Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum - View Single Post - Bike will not shift, stuck in 2nd gear
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Bike will not shift, stuck in 2nd gear

So I was out riding the other day when suddenly the shifter would not shift up into 3rd gear. When I went to see if I could downshift, I found it was stuck in the 'up' position (higher than it would sit untouched). Now this had happened three times before, and in each one of the occasions I would pull over, reach down, maybe turn the bike off and tap the shifter with my heel, and the problem would suddenly disappear. After the second time I carefully looked over all the connections and made sure the shifter was not bent or binding.

So I put another 500 miles on the bike, and had it happen again. But this time when the lever 'released' from the stuck position, it did not feel normal, and it was stuck in first gear. After a bit of back and forth, I was able to get neutral and 1st to work, but the bike would not go into second. I rode a bit in 1st (I wanted to get it home to take a look) I was able to shift into 2nd gear, but I had to hold the lever up right with my toes, or it would drop into neutral.

I made it home, and the next day looked over everything and took a short ride. Now the bike is in 2nd gear, and will not go into any other gear, or neutral. The clutch seems to be working fine, and doesn't seem to be the culprit, since I would be able to shift without it into 3rd if that was the problem area.

After a bit of research, it seems most people that have a problem like this get it from the bike being dropped and bending the lever. I have no doubt this bike was dropped at least once before I bought it, but all the parts look fine and the lever is straight and not binding. A reddit user noted that he had a similar problem, and he solved his by putting some type of spacer on the splined shifter shaft, essentially pulling that shaft a bit to the left (maybe to counteract it moving to the right after being dropped?).

I feel that the actual shifter lever has the same amount of travel up and down as it did before, but there is no ratcheting or clicking into the next gear. I am worried the 'pawls' (Is that what they are called?) that spin the shift drum are out of alignment somehow. I was tempted to take the clutch cover off to take a quick peak, but it seems the clutch would block a decent view, and messing with that for the first time seems unwise.

So before I putter off to some unknown bike shop in 2nd gear, I figured I'd ask you all if you had anythoughts on what it might be. The bike only has 4000 miles, with 2000 being from me doing pretty relaxed driving, about 25 miles per day. The previous owner really didn't seem like the type to abuse the bike (I don't think he ended up enjoying riding) but I do know he laid the bike down at least once, which required a new right side fairing. Again, all the external stuff looks fine.

So, any thoughts? And any thoughts on whether I should go digging into this on my own? I have decent hobbyist skills for auto work, and the tools, but just moved and don't want to take up my now small garage for an extended period of time.

Thanks all
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