Hard shifting

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:55 pm
Location: Columbus, IN
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100I Interstate

Hard shifting

Post by Wing82 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:09 pm

Hello All,

I just took possession of a beautiful 82 GL1100I. It has 35000 miles on it and runs really well. I am working out some small issues to get it running in peak condition. I managed to fix dragging brakes and now I am tackling hard shifting on this motorcycle.

The shifting is really loud with clucks. It is almost like the clutch is not being used. I have no problem finding neutral and it shifts to first gear normally from a stop. I have changed the oil recently to Castrol 4t 10W40 and currently running some Seafoam to clean it up.
I am planning to run 15W40 next. Would this by any chance help with the shifting? Any suggestions are most welcome. Please help me solve this shifting issue. I am not new to motorcycles and this is the toughest one I have found to find a sweet spot to shift. I tried adjusting the clutch cable from the hand lever and at the engine side. Nothing seems to make it better. The shifting is getting on my nerves now.

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Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:33 pm
Location: Grimsby , England - United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100AD
1980 CB400N

Re: Hard shifting

Post by David-Mantle » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:11 am

Usually what you describe I would attribute to a poorly adjusted clutch or oil issue. Since you have changed the oil and adjusted the clutch cable then I suggest one possible cause could be clutch plates sticking or damaged. If this is the case then the cure I suggest would be to strip and inspect the clutch assembly . Some people say this could be done with engine in frame - I prefer to remove engine myself , I find it easier to sort clutch problems with better access that way.

Just a thought - hope it helps.
The only silly question is the one you don`t ask. Everything else is game.


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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:30 pm
Location: Northwich United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Re: Hard shifting

Post by moffat » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:57 am

Suggest you slacken off the clutch cable and adjust the clutch itself first. You can do this via the rear inspection plug on the clutch housing. Get that right as per the manual and THEN adjust the cable. The cable adjuster is strictly speaking a cable slack adjustment.
You can change the clutch plates with the engine in place as I have done it before. Its very fiddley though and I did it with the machine on the side stand as the centre stand got in the way. There is a procedure somewhere on this website to do it , This way you will eliminate the clutch as a problem before you start looking at gear selectors.

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