Okay so my 01 Sabre seems to have issues with downshift whether the engine is...

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Okay, so my '01 Sabre seems to have issues with downshift, whether the engine is cold or warm. On decel, I squeeze the clutch lever all the way and then tap the foot shift lever to downshift like normal. The problem is that sometimes I have to hold down-pressure with my toe and slightly re-engage the clutch (release it back into the friction zone) so the transmission engages, otherwise the foot shift lever "catches" or "hangs" and I can't complete the downshift. This especially shows up when downshifting past neutral to first. Also sometimes when starting cold, I have to slightly engage the clutch when going from neutral to first, just like when I decel. (Seems to be mostly related to going from neutral to first, but I have experienced it some with all gears on decel.) Is this a possible oil issue, or maybe a clutch issue? Or is this "normal?" I admit that I don't have a lot of knowledge about wet clutches, and this is my first bike so I don't have a standard to compare to. (Edited to hopefully clarify what is happening.)

%d comments
  • You don't completely engage the couch ?

  • You have to engage the clutch for ALL smooth shifting. Up or down. Why would you not?

  • Clutch, damn auto correct

  • I'm confused. The clutch lever disengages the clutch. Are you saying you have to release it into its friction zone for smooth shifting? I have played around with shifting my bike without using the clutch, and it will do so smoothly, but only at engine RPMs that are low, and the engine seems to work best in the middle RPM range. So usually if I'm cruising slowly... No clutch.

    However, I have not worked on the bike so I have nothing to compare to either except for cars, and fresh gear oil definitely helped them shift more smoothly. If your bike has high miles, change it and see.

  • Bobby, you are correct. I have to move the clutch back into the friction zone (engage it) to shift. Bike only has 11k miles.

  • You're reading my mind.

    I look at it this way.

    A container of oil is cheap.

    Your bike is an 01.

    People change engine oil but regularly neglect transmissions and gearboxes.

    Try it! And I'm curious, so please post your results.

  • The same oil is used for engine, clutch and gear box on the v-twin isn't it? All one reservoir/fill location? The only separate gear lube location I know is the rear shaft drive hub...?

  • It's been doing this since I bought it from the sole PO, and fresh oil doesn't seem to have helped much.

  • No idea. I got mine in June from a friend who had it serviced. I will be doing mine soon so...

    And since Engine oil is even cheaper than gear oil, I hope so...

  • What oil are you using? You can't just throw any oil in it.

  • It was doing this prior to the oil change, and I've only ridden it once since the change. I hang out in the Shadow forum, and followed recommendations I found in their permanent link regarding oil:

    http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/72-technical-disc ussion/70331-oilology.html

    I used a Shell Rotella 15w-40

  • Your fine with the Rotella its a good oil. I would make sure clutch is adjusted properly and may sound pointless but pull the shifter linkage and clean it the regrease and might take care of it. Sure won't hurt any to do it then go from there

  • Is there an oil to AVOID? Standard off-the-shelf 10w-40 I'm assuming is bad? I think the API labels have changed since the article was posted on the Shadow forum so it's harder to tell if the oil has friction-reducing additives in it now.

  • David Homan will double-check the clutch adjustment for sure, and look at the shifter linkage. Thanks for the tips.

  • On the vtx pages guys that have issues with shifter its usually the pivot points on the linkage need cleaned regreased.

  • I've ran Rotella T6 for a few years but recently seen at walmart they carry valvoline for motorcycles so switched to it since i run valvoline in all my other vehicles.

  • Awesome! That will save a few bucks next time!