Question about Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles

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

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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
Steve

Posted on Sep 03, 2010

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1 Answer

Cant get 2000 sportster 883 to engage gears


Hi, Jeremy you may have shifter pawl or fork issues for this scenario you will need a service/owners manual if you can not find the first and best tool you ever bought for your Harley, despair not, for a mere $10 you can download another one. For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the links below and for specific information or questions please feel free to contact me at xlch@mail.com. Good luck and have a nice day.
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Jun 25, 2016 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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2007 Harley sportster 883 custom has tarted


I didn't know Harley's had 5th gears. When you start slipping in the top gears, it's usually a worn out clutch - assuming you don't have the clutch cable so tight it isn't engaging all the way. Is there play in the clutch lever?

Sep 26, 2014 | Motorcycles

1 Answer

2005 sportster 883 stopped at light,bike in 1st gear, now will not come out of gear and have play in shift lever


when you stop at a light you need to reve the throttle to get it in to nuteral the gears in the ****** are not lined up you should sift it first before you stop.

Aug 28, 2011 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

1 Answer

Oil leaking around gear shifter


There should be an oil seal around the shifter shaft, least ways there was on the older models. I've replaced them by removing the shift lever and carefully prying the old seal out and then drive a new one in. Since I don't work on the newer machines, I can't tell you for sure but I doubt Harley has changed this.

Good Luck
Steve

Aug 10, 2011 | 2002 Harley Davidson XL 883 R Sportster

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

I have a 2004 harley davidson 883 sportster and it keeps popping out of 2nd gear the guy i bought it from said that he replaced the gear and it just needs to be broken in?


No, sorry to tell you that you don't need to break a gear in. There is something not quite right in the transmission if it's jumping out of gear. If I had to guess, he probably broke second gear speed shifting the bike, then replaced the gear and go the shimming messed up and it doesn't have the correct engagement with the shifter clutch dogs. To repair this, you'll have to pull the transmission out of the case. If your mechanically inclined, this isn't that difficult but you WILL need a factory service manual to check the transmission to find out what is wrong. Heck, he may have put the gear in backwards. Some of them will work that way but they'll jump out when power is applied or let off.

Good Luck
Steve

Sep 11, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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

My Harley 883 Sportster suddenly became stuck in 5th gear.


More than likely the shifter pawl has broken. Breaking in 5th gear is kind of unusual however, they usually break between first and second.

You'll have to remove the outer primary cover to look at the shifter pawl. It's partially covered by the clutch assembly.

Mar 07, 2010 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

1 Answer

Motorcycle transmission


There is a spring inside the Primary that pulls the shifter back to the neutral position....it is broken......common problem with the Sportster.

May 19, 2009 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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