Question about Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom Motorcycles

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Tranny grinds down shifting to first gear. - XL 1200 C Sportster Custom Harley Davidson Motorcycles

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Most of the time when this happens either you need to adjust your clutch or you have the oil level too high in your primary.

The oil level should never be higher than the lower edge of the clutch spring when the bike is standing straight up. Check this by removing the derby cover.

To adjust the clutch, find the cable adjuster in the clutch cable. It's usually covered by a rubber bellows type cover. Slide it up or down, loosen the lock nut, and turnt he adjuster inwards to put as much freeplay in the cable as possible.

Now, since you have the derby cover off checking the fluid level, you'll see a locknut and a screw in the center of the clutch assembly. Loosen the locknut. Turn the screw inward until you feel a resistance. Do not force the screw, turn unwards until you feel the resistance. Then back the screw out 1/2 turn and lock the locknut.

Readjust the cable adjuster outwards until you have about an 1/8" of freeplay at the hand lever. Lock the lock nut on the cable adjuster and replace the cover. Replace the derby cover.

Now, when your bike is running and you have it in neutral gear and the clutch out, everything in your transmission is still spinning even though no torque is transmitted to the rear wheel. When you pull the clutch and attempt to shift into first gear, it takes time for these gears to slow down to a speed where they will engage the clutch dogs. A Harley transmission is NOT a syncronized transmission although it is a constant mesh transmission. A bit of gear clash is common on a warm transmission and even moreso when the transmission is cold.

Good Luck

Posted on Aug 31, 2010


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