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Seasonably Uncool
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

I just put 700 miles on my new Street Bob and have for the life of me not been able to put the bike in neutral coming from second gear. No matter how light you tap the shift lever it always snaps into first gear. It´s no problem shifting up from first, but when I coast to a stop I like to put the bike in neutral without first having to kick it into first gear and back up to neutral.

I have ridden dozens of Harleys and other bikes and while it can be hard to find neutral sometimes, I have never had a bike so stubbornly refuse to shift to neutral from second!

The dealership said that it was quite normal (do they ever say anything else??), and that the automatic primary chain tensioner would make it harder and that the bike wasn´t really broken in yadayadayada.

My point of view is:
The manual says you can go from second to neutral automatic tensioner or no.
Any Harley I´ve ever ridden let you do it, even brand new.
It annoys me.

Any views on this? Anybody have the same problem? Anyone have any tips on whether this can be fixed with a clutch adjustment or anything like that?

Any help would be appreciated!

BTW the Bob is a blast in all other respects and the shift thing is just a nuisance.

Ride Safe
Sponk
 

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I can't find neutral from 2nd either on my 06 Super Glide Custom but it doesn't bother me as I automatically go down to 1st and then back up. It's just habit that way for me with manual transmissions.

In my Cobra I always shift to first at a light but before I take off I almost always bring the shifter handle down to 2nd and back to 1st while pressing against the rail...I don't know why but I just do it and it reconfirms that I'm in 1st which is obvious anyways.
 

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Total Nutcase
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2,691 Posts
It's annoying, but mine is the same way. It's very hard to find neutral. I've got 1800 miles on my '06 now and it doesn't get better when they break-in. You do get more skilled at it with practice. Other than that, the new 6-speed is the smoothest shifting tranny I have ever felt. I love it.
 

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Banned
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Harley trannys are DESIGNED to go into neutral from 1st gear. While you may be able to "find" neutral from 2nd gear it's usually a pain. It's a safety issue as far as the engineers are concerned....ie; if you are downshifting because you need the extra pull you could accidentally hit neutral when you were looking for 2nd. Then you could be in for a real problem when all of a sudden you have nothing going to the rear wheel. Take the time to do some research and you will find that what I said in the first sentence is correct...it's a design feature of the gearbox. It's not meant to be a nuisance....it's meant to be a safety feature.

Semper Fi....and enjoy that Road Bob
Steve....Pensacola
USMC 1972 - 2003
 

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Premium Member
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710 Posts
Not sure how big of a part the transmission fluid plays in the problems your having with your 06' trans, but I use Redline Shockproof Heavy in my transmission and have no problem ever easily locating neutral from 1st or 2nd gear.
 

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UltraMan
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104 Posts
I've always had that problem with my Harleys until I put a Baker DD 6 speed in my bike. Neutral is easy to find from second gear now.
 

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Knower of Stuff
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Up through at least "99, all Harleys, except the XLH, could only be put into nuertal from first. Apparently Harley has changed that, but maybe the old ways were harder to change than Harley thought. Both my bikes have to be in 1st to find neutral. No big deal to me. When I pull up to a stop I always shift down to first anyway. If the light is long, I might put it into neutral, depending on traffic conditions, but I never go to neutral without evaluating wheather I might need to get out of the way of some idiot in a cage first.
Even when I park it, it usually is left in 1st unless it is on very flat ground.
 

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I had some difficulty as well on my '06 Super Glide. No biggie to me. I've learned it takes lighter tap up from first. Getting much better at it. I don't try to find neutral from second anyway. I always go to first,
 

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Seasonably Uncool
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Discussion Starter #9
Hey guys!
Thanks for the replies!

It seems that it is in fact pretty common, that you can´t shift to neutral from second after all. Hmmm.
It just seems odd that it worked on all other Harleys I´ve ever been on, including Dynas. I know it can be tricky, especially when your standing still, but not impossible...
I guess I´ll just have to get used to shifting to neutral through first...

