Gear goofing between 4th and 5th - Honda CTX1300 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Gear goofing between 4th and 5th

For the past month or two, I've noticed that occasionally I hit neutral between 4th and 5th. The N light goes on too. I thought/hoped I was not lifting up hard enough.


Then today, couple times over the length of 200 miles, I noticed a slight bump after I shifted into 5th, like it fell out of and back in gear.

Bike had 44,000 miles on it. Dealer maintained. No mods to engine or transmission. Last oil change, and probably all of them, was Honda dino oil

Should I worry?
Clutch adjustment?
Bad gear?
Clumsy foot?

Will it live to play the concert violin?

Bruce B
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 02:16 PM
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I would still check the shift lever linkages just in case. It could be just a Honda transmission "feature" or possibly something that needs checking but hard to tell. When I shift into 5th, and sometimes even into the other gears before getting to 5th, there seemed to be what felt like a double clunk going into gear. Like there were 2 sets of gears that needed to mesh or perhaps a gear started to mesh and needed a little extra to finish seating all the way in. Sometimes I would feel it and sometimes I didn't. I also felt it with my ST1100 once in a BIG while so don't know if that's normal or a problem but it never went farther than that so I didn't worry about it.
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1973 Harley Davidson 125 dual sport- sold
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2005 Suzuki Burgman 650- sold
1998 Honda ST1100- sold
2014 Honda CTX1300A (U.S.A. Ion Blue Deluxe)-sn: 489 - sold
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 02:56 PM
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Iíve had this happen on a couple of different Hondaís, including the CTX. And what Iíve found (when I pay attention to what Iím doing) is, the 4-5 false neutral problem starts back at 1-2. If you donít get a good, solid upshift down in the early gears, I found it often manifests itself between 4 and 5. Most times it just doesnít go into 5th fully, but Iíve also had a few times where it goes in and then pops out. This almost always happened when I got too casual and lackadaisical (i.e., sloppy) about shifting, almost to the point that I sometimes knew when a bad 4-5 shift was going to happen.

I found that Ďloading upí from the very first upshift pretty much eliminated this. By that, I mean put a little upward pressure on the shifter before pulling in the clutch, then be sure to give it a solid upward push into each gear. Kind of like making a mental note to solidly thunk into each gear.

Hopefully thatís all your problem is and not something mechanical.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-12-2019, 07:49 PM
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Follow Sleepngbear’s advice on loading the shifter before disengaging the clutch and this will give you a more positive shift. Just a slight up pressure is all it takes.I do this myself. It could also be your shifter linkage needs adjustment or lubrication, or both. I do most of my own maintenance work and keep a log so I don’t miss things. I really don’t trust others to do work on my bikes. It’s my life on the line not theirs.
Just put the bike on the centerstand if you have one installed, or sidestwnd if not. Then check to see if the shifter linkage is loose and has a lot of play, or is stiff and hard to move. This will give you an idea where to start. If it looks and feels OK then try the above advice on shifting and see if that helps. Let us know what you find.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-13-2019, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. I will check as you have suggested. Good to hear it is a common or easily solved problem. Don't want to lose my right to brag that this motorcycle requires nothing but routine maintenance!



I have not mastered the art of preloading. When I try, I shift before pulling in the clutch. I always blame it on my boot.
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Bruce B
Sequim, WA
Honda Shadow - didn't keep it long enough to recall year.
89 Goldwing 1500
Yamaha Vstar 1100 - again not long enough to recall
05 Victory Kingpin Anniversary 1500
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-20-2019, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Good news. Bad news.

The good news - the shift lever mechanism appears intact with no play in the linkage nor evidence of a newly exposed area that would show some movement in that linkage.

The bad news - the shift lever mechanism appears intact, leading me back to my technique as the cause. Thus I must modify my methods, which means demonstrating some flexibility in my approach and effort. I can't recall the last time I demonstrated flexibility in my body or my mind, but there you have it.

Thanks for your help. Now the real work begins.
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Bruce B
Sequim, WA
Honda Shadow - didn't keep it long enough to recall year.
89 Goldwing 1500
Yamaha Vstar 1100 - again not long enough to recall
05 Victory Kingpin Anniversary 1500
14 Honda CTX1300 Deluxe Red with farkles.

Plus British Columbia, Canada
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-20-2019, 12:54 PM
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Just adding to the conversation: Happens to me too, very rarely, and now that I think about it, it seems like Sleepingbear hit it on the head. It never really occurred to me, but it happened to me a couple of days ago when I was trying to find the best-feeling gear after starting out from a stop sign on a hill. First-to-second felt a little... off. Same with second-to-third and third-to-fourth. While I was trying to figure out if I wanted to be in fourth or fifth, I hit neutral. What do they call that in in flying...? Series of unfortunate factors? In retrospect, that seems to describe the few times I've experienced it. If you've checked everything and it seems fine, try switching boots for a few rides to see if it makes a difference, maybe?

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post #8 of 8 Old 07-21-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane View Post
If you've checked everything and it seems fine, try switching boots for a few rides to see if it makes a difference, maybe?

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried switching boots, but I wobbled when I walked

Bruce B
Sequim, WA
Honda Shadow - didn't keep it long enough to recall year.
89 Goldwing 1500
Yamaha Vstar 1100 - again not long enough to recall
05 Victory Kingpin Anniversary 1500
14 Honda CTX1300 Deluxe Red with farkles.

Plus British Columbia, Canada
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