Question about 2002 KTM SX 400 Racing

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Transmission grinds going into 1st and sometimes pops out of gear

Bike has very low hrs on it .its not a clutch problem. i really need some advice please

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Not sure whether helps you but I had an 1989 KX250 about 16 years ago that did the same thing. My selectors were worn but I had raced enduros fairly hard on the bike & the gear box had copped a fair amount of abuse.
I could be wrong but I would say the motor will have to come out an the the crankcases split in half to get to the gearbox. Pretty easy on a 2 stroke, pain in the bum if it's a 4 stroke.
Bit of advice when you pull apart a gearbox. Lay parts out in the order you take them out otherwise you will have fun putting it all back together.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009

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When i engage eiather 1st or 2nd gear from neutral bike seems to grab and make a clunk noise, once rolling no problems

Older 4 speed transmissions were known for their "clunk" going into 1st gear.

However, even though you didn't give a model year, I'll assume you mean something newer than those.

If it "grabs" when going from neutral to 1st (bike wants to "jump"), it usually means the clutch push rod (under the primary cover's "Derby cover) needs adjustment, followed by the clutch cable.

As far as the leak where the cable enters the transmission, there is an "o-ring" seal that might need replacing.

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Will not move when put into gear

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1984 vt500c Honda Shadow. Hard shifting. When putting into 1st from neutral, it almost seems to grind sometimes. The only fluids I've checked is the engine oil and it's fine. Is there a specific...

How many miles are on it? You can try adjusting the clutch cable, there is a thumbwheel and adjuster bolt on the clutch lever perch where the cable goes into it. Simply loosen the thumbwheel, then turn the bolt outwards untill the excess cable slack is taken up. ONLY TAKE UP THE SLACK!! If this does not aleviate the problem, you likely have transmission problems- the slots and dogs in the transmission gears become worn with use/abuse- the most common ****** problem is clattering when putting into first gear, and difficult/missed 1-2 upshift. If your bike sometimes doesn't want to go into 2nd gear (requires double shifting, or seems to want to go into neutral before going into second) it's a sure sign of transmission wear. This can sometimes be repaired by replacing/ re-cutting and grinding the 1-2 gearsets, but in most cases it requires major disassembly of bottom end of the engine. This is a several hundred dollar repair, easy, and not one that many shops will be willing to take on with an older bike.

Aug 28, 2011 | 1984 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

1 Answer

My bike is in neutral, i used to be able to hold in the clutch and step lightly to put into 1st. If i try that now, the gear grinds. I have to stomp into 1st. After riding, down shifting into 1st there...

This could be caused by a couple of things. One is that usually when you first start the ride for the day, the oil in the transmission is cold and thick. This makes the gears on the mainshaft and the countershaft turn with those shafts. When you try to shift into gear, the drive dog is not turning and it's trying to shift into a gear that is turning and doesn't want to stop due to the thick oil. You can avoid this by pulling the clutch in and holding it while the bike warms up.

The other problem could be that the clutch needs to be adjusted or you've go too much oil in the primary. Adjust the clutch as the manual says to adjust it. Make sure you don't have too much oil in the primary. If the oil level is too high, oil gets between the clutch drive plates when the clutch is disengaged. Then, the oil between the plates acts like the transmission fluid in the torque converter of an automatic transmission.

Loosen the clutch cable where it goes into the primary cover so that the maximum possible amount of slack is achieved. Remove the cover from the clutch, remove the spring, and the locknut. Turn the adjuster screw counterclockwise until it stops. Turn it back clockwise 1/4 turn. Insert the locknut, the spring and the plate. Screw the cable adjuster out until you have just a little freeplay. Work the clutch lever a couple of times and readjust the cable so that you've got 1/16" to 1/8" freeplay at the lever.

Good Luck

Sep 09, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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I went over some substantial speed-bumps where the bottom struck and scratched. I had to go about 2 kms/hr. so it would not happen (seriously!). Everything was fine (stopped at a store for about 10...

