Question about Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles

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I broke the belt on my sportster. its still off. i can shift through the gears fine, but its like the bike isn't leaving neutral. is this because the final drive belt isn't on?

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Yes, I'm very surprized that you can shift the gears. Without the belt to hold the main drive gear still, sometimes the transmission can be tough to shift.

I wouldn't worry about anything in the transmission at this point. Just get the new belt on and then see how the tranny shifts.

Good luck

Posted on Sep 07, 2010

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My 2013 Harley sportster wont shift out of second gear.1st to neutral to 2nd and back does fine

Hi,are you saying it wont pick up the other gears,if so it sounds like it could be the gearbox thats at falt,selectors or sincro damidged,
but the milege seems to low for that to happen unless bikes been thrashed.
lets me know what was wrong with it when you sorted it out please, all the best.

Apr 19, 2015 | 2013 Harley Davidson Sportster SuperLow

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Harley sportster shifting problems broke belt

Hi Anonymous, things don't work well without oil. sounds like you fried your tranny. My sugestion would be to take it to your local dealer or reputabl shop and have pull it apart and do an estimate. Good luck

Apr 17, 2014 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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89 Harley sportster 883 where is the neutral safety switch located? XLH Looked everywhere and can't find it? Thanks

There isn't one if your not in neutral eather pull the cluch or it will jump and roll if you start it in gear a car doesn't hav a kill switch if you get out of your car and it's in gear or in neutral on a bike u got to think a little bit more

Apr 19, 2012 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

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The tranny on my 883xl will shift through the gears but it won't engage. It will go into neutral. I don't have to engage the clutch to get it to shift through but even with the clutch it wont...

Sounds like your final drive belt is broke. Put the transmission in low gear with the engine off and try pushing the bike. If you can push the bike with the transmission in gear and the belt is not broke, it could be the front belt pulley is stripped in splined area where it goes on the countershaft. to check that take the rear master cylinder loose and remove the front pulley cover. Put the transmission in low gear with the engine off and push the bike. If the front pulley turns and the countershaft does not, the pulley is stripped.

Good Luck

Jun 18, 2011 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

2 Answers

My bike is not shifting into fourth gear, it goes into neutral instead of going into gear. The rest of the gears work fine, i have already tried adjusting the shift linkage to no avail. any help would be...

you might have something bent inside your tranny, there are things inside the tranny take can wear out cause a false neutral. i'm given you link so you can see the gear and things inside your tranny the gears side and lock into one another if the " dogs" that lock the gears together or worn it can cause a false neutral.
i would have a local shop take a look at it. lucky harley has a separate tranny from the motor while the can get very costly this could be your chance to upgrade, baker has a really nice 6 speed talk with your local shop.
Good luck
Mark Woodring

Jan 28, 2011 | 2003 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

I bought a 2003 R6 from this guy who said the chain broke on him. The bike only in neutral and first gear. i cant hift up from one to two or neutral to two. Plus I dont the clutch is engaging at all. once...

personally I have never heard of a chain breaking and having any affect on the transmission and shifting. although if the chain broke and caught the shifter, it may have pulled the shifter so hard that it could have bent the shifting forks inside the transmission.. this would explain most of your problems..replace the chain,and with the bike "off" and in neutral, on level ground, rock it back and fourth about 6 inches and try shifting from neutral to 1st and then back up to neutral, and then to 2nd. keep rocking the bike back and fourth while doing this and do this WITHOUT using the clutch. If it wont go to the gears easily, the shift forks are likely bent. there is a safety switch for the kickstand that will shut the bike down if the kickstand is down and bike is in gear. if the kickstand is up and releasing the clutch shuts down the bike, the chain may have damaged that as well. Hope this helps..

Sep 26, 2010 | 2003 Yamaha YZF-R6

1 Answer

Hi i was trying to do a burnout on my 2008 harley 1200 sporster and after my bike will not go in to gear it is like it is stuck in neutral. Thanks Tim

Well, the first thing to look for is a broken rear belt. If there's no belt to turn the rear wheel, the transmission will feel like it's in neutral regardless of the gear.

Also, pull the front pulley cover where the master cylinder is. Take a look at the front pulley, I've seen these strip the splines out of themselves under conditions like this.

If the rear belt and the pully is good, with the engine off, rock the bike backwards and forwards while attempting to shift the gears. Does the transmission shift? If you cannot feel it shift or attempt to shift, you may have a problem with the shifter pawl but usually this doesn't happen with doing a burn out.

If you cannot determine what the problem is this way, the only alternative is to pull the outer primary and keep on going until you find the problem.

Good luck

Aug 27, 2010 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

I have a 2001 harley davidson 1200 sportster. while riding it,it

Sounds like you've broken a final drive belt. Look at the pulley on the rear wheel and see if the large final drive belt is there. Don't laugh, I've seen it before. When the final drive belt breaks, it simply runs itself out on the road and the rider never knows it until he stops somewhere. When he tries to take off, the bike won't go anywhere. If this isn't it, contact me at directly at wd4ity at

Good luck

May 15, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Loud clang, no power, no go.

Sounds like you may have lost your drive gear key

Jul 07, 2009 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 1200 R Sporster...

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