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Harley-Davidson Sportster Motorcycles from 1986 to Present.

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Why can't I shift out o gear?

I have a first bike that has been in an accident with no apparent damage except to frame. I have good auto mechanical experience. None on Harleys.

The gear shift lever does not shift gears. Some thing is going on in the trans but no solid connections. No spring action on the lever. The bike is in gear and won't shift. What's broken?

Is there an online video or tutorial on inspecting for damage? I don't want to tear into something that requires special tools and equipment to result into taking a box of parts to a dealer.

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mine sometimes sticks a bit until I pull the clutch in and start the engine, then it starts shifting again. I imagine that some combination of rocking it back and forth, pulling the clutch and generally jostling as much as possible might have the same effect.


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2 Answers

I'm afraid the shift shaft or shift fork plate/hook is sheared off inside and unable to rotate the shift drum. On the XL models, you'll have to remove the outer primary cover and clutch basket to get access to those parts.

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My 81 is doing the same thing,I replaced the clutch ramp and Was adjusting the primary chain in 4th gear when I noticed I could Not shift into any gear? But when I engage the clutch I can rotate the rear wheel? Is my shift fork trashed also or something else ??? Thanks

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Old Bill will be eternally grateful.
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