Honda VTX Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For anyone that has 'actual' riding experience on a bike before and after the transmission gears have been undercut:

Was it harder to shift after the undercut?????

I'm specifically talking about 1st to 2nd and 3rd to 4th.

Thank You,
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,945 Posts
You talking about rounding transmission dogs some???
I had to look it up. Found a video cleaning up the dogs.
Probably no one has done that.
 

·
Old Goat
Joined
·
25,386 Posts
Deleted:
answer not pertinent to the question..as explained below...lol
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,139 Posts
I have never heard a VTX having an issue jumping out of gear. If it is, it's likely the dogs are rounded and need to be replaced.

As Hans mentioned it's not anything I've seen mentioned on this board before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,764 Posts
sure ,, but not to a stock Honda...

for Racing Sure..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,764 Posts
,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,665 Posts
Yikes! This post shook the cobwebs. Got a kick out of the guy in the video Chuck. Anyway, take a look at your service manual. Just getting to these components requires disassembly of damn near the entire engine. Oh hell no! One thing I've learned over 50 years of working on machinery is: If you're gonna pull apart an entire WORKING engine to make some unneeded change, it's time to stop eating lunch in the spray booth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,764 Posts
Yikes! This post shook the cobwebs. Got a kick out of the guy in the video Chuck. Anyway, take a look at your service manual. Just getting to these components requires disassembly of damn near the entire engine. Oh hell no! One thing I've learned over 50 years of working on machinery is: If you're gonna pull apart an entire WORKING engine to make some unneeded change, it's time to stop eating lunch in the spray booth.
Racing or OCD.... no other reason.

random select shifting
sequential access shifting.

2 different animals ..!!
I can rebuild both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
In my original post I didn't feel the need to list the make/model of the bike transmission in question because I tried to word it as being generic in nature ("Was it harder to shift after the undercut?").

No, it is not my '02 VTX1800 with the shifting issue. My VTX shifts as smooth (or better) as the day it was born and I bought it brand new. I also have never read about transmission gear issues on this forum.

I asked the question on this forum because I know there is a huge collective of motorcycle knowledge just waiting to be tapped into with the push of a few keyboard key strokes and that that knowledge is not just limited to the Honda VTX.

The bike is an '06 Suzuki M109. A younger fella that lives 4 houses down from me bought it in the Fall of last year. He found it at a dealership online and trailered it from over a state away to his home. He wasn't allowed a test ride and he signed that piece of paper that reads 'As Is' before they loaded it up and made the trip home. Sales rep at the dealership offered up to him that the bike was in excellent condition and had no issues. Within 100 yds. to begin his maiden voyage on it he found out what 'As Is' meant. The transmission was mucked up and wouldn't stay in 2nd gear with even the gentlest coaxing. Wouldn't stay in 3rd under hard acceleration.

I didn't even know this younger fella at the time. Had never spoken to him. It was his next door neighbor (whom he was friend's with) that sic'd him on me this past Spring, to assess what the problem might be. I'm friend's with his next door neighbor (or at least, used to be, lol). So, I tried to take his bike for a shakedown test ride. I didn't make it out of our small subdivision before I turned around and took his bike back. I told him his transmission was mucked and he needed to go to a couple of dealerships and get 'estimates' on what a repair would cost. He did. One estimate was $3500 and the other estimate was $5000. I'm guessing the bike was a trade-in from the previous owner that knew all of this and probably got very little money on that trade-in because the dealership knew about the problem also.

I was shocked when he told me how much he paid for the bike. So, he rode the bike like that through the Fall and Winter just double shifting from 1st to 3rd every time. Looking through post in the TECH section of the M109 forum many many '06 to '09 M109s have suffered from transmission and clutch issues. Suzuki made one upgrade to the drive train beginning in '10 and another beginning in '11.

Replacing the damaged components with new parts would have cost minimum close to $1200 if he could have done the work himself. He couldn't. I decided I would help him out and just do the repair for him.

Pulling an engine out, disassembling it, doing the repair work and re-assembling it, and then re-installing it, has just never struck me as being complicated or hard. It's just work. Many has been the time I wish something had been brought to me before someone else 'tried' to do the repair. This is the fourth engine I have torn apart for just doing transmission repairs. It doesn't include the dozens of other teardowns to fix other issues. The other 3 instances of transmission only repairs I just bought used low mileage (5,000 miles or less...wrecked bikes) replacement transmissions from bike part re-sellers on Ebay.

