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Neutral to First Needs 2 De-Clutchings

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Tornado, Oct 8, 2019 at 1:07 PM.

  1. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Since my gearbox renovation last winter, my MKII 850 has been requiring two de-clutchings to engage first gear from neutral, if I'm at a stand still. I've gotten use to it but starting think about if this is a common thing or indication of something wrong?
    When lifting shift lever from neutral to first, there is no real perceptible click/notch on the first try while clutch is pulled in. Letting clutch out to pull away, there is no chatter and I find I'm still in neutral. A second clutch pull in and another shift lever lift up (little to no click or notchy feel), now I'm in gear as I let clutch out and roll away.

    All other chages are very nice, even when going down to first, as long as I'm moving.
     
  2. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Since my gearbox rebuild , at a stand still I have to reach down with right hand and engage first gear .... while moving works as it should ... kinda like the novelty of hand shifting .... haha! .... works for me and I’m leaving well enough alone for now .... guess it has been 8 years now ...
     
  3. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Try keeping upward pressure on the gear pedal while gradually letting the clutch out.

    Or press it down into second, then lift it up into first.
     
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  4. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Is this cold oil or hot?
     
  5. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    I guess it happens more often when starting out for the day, but might just be that I do standing still into first roll off then. It does happen if I place it into neutral at a light when hot then go for first...but I rarely do that. My training instructor drilled into me a bike should always be in gear when waiting at a light or in traffic to make quick get aways in case of emergencies...Also why my clutch hand now has carpal tunnel ;-)
     
  6. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Ignore that crap from the training instructor.
     
  7. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 20, 2005
    Hope the instructor was not like the guy in the movie “Happy go Lightly” , while the courses are great for the most part , still, like everything else, you got to use your own common sense and good judgement as well ....
     
  8. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Yeah, picture him at the light with some fool texting and locking up the brakes behind you while you crap yourself trying to get into gear and didi outta there. As Bugs would say " wadda Maroon!"

    Hot or cold when mine's running it goes into neutral when it damn well feels like it and my coaxing gains me nothing unless I shut it off and place it there. I take some of that statement back because it easily goes to neutral until it stops rolling. No roll no neutral with motor running without express permission of Commando..... Just another Norton anomaly. We all have them in one for or another.
     
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  9. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Fou nd an earlier thread years old where LAB stated clutch basket notching might be causing this type of problem. Others suggested primary chain too tight.
     
  10. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Of course clutch adjustment also plays a big part in how the gear selection goes and a slight adjustment can make a big different in how your gears work, I have always had a perfect gear change in over 43 years of ownership, my gears all make that slight click noise and smooth change, its always a lighter click when going into neutral as a light click into first, even the day my lay shaft bearing blew when I put it into first gear it went click then bang, lucky it happened as I was just leaving home.
    My gear box hasn't been rebuilt since the lay shaft bearing blew back in 79 and only thing replaced since was kick starter shaft, kick starter lever and 4 kick start pawls and a kick start gear, not bad for over 43 years of ownership, lots of caning in my younger days and the occasional burn out and over 160k miles on it.
    So I be looking more into your clutch adjustment as well any notching and chains adjustments to see if that make any different to your gear problem.

    Ashley
     
  11. mikeinidaho

    mikeinidaho

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    At least you know the clutch is releasing completely, the mainshaft stops turning as soon as you grab the lever. I just roll the bike a few inches forward or back, while pushing the lever, it drops right in.
     
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  12. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Anytime a story starts..."Since I rebuilt (replaced, worked on, whatever) my [whatever component], it hasn't been working properly," the next step is to examine everything you did related to that work. ;)

    As noted, the fix could be as simple as a clutch adjustment or as complicated as requiring the gearbox to be disassembled. With everything in good shape/properly adjusted, these gearboxes are among the smoothest shifters in motorcycle-dom.
     
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  13. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tried holding lever up while declutching. This gave a bit of a grinding feel and sound until it engaged. Don't like the idea of doing that regularly.
     
  14. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    It’s a bit of a knack. Letting the clutch out more slowly might let it into gear without grinding.

    The other guy’s suggestion about rocking the bike back and fore might give you better results.
     
  15. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I had this issue and TT’s clutch dragging trick is what I did, after a bit of practice it became second nature.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019 at 3:35 PM
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  16. Richard Tool

    Richard Tool

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    I used to subscribe to the “ leave it in gear with clutch disengaged” school of thought for the above mentioned reasons until one day the clutch cable broke and the bike was halfway into the intersection before it stalled . Fortunately no one was coming in that lane . If you do use this technique I strongly suggest keeping the front brake applied while standing .
     
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  17. jbruney

    jbruney

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    Jan 5, 2019
    Me two fingers on brake at stops. Old habit because if it's running gonna be in gear.
     
    Craig likes this.
  18. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Ya that's pretty much what I do. I usually have two fingers covering front brake at all times when in city traffic.
     
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  19. jbruney

    jbruney

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    Jan 5, 2019
    Always prepared... Life is like a box of chocolates...To quote a notable figure. Got two on clutch also, but always been that way.
     
  20. acadian

    acadian VIP MEMBER

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    Mar 5, 2010
    I'm one of those training instructors drilling that "crap" and my advice to the OP is to ignore you
     
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