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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What's wrong with my DL650? I just came back from a ride and am having a hard time downshifting. Sometimes I can't get into first gear and have to pull out in second, sometimes I even get stuck in sixth gear and can't downshift at all. I just now almost dropped my bike trying to pull out while uphill trying to enter a highway and being in second gear almost stalled the engine. I put a little wear on the clutch but made it. The shift lever seems fine and it does look like it is getting full travel when I work it by hand. Am I in need of an adjustment somewhere? Thanks.
 

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I was havin the same problem the linkage was all gummed up with goo. I wd 40 d the crap out of it
 

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1. You should downshift to neutral or first while slowing down. Stopping in gears 2 through 6 is a bad idea. Bike transmissions have no synchros, so it's hard to shift them when stationary.

2. If stuck in a gear and trying to shift out of it into another or neutral, it helps if you let the clutch out a little (until you find the friction point); pull the clutch back in and your bike should slip into the gear you want just fine.
 

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I agree with SittingDuck. This is very common with a lot of bikes. Let the clutch out a bit, then try to kick it into gear again.

Another possibility is you have adjustable levers and you have it set to 1. Try bumping it up to 3 and see if that helps. The clutch cable may need an adjustment.

I couldnt even start my bike with my lever set to 1.
 

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On my Wee, I find that the clutch adjustment is very important to clean shifting. Also, as mentioned by someone else it is easier to get down into 1st while rolling, not after stopping.

Search this sight on clutch adjustment, there are some good instructions with diagrams here.
 

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With the list of bikes you've had, your age, and 35 + years riding experience you've probably looked at the obvious .....the external linkage. But if not:

The shift lever, (more accurately the internal shift quadrant), must freely return to it's natural "home base position" I'll call it, in order for the tranny to shift right. You must determine absolutely if thats happening. I suggest you get the bike uprite and the rear wheel off the ground, centerstand works great, so you can sit down on the ground and watch the shift shaft as you work the lever while rocking the rear wheel back and forth. (Rocking wheel is neccessary to facilitate shifting because the engines NOT running and your ignoring clutch use). Focus on the movement of the stubby lever on the shift shaft where it enters the engine case, not the shift lever itself. If thats tough for you, then take the external shift linkage stuff out of the equation completely.....by removing the stubby linkarm from the shift shaft and remove shift lever from it's pivot pin by removing the retaining circlip. Slip the stub lever back onto the shift lever in a position you can work it by hand. If shift shaft doesn't work freeely and snap back to "home-base position" as it should somethings up inside.
If no binding was ever found .... check that the shaft has almost no "in-and-out" play. Well less than 1/8" is proper and while down there check that the circlip on the shaft where it enters the engine is seated in it's groove.

Have you dropped the bike on the shifter side recently? How do you eventually get it to downshift, ( like after it gets stuck in 6th).
dave
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I have adjusted many a clutch and linkage on my bikes. This time I guess my thinking got a little sloppy. My clutch seemed fine and my shifting technique hasn't changed, I downshift to the correct gear before I stop. I did check my clutch adjustment and I did have quite a bit of play in the lever so I took some slack out of the cable. I haven't had time to ride since but this weekend will tell the tale.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Flashmo, thanks for that advice. I didn't do that, now I will.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I adjusted my clutch lever and the bike shifts fine now. I feel a little stupid for missing such a basic maintenance item. It is not the first time I ever felt stupid.
 
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