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Discussion Starter #1
So I went out for my first real ride since my accident just before Thanksgiving. The bike performed great overall, with just a couple minor issues to sort out.

The main one is my shift lever is somewhat sticky when returning to the neutral or resting position. Here's a better description of how everythings working...

Start bike, squeeze clutch, put into first gear... all is smooth. Lever returns normally.

Upshifting 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 all is smooth. Lever drops back down as it should after shifting. Rode on backroads and never hit 6th gear, but all other upshifts are smooth...

Downshifting 2-1 is smooth, lever returns fine.

Downshifting 5-4, 4-3, 3-2 is where the problem shows. After I push the lever down, I have to bump the lever with my toe or ease my foot under it (as though upshifting) to get it to come back to the neutral position.

Is there a lubrication point somewhere around the pivot at the frame I'm missing? Is there something else I'm totally missing?

I hesitate to say the shifter is bent because, well, it doesnt appear bent or out of adjustment from where it was prior to the accident. Also, to be very blunt, when the accident happened, the bike fell onto my leg, cushioning it from major damage (much to the unhappiness of my leg). The bike was ridden less than 3 days after the accident by my boss (owner of a m-cycle repair shop) and given a clean bill of health except for some cosmetic type issues (broken mirror mount, dent in fuel tank, other minor scuffs and scrapes). Other than that ride, the bike has basically been parked since November. I have fired it up and ran it, but not actually ridden it.

On another note, when I first purchased the bike it had a similar issue, but on the upshifts, not downshifts. That worked itself out within a day or 2 of actual full riding...

Any thoughts?
 

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I suspect that there is a part of the shifter or it linkage that is binding. Check underneath the bike to inspect the linkage. Pay close attention to where the pedal shaft goes through the engine cover. Also check the footrest to be sure that it did not get bent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, the issue has been found.

I took the bike out today on a nice, lazy, long ride... Ended up 3 towns over by the shop I was working at, so I stopped in. Since I was in the parking lot, I shut the bike off with the shifter stuck in the down position. Rolled it inside, onto a lift, strapped it down, raised the lift, and spent about 30 mins feeling all around under the bike, looking to make sure none of the rods were bound, etc...

Boy was I blind...

The shift lever was stuck on the exhaust pipe.

Moral of the story... Never overlook the obvious.

The shift lever had always been close to the exhaust pipe, but never touching it (1/4" clearance or so), so it being close still, I didn't think anything about it. I guess in the accident it got bumped just enough that at the farthest downward travel it was hitting the exhaust pipe.

Good news (for me right now): it was a no-cost fix. Pulled the lever and use a vice and dead blow hammer to gently bend it back out so it now clears the exhaust again.

Better news: The Valvoline rep came by while I was there... I ended up with a case of Valvoline 10w40 motorcycle oil for free! The rep was handing out tons of stuff to customers and employees alike.
 
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