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Sometimes when I go from reverse into neutral and then try to put it into first, it won't go into gear unless I roll the bike forward or back. I am not to concerned about this as it I have seen this before in vehicles.

But I was at a light the other day cars behind me and I put the bike into neutral and just before the light changed, I went to put the bike into gear and it wouldn't engage. My last bike was a V-Twin that I had to hammer into first and I still have that habit so I know it wasn't lack of foot strenght on my part. I moved the forward and after a few curses and much kicking it went into gear.

I have only had the bike 2 weeks and have put 600 miles on it, but this is the first time this has happened. Any input would be appreciated.
 

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2Alpha said:
Sometimes when I go from reverse into neutral and then try to put it into first, it won't go into gear unless I roll the bike forward or back. I am not to concerned about this as it I have seen this before in vehicles.

But I was at a light the other day cars behind me and I put the bike into neutral and just before the light changed, I went to put the bike into gear and it wouldn't engage. My last bike was a V-Twin that I had to hammer into first and I still have that habit so I know it wasn't lack of foot strenght on my part. I moved the forward and after a few curses and much kicking it went into gear.

I have only had the bike 2 weeks and have put 600 miles on it, but this is the first time this has happened. Any input would be appreciated.
The LT doesn't like to be "hammered" into gear. Just a nice gentle tap will get the job done. If you're sitting there in neutral, I've found that letting the clutch out just a little bit as you're pushing down on the shifter does the trick.
 

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Steve:
Getting the LT into 1st sometimes requires taht you hold the ever down and elease teh clutch a lottle untio you feel it go into gear. This happens frequenly withthe LT. Just curious, why not keep it in gear at a light?

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #4
RiderRay said:
Steve:
Getting the LT into 1st sometimes requires taht you hold the ever down and elease teh clutch a lottle untio you feel it go into gear. This happens frequenly withthe LT. Just curious, why not keep it in gear at a light?

Ray
First of all thanks to both of you for the quick responses. As for not keeping it in gear, I know it's safer to keep it in gear so you can move if needed, but this one light takes forever to change and after a great day of riding I just want to stretch the hands and legs and relax for 2 minutes.
 

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Other than the mechanical glitch you experienced, you might want to think about the safety aspect of stopping in neutral. In all the MSF courses, they teach to keep it in first. The reasoning behind it is you should be monitoring you mirrors and if you need to make a quick “get out of the way move” because of a fast approaching vehicle, you’ll be ready to go. Just a thought.
 

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2Alpha said:
My last bike was a V-Twin that I had to hammer into first and I still have that habit so I know it wasn't lack of foot strenght on my part. I moved the forward and after a few curses and much kicking it went into gear.
You're asking for trouble if you are in the habit of stomping it into first. LT shift linkages are known to snap in half (wait until you actually see the linkage, it's like 35 parts between toe and tranny). You can get aftermarket upgrades (e.g. the kit sold by philjohn) that should be a little more tolerant of a heavy foot, but you should still familiarize yourself with the process of pulling the left footrest plate off the bike to access the linkage in the event of roadside failure. The good news is that you can remove the footrest, shift it into 3rd gear by hand, replace the footrest plate and ride in 3rd all the way home (the LT will handle the high revs up to at least 65mph in 3rd).

As others have said - the LT prefers to be caressed into first by feathering out the clutch while applying gentle downward pressure on the shift lever - it drops into gear effortlessly with a nice little clunk. Get into this habit and she'll always treat you right.

Also, some have adopted the preventive practice of pulling the footrest plate to lube & retighten the ball studs at every oil change. Might wanna think about doing that too.
 

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Keep It In Gear

I used to do the same thing, come up to a light and then put the bike in neutral, until less than 3 blocks from my house a bike was rear ended....

It was an early Sunday morning, sun from the east, just a few months ago, very little traffic and the bike had just come off of I-75 and Fowler and was at the second light, waiting for it to turn green. A pick up truck was following and decided to keep going and not stop for the red. There are three lanes moving west and the guy on the bike is now dead! They were the only two at the intersection.

If traffic is stopped behind me at a long light, I might put it in neutral, but if there is no one behind me, I leave space and the bike is ready to scoot.......
 

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.

I wondered if mine was the only LT that seemed to need a little help getting into first! When that occurs I've always just let the clutch out for a second, applied the clutch again and had it go in smooth and nice. (Think double clutching without revving.) Guess I should try the slightly different method you fellows described.
 

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While in neutral if you squeeze the clutch, the input shaft will stop spinning quickly.

If you delay just enough, you will end up having the gear teeth aligned.... so the bike can't shift into gear.

So, as you squeeze the clutch, apply pressure on the shifter. If it doesn't go into gear, do NOT stomp on it... just keep pressure on the lever and ease out on the clutch. As soon as the input shaft starts turning the gears will properly align and you'll go into gear...

I always leave my bike in gear... until at least 2 cars behind me are fully stopped.

Of course I will also keep my hand above the clutch lever and foot over the shifter... any noise from the road behind me and I'm "out of there". A ticket is cheaper than my insurance deductible.
 

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Remember you are not engaging "gears" when you shift (they are all in a constant mesh all the time). You are selecting a "pair" of gears to be active to the shafts and that is through clunky "dogs" on the edge of each gear set. Less opportunities for a match up as there are only four of them so you get a match in every 90 degrees of rotation and if they are not lined up all the stomping in the world will do is break your shift linkage. That is why a little slip of the clutch helps it out. Wet clutches have this slip built in but our dry clutch does not.
 

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well, this is good to know, I assumed my linkages were loose and pulled and lubed them even though they seemed to be tight. I was just rolling it a bit with my feet to get it into 1st when this happened.

Just out of curiosity, is the short linkage for shifting as well as the long one?

Ron
 

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itspossible said:
Just out of curiosity, is the short linkage for shifting as well as the long one?

Ron
Ron,

The short one is actually tied to the shift arm on the transmission so, Yes. The long one feeds the bellcrank and the belcrank feeds the short one and the short one shifts the gears.
 
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