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Discussion Starter #1
I did a 370 kilometre ride today and on the way back the gears started playing up. I first noticed it on rapid deceleration where I went down the gears and it wouldn't shift lower than 3rd,it was just stuck. No problem going back up the box. Then I went to do a turn across a two lane Highway and it was stuck in 4th,not good. On the next junction I shifted down to 2nd but couldn't get 1st. The problem then restricted itself to not finding 1st. Stopped for an hour, dropped my daughter off, started again, all was well. Then I had a mountain pass to climb up, at the very last hairpin at the top, stuck in 3rd again, tight hairpin steep climb, not happy, clutch work got me through that. Then ok again. 20 kilometres later, shifts were ok, then a rolling junction where I turned, shifting 6th to 5th ok, then stuck, went through at walking pace, up down up down, it freed itself, down down down. Suddenly Error 523 appeared as the engine light came on. Then I dropped down another mountain pass hitting 6 hairpins faster than usual as I no longer trusted the gearbox. Refuelled at the bottom, no further shift problems on the rest of the journey, about 10 kilometres. So, it's 6.30pm,I will ring the dealer in the morning.... Anyone else have this problem? My only other observation is that the selector seemed to be too high or too low for the gear I was in. I will admit to changing the bushes on the gear lever, could it be an adjustment issue? But if it was, why the Error 523? 2017 XCT.

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Are you hearing any noise from the tranny area? Specifically, a pinging or ringing type noise at idle or if you rev the bike in neutral?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I cannot recall any noises, apart from the usual. I will check that out in the morning. What would such a noise indicate?

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Is it possible that the new bushings cause the shift lever to be tight on its pivot such that sometimes it does not spring fully back to its proper untouched location between shifts? This would have the same symptoms as pressing the shift lever but not letting your foot come up or down far enough thus keeping the lever from returning up or down far enough to be ready for the next shift. A tight or sticky bushing would also explain the intermittent nature of your problem. Sometimes the bushing would be grabbing the lever shaft and sometimes it would not.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Vinish, I like your thinking, I will go back to the original bushes before contacting the dealer. Be good to know what error code 523 is though.

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Up-Tick Distance?

1) I'll second what @Vinish is saying.

I replaced -- once, so far -- the bushings on '12 XCT. I used the factory nylon(?) bushings for my replacement, because I'd read too much about the tight tolerances of the metal ones, where many people using those replacements had to use sandpaper and suchlike to make them fit correctly. I'm not saying that that's a lot of work -- the sanding -- but I just didn't want to deal with it.

And the degree of side-to-side slop isn't particularly bothersome to me, but I could see, after a few years, that it was getting worse. I would generally check this side-to-side slop whenever I was at a Vic dealer. All the brand new floor models seem to exhibit this.

Which brings me to one question for you: what prompted you to change the bushings, in the first place, on what I gather is a fairly new bike? Not trying to be a smart-ass here, just trying to gather information.

2) Back in 2012, I had trouble downshifting my brand new XCT for a few weeks. I thought something was wrong, but eventually figured out that I was not letting my foot rise HIGH ENOUGH between shifts.

That is, the distance required for the lever to move GOING UP, to complete the shift, was much longer/higher than on any other bike that I was used to. (And I've ridden a fair number of bikes, as a result of my being an old geezer, riding demos at Americade by me, and also a former MSF instructor, with maybe 20 bikes to warm up before each class.)

Let's say, coming to a red light, I might bang down through three or four gears, all the while holding the clutch in and not letting out, to get to first. I would get locked into, say, second gear a lot. The solution for me was to just make sure I was raising my foot higher than I was doing, in between stomps. This worked fine for me, and I no longer had the problem. (Yes, there are linkage adjustments and that sort of thing you can make too, but just raising my foot a little higher, to let the shifter complete its "throw" on the up-tick, did the trick for me, and became a simple habit change.)

3) You might want to make sure the clutch freeplay is set to the proper specs. There's something in the shop manual on this, and I also recall it's covered in at least one of WitchDoctor's videos.

4) I have no idea why you're getting an error code. Haven't heard of that before, with respect to shifting. Maybe you wound up lugging the engine too much, and the computer eventually complained. You shifting at high enough RPMs (which is less than sport bikes, certainly, but higher than your typical H-D)?

5) Once you do get this resolved, the neutral finder on these bikes is a really nice feature. That's the one where you're stopped, and you can just flick up, and you're in neutral, instead of worrying about going into second. I think Kawasaki popularized this with a bunch of models over the years, but the Vics do it well, too. Just keep in mind that when taking off, you want to going at least 10 or 15 MPH before shifting to second; if you try to shift at, say, 5 MPH, the neutral finder would still be doing its thing.
 

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I'll let you try all the obvious first, ...go back to the last thing you changed or played with.
 