Ride Safe
Sponk
 

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Total Nutcase
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2,691 Posts
steveusmc said:
Harley trannys are DESIGNED to go into neutral from 1st gear. While you may be able to "find" neutral from 2nd gear it's usually a pain. It's a safety issue as far as the engineers are concerned....ie; if you are downshifting because you need the extra pull you could accidentally hit neutral when you were looking for 2nd. Then you could be in for a real problem when all of a sudden you have nothing going to the rear wheel. Take the time to do some research and you will find that what I said in the first sentence is correct...it's a design feature of the gearbox. It's not meant to be a nuisance....it's meant to be a safety feature.

Semper Fi....and enjoy that Road Bob
Steve....Pensacola
USMC 1972 - 2003
That's a strange safety feature. Not doubting what you say is true, just thinking about it and wondering why it's less safe to hit neutral going from 2nd to 1st, than it is to hit neutral going from 1st to 2nd. Imagine pulling away from a light, looking to merge, 1st to 2nd...oppps.. neutral! It's never happened to me, neutral is always hard to find either way.... just seems like a weird safety feature.
 

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JamieWG said:
That's a strange safety feature. Not doubting what you say is true, just thinking about it and wondering why it's less safe to hit neutral going from 2nd to 1st, than it is to hit neutral going from 1st to 2nd. Imagine pulling away from a light, looking to merge, 1st to 2nd...oppps.. neutral! It's never happened to me, neutral is always hard to find either way.... just seems like a weird safety feature.
Yeah, I agree, and other bike manufacturers have no difficulty going from 2nd to N.
 

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bhscpa said:
I've always had that problem with my Harleys until I put a Baker DD 6 speed in my bike. Neutral is easy to find from second gear now.

Baker recommends Redline Shockproof Heavy. What oil is in your Baker DD6?
 

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There's two important aspects regarding difficult (or impossible) neutral selection.
Firstly, the 06 model Dynas have a slower ramp angle on the clutch throwout mechanism. This means that the price you pay for a lighter clutch lever action is a reduction in the distance the clutch plates are separated. This translates into drag, most prominent in new, or old badly setup clutches.
Why this affects second gear only may be down to back cutting of the gear dogs - made worse by the aforementioned drag. Back cutting may not be present on bottom gear due to the need for robustness. Or even to make it possible to select neutral from first come what may!
Have you tried slipping it into neutral before you stop?
 

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I have lately unintentionaly shifted from 1st to Neutral while in traffic a few times. Not too fun. I've noticed it's happened when I'm gingerly accelerating, the biggest tell tales (other than the Neutral indicator) are the lack of the loud "clunk" I normaly hear when shifting, and the shift lever having little to no resistance when lifting up (almost like the gears are lined up- as if being able to shift without the clutch engaged).

BTW the clunk I am describing is the normal sound I hear from mine and any other Harley within an earshot- shifting gears.
 

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My 04 goes from 2cnd to neutral easily. I like to build up a little speed going down my street in second and kick it into neutral and coast the last 100 feet or so to my driveway with the engine off.
 

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Seasonably Uncool
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Discussion Starter #19
Willow said:
Have you tried slipping it into neutral before you stop?
Yeah, just about every time I stop. It won´t do it from second.

What you say could be true, but I´m also wondering if whatever caused the recall on the 06 Dynas has something to do with the problem. It seems like a strange coincidence that both are in connection with neutral selection.

Anyway, it seems like just my luck, that the first time I ever buy a brand new vehicle in my life, it is recalled a couple of weeks later...

Oh, well.

Ride Safe
Sponk
 

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JamieWG said:
That's a strange safety feature. Not doubting what you say is true, just thinking about it and wondering why it's less safe to hit neutral going from 2nd to 1st, than it is to hit neutral going from 1st to 2nd. Imagine pulling away from a light, looking to merge, 1st to 2nd...oppps.. neutral! It's never happened to me, neutral is always hard to find either way.... just seems like a weird safety feature.
The question was asked. I answered with the information I have found doing research. Think about what you said here. You can create any kind of scenario you want. We were talking about why it's hard to find neutral from 2nd gear. The "answer" is that the transmission is DESIGNED to go into neutral from 1st gear...not from second.

How come you can't go straight from 4th gear to 2nd without hitting the shifter twice?

Semper Fi,
Steve...Pensacola
USMC 1972 - 2003
 
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