Technical advice: Trouble selecting neutral

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MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

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Q. It's become really difficult to select neutral on my 1999 Bandit 600 lately.

It is OK when the engine is cold but after about five minutes, I can tap my left foot from first to second and back again without finding neutral until the traffic lights go green again!

It selects neutral without a problem once the ignition is switched off, or from second gear as I coast to a stop. It's driving me mad!! What can I do to protect my sanity?
Tony, Liverpool

A. The first thing to do is check that the clutch is adjusted correctly. Once you have eliminated that, make sure the gearlever hasn’t seized on the pivot point.

If the lever is moving freely it looks like a selector fork in the gearbox is bent. The only solution then is to get the engine out and upside down so that you can split the crankcases and get at the gearbox internals.

The selector fork costs £26 and the job is doable in five hours by a competent mechanic, so you should budget £250-300 all in.

The other alternative is to get a good, used motor from a breakers as they can be picked up for as little as £300.

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Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs