Sportster shifting problem

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by bigtime, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. bigtime

    bigtime New Member

    changed shifter shaft and adjusted primary chain. Refilled fluid. Couln't shift initially into first and can't get into neutral without being in gear in motion. Can shift through all gears but have trouble getting back into first also. Is this a primary chain ajustment and if so, tighter or looser. Also thought maybe too much transmission fluid. Any thoughts. Saw some other threads about this but not sure how to correct.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member


    MORE than likely Clutch and cable Needs Proper adjustment.

    If Not the OIL over fill, My bet is on the clutch adjustment... And the cable Free play of which you should mention here..

    Cable free play is about a 1/16 min. to 1/8 inch Max. pulling the cable at the clutch handle and see How Much Distance it moves away from the ferrel.. Bike off and not running to perform this check.. and preferably cold...

  3. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

    I agree with Bubbie.

    Double check your primary chain tension since you mentioned that as well. It can also lead to problems finding neutral. When cold, proper chain slack movement should be about 1/2".
  4. bigtime

    bigtime New Member

    I had also replaced the clutch cable and seem to have correct play. Also have about 1/2 inch on primary chain. Had the tranny apart 3 times. Thanks for your suggestions.


    Going to take out a little more fluid. Had bike standing straight up when put in. Took some out and seemed to shift better and will see if removing a little more will help. Again, thanks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2011
  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    I'd like to think it was a cable or clutch adjustment, but you say you replaced the shift shaft and have had the tranny apart 3x. There's (as you know) several subtle adjustment points between the pawls, shifter plate, spacers etc.
    A misadjusted clutch is usually evident by dragging. Misadjusted pawls, springs and such are not so easy to find. I wish I had the experience to tell you where to start checking.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011