Question about 2005 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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Bike was dropped on the left side and now the shifter doesnt shift out of first to neutral or any other gear. i havent removed da primary cover yet and all shifting linkages seem intact according to the harley manuals. any ideas where to start looking.

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You've got the right idea. You need to pull the primary cover and take a look at the shifter pawl. As long as all external shifter parts are moving as they should, the problem is probably in the shifting mechanism inside the primary. You may have to pull the clutch assembly off to get to it.

Good Luck

Posted on Aug 21, 2010

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Either the tiny shift spring under the rear cover is broken or the shift linkage gear next to it is out of position. If this is the case there is no way to put the bike in neutral without removing the engine and taking off the rear cover to fix the shift linkage ( first gear lock up can happen if the shift gear pops out of place during reassembly. Always check your shifter is working correctly before bolting down the rear cover.).
If your only problem was a broken clutch cable you could shift the bike to neutral with the motor off and push it around on it's wheels. If the problem is inside the motor and it has to be moved right away put a furniture dolly under the rear wheel and keep a block of wood handy to place under the side stand to park the bike until it can be taken off the dolly.

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This job is of such that I cannot describe in complete detail everything that needs to be done. I can but it's just too much. I'd strongly suggest that you purchase a service manual. There are some things that you need to know that are best described by the use of a picture.

However, basically what you'll have to do is remove the outer primary cover and all the primary drive inside of it. Remove the exhaust system. Remove the starter and get it out of the way. Go back to the left side of the bike and remove the inner primary cover so you can get to the lever on the shifter pawl shaft. Remove the top cover of the transmission and the shifting mechanism with the shifter forks there. Then, on the right side of the transmission, remove the clutch release mechanism and remove the bolts from the "trapdoor" on the transmission. Pry the trapdoor off the dowels and remove it along with both the mainshaft and the countershaft of the transmission with the gears on them from the transmission housing. Then, you can get the shifter pawl shaft out of the transmission.

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1 Answer

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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1 Answer

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Hi Art! First of all, congratulations on your 1967 Triumph... that's a beauty!!!

Basic things to know before riding a bike is it's parts.

Clutch is the lever you press on the left side of the handle bar.

Front disc brake is the lever on the right side of the handle bar.

Shifter is the one you're stepping on when shifting gears and is located on the left side of the engine if you're on it.

Now, you must first know if the gear is on Neutral by pushing the bike before starting the bike. If it's hard to push then the shifter is not in neutral. Press the shifter by your left foot until you are able to push the bike with ease.

Hop on the bike and start the engine. Most bikes have ignition starters but if your bike doesn't have one, then you have to turn keys to on position and use the kick starter. Rev the engine by pressing the throttle grip on the right side of the handle bar.

Engine is running and in idle position. Press the Clutch lever (left hand) and press the shifter once (left foot) DO NOT RELEASE THE CLUTCH YET!!!

Slowly press the throttle with your right hand until you hear or feel the engine purr...

Slowly release the clutch (left hand) until you fell the bike move forward.

If I am not mistaken, shifting the gears of the triumph is 1-down and 4 up...

Every time you shift gears, you need to press the clutch to release the gears.

Hope you'll have fun!!!

Ride safe my friend!!!

Don't forget your riding gears!!!


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1 Answer

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Did your bike shift gears prior to installing the new shift lever? Why did you replace the lever? If the bike was dropped and the shift lever damaged, the shifting mechanism inside the engine may have been damaged as well. This mechanism will probably be on the primary drive side of the engine and you'll probably have to pull the clutch drum to get to it.

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Has the bike been dropped on the shifter side??? Has someone kick hard on the shifter leaver???There is a shifting rod the is under the side cover. If if is bent??? It will not shift like it should. You can pull this rod out when you take the side cover off, and straighten the rob back with a hammer. The rod has to be straight to shift proper.

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