Question about 2004 Harley Davidson XL 1200 R Sporster Roadster

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What is the measurement of the adjustment on the shifter pawl of a 2001 883 HD sportster

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Posted on May 26, 2015


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Hd 1200 custom sportster sometimes it pops out of 2nd gear what could that be

Hi, Kam and the usual suspects are:
1. Shifter pawl improperly adjusted.
2. Shifter drum improperly adjusted or damaged.
3. Shifter engaging parts/dogs badly worn or rounded.
4. Shifter forks bent.
5. Damaged gears.
For more information about your issue, please visit the websites below, and for specific information or questions, you can reach me at Good luck and have a nice day.
Harley Davidson Manuals Mark Workshop
HARLEY SPORTSTER Trans needs an overhaul

Dec 15, 2015 | Motorcycles

1 Answer

2003 1200 sportster shifter wont shift stuck in 1st gear. What might be the problem

You may have a broken shifter pawl. It is located behind the clutch assembly in the primary. You'll have to remove the outer primary cover and the primary drive that includes the engine sprocket, primary chain, and clutch assembly. The shifter pawl is located behind the clutch. I would suggest that if you're going to fix the bike yourself that you purchase a service manual. In this particular case, there are a few settings that have to be made. It is difficult to explain how to make these adjustments using this form of communication. A picture is worth a thousand words in this case. Besides, if you repair the bike yourself, the money you save will more than pay for the book. Try this site for a manual.

Good Luck

Aug 25, 2011 | 2003 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

1 Answer

Trans will not shift into fourth or fifth gear. 02 883 sportster

This sounds like you have a shifter pawl problem. The shifter pawl is in the primary behind the clutch. You'll have to pull the primary cover off and then take the primary chain, the engine sprocket, and clutch assembly off to get to the shifter pawl. If you plan on doing this job yourself, I would advise the purchase of a service manual. The shifter pawl must be aligned with a drill bit inserted in hole in the part. A picture is worth a thousand words in this case.

Good Luck

Jun 02, 2011 | Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883...

1 Answer

I have 2001 883 Harley Sportster, it is hung up in gear, do you have any suggestions?

This could be a fault anywhere in the transmission from the shaft to the actual gear. When you push or pull on the shifter, you turn a disk with "bumps" called the detent. The actual mechanism you are moving when you shift is called the "pawl". The pawl moves the forks, which slides the gears left or right on the shaft.

I know, this doesn't tell you what's wrong. This is just a little background.

One thing that needs routine adjustment is the pawl. If the pawl isn't fully turning the fork drum, it won't force the gear to mesh with the one next to it. Therefore, your machine won't shift.

Adjusting the pawl is something that a "seasoned" do-it-yourselfer could do, with access to the service manual and simple hand tools.

Jun 02, 2011 | 2001 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

2 Answers

It wont switch gears it stuck in 5th. what do i do?

it could be a bent shaft or a bent shifter fork

good luck.

Mar 26, 2011 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

1 Answer

2004-HD Sportster883 will not downshift below 3rd gear. any ideas?

More than likely, you have a problem with your shifter pawl. This is a common problem on a Sportster. Luckily, it's not expensive to repair. You must go into the primary and remove the clutch assembly to get to the shifter pawl assembly. It's probably a broken spring.

Good luck

Sep 06, 2010 | Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883...

1 Answer

My shifter lever has to much play and doesn't engage gears on my 1988 Sportster 883 Harley.

Sounds like the shifter pawl is broken. This is common in the early Evo Sportsters. You'll have to remove the primary cover, the compensator sprocket and the clutch assembly to get to the shifter pawl.

Good Luck

Sep 02, 2010 | Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883...

1 Answer

1997 sportster 883....intermittent gears not engaging

There could be several problems here. One problem could be the way you're shifting the gears. I've been riding for over 40 years and I still miss a gear every now and then due to sloppy shifiting.

If you don't think this might be the problem, you may want to check your clutch adjustment to make sure the clutch is disengaging. The easy way to tell this is to put the transmission in low gear, the start the bike with the lever held in. Does the bike lurch forward or have a strong tendency to "pull" the bike with the clutch completely pulled? If so, adjust the clutch mechanism.

Next, your shifter pawl may be getting ready to give up the ghost. These year model Sporty's are notorious for shifter pawl carrier failure. They are not difficult to replace for someone with a good basic mechanical ability.

Mar 25, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

1 Answer

Harley davidson sportster 1200 wont go into gear

Try rolling the bike backwards and forwards with the engine off while trying to shift the gears. It should shift through all the gears. If not, the problem is a broke shifter pawl. If it does, the clutch is not releasing properly.

The shifter pawl can be replaced fairly simply. The clutch is a different story. If the clutch is dragging, you need to determine exactly why it's not releasing. Bad cable, not adjusted correctly. Good Luck!

Mar 06, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson FLHTCUI Electra Glide...

1 Answer

Need to see how the shifter is adjusted so the bike can work through the gears without hanging up on me

The only adjustment is making sure the shifter pawl is properly centered. To do this you must remove the primary cover, then the primary drive to get to the pawl. This is a very big job and should not be done with out the manuel, about $60.00 at the dealer. This job covers about 10 pages in the manuel in 2 different sections. It really isn't that hard just pretty complex.

May 12, 2009 | 2002 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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