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So I have had my bike get stuck in neutral like 5 times so far. A few times in my garage and a couple at stop lights. At the stop lights I end up kicking the **** out of it to get it in gear, try up shifting and nothing. Why would the bike not go in gear? Clutch is pulled in all the way to the handle bar. Very annoying when the light changes and I'm stuck kicking the crap out of my clutch.

Are there any tips to get it in gear easier, like rolling it or something?
 

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OK here's a little education for newer riders who are having trouble with shifting.
Some motorcycles have a very clean clutch disengagement - this bike being one of them. Example - if you are in neutral with your hand off the clutch lever and engine running, the gear shafts are spinning with the engine. On some bikes, when you pull in the clutch lever in readiness to engage gear, there is some residual clutch drag and the gear shafts still rotate to some degree. On those bikes when you go to select first gear, there can be a pronounced clunk noise as the gear slides on the gear shaft and engages with its mating gear. Those bikes will always engage gear with no hesitation because the shafts are still spinning. The 300 Ninja has a very efficient disengagement of the clutch so when you pull the lever in while in neutral, the gear shafts very quickly stop rotating. Now when you try selecting first gear, there is a possibility that if the two gears aren't aligned properly, you won't be able to engage gear until the shafts rotate a little bit by either rolling the bike back & forward slightly or the most common method - while depressing the gear lever, gradually release the clutch lever. As the clutch starts to engage, the gear shafts rotate and it will snick right in to gear. Best thing is to be prepared in advance of a traffic signal changing and have the gear selected ready.
When under way, if you stab at the gear lever to change up, the gears may not engage cleanly for the same gear dog clashing reason I just described and you may find a false neutral where the engine revs to the moon but no drive. As you shift up, try leaving pressure on the gear lever upwards as you re engage the clutch - that will always work. After you are more familiar with shifting, you might want to try clutchless shifting from second or third gear up to top. Just do everything you would normally - roll off the throttle and shift gear but use no clutch. This Ninja 300 transmission is great for clutchless shifting.
The other transmission subject is what Kawasaki calls the Positive Neutral Finder which prevents the transmission from shifting into second gear while stationary, thereby easy to find neutral. This is a mechanical mechanism, just controlled by three ball bearings and gravity pulling one of the three bearings into a groove in the gear shaft preventing it from sliding to the next gear. It relys on centrifugal force to throw the bearing outward and then allow the gear to slide on the shaft. So as you pull away in first gear, the shafts spin and the ball bearings fly outward and you can select second. If you are not moving fast enough, and you try to engage second gear too soon it won't go in because the bearings are still stopping the shift. It's an ingenious and fool proof system that Kawi has used since the 70's.
Happy shifting
 

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Why are you always shifting to neutral while stopped at a light? I always wondered why people do this. With an easy clutch like this, I could hold it all day. The ability to do a last second lane split if the guy behind me doesn't want to stop in time is priceless to prevent getting railed and impossible to do from neutral.
 

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I gotta say that FreelancerMG brings up a good point: going to NEUTRAL while stopped at a light may not always be the best thing to do. I sometimes catch myself doing this. Mostly so I can release the grips and stretch my hands/arms. Normally, once I am done doing that, I go back to first gear. It might be hard to avoid a rear-end collision, but giving myself the ability to do so is one step in the right direction.

As someone else mentioned in some other thread (I think it was Spicy Nuggets): always drive defensively, especially in an urban environment. People are not very good about concentrating on the road, and focusing on their driving, and the more you learn to accept that reality, the better rider you will become, and the less likely to find yourself in an accident. Remember, cagers will do anything while driving: eat, drink, smoke, text, watch TV, make calls, deal with crying babies, deal with dogs that may be barking or moving, read, apply makeup, shave, etc. All those activities require some part of their brain/focus/attention, and the consequences can be dire for us. Stay in first, and keep an eye on your rear view mirrors when fully stopped on a street. If you are the first one at an intersection, don't get too close to the "edge". I have seen people misjudge a turn and run into cars/bikes/motorcycles because they made the turn a little too tight.
 

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Nonbock's got it. The upshot of that lesson is this: if it won't go into gear, just push down on the shifter and slowly let out the clutch. It'll catch quickly and thunk into gear.

That should solve it! :D
 

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Best thing is to be prepared in advance of a traffic signal changing and have the gear selected ready.
Agreed.

One of the biggest things that they teach you at any Motorcycle Saftey Class (they actually drill it into your head) is that you should ALWAYS be in first gear at any stop be it a stop light or a stop sign.

By being in first gear you have the ability to let off the clutch and move out of the way of any impending accident. If your in neutral you'll have to pull the clutch in, put the motorcycle in gear and give it some gas before your out of the way and "safe". And god forbid if you happen to be stuck in neutral and have to roll the bike back & forth at that moment.
 

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Okay cool! I'm glad I found this thread as I have been having the same issue. I suppose all of us ninja 300 owners will experience this shifting issue at some point right?

While on the topic of shifting, There are times when I can hear the gears thunking into place much louder than usual when shifting from 1st to 2nd. Is this because of the positive neutral finding mechanism aswell?
 

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Why are you always shifting to neutral while stopped at a light? I always wondered why people do this. With an easy clutch like this, I could hold it all day. The ability to do a last second lane split if the guy behind me doesn't want to stop in time is priceless to prevent getting railed and impossible to do from neutral.
Well, this depends on the light situation for me. If I get to a red light that just turned red and I know I have to wait a full rotation and already have someone behind me, I`ll pop it in neutral. If I get to a late light, I`ll keep it in first.
 

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Agreed.

One of the biggest things that they teach you at any Motorcycle Saftey Class (they actually drill it into your head) is that you should ALWAYS be in first gear at any stop be it a stop light or a stop sign.
I just did the MSF and they didn't mention this once. just saying.
 

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I just did the MSF and they didn't mention this once. just saying.
I'm surprised. This was drilled into us when I took the course.

I notice in your original post you say that you try "up-shifting." Why would you upshift from neutral at a stop? You should be shifting down into first.

Disregard what I am about to say if you made a typo, but you cannot shift the Ninja past neutral while at a stop because it has the positive neutral finder. At a stop, any attempt to shift up will just put the bike in neutral. This shouldn't be an issue as there is no reason to pull away from a stop in any gear other than first.
 

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If it's stuck in neutral just slightly rock the bike and try again. If not let the clutch out about half way and try again if at a stop light and it does that let it out half way and kick that shift lever hard down.
 

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I've also noticed that while downshifting on this bike you have to release the clutch all the way each time you shift down. For example cruising at say 45 mph and approach a red light. If you pull the clutch in and try to downshift through multiple gears without releasing the clutch every time the bike simply will not go from second to first if you come to a stop. My bike will stay in second and will not go into neutral or first. I have to grab the brake let it stall then start it back up and then it will go back into neutral and first.
 

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If this is your first bike then practice by leaving it in 1st, as most people above have mentioned, this is for your saftey.

Put it in neutral if you need to scratch your face or something.
 
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