can not shift out of 1st gear, help??????

I have a 03 "S" with 5000 miles. I was riding pretty hard last week when for no reason it stopped shifting. At first I could get it into neutral, but now I only have first gear. I am sure I am not the first one with this problem, but I couldn't find a thread for it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

It won't shift even with the engine turned off???

Where in Oregon do you live? There are a couple of us in Corvallis who have seen the inside of the drz engine, one of us will even be around this summer.

It won't shift with engine off or on, with or without rocking the bike back and fourth. I live in Portland.

sounds like something got seized, no weird sounds before it wouldn't go into gear? tolerances in the tranny must have gone whack, don't run it until you have a "real mechanic" take it apart, I think it would be in your best interest to find someone that can deal with tranny's, CAn't be that bad....maybe it shut down before major damage happened, I would drain all the oil out and check the bottom(oil) 14mm bolt for any metal shaving's as it is magnetic. good luck , post your results.....dave

one of us will even be around this summer.

Ohh, bite me :naughty:

As 10Guy said....if your close by,, a helping hand can be arraigned :naughty:

Ok,, cant shift,, as in the shifter will not move? If it does, does it feel normal?

How is the clutch?

Last time you changed oil? and with what oil?

Changed you counter shaft sprocket lately?

Been in to the motor at all? or another owner?

no weird sounds of any kind

shifter moves normally and feels normal, just doesn't shift

clutch is great and I almost always use it when shifting

changed the oil just before this ride with Mobil 10-30 fully synthetic

have never touched the countershaft sprocket until just now and yes it is lose and probably only there because of the lock

original owner, changed the right case twice, "Thanks Suzuki for saving us that glorious pound (maybe) and giving us that micro thin side case to break so easily", other than that no. I have had many rides since the last $95 dollar side case replacement

I am willing to bet the shift lever has come loose on the shift shaft. Tighten it up and go riding. :naughty:


When you say "normal" does that mean the shift lever moves up a normal amount and then stops?

Check the tightness of the pinch bolt on the lever as recommended before just to make sure. Also check the lever itself, I have a lever on my tengai develop a crack and it would not shift very well and then not at all, it was actually hard to tell that it was broken until I looked closely at it.

Of course then again you may not want to take any advice from us "fake mechanics" :naughty:

I once had a RM250 that stoppped shifting (it was stuck in 5 th gear).Pulled off the right case and found the crank nut fell off and was stuck under the shift pawl).Take off your side case(right) and check the shift mechanism'll get a good idea from there if you'll have to split the cases or not.

Well this is bizarre. just went to check the shift lever (its fine), but as I was checking it started shifting. Seems to shift fine now. I am thinking that there is something floating around down there????

Even though it's now apparently working, I'd get it checked before I started her up.


Just as Ian said DO NOT START THE BIKE stuff aren't supposed to float around in there. Find what it is and either fix it yourself or have it fixed. It will be chaper than blowing up a transmission or a even worse motor. prairiedawg :naughty:

I had a new XR650L Years ago & it had maybe 100 miles on it when I stopped at a stop sign & couldn't get it out of 2nd gear :naughty: I tried everything!!!! NO LUCK!!!!! It would still go up & down the normal amount just like it was going into gear (normal play) but that was it. I ended up taking it to the dealership where the tore it down only to find a very small metal shaving wedged between the shifting fork. They removed it, changed the oil & away I went :naughty: . Good luck

Check to see if the snapring on the shift shaft is tight and in place. If the shaft moves towards the motor's side too much you won't be able to shift up and down as it has a slot in which the shaft sits on the clutch side.

I second the opinion of not starting it up until you find out what is going on in there.

I really don't think that things like that just "fix" themselves.

I had a similar issue with mine, it would only shift from 3rd to 4th and back. I took the right side off, thinking that it was the return spring on the shaft. Once I got it open, I found part of a gear laying in the bottom. One of the cogs on the side of the 4th driven gear broke off and on its way to the bottom, took a chunk of case and spit it into the shifting drum. It also took out three teeth on the oil pump plastic gear.

You really need to remove the right side and inspect. Run a magnet across the bottom on the inside. If you find anything, you will need to split the main cases to replace what has been damaged.

Did you say you're running Mobil 10w30 synthetic? Not the right oil for the DRZ, friend. Is it a MC rated oil? Not sure if this has anything to do with your problem but I would run a MC rated 10w40 dino or a 15w50 synthetic if it were my bike.

Well I got the bike clean and drained the oil. There is a bunch of metal flakes in there. Now it is time to get a manual and "get er done". As for the oil was being lazy and cheap, but I do not think this is the cause of the problem. Thanks for all of your help. I will keep you all posted with the results.

Well I got the bike clean and drained the oil. There is a bunch of metal flakes in there. Now it is time to get a manual and "get er done". As for the oil was being lazy and cheap, but I do not think this is the cause of the problem. Thanks for all of your help. I will keep you all posted with the results.

We are WAITING ! :)

Sorry all I kinda ran out of money and do not have the skill to split cases. Here is the final answer. Once upon a time I crashed into a big rock and broke the right side cover. I thought all of the pieces were retrieved, but one was hiding. It sat there for a long time, almost 2 years then decided to roam around the engine and get chewed up by the gears. One of those small pieces blocked the shifting dohickey behind the clutch bowl. Luckily the only thing damaged was the plastic idler gear for the oil pump which lost 1 tooth. Thanks for all of your help and patience.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now