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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't heard much chatter about this in awhile and thought I'd toss my $.02 in again.

I have had a recurring issue with 1-2 shift and ending up in Neutral. I have given up trying to figure that out.

A few things I have noticed as I reach 1000 miles on this bike.

1. After the 1st oil change I noticed shifting actually got WORSE.
I did use real motorcycle oil (synthetic of course) and the correct grade.

Shifting feels notch and un-smooth as it was prior to the 1st oil change.
I also notice now, I am missing the higher shift (10% of the time) as some of you have been mentioning.

Anytime I changed my oil in my last bike (Suzuki V-Strom DL1000) shifting always improved and felt nice and smooth.

...I am at a loss here. It's been in the upper 80s here and the engine is always hot, but shifting stinks even first starting out. I am debating trying a thicker oil since the service manual claims a different viscosity can be used based on climate. It doesn't forbid one SAE weight vs another. Just recommends 10w-30 as a normal oil.

Wondering if anyone has any input in this. I can't stand a notchy gearbox.

:350x700px-LL-66dd6d
 

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Next oil change try dino oil and not synthetic. From what I've been reading here it seems many have put in synthetic of various viscosities/grades and now have shifting problems. My experience after the first oil change is that shifting remained the same. I rarely miss the 1-2 shift (maybe 4-5 times at the most in the last 1800 miles) and have never missed the other shifts higher up. I used Chevron Havoline 10w-30 dino oil (red bottle, NOT resource or energy conserving). At the time this was the only oil at Walmart I could find that matched exactly the specs Honda recommended other than the JASO. It was, however, SN so that is equivalent.
 

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This is what I used, except mine is 10w-30. 5qt bottle. Labelled as for High Mileage vehicles. Only stuff I could find on the shelf (at the time) that did not state resource or energy conserving. I am thinking more and more that last part is most important in this engine. Also this oil cost less than most other oils that I have used in the past. This bottle is just the right amount for the oil/filter change. I ended up with about a quarter of a quart left!

 

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A few things I have noticed as I reach 1000 miles on this bike.

1. After the 1st oil change I noticed shifting actually got WORSE.
Although my issue is still mostly between 4-5, I also noticed that it got worse after the first oil change. In fact it only started happening after the first oil change -- It never happened before that. It's very strange that sometimes, no matter how hard I kick it up, it just does not want to go all the way into gear. Downshifting, I barely need to touch it and it slides right in; upshifting sometimes is just a chore. It does take some of the joy out of riding when I have to consciously think about how I'm shifting -- haven't had that on any of my last 3 or 4 bikes. I'm definitely going to bring it up when it goes in for the 4000 mile service, and I'll ask that they don't put in synthetic oil as well. And I'll see if they can adjust the shifter pedal down about 1/2" or so, too -- I still think that could have something to do with it. I had a similar issue years ago on another bike after I changed the seat, and adjusting the pedal eliminated it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Although my issue is still mostly between 4-5, I also noticed that it got worse after the first oil change. In fact it only started happening after the first oil change -- It never happened before that. It's very strange that sometimes, no matter how hard I kick it up, it just does not want to go all the way into gear. Downshifting, I barely need to touch it and it slides right in; upshifting sometimes is just a chore. It does take some of the joy out of riding when I have to consciously think about how I'm shifting -- haven't had that on any of my last 3 or 4 bikes. I'm definitely going to bring it up when it goes in for the 4000 mile service, and I'll ask that they don't put in synthetic oil as well. And I'll see if they can adjust the shifter pedal down about 1/2" or so, too -- I still think that could have something to do with it. I had a similar issue years ago on another bike after I changed the seat, and adjusting the pedal eliminated it.
These comments nailed it but.... :confused:

...I guess I will wait and see what your dealer says.
 

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I'm running Honda HP4 oil and I still see the 1N2 problem a few times per week.

I have noticed a hard stop in N sometimes. The lever is at the top and will not move any further, yet the bike is in N instead of 2. The only way to get to 2 is to release the pressure on the lever and do it again. This happens on both bikes.

