue, it would be present on every single gear change, on every gear. This is especially true if you think about how preloading 1st to 2nd does absolutely nothing if over 4500 rpm and not quick and deliberate enough. If it's a clutch problem, I think rpm wouldn't necessarily matter in this situation above. I get rpm plays a big part in succesful clutchless shifting, but in this case, there's no sweet spot. The slack on the chain is exactly within spec, so is the clutch lever. There's no pull at all with the lever pressed beyond the friction zone, it doesn't creep forward and idles at exactly 1200 rpm.

The "problem" I have is mostly 1st to 2nd and on very rare occasion 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 2nd. The explanation about the RPM and needing to be absolutely deliberate and quick makes sense, but I just don't understand why it is so difficult to kick up that quick and with hulk like ferocity consistently. Also, for clarification, I don't think what I'm doing is clutchless shifting entirely (and most definitely not on the way down) - I always pull the lever all the way in; it just naturally slots right into the next gear with a preload. I do get where you're coming from though and now I'm starting to question it again 🤦‍♂️. Still...it always comes back to 2nd gear somehow....:unsure:
 

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Yes I don't get it either, if there's something on my 2019 500F that I absolutely don't think about, is switching gears. The slipper clutch is just fantastic, switching up or engine breaking when switching down. It would be worth taking it to a technician to check the settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Yes I don't get it either, if there's something on my 2019 500F that I absolutely don't think about, is switching gears. The slipper clutch is just fantastic, switching up or engine breaking when switching down. It would be worth taking it to a technician to check the settings.
I have another appointment on Monday. I'm just so fed up...it really shouldn't be this much of an ordeal. Mind you, I'm at a point where I'm just like forget it, I'll fix it when it break I don't care anymore...having to think so hard and listen to every sound and feel trying to figure out what the heck is going is ruining the experience if I'm honest 🤷‍♂️.
 
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