According to the post on the M109 forum quite a few of the early year model 9s were able to be fixed budget-friendly by doing the gear undercuts on damaged gearsets instead of new part replacements.

I just finished buttoning this engine back up Tuesday morning. So far the cost has been $195 to undercut 2 different mating gearsets, $125 for gaskets and o-rings, $125 for a new shift drum, $80 for a new shift fork.

Anyway, that was the rest of the story if it helps anyone understand better. I did watch the linked video. It is an over-exaggeration. The amount of material removed is actually minimal. The undercut is only like 1 1/2 degrees (2 at the most).

The original question still stands:

Does anyone have the experience of riding a bike before and after it has been done (I don't, that's why I'm asking)? Did it change the 'feel' of the shift?

Thanks,
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,764 Posts
YES it changes the feel.. effort...
more to do with HOW the mod's were machined... and smoothness of polish.

some of your first statement needed some of your second statement.

I was doing some of that stuff.. for my drag bike... and customers road race bikes...

early 1970's to late 1980's...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I don't know if there are better shifting motorcycles than some of the Hondas, including the 1800 VTXs. My 2008 Gold Wing was something else, and until I got used to shifting it, it was difficult to shift quietly. My 2006 M109R shifts like crap, no matter what I use for oil, how I shift, or how I hold my mouth with I shift. Undercutting the dogs will help, but Suzuki changed parts in the transmission of the later model M109s and my 2013 M109R shifts quite well, but nowhere near as well as the VTXs. The cost to upgrade the shifting components of the older M109 transmissions is around $600.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
You're a hell of a nice guy John helping your neighbour out with this tranny issue . Dealer that sold him that bike should be hung by you know what . I would still return the bike to them and fight till the very end to get my money back .
Anyway keep is updated on the outcome of your repair . After hearing stories like this I'm sure everybody apreciates their X's even more . I always said that VTX 1800 motor is nothing less but a King Kong and it's absolutely bullet proof at that !!!
On the other hand Suzy C109 , well known clutch and tranny issues documented all over the internet boards and forums .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
keep us updated on the outcome of your repair
Hey LUKASTEAM,

You asked so I will.

Finally got the last gasket needed (ordered 4 weeks ago) to put the shift shaft housing on. I had already installed the engine in the bike previously and hooked up everything. Thumbed the start button and it fired off before the 2nd revolution, thumbs up. After about 10 seconds the FI light came on, thumbs back down. Just like with the VTX you can attach a jumper wire to the factory plug-in for diagnostics and the trouble code pops up on the dash screen. Looked up the code # in the service manual and knew right away what it probably was. Just a pinched vacuum line that runs from the intake manifold for the rear cylinder to the air box housing. Un-pinched that vacuum line and FI went off and stayed off.

After letting it idle through a couple of cycles of warmup and cool-down to burp the coolant system and refill, and after topping up the oil to the correct level, time to ride.

Bike shifts great. With light throttle during shifts or heavy throttle it just rocks. Shifting actually seems to be smoother (both up through the gears and down through the gears). I thought that the undercuts on 2nd and 3rd gear might cause a feeling of shift lever resistance but that just isn't the case here. I can't explain it but neutral is even easier to find (maybe because of the new parts taking slop out?).

All told it was $635 for the repair. That includes the machine shop work, all the gaskets and o-rings necessary for engine teardown and rebuild, Suzuki bond sealant, oil and oil filter, coolant. It would have cost hundreds of dollars more to replace the gears than to do the undercut.

Anyway, time will tell.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Great job , John !!! Thanks for the update . You da man , not everybody would take on the job like that . I bet the fella that you fixed the Suzi for is happy like a million bucks and very grateful .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,722 Posts
Anyway, time will tell.

John
Thanks for sharing your story and insights, John. I’m trying to puzzle together the two different perspectives, your real world experience of great results vs the mechanic video that Chuck posted where the guy opined that transmissions that slip out of gear are likely suffering from thin forks or shift drum ratchet problems or some other excessive clearance issue. Do you have a theory on why undercutting was the best choice for this particular bike? Abuse by previous owner or weak design or some other idea?
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top