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Hi! I hot my first VTX1300 yesterday and I love it. I am a new rider and not at all technically gifted. So here’s a question on the clutch: when going from neutral to first gear, I can ho back to neutral, back to first, back to neutral etc. several times in a row without letting loose of the clutch. However, then suddenly it won’t go into first gear unless I let go of the clutch and squeeze it again (and doing it this way always works). Is this normal? If not, what could the issue be? Thanks! Best regards from Brussels - Mathijs
 

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Mathijs - Welcome to the VTXOA.

The VTX transmission does not have synchronizers.
Tabs on one gear slide into a notched area of an adjacent gear to lock the two together.
There times when the tabs and notches do not line up.
Quite often when sitting still I have to roll the VTX a small amount to allow gears to mesh.
If you do not downshift before coming to a stop, you will find that the tabs and notches do not line up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mathijs - Welcome to the VTXOA.

The VTX transmission does not have synchronizers.
Tabs on one gear slide into a notched area of an adjacent gear to lock the two together.
There times when the tabs and notches do not line up.
Quite often when sitting still I have to roll the VTX a small amount to allow gears to mesh.
If you do not downshift before coming to a stop, you will find that the tabs and notches do not line up.
Thanks! Just to clarify: I experienced this when sitting on the bike, standing still, and trying to go from neutral to 1st and back a few times in a row. Yet from what I understand, this does not mean anything is broken. Cool.
 

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Welcome to the VTXOA!! As far as I can recall, you are only our second active Belgian member. Might be others, but only Fastspek (with his cool megacat memorial avatar) comes to mind. Hope your bike gives you many years and kms of great service.
 

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Welcome to the VTXOA!! As far as I can recall, you are only our second active Belgian member. Might be others, but only faspek (with his cool megacat memorial avatar) comes to mind. Hope your bike gives you many years and kms of great service.
Thanks and happy to represent Belgium here - and The Netherlands, as I am a Dutch national 😉
 

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You should always be able to slide it into neutral, regardless. If you can't get it into first it means things got ever so slightly out of line. Dogs have to slide into slots and didn't stay lined up. If you release the clutch, it gives things a spin. If you then put it into first, if it clunks a bit, it means things were still spinning in there. This us normal and not an issue. Every time you shift, while riding, things are spinning at different speeds, the transmission is built this way. With my 1800, it often would not slip into first. Quickly giving the clutch a quick blip would get things spinning and it would clunk into first.


As Chuck mentioned, this isn't an exercise one wants to get into the habit of doing continuously. First, neutral, first, neutral .... My guess is that you were getting a feel for the trans and discovered this behavior ... which is normal for motorcycle transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You should always be able to slide it into neutral, regardless. If you can't get it into first it means things got ever so slightly out of line. Dogs have to slide into slots and didn't stay lined up. If you release the clutch, it gives things a spin. If you then put it into first, if it clunks a bit, it means things were still spinning in there. This us normal and not an issue. Every time you shift, while riding, things are spinning at different speeds, the transmission is built this way. With my 1800, it often would not slip into first. Quickly giving the clutch a quick blip would get things spinning and it would clunk into first.


As Chuck mentioned, this isn't an exercise one wants to get into the habit of doing continuously. First, neutral, first, neutral .... My guess is that you were getting a feel for the trans and discovered this behavior ... which is normal for motorcycle transmissions.
Thanks so much! This is exactly what I was doing, and I just wasn’t sure this was normal. You put my mind at ease, and I look forward to getting to know the machine better when the weather gets better. Have a good day!
 

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Stay in gear at stops

Welcome to the forum.


Something new riders often don't even consider is their vulnerability for getting rear ended at a stop. In a car, it's just a 'fender bender' but on a motorcycle it could mean a major back injury or worse to be rear ended. My point being that an experienced rider will take a few measures at every stop to ensure they are prepared for avoiding a rear end scenario. One of the measures is to never stop directly behind and in the middle of a vehicle, but rather position yourself to the left or rightmost of the vehicle in front to allow yourself ability to pull up and out of the path of an oncoming 'rear ender'. The other measure is to continually scan your rear mirrors for approaching vehicles to ensure they are slowing/stopping. The last measure is to keep you bike in first gear with hands on the controls to enable pulling out of the path of a potential rear end scenario when you see it. If you are first in line at a stop, stop far enough back to allow yourself to pull forward to the right/left enough to avoid a 'rear ender' without pulling into oncoming traffic.


Motorcycles that get rear ended typically were sitting oblivious to the threat coming up behind and are in neutral so that even if they see the threat they have no time to shift in gear and then pull out of the path. I never shift into neutral at a stop unless/until there is a line of stopped cars behind me and even then I'm scanning my mirrors like I'm paranoid. I've been rear ended twice while sitting at a light over the years, but fortunately it was in my truck. Some guys here in California always split the lanes and ride up to the front of the line of stopped cars just to ensure they are not vulnerable to getting rear ended. Note that even with the car in back of you stopped the car behind that car can be slammed into causing that stopped car behind you to 'domino' into you. This is what happened to me in one of my 'rear enders' wit my truck. I slowed, stopped and the guy in back did the same and the next guy slammed into the guy in back of me pushing him into me. I saw the whole thing in my mirror, but had no place to pull out of the way. On a motorcycle you're small enough to pull up out of the way if you see it happening.


Last tip: Check your manual about your clutch lever's free play adjustment. If the adjustment is too loose you'll experience issues with gear engagement. There is a lock nut at the top of the cable that you spin loose and this allows the cable to be tightened or loosened properly. I believe the free-play is supposed to be 1/4 inch— that is, only tight enough that your lever can move 1/4" toward the rider before it begins to disengage the clutch. If your free play is too off you may need to do an adjustment first at the engine connection end, then at the lever.


Good luck.
 

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Hi! I hot my first VTX1300 yesterday and I love it. I am a new rider and not at all technically gifted. So here’s a question on the clutch: when going from neutral to first gear, I can ho back to neutral, back to first, back to neutral etc. several times in a row without letting loose of the clutch. However, then suddenly it won’t go into first gear unless I let go of the clutch and squeeze it again (and doing it this way always works). Is this normal? If not, what could the issue be? Thanks! Best regards from Brussels - Mathijs
Mathijs,

Get into the habit of putting the bike in 1st gear before stopping at a stop light/sign. Last thing you want is to be in 2nd or third gear when the light turns green, its embarrassing and dangerous.
 

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Hi! I hot my first VTX1300 yesterday and I love it. I am a new rider and not at all technically gifted. So here’s a question on the clutch: when going from neutral to first gear, I can ho back to neutral, back to first, back to neutral etc. several times in a row without letting loose of the clutch. However, then suddenly it won’t go into first gear unless I let go of the clutch and squeeze it again (and doing it this way always works). Is this normal? If not, what could the issue be? Thanks! Best regards from Brussels - Mathijs
Mathijs,

Get into the habit of putting the bike in 1st gear before stopping at a stop light/sign. Last thing you want is to be in 2nd or third gear when the light turns green, its embarrassing and dangerous.
Groetjes uit Suriname.
Mijn VTX 1300R doet exact hetzelfde.
So this is normal for this type of bike!
Have fun broeder!
 
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