Question about 1986 Honda VT 1100 C

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The transmission on my 1986 VT 1100 Shadow is stuck in 2nd gear and will sometimes shift into third. I cannot get it to go into any other gear. It will run in 2nd and/or 3rd gear. This happenned suddenly with no warning signs. What needs to be done?

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Hi this sounds like a clutch fault, have you tried adjusting it to see if it makes any difference to the selecting of the gears? also this could actually be a gear selector problem , like a broken tooth or even clutch plates not seperating correctly, or the primary drive gear, you could try, this , make sure bike is not running, pull clutch lever in, then move down to 1st, then keeping clutch in ( do not let go of it after you put in first) then lift it up ( buy hand..its a bit awkward but its possible) and see if it will select all gears after that if it does then you may have a selector fault, the other test is, put it in the highest gear you can get it in ( bike not running, do this by hand also) if you can get it in the highest gear holding in the clutch, start bike, then see if it is drivable and change gears ( alltho rough change,) this will be the clutch itself......hope that helps

Posted on Oct 10, 2010

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1994 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow shifter won't move

Hi, Anonymous and the usual suspects are:
1. Clutch not disengaging.
2. Bent shift shaft.
3. Shift fork bent or seized.
4. Gear seized on the shaft.
5. Gear positioning lever binding.
6. Shift return springs weak or broken.
7. Shift return spring pin loose
8. Shift mechanism arm spring is broken.
9. Shift mechanism arm is broken.
10. Shift drum is broken.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the blue links below. Good luck and have a wonderful day.
Gear shifter stuck
86 Shadow 1100 won move
Honda shadow vt1100 Owners Workshop Manual
Honda VT1100C2 Owner Manual Page 3

Aug 11, 2013 | 1994 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow

1 Answer

My shifter on 1100 shadow is bound wont move. when unhook all linkage transmission shifts fine

You have to turn shifter up or down 1-2 teeth, or you have a problem at link betwen right and left connet. rod, you can see correct position if you take of round plug, it is behind and down from outer shifter.

Apr 04, 2013 | 1994 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow

1 Answer

My gear lever doesnt move, feels like froze up

May be third gear shifting fork, or try to turn shift lever 1-2 teeth up or down

Mar 03, 2013 | 1994 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow

1 Answer

What weight of oil do you put in a 1986 Honda Shadow VT1100?

10w-40 cold climate, 20w-50 warm climate JASO MA certified motorcycle oil. Do not use any oil that says Energy Conserving on the label it will shorten the life of your wet clutch and transmission gears . Synthetics will run cooler and make rush hour/hot weather shifting easier.

Aug 20, 2010 | 1988 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow

1 Answer

Clutch not engageing

Start by changing the gearbox oil and the filter. Ride for 50 miles or so then change the oil again but w/o a new filter this time. Doing this will flush the dirt and grit from the gearbox. Use 10 w40 Pennzoil, Mobil, Shell or any other major brand.

The clutch is not fully dis-engaging. That is what is causing the shifting problems. Hopefully a shift fork has not been bent in your efforts to shift gears. The cost of 6 or 7 quarts of oil and an oil filter is nothing next to the cost for replacing bent shift forks.

Please rate this solution. Thanks Coty!

Apr 17, 2009 | 1987 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow

1 Answer


Sounds like it may be the valve body in the transmission oil pan or it could be your shifter is at fault.

Feb 12, 2009 | 2001 Honda VT 1100 C2 Shadow Sabre

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