Tranny slow to shift into 6th gear under load - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Tranny slow to shift into 6th gear under load

Hey all,

Wondering if anyone else is having this problem, or if you can provide guidance. For awhile now, I was under the impression that my bike was suffering from the elusive "clutch slipping in 5th gear" issue. But today, Jumped all over the bike , running it up through the gears under heavy throttle, and realized that my bike is actually not smoothly shifting into 6th gear, which actually feels like slippage. When shifting into 6th under heavy acceleration, the bike is real slow the change gears until I get off the throttle a little bit, and the 6th gear light is slow to show I'm there.

Any thoughts on where to begin?

Thanks.

2012 FLTRU in Vivid Black. Madstad windshield 13" med gray, Kuryakyn offset pegs, Sancho's Wings. Fuel Moto 4" Jackpots w/ competition baffles & Stage 1 breather, de-catted head pipe, Screamin' Eagle tuner, Kromewerks black 12" apes, quick detach tour pak, Le Pera Aviator solo seat, Daymaker headlights. Ohlins HD159's.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 02:19 PM
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I would check the clutch adjustment. You might just be off a little causing the hard shift.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, but I am 100% sure I got the clutch adjusted correctly. Triple checked that thing. And it ONLY happens 5th to 6th.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 04:34 PM
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Wind out 5th longer. 6th is overdrive and might need more rpms.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, pretty sure that's not the issue. Was doing 85 when I hit 6th gear. If I recall correctly, that's close to 4000 rpm in 5th.

2012 FLTRU in Vivid Black. Madstad windshield 13" med gray, Kuryakyn offset pegs, Sancho's Wings. Fuel Moto 4" Jackpots w/ competition baffles & Stage 1 breather, de-catted head pipe, Screamin' Eagle tuner, Kromewerks black 12" apes, quick detach tour pak, Le Pera Aviator solo seat, Daymaker headlights. Ohlins HD159's.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 08:05 PM
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First, the light means nothing. It a calculation made by the ecm that turns it on. X mph at X rpm = 6th gear.

Now as to how the trans shifts. When you shift the trans, the shift drum rotates and moves the forks. The forks slide a dog ring out of or into a gear face. The teeth on the dog ring drop into recesses in the gear face. It's either in or out. In between is chewing your parts, or on a five speed, a false neutral. Even if you move the shifter slow, the detentes on the shift drum will flip the drum over and kick the dog rings into place.

If you feel a slip or a loss of power in under your ars, on a hard high rpm shift, its the clutch. The higher the gear, the more apt it is to slip.

It will feel sort of like an old automatic trans when it shifts and if you watch the tach, you'll see the MPH and RPM close in on each other as the clutch gains purchase.

Once you verify that it is slipping, there are several fixes. Start with trying to adjust it, even if it feels good at the lever.

After verifying that the friction disks are still serviceable, you can put a stronger spring in. The pro being low cost and the con being a harder lever pull. Don't just blow off the harder lever pull and take the cheap fix. A hard clutch lever can be a real PITA in traffic.

You can replace the disk stack with a more durable set of plates. Alto Carbonite PowerPac's seem to be the goto replacements for oem clutches. But it'll set you back about $125. More grip, great friction zone, original lever pull.

If you are making more than 100/100, then you need to step up to a variable pressure plate, or an aftermarket clutch asm. The plates cost a few bucks, but you won't know it's there until you shift at high rpm. It has a little more pull when the weights are spun up. And the aftermarket clutches work well, but cost more than a few bucks.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Now that answer right there is exactly why I post my questions to this board. I have to say, I struggled with believing that as distinctively as the bike shifts all the rest of the time, why it would be any different in this scenario. Is it fair to assume then that the gray tinted residue on the inside of the derby cover is result of wearing or worn friction plates?

Looks like it's time to pull the clutch and find out for sure.

Thanks for the help Thermodyne.

2012 FLTRU in Vivid Black. Madstad windshield 13" med gray, Kuryakyn offset pegs, Sancho's Wings. Fuel Moto 4" Jackpots w/ competition baffles & Stage 1 breather, de-catted head pipe, Screamin' Eagle tuner, Kromewerks black 12" apes, quick detach tour pak, Le Pera Aviator solo seat, Daymaker headlights. Ohlins HD159's.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 09:53 AM
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It's not the tranny slipping it's the clutch slipping. With your mods you should have installed a SE clutch spring, if you did install the SE clutch spring then you may need to readjust the clutch assembly. You may have to pull the clutch pack and clean the plates and check for blueing on the steel plates. I put in SE clutch plates in my bike and the SE plates eliminate the clutch plate damping seat and spring and I don't have any problems with slippage ever since I put in the SE clutch plates.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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That's certainly the way it's looking Ironmark. I guess I won't know for sure until the clutch pack is out and inspected. How significant a difference did the SE clutch make with respect to the clutch lever pull?

2012 FLTRU in Vivid Black. Madstad windshield 13" med gray, Kuryakyn offset pegs, Sancho's Wings. Fuel Moto 4" Jackpots w/ competition baffles & Stage 1 breather, de-catted head pipe, Screamin' Eagle tuner, Kromewerks black 12" apes, quick detach tour pak, Le Pera Aviator solo seat, Daymaker headlights. Ohlins HD159's.

Last edited by Jester; 07-31-2017 at 02:51 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 07:54 PM
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Tranny slow to shift into 6th gear under load

A slipping 5th gear is actually a very common indicator of a clutch that's on its way out. Specifically on the twin cam bikes I have worked on, I notice the most notice slippage in fifth.

Change the fluid in the primary to formula +. You stated you've adjusted the clutch properly.

In case you haven't, the procedure is as follows:

1. Put a large amount of slack in the clutch cable via the adjuster.

2. Crack the jam nut free using an 11/16 wrench while using an 7/32 Allen wrench to hold the adjuster. (We're talking about he clutch assembly behind the derby/primary cover at this point).

3. Back the adjuster out a bit using your Allen key.

4. Turn clockwise and adjust the clutch adjuster in until you feel the adjuster touch and make contact. It will be a very soft feeling as you slowly run the adjuster in.

5. Back the adjuster out a half turn.

6. Holding the adjuster in that spot you just backed off to, tighten the jam nut.

7. Take the slack out of the cable at the adjuster leaving only 1/8" of play in the cable.

8. Inspect your cable to ensure it's not binding or damaged. If you have aftermarket bars, whoever did them could have installed your clutch cable improperly and routed it incorrectly causing it to bind. This would cause the clutch not to fully engage thus causing it to slightly slip. I had this issue back when I had my clutch cable replaced by what turned out to be an incompetent mechanic.

If you're stage 3/4, it's definitely time to do something about the clutch.

The SE clutch pack gets rid of both the damper spring and the damper spring seat and the very very narrow clutch plate. It wouldn't be a bad idea to use the SE clutch spring either (I recommend it).

Stage 3/4 you should also be considering a better pressure plate as stated previously.

The good news is....clutch works on these bikes isn't very involved and requires little. An afternoon and a six pack will get the job done.


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Last edited by Dvs624; 07-31-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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