Hi, it seems you have faulty clutch from the description you made concerning the grinding noise when you tried 2nd and 3rd gear which i thinks is as a result of the stuck and scratch you had on the speed bump. And if you try riding it in its present state, you will end up damaging the gear box...

Now if your engine stalls when you drop into 1st gear, with the clutch disengaged, then the clutch plates are stuck together. Normally in this case, before starting the engine, try putting the transmission in 2nd or 3rd gear (But you already have a problem doing that which is also as a result of the faulty clutch), pull the clutch in and roll the bike forward and backward a few times to free the stuck plates. Meanwhile fresh gasoline maybe all you need..

In summary, a clutch problem....

Sep 04, 2010 | 2005 Honda VT 750 Shadow Aero

1 Answer


I'm really not sure of what you are asking. The transmission is not syncronized as it is a "constant mesh" type transmission and it needs no syncronizers. Are the gears grinding or clashing? And as for what gear you're in, you just have to keep up with it in your head. The only foot shifted bikes that I know of that had a gear indicator was an early Triumph but you see where you were going if you were looking to see what gear you were in. If you're not sure of what gear you're in, release the clutch and see if you need a higher or lower gear.

Usually, a clutch problem wil cause the bike to be impossible to find neutral with the engine running or the clutch will slip under hard acceleration. Now, it's not unusual to get a slight clashing when trying to shift into low gear when the transmission is cold. Just pull the clutch in and wait a second before pushing down on the shifter.

To adjust the clutch, follow the clutch cable down to where the rubber bellows covers the cable adjuster. Slide the bellows up or down to gain access to the adjuster. Loosen the locknut and adjust the adjuster inwards to make the cable as short as possible.

Remove the derby cover. In the center of the clutch assembly, you'll see a bolt and lock nut. Loosen the lock nut and use a hex key to turn the adjuster inward until you feel a resistance. Do not force the bolt or you'll be releasing the clutch. Adjust it inwards until you feel the resistance and then back off on the bolt 1/2 to 1 full turn. Lock the lock nut down.

Now, go back to the adjuster and turn the adjuster outwards until you have about an 1/8" freeplay at the lever. Lock the locknut and reposition the bellows cover.

Now, if you still have problems with the clutch releasing, you may have a bad throwout bearing on the right side of the transmission. To replace that, drain the transmission lubricant and remove the right side of the transmission cover. You'll probably have to remove at least part of the exhaust system to do this. Once you have the clutch release cover off of the transmission, you'll see the end of the clutch release rod. It shouild have a "wafer type" release bearing on the end of the rod held on by a small circlip. The wafer bearing consist of a center wafer containing small roller bearings and a hardened steel washer on either side of this center piece. If it's not there or any of it is missing, you must replace the bearing and then readjust the clutch.

Good luck

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1 Answer

I Pull in the clutch handle but cannot shift the bike into gear. How do I tell if this is a clutch problem or a transmission problem?

When did this problem start? has the bike been sitting for any long period of time? any background on the bike leading to your problem would help.
1. will the bike shift into gear not running all gears check it first put the bike on the center stand and rotate the rear wheel and go through the gears shifting if that is ok your good
2. shifting into gear bike running does not want to go?
grinds or lurches forward? problems from sitting for long months or yrs. sometimes when a motorcycle sits the clutch plates that are in oil will act like they are glued together ans some time can be freed after the engine oil has warmed up, in worse case you have to remove the r/h clutch cover and remove the clutch pressure plate and separate each of clutch plates and reassemble it.

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Hi Buddy
There is not an easy solution to your gearbox problem,it is general wear on the 'dogs' or 'shift drum'..The only other thing it could be is wear on the 'external shift mechanism'.
I,ve just rebuilt a 1996 vn1500 classic whitch had the same problem so if you need any advise or step by step photos please email me at ''

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