Question about 2000 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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My bike is in neutral, i used to be able to hold in the clutch and step lightly to put into 1st. If i try that now, the gear grinds. I have to stomp into 1st. After riding, down shifting into 1st there is no problem...its just start out. Is there something wrong?

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This could be caused by a couple of things. One is that usually when you first start the ride for the day, the oil in the transmission is cold and thick. This makes the gears on the mainshaft and the countershaft turn with those shafts. When you try to shift into gear, the drive dog is not turning and it's trying to shift into a gear that is turning and doesn't want to stop due to the thick oil. You can avoid this by pulling the clutch in and holding it while the bike warms up.

The other problem could be that the clutch needs to be adjusted or you've go too much oil in the primary. Adjust the clutch as the manual says to adjust it. Make sure you don't have too much oil in the primary. If the oil level is too high, oil gets between the clutch drive plates when the clutch is disengaged. Then, the oil between the plates acts like the transmission fluid in the torque converter of an automatic transmission.

Loosen the clutch cable where it goes into the primary cover so that the maximum possible amount of slack is achieved. Remove the cover from the clutch, remove the spring, and the locknut. Turn the adjuster screw counterclockwise until it stops. Turn it back clockwise 1/4 turn. Insert the locknut, the spring and the plate. Screw the cable adjuster out until you have just a little freeplay. Work the clutch lever a couple of times and readjust the cable so that you've got 1/16" to 1/8" freeplay at the lever.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Sep 10, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Instructions

1

The gears on a motorcycle run in this order: first, neutral, second, third, fourth and fifth. When you are moving, shifting up from first gear will skip over neutral and shift you right into second gear. The only time that shifting up from first will get you into neutral is when you are not moving.
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Pull in the clutch lever and tap the gear lever down until it stops. This will signify first gear. Pressing the gear lever down will shift you down one step and pressing it up will shift up one step.

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Tap the gear lever up one click while still holding in the clutch. This will put the bike into neutral.
4

Start the bike. The bike needs to be in neutral to start.
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Hold in the clutch lever and tap the shifting lever down to shift to first gear.
6

Release the clutch slowly and give it just enough gas to get moving.
7

Listen to the motor to know when you need to shift. If the engine is making a low grumbling noise, then it will need to be shifted down. If it is making a high squealing noise, then it needs to be shifted up.

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