It occurred a few times on the red bike before I did the initial oil change. And it's happened one time after the oil change.

I've not had any issues in the higher gears. My second ST1100 used to hop out of fifth a few times per year. My 2012 Gold Wing did it a couple of times. I ran HP4 in those bikes also.

My blue bike seemed to run less smooth after the first oil change. One thing I've noticed on both bikes is that the engines felt smoother with the shorty windshields. I don't know if that's real or just that my senses are a bit overwhelmed when I use the shorty.
 

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I'm running Honda HP4 oil and I still see the 1N2 problem a few times per week...
Do you use the Gold bottle? That is a synthetic blend. I still am wondering if any amount of synthetic is bad for this transmission. Any synthetic is a bit more slippery than regular dino oil. Even Honda's own documentation on their oils states that their synthetic has "lower fluid friction" than dino oils.
The HP4S is full synthetic and is much slipperier than dino oils. Good for racing and high stress per Honda's own recommendation. Implied is not quite so good for street/touring.
HP4M is a synthetic blend and has Moly, a friction modifier that is bad for the clutch. DON'T USE THIS OIL IN THE CTX. Only good use for this oil is in very high stress operation... lots of redline and lugging.
GN4 is full dino oil and may be the preferred choice for our CTX bikes if the vast majority of riding is commuting, street, low stress.

Was reading in this document from Honda. I know it was written in 2009 but should not be much different than now.

I really wonder what oil the dealers use. I am betting they stick with ONE oil for all their oil changes in all the bikes they service. Probably the HP4 gold bottle. For sure which ever one costs them less.

I've used full synthetic in all my bikes in the last 15 years but from what I am reading here I think for this bike I'll stick to the Chevron Havoline High Mileage 10w-30 or 5w-30 (for winter time) in the red bottle as I showed above.
I've also had the 1-2 shift to N in all my bikes. But that has happened only once or twice a month of constant every day riding, same as with my CTX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have noticed a hard stop in N sometimes. The lever is at the top and will not move any further, yet the bike is in N instead of 2. The only way to get to 2 is to release the pressure on the lever and do it again. This happens on both bikes.
This couldn't describe my issue any better.

:smileygarden_de_ban

...I kinda have to shift twice to go from 1 into 2 more often than not.

In defense of the oil, I did have this issue prior to my 1st oil change.
It has become WORSE since then and the gearbox feels notchy now.

I am using 100% Motorcycle oil (albeit synthetic).
 

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The oil spec issue was bothering me to the point I just had to look it up in the service manual. The OWNERS manual really doesn't say what Honda oil to use other than the JASO T 903 spec, grade MA. The SERVICE manual states on page 3-10 the same for the JASO spec/grade and also specifically recommends Honda GN4 oil. It does say "or equivalent" but I'm still not convinced synthetic is indicated here with the shifting getting worse after the first oil change for some of you. Honda HP4 is not mentioned. Again, I'd find out what oil the dealer is putting in these bikes. This one may be much more picky about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The oil spec issue was bothering me to the point I just had to look it up in the service manual. The OWNERS manual really doesn't say what Honda oil to use other than the JASO T 903 spec, grade MA. The SERVICE manual states on page 3-10 the same for the JASO spec/grade and also specifically recommends Honda GN4 oil. It does say "or equivalent" but I'm still not convinced synthetic is indicated here with the shifting getting worse after the first oil change for some of you. Honda HP4 is not mentioned. Again, I'd find out what oil the dealer is putting in these bikes. This one may be much more picky about it.
I understand your point and perspective and appreciate it.
However, I can't believe synthetic would be doing this.

The belief that synthetic is more "slippery" is a misunderstood statement:

1. Synthetic motor oil is too slippery. It causes roller bearings to slide instead of roll, and that causes the bearings to fail.

