Question about Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom Motorcycles

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Shifter Not returning to start postion after shifting gears.

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If the shifter is not returning to it's "center" position, the shifter pawl spring is probably broken in the transmission. With the engine off and the bike on the kickstand with the transmission in neutral, gently depress the shifter lever down until just before it shifts. Then, let go of the shifter and see if it springs back up. Do the same thing lifting the shifter towards second gear. Make sure there is no binding in the linkage. If you don't feel the spring pressure on the shifter, this is an indication that the return spring is broken. Harley had a problem with this on their 5-speed transmissions. Fixing the problem is a major job. You have to disassemble the entire primary drive and pull the trapdoor with both transmission shafts out of the transmission to get the shifter pawl shaft out. I strongly recommend the purchase of a service manual if you plan on doing this job yourself.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on May 20, 2011

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The shifter shaft centering spring itself, the one on the shifter shaft is probably broken and needs replacement.

Posted on Jun 22, 2013

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1 Answer

Can only select 1st neutral an 2nd gear


Hi Meihana and the usual suspects are:
1. Clutch dragging slightly.
2. Primary chaincase overfilled with lubricant.
3. Corners wore off shifter clutch dogs.
4. Shifter return spring bent or broken.
5. Bent shifter rod.
6. Shift lever is loose on the shifter shaft.
7. Shifter forks sprung.
8. Shifter pawl needs adjusting.
9. Heel/toe shifter coming in contact with the floorboard.
10. Transmission oil too heavy.
For more information about your issue, please visit the websites below. Good luck and have a nice day.
http://pnwriders.com/threads/r1-wont-shift-past-2nd-gear.169723
Can shift above 2nd gear
Wont shift past 2nd gear
Shifting stuck won go past 2nd gear

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1 Answer

1991 softail will not go into 3rd gear.it will go from 4th to 5th


Without being able to see and mess with the bike a bit, I would guess that you have a shifter pawl spring broken in your transmission. It's either the return spring or the spring on the pawl itself. To test the spring, start from the "neutral postition" of the shifter. Regardless of the gear the bike might be in, when you are not pushing down on the shifter or lifting up on it, it is in the neutral position, where it normall sits. Now, using your fingers push down on the shift lever until you feel the transmission start to shift, you feel a resistance. Stop right there, do not shift the gear but allow the shifter to return to the neutral position. Now, lift the shifter with your fingers until you feel the resistance of the transmission getting ready to shift. What you are feeling for is the resistance of the shifter return spring. Does it feel the same in both directions? If not, the spring is broken. If it does, then the problem is something else.

Still if the transmissio will not shift into a particular gear, something is wrong inside the transmission and you'll have to go into it to find the problem most likely.

Good Luck
steve

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