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I did a 370 kilometre ride today and on the way back the gears started playing up. I first noticed it on rapid deceleration where I went down the gears and it wouldn't shift lower than 3rd,it was just stuck. No problem going back up the box. Then I went to do a turn across a two lane Highway and it was stuck in 4th,not good. On the next junction I shifted down to 2nd but couldn't get 1st. The problem then restricted itself to not finding 1st. Stopped for an hour, dropped my daughter off, started again, all was well. Then I had a mountain pass to climb up, at the very last hairpin at the top, stuck in 3rd again, tight hairpin steep climb, not happy, clutch work got me through that. Then ok again. 20 kilometres later, shifts were ok, then a rolling junction where I turned, shifting 6th to 5th ok, then stuck, went through at walking pace, up down up down, it freed itself, down down down. Suddenly Error 523 appeared as the engine light came on. Then I dropped down another mountain pass hitting 6 hairpins faster than usual as I no longer trusted the gearbox. Refuelled at the bottom, no further shift problems on the rest of the journey, about 10 kilometres. So, it's 6.30pm,I will ring the dealer in the morning.... Anyone else have this problem? My only other observation is that the selector seemed to be too high or too low for the gear I was in. I will admit to changing the bushes on the gear lever, could it be an adjustment issue? But if it was, why the Error 523? 2017 XCT.

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The metals ones are garbage. Like Bill Said, the tolerances are too tight. I took mine off and put the plastic ones back in and no problems.
 

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You don't have to switch back to the old bushings to test if they are causing the problem. The next time this problem arises, merely use your toe or heel to assure the shift lever has returned all the way to its proper location before trying another shift.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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I installed WD's bushings on other's Cross bikes and had little or no binding problem. I lubed all the moving surfaces well, and adjusted the shift lever height so low that when the foot is slipped under it, most of the slack is taken up. Then I instruct my "customer" to preload the shifter - that is, lightly pressure it so that when the clutch is pulled in, it will easily slip into the next gear, and quietly too. They are amazed at the difference.
I don't know if that helps this situation, but this is what comes to my mind for now.
 

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I have noticed the sloppy fit on my girlfriends 2011 Kingpin. But on my 2009 Kingpin the whole shifter is different and much better designed with bronze bushings and support on both sides of the shifter not just a bolt. Im sure the 2011 bracket was much cheaper to produce with just a bolt and plastic bushings. I was going to try and get my hands on a used 09 assembly and switch it out.
 

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Where did you come up with "bushings"
I didn't read where he did any "bushings"
 

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My only other observation is that the selector seemed to be too high or too low for the gear I was in. I will admit to changing the bushes on the gear lever, could it be an adjustment issue? But if it was, why the Error 523? 2017 XCT.

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At the end of the post
 

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I cannot recall any noises, apart from the usual. I will check that out in the morning. What would such a noise indicate?
Work was busy and I had to drop my daughter at the airport....Looks like while I was away the peanut gallery decided your problem was the new bushings. ;) If they are binding up the lever the new bushing could very well be the issue but the error code bugs me out as well as that your problem is on downshifts. I'm going to mention @LILMAGS500 into here, he had a problem with the shift forks last year and might have some info. that he can add. I believe the his problem was first picked up by hearing a ringing noise with the bike in neutral.
 

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The only trouble like that I ever encountered was when I was downshifting rapidly to a stop or a big corner like @wspollack mentioned. I would sometimes get hung up in 2nd. I found that raising my foot a tad higher did help. To be fair, I was going really hard, so I tend not to fault the bike for that. It's not a race bike so I should not try to ride it like one. I went with the Rusty Jones Bushings, and they are fantastic, but you do have to make sure they are not too tight. @mark.price.9026 Your issue might be there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some great responses, appreciated. I tend to think it's the metal bushes, the lever has stayed too low or too high a few times. I will revert to originals.
Good question, why did I change them? I have had the bike 3 months, over 4,000 kilometres. One of my other bikes is a Triumph Thunderbird Storm which is almost set up right. I wanted to fast track any improvements to this bike and it seemed to be a common easy upgrade(!). On fitting the bushes I saw an immediate flaw in the supply of them, there are different bolts (gear and brake) but the same bushes. I will replace the original bushes this morning and report back.

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Discussion Starter #17
Back to another comment. Don't think it's my down shift technique, especially as the problem occurred several kilometres after the previous shift. That supports it being the bushes sticking the free movement of the gear lever. Going out to the bike now to listen for tinkling.

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Discussion Starter #18
I have established that error code 523 is gear sensor signal. I guess it means for whatever reason it's not working properly.

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Discussion Starter #19
No tinkling. On my knees, I also had a close feel around the gear lever, there is no hint of stickiness there it moves very freely. (no smuttiness please).

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Are the Heim joints on the shift rod clean and well lubed? They too can be providing drag.
 
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