Fact or Fiction? – Fiction

This myth is very popular among the motorcycle crowd, and the roots of this myth are based in the misapplication of passenger car motor oil. The power density of motorcycle engines place greater shear forces on the motor oil than passenger car engines do. As a result, most passenger car motor oils are not appropriate for use in a motorcycle engine. This is especially true of passenger car motor oils optimized for passenger-car fuel economy. These oils are the least shear stable, and should not be used in motorcycle engines.

Failures in motorcycle engines have long been blamed on synthetic oil. However, the problem was is not the synthetic base oil, it’s the fact the synthetic oil is not formulated for a motorcycle engine. A properly-formulated synthetic motorcycle oil will provide superior performance in a motorcycle engine. Likewise, a properly-formulated synthetic passenger car motor oil will provide superior performance in a passenger car engine as well.


...Now, with that in mind guys, I still can't explain the problem and willing to admit that I'm not sure synthetic isn't part of the problem...but I'm not sure what is, since it seems I didn't have this bad of an issue prior to the oil change.

Sure seems like oil could be a reasonable culprit.
I suppose I could dump some regular MC dino oil in there and trial it.
I have nothing to loose but a few dollars and some time

:350x700px-LL-66dd6d
 

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I agree that to say synthetic is too slippery is incorrect. I was referring to what Honda said of their oils, HP4S and HP4M specifically. And I did also say that all synth is a bit more slippery than straight dino, but that is mainly due to synth being able to last longer than dino and retain it's lubricating properties longer, not that it is too slippery (poor choice of words on my part). I wouldn't be surprised to find that the higher stress motorcycle motors put on oil is not unlike the stresses put on oil by big diesel engines in some ways, but then different too in most ways. That is why something like Rotella-T full synth has worked well with many motorcycles. I generally like full synthetic but if it's going to affect shifting on my motorcycle I'll stick with what I have.
I'm just wondering if the dealers are using HP4S or even HP4 where they might need to be using GN4 instead? Don't know enough about it. I would also agree it is worth a little trial to see if using GN4 or the Havoline high mileage that I mentioned or something similar would make a difference. Like you said, it's not that costly to do to find out.
 

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interesting that there is an issue. The gearbox I believe is the same as the ST1300, so I would think any bugs had been worked out long ago. maybe it's a clutch issue?
 

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I haven't heard much chatter about this in awhile and thought I'd toss my $.02 in again.

I have had a recurring issue with 1-2 shift and ending up in Neutral. I have given up trying to figure that out.

A few things I have noticed as I reach 1000 miles on this bike.

1. After the 1st oil change I noticed shifting actually got WORSE.
I did use real motorcycle oil (synthetic of course) and the correct grade.

Shifting feels notch and un-smooth as it was prior to the 1st oil change.
I also notice now, I am missing the higher shift (10% of the time) as some of you have been mentioning.

Anytime I changed my oil in my last bike (Suzuki V-Strom DL1000) shifting always improved and felt nice and smooth.

...I am at a loss here. It's been in the upper 80s here and the engine is always hot, but shifting stinks even first starting out. I am debating trying a thicker oil since the service manual claims a different viscosity can be used based on climate. It doesn't forbid one SAE weight vs another. Just recommends 10w-30 as a normal oil.

Wondering if anyone has any input in this. I can't stand a notchy gearbox.

:350x700px-LL-66dd6d
I think you may way to stay away from the synthetic. I was talking to my dealer about the bike before I'd picked it up and he recommended against using synthetic in this bike. He said if I did want to use synthetic to only use a blend due to the oil also lubricating the transmission / clutch......

I have since picked up my bike and while I've missed a couple of shifts I'd attribute it more to my getting used to the bike that to the bike itself....
 

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FWIW: The last two bikes I owned,a 99 Yamaha RSV, which BTW, I sold with 200,000 miles on it and was STILL running like new,and a 2010 Triumph Thunderbird which I'm currently still drivin ,which only has 74,000 miles on it right now,were both changed to Dino oil by me,where synthetic was recommended.The motors in both bikes were very noisy and the shifting,difficult.Sound familiar?? Now I'm NOT tellin anyone what to do,but after getting some advice from another gentleman who tried this,and was successful,I too switched from synthetic,and started using 15/40 Shell Rotella T,with 8 oz. of STP added into the mix.And after following his advice, the motors were nice and quiet,and the transmissions shifted smooth as silk.
I change the oil and filter at the 3000 mile mark. And you can always go back to synthetic oil [which I'll NEVER use again in ANYTHING I own] if you're not happy with it.So now ya have an alternative to try,"IF" you want!! Dave!!!
 

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^^^ Thanks, Dave. The only problem now is, with my chronic CRS remembering to ask for dino oil next time I go in for a change. :D
 

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Maybe

This is what I used, except mine is 10w-30. 5qt bottle. Labelled as for High Mileage vehicles. Only stuff I could find on the shelf (at the time) that did not state resource or energy conserving. I am thinking more and more that last part is most important in this engine. Also this oil cost less than most other oils that I have used in the past. This bottle is just the right amount for the oil/filter change. I ended up with about a quarter of a quart left!

I'm wondering if the issue Really boils down to the use of High Mileage oil. Those typicaly have addatives to account for (and help seal) wear on older friction surfaces and in some case seals. Totally not necessary nor a good idea with new engine and drivetrain components (like the clutch) . Plus I have discussed this topic (Synth vs dino) a few times with a former coworker (a Mechanical engineer) who was also invloved in auto racing industry and served as a consultant for them. He had been involved with a lot of oil ( dino vs synth) testing including destructive testing. He said you DO want to get to using synthetic for a number of reasons. He he also warned that it is not a good idea (though can be done) to convert to synthetic (prematurely) on new equipement until at least two changes with Dino oil and at least 5000 miles. If the equipment was not originally delivered with Synthetic by OEM, then it needs to have wear surfaces broken in with dino for some time else they will not reach optimum performance (and long term lifespan) or it can take many many more miles to get there.

I changed mine at ~ 600+ with Honda GN4 and Honda filter. My dealer gives me 20% on Honda accessories and service products which helps. This also could assist in any warranty issues since I have records of buying exact OEM fluid and filter from OEM dealer. But even if I didn't get a discount, why risk degradation of a multi thousand dollar purchase/investment just to save just 10 or a bit more bucks. Putting it in perspective, that is like saving $'s on 1/2 case of beer or similar to risk degradation? Saving $10+ on a $15,000 - $17,500+ (before accessories) investments potential future perfomance and possible lifespan??? I'd get the High mileage stuff OUT ASAP, do a change (including filter), and repeat in 100 or so miles to get any residual out. Then see it the problem pursists before I spoke to the dealer... in case the actions performed with wrong fluid might void the warranty.

Lastly, I too have noted a few (and only a few) mis-shifts. What I also noted was it tended to occur with only one of the 4 various boots I ride with. It occurred with one of the two safety boots I have from former work. My other two boots are M/C riding boots. Being more delibraet with teh offending boots seems to have solved it.
Just My 2 Cents.
 
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I'm wondering if the issue Really boils down to the use of High Mileage oil. Those typicaly have addatives to account for (and help seal) wear on older friction surfaces and in some case seals. Totally not necessary nor a good idea with new engine and drivetrain components (like the clutch) . Plus I have discussed this topic (Synth vs dino) a few times with a former coworker (a Mechanical engineer) who was also invloved in auto racing industry and served as a consultant for them. He had been involved with a lot of oil ( dino vs synth) testing including destructive testing. He said you DO want to get to using synthetic for a number of reasons. He he also warned that it is not a good idea (though can be done) to convert to synthetic (prematurely) on new equipement until at least two changes with Dino oil and at least 5000 miles. If the equipment was not originally delivered with Synthetic by OEM, then it needs to have wear surfaces broken in with dino for some time else they will not reach optimum performance (and long term lifespan) or it can take many many more miles to get there.

