Be blessed you have a 2002 as you can easily access the tranny unlike the new ones where you have to pull the engine and split the cases, what was harley thinking??? my first guess would be the pawl carrier springs. when in gear, the shift forks sorta take up some slack but you still should notice a little more than usual with the bad pawl springs. when in neutral no gears are meshed so notible slack will be present and the neutral switch will find it more difficult to turn on because of the wider area. if you have problems shifting, the more serious problems can be calling. if you are handy, you can repair this yourself.
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you need to take your carb off give it as good cleaning. also check your intake gaskets where the manifold joins the jugs and the black rubber one where the carb joins the manifold. You def have air/fuel problem going on. also check your vscume hose to the carb but im thinking that is not it.
It's quite a process to remove a starter on a sportster. I changed one for my friend on his 03 sportster. You have to take alot of stuff off to get to the bolts that hold it on. Can I suggest getting a service manual for the bike. Trust me it's worth its weight in gold. I've done alot of work on my sportster and my friends sportster and would never attempt anything without the book. As far as the starter, From what I remember, I had to remove the exhaust pipes then the primary cover, and I'm sure there were more parts, but you need to know what gaskets you will need to replace. Good Luck. And go get the book. I got mine at Barnes and Noble. and my friend got his at the Harley dealer. Have fun.
first off bro the 883 does not become a 1200 by boring the cylinder. there is absolutely no difference in the size of the cylinder of a stock 883 or 1200. to make the displacement bigger by 317 cc's the head dome is made larger. you can make any 883 a 1200 by carving out the inside of the head to increase the volume. to make this increase in displacement by boring the cylinder would require making the inside of the cylinders bigger than the outside which obviously can't be done. your starter is probably getting hot due to poor electrical connection. most likely in the ground pathway. if you dont have good continuity the amps go way high and the starter gets hot. you can have all the voltage in the world but if you can't carry the amps then the thing will click and and overheat. check your cables and make sure no corrosion also if you painted your bike then the paint on the frame needs to be scuffed off where the ground strap connects