79 honda xr500

I am having trouble with 1st gear in my bike. Under a load, it feels as though the chain is slipping but it is not. This happens in first gear and only first gear, the rest are fine. I have both the clutch cover and stator cover off and everything seems normal. The problem is quite intermittant but is starting to happen more often than not. Has anyone come across a problem similar to this?

Are you talking about a grinding skipping horrible noise or a slipping power to the wheel?

slipping power to the wheel, literally feels as though the chain was jumping teeth. In fact it felt so much like it was the chain I replaced both sprockets and chain ( it was time anyway). Again, only in first gear. I drained the oild and pulled both the side covers off the engine so i can look right through the bottom from stator side to clutch side, no metal shavings or chunks of any type and things appear normal from the outside. Id just like some ideas before i split the case and go exploring.

Hi Ryan:

I think you\re gonna have to split the cases. If there is no problem with your chain, chain gears, or splines on your drive sprocket then you might have worn dogs on your 1st gear. A constant mesh transmission shifts by engaging pegs or stubs (dogs) into holes on a splined plate that slides on the shaft. If the dogs are worn, they can slip out and then slide in again causing the same type of lurch as a chain skipping. This has the effect of shifting the bike into neutral momentarily until the dogs slide in again. Once it starts happening, it doesn't get better.


I hope I'm wrong...

edit: a bent shift fork could also keep low gear from being completely engaged/


Edited by patuca

Thank You for the help, i kinda thought splitting the case was gonna be inevitable but but now atleast i have something to look for.

+1 on the dogs being worn round, I know a guy who was able to re-grind the dogs on a rm 400 and get it to stop banging around

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