I changed mine at ~ 600+ with Honda GN4 and Honda filter. My dealer gives me 20% on Honda accessories and service products which helps. This also could assist in any warranty issues since I have records of buying exact OEM fluid and filter from OEM dealer. But even if I didn't get a discount, why risk degradation of a multi thousand dollar purchase/investment just to save just 10 or a bit more bucks. Putting it in perspective, that is like saving $'s on 1/2 case of beer or similar to risk degradation? Saving $10+ on a $15,000 - $17,500+ (before accessories) investments potential future perfomance and possible lifespan??? I'd get the High mileage stuff OUT ASAP, do a change (including filter), and repeat in 100 or so miles to get any residual out. Then see it the problem pursists before I spoke to the dealer... in case the actions performed with wrong fluid might void the warranty.

Lastly, I too have noted a few (and only a few) mis-shifts. What I also noted was it tended to occur with only one of the 4 various boots I ride with. It occurred with one of the two safety boots I have from former work. My other two boots are M/C riding boots. Being more delibraet with teh offending boots seems to have solved it.
Just My 2 Cents.
Thanks for the feed back. Except I'm not having an issue, others here in this thread are.

I always amazes me that many experts with engines/transmissions, especially from the racing industry, have as many opinions about oil as there are experts. So far one of the most balanced things I've read on the subject is that what expert mechanics use in racing engines is not always what should be used in street vehicle engines, since those engines don't have the same stresses as in racing. I do agree with, and have read many times, that you don't want to convert to synthetic too soon. This seems to be one of the very few points on which most if not all the experts seem to agree.

I've also read that oils like Shell Rotella-T full synthetic is mentioned (by Shell) as being a good oil for motorcycles. This is predominantly what I have used in all my past bikes. However, Rotella-T full synth is resource conserving, and thus is specifically banned by Honda for this bike. This could be a warranty issue for clutch/shifting problems. As I've said many times before I am still looking into that. But until I read otherwise, no oil that is resource/energy conserving will be put in my bike. The high mileage oil I used has deposit inhibitors, much like most other oils but maybe a little more, so it keeps parts cleaner and prevents deposits. Deposits cause wear, and if you reduce deposits you will reduce wear. It is formulated to prevent oil consumption. I do know that older, high mileage vehicles tend to use/burn oil more than newer vehicles. It is not specifically defined how it does that. Perhaps it has a higher flash point so as not to burn as easily. If that is the case then that issue is moot for our application. I don't know.
 

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The 15/40 Shell Rotella T that I'm using is NOT synthetic oil.It's Dino or regular oil.As I stated,my motors,[more so with my TBird], were [past tense] bangin away really good,ESPECIALLY on a hot day and or when in stop and go traffic.So I had to do somethin before I started pickin engine parts up off the street.And usually when ya hear metallic noises comin from a MOTOR,you can bet your bippy that some kind of internal damage is taking place.

But again,I'm NOT tellin anyone what to run or do with their machines,only what I have learned thru experience and done with mine.So it's YOUR choice as to what you use in your machine.Now you can continue using the synthetic until you're out of warantee, as long as your motor is NOT bangin away,or change to somethin else,again,your choice.Remember,my idea is only a suggestion if motor noises are detected,which the stealer will usually tell ya " THEY ALL DO THAT",that is, until it's out of warantee and then they stick it to ya.

And I did get into a pretty good pissin contest with the engineers, who also own a Tbird and frequent the same Triumph site I do, about this synthetic verses dino oil topic.So all I did was ask em,who's got the most mileage,"ACROSS THE BOARD" on his Tbird and "WITHOUT" any motor,trans,or clutch problems? And the answer was: That lil ole trouble maker,ME!! lol lol End of story!! lol lol Carry on gentlemen! Dave!!!
 

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I usually like "dino". With wet clutches things can be annoying. If the clutch isn't fully disengaging that could make it hard for the gears to mesh, which results in being unable to shift.

But I think it's definitely time to bring it in and get this on record as a warranty service issue. There's no such thing as a company that has a 0% failure rate.
 
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