Question about 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster Sport

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1994 sportster xl shifting problem

Bike will up shift fine and down shift fine, until i try to down shift from second to first. then the shifter peddal gets stuck and wont pop back up or go into first gear.the hotter the bike gets the worse it is

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  • Anonymous Mar 19, 2014

    stuck in nuetral wont shift up or down


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Make sure your cltuch is disengaging. With the motor full hot (ride it a good while), shut iff the engine, put it in first, pull in the clutch and try to roll the bike. It should roll as easily (or almost as easily) as it would in nuetral. If it resist, loosen the clutch adjustment so it has plenty of free play in the lever. Ride and see if that makes a difference. If not, most likely you have a bent shift fork or shif shaft. :(

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

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Hi Anonymous, and the usual suspects are: shifter pawl, shifter cam, shifter cam follower, or shifter fork. I know you are crying your eyes out because you can't find the first and very best tool you ever bought for your Sportster to let you know which suspect it is. Well dry those pretty blues because for a mere $5.50 you can download another one, please visit website below:
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Aug 10, 2013 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

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Keeps going in to nutral from first to second

Lower your shifter pedal one notch. As a general rule, if the clutch is dragging on the bike, it makes it almost impossible to find neutral with the engine running. Very rarely does a dragging clutch prevent a bike from shifting. You probably need to lift the shifter pedal just a bit higher with your toe. But, it that doesn't work, you can pull the primary cover and the clutch and check on the shifter pawl that is behind the clutch. It has a "timing hole" that has to be set in the proper position. Unless the bike has been into, this should be correctly set from the factory. You could possibly have a problem with the shifter pawl as well but usually when they give trouble, you can't shift the transmission at all.

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May 29, 2011 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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I have a 2003 Harley Sportster 1200 XL Custom. It sometimes won't shift gears up or down and I have to keep trying until it does. When it doesn't shift, I feel no pressure on the pedal until it finally...

It sounds like you may have two problems. The not shifting problem sounds like the shifter pawl is giving you a problem. The revving but not speeding up is the clutch slipping. You may be able to fix the clutch slippage problem with a simple adjustment of the clutch. The shifter pawl is a bit more difficult. If you need clutch plates in the clutch, you'll need a special tool to disassemble and reassemble the clutch. The shifter pawl is located in the primary right behind the clutch assembly.

Good Luck

Mar 29, 2011 | Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom...

1 Answer

My wife's 2003 Sportster shifts great 97% of the time. On ocassion it won't let you down shift properly. Instead it goes into neutral. Then it doesn't let you shift back into the gear you were at, instead...

Sounds like early symptoms of shifter pawl trouble. The shifter pawl is behind the clutch assembly in the primary cover. They are pretty bad about giving problems during the late '90's and early 2000's.

Good Luck

Oct 05, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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I have a 97 Sportster 1200 Sport, and it seems like im maxing out at 50 mph in 4th gear but it wont shift up anymore. I'm pretty sure it has a 5 speed tranny Any ideas what the problem could be? (I need a...

For some reason I get the impression that you are not very familiar with your bike. The transmission is indeed a 5-speed transmission. The shifting pattern is "1 down and 4 up". Press the shift lever down for first gear and then up four times to top or fifth gear. If it's not shifting into fifith gear, there's something wrong with your shifter assembly in the primary case.

To find and fix the problem, you'll have to remove the outer primary cover and the primary drive including the compensator sprocket and clutch assembly. The engine sprocket nut is on very tight 150-165 foot pounds and the nut that holds the clutch assembly on is left handed threads. Once you get the clutch out of the way, you can see the shifter assembly. More than likely, you have a shifter pawl broken. It's not difficult to replace this if you have means to remove the stuff I've told you about.

Good luck

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Sounds like you have a broken shifter pawl. If you remove the outer primary cover, you can see it just behind the clutch assembly.

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First, with the bike not running, rock the bike back and forth and try to shift the gears. You should be able to shift up through all the gears and back down. If you can't, the problem is in the shifting mechanism. They've had some shifter pawl problems on earlier models. You'll have to pull the primary cover to get to the shifting mechanism.

Next, put the bike in first gear with the engine off. Now, pull the clutch in and try to start the engine. If the bike lurches forward, you're problem is the clutch. Check the adjustment of the clutch according to the service manual.

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