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hard to get it into first gear

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I have an '86 XR200R. It's my wife's bike and she reported to me that it is hard to get into first gear. She says if she stomps the shifter, it will go into neutral. Stomp it again, it goes into first. This is a new development for the bike. It had been ridden a couple hundred miles in its first two years off the showroom floor and then sat for 17. We have had it for about 2 years and have added maybe 500 miles to it, so the motor is still pretty young.

Someone told her the clutch is going away since it is hard to get first gear...I am thinking maybe it's a bent shifting fork (or at least something in the tranny, not the clutch).

Anyone have any experience in this area?

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This while dowshifting or when stopped in neutral? If from neutral look at clutch adjustment, specifically too much slack or maybe cable is fraying and stretching.

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If you put really cheap oil in it, it will tend to do that, from my experience.
I don't think that's it as we haven't changed oil brand\viscosity since it came to us.
This while dowshifting or when stopped in neutral? If from neutral look at clutch adjustment, specifically too much slack or maybe cable is fraying and stretching.

My wife says it never happens while moving (downshifting)...only when she's stopped. Shifting down from any higher gear is simple and like you would expect, just can't get it to go to first very easy from second (lately).

I appreciate the ideas...thanks. :thumbsup:

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Hmmm....I actually have the same problem on my bike but I just give it a few good hard taps, and don't really think about it. I remember Old School Al saying something about it awhile back....try searching it, or ask him about it. Apparently, it's a common tranny failure. Actually, Al hasn't made a post that I am aware of in quite some time, but he would know for sure, if you can get ahold of him.

Al we need you back!! There are too many XR questions going unanswered in your absense! Lol...

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Well, I'm the "wife" with the XR problem. It's more of a pain than anything. When we're out on the trail and get to an ugly spot and I stop to either check it out, or watch to see if my kids make it up, I go to drop it into 1st, let out the clutch, and I'm rolling back in neutral :thumbsup: . I have to roll back and forth, try for 1st - nope, try again. It usually takes about 3 tries. This is a new development, it always hasn't been this way.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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....try searching it...

The search function is disabled more often than not for me these days...I think it's hit and miss...It's disabled when I try it, not when my wife tries it. :thumbsup:

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A lot of times it could be a bent shift shaft. That's usually the first culprit. Shift forks don't bend, they wear oblongish, but usually that if you have a worn motor and your's is only has a few hundred miles on it. I would get fresh new oil maybe try some rotela oil or something. Some people swear by it. I tried it and didn't notice any difference or maybe Mobile one. But take the clutch cover off and check out the start shifting in through the gears. (mainly nuetral to first) It could be the shift star as well. Last resort would be to replace the forks. But, it's only a day project.

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A lot of times it could be a bent shift shaft. That's usually the first culprit. But take the clutch cover off and check out the start shifting in through the gears. (mainly nuetral to first) It could be the shift star as well.

Good advice, thank you. I will start there and see if it's the shaft (she did dump it on the clutch side and bent her shifter a little while back...hmm).

FW

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I have an '86 XR200R. It's my wife's bike and she reported to me that it is hard to get into first gear. She says if she stomps the shifter, it will go into neutral. Stomp it again, it goes into first. This is a new development for the bike. It had been ridden a couple hundred miles in its first two years off the showroom floor and then sat for 17. We have had it for about 2 years and have added maybe 500 miles to it, so the motor is still pretty young.

Someone told her the clutch is going away since it is hard to get first gear...I am thinking maybe it's a bent shifting fork (or at least something in the tranny, not the clutch).

Anyone have any experience in this area?

Any luck with the shifting problem..............???

Stomping on the shifter is not a good idea!

What happens when you try to shift with motor off, and rocking bike back and forth?

Does shifter not want to move full travel, or start to move then feel like it slips?

Old School Al

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I have an '86 XR200R. It's my wife's bike and she reported to me that it is hard to get into first gear. She says if she stomps the shifter, it will go into neutral. Stomp it again, it goes into first. This is a new development for the bike. It had been ridden a couple hundred miles in its first two years off the showroom floor and then sat for 17. We have had it for about 2 years and have added maybe 500 miles to it, so the motor is still pretty young.

Someone told her the clutch is going away since it is hard to get first gear...I am thinking maybe it's a bent shifting fork (or at least something in the tranny, not the clutch).

Anyone have any experience in this area?

I just replaced the shifting shaft on a kid's bike that was doing kind of the same thing. The problem was due to stomping on the shifter to shift, especially when the bike was running and at a stand still. The kid hadn't figured out to rock the bike back in forth a bit when he couldn't find the gear he wanted.

What he bent was the ratchet mechanism on the other end of the shaft that contacts the star gear. It was actually bent so far the little tension spring popped off.

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Any luck with the shifting problem..............???

Stomping on the shifter is not a good idea!

What happens when you try to shift with motor off, and rocking bike back and forth?

Does shifter not want to move full travel, or start to move then feel like it slips?

Old School Al

Hi Al-

My wife didn't actually stomp, but used that description to try to light a fire under my levis.

Now, question 1: It occasionally will not drop into 1st from neutral ('motor off test') - shifter feels like it hasn't clicked all the way down...a little rock forward or backward engages the tranny and it goes into first. It always drops into the next gear down from 5th, 4th, or 3rd. Always drops into neutral from 2nd.

Q2: No slipping noticed, just doesn't want to find first from neutral (with the motor running) as easily as it would back in June.

I may pull the case off Sunday or Monday, but am reluctant because she is going riding Tuesday.

I hope this information helps!

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Ok, I'm with you on the stomping! :thumbsup:

3. How much free play at tip of clutch lever on handlebar?

4. Seem to make any difference hot or cold?

5. Changed oil?

Old School Al

Q3: Nearly zero free play.

Q4: DW reports no difference whether Angelina Jolie or Janet Reno.

Q5: She probably has 400 miles on her oil, but I will change it see if it makes a difference on her Tuesday ride.

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400 miles!?!?! :ride: That's a lot for a dirt bike! They aren't supposed to run 5,000 miles on the same oil like a car! :thumbsup: You should really be changing the oil after about every 5 hours of riding time. 10 hours is just about as long as you want to let it go...and I doubt that she is averaging 40 mph every time she rides...

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400 miles!?!?! :ride: That's a lot for a dirt bike! They aren't supposed to run 5,000 miles on the same oil like a car! :thumbsup: You should really be changing the oil after about every 5 hours of riding time. 10 hours is just about as long as you want to let it go...and I doubt that she is averaging 40 mph every time she rides...

Thanks QD for the advice...the 5K mile analogy is unecessary though.

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400 miles!?!?! ...

BTW, those miles were put on in our last camp out in June and she has ridden one time since going 25 miles.

I may get beaten up here by a bunch of XR owners (I happen to own 3), but I change the oil in my WR250F every 100 miles (which I put on in two rides), and the XRs about every 4 rides...it's just that the last real "ride" for my wife and kids was the week-long camp out, and I just haven't done it yet...

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Any luck with the shifting problem..............???

Old School Al

Okay...

1. I changed the oil Monday...it was not bad...dark gray (looked like my WR's oil after 100 miles).

2. I rode the bike the entire ride yesterday (as my wife had the great fortune to ride a trials bike all day), and zero shifting problems...experiment really isn't over since we need the same pilot on the beast to rule out user error.

But for now, all is peaceful in Camelot.

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