Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd February 2015, 00:16   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: shimla
Posts: 23
Thanked: 0 Times
Default Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

I have an Enfield Classic 350. Kickstarting the motorcycle is effortless after putting it in neutral with the GREEN LIGHT ON. But very often, the green light doesn't glow even after tinkering with the shifter repeatedly.

However, despite the neutral indicator light not glowing, the bike manages to shift into neutral - which I assume is due to the fact that there is a neutral zone between any two continuous gears. I suppose its called a false neutral? Here lies the problem.

If I try to kickstart the bike - without the neutral light glowing - the bike starts, but makes a "Kraaaaaaaaaaatttt" noise as I put it into any gear. It seems as if gears are grinding against each other. Terrible sound.

However, that does not happen if the bike is started after the neutral indicator light is on.

Please tell me what causes this noise? Is kickstarting the bike without neutral light on (false neutral) going to damage the clutch/gears etc.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd February 2015 at 13:14. Reason: Typos
escape velocity is offline   Reply With Quote Received Infraction
Old 3rd February 2015, 10:14   #2
BHPian
 
adrian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 752
Thanked: 587 Times
Default re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

There is only one neutral position in the UCEs. You can find false neutral between any other gear, which some people gives the publicity as the Royal Enfields having a neutral position between each gear. In your case the neutral indication lamp is not glowing because the transmission is still engaged and in one of that false neutral position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape velocity View Post
However, despite the neutral indicator light not glowing, the bike manages to shift into neutral - which I assume is due to the fact that there is a neutral zone between any two continuous gears. I suppose its called a false neutral? Here lies the problem.

If I try to kickstart the bike - without the neutral light glowing - the bike starts, but makes a "Kraaaaaaaaaaatttt" noise as I put it into any gear. It seems as if gears are grinding against each other. Terrible sound.

However, that does not happen if the bike is started after the neutral indicator light is on.

Please tell me what causes this noise? Is kickstarting the bike without neutral light on (false neutral) going to damage the clutch/gears etc.
The sound is that of the gear teeth grinding against each other in an engaged transmission. Always start your motorcycle in the original neutral position, ie. with the green light glowing. Doing otherwise will eventually lead to costly repairs.

There are two ways to reach the neutral position

1. The easy one : Shift down to 2nd gear and give a light tap downwards and slot it to neutral position just before the motorcycle rolls to a stop. It is really easy with some practice.

2. The not so easy one : If by chance the machine rolls to a stop in gear, then roll the machine back and forth with the clutch pulled in and slot it to neutral. In the effort of bringing the motorcycle to neutral position, Please don't stomp down on the shifter when the motorcycle is stationary.

regards adrian

Last edited by GTO : 3rd February 2015 at 13:15. Reason: Quoted post edited
adrian is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2015, 13:06   #3
BHPian
 
Dodge_Viper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Vashi
Posts: 483
Thanked: 461 Times
Default re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

How many kms done on your Classic?

Neutral is between first and second. When I got my Classic 350, I had a tough time shifting to neutral. 9 out of 10 times I couldn't shift to neutral. But now with 700kms on odo, it is a butter smooth affair. I generally shift to first and give a slight tap towards 2nd to get it in neutral.
Dodge_Viper is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2015, 15:44   #4
BHPian
 
gtonsing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 300
Thanked: 72 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
There are two ways to reach the neutral position

1. The easy one :
2. The not so easy one : regards adrian
I have old bullets (a '60s one handed down from an uncle and a Thunderbird around 2006) and if I am not grossly mistaken, they had those small gear shifter type thingies which you push down to give you neutral (now that I started writing this, I cant be sure if its only the older generation Enfields).

Last edited by GTO : 3rd February 2015 at 16:25. Reason: Typo
gtonsing is offline   Reply With Quote Received Infraction
Old 3rd February 2015, 16:21   #5
Awaiting Email Confirmation
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ............
Posts: 3,260
Thanked: 4,212 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape velocity View Post
I suppose its called a false neutral?
Shifting to neutral is easier and smoother in my Thunderbird 500 than in my son's Classic 500. But, no false-neutrals in either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtonsing View Post
they had those small gear shifter type thingie which you push down to give you neutral
The neutral-finder lever is a thing of the past. The new gen REs don't have it. I liked it very much in the Bullet of the 1970s.

Last edited by GTO : 5th February 2015 at 10:17. Reason: As per PM :)
J.Ravi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2015, 18:42   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Tushar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,138
Thanked: 8,356 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Finding neutral is oddly more difficult when the bike is new. Here's what I recommend.

1. Always ensure you shift down to first and only then move up to neutral.
2. Hold down the clutch and shift down to 1st. Push the bike a little ahead if you feel it didn't slot in right.
3. Use you toe to shift into neutral (If this works, great)
4. If it doesn't - place your foot on both ends of the shifter and lightly shift down the toe end. This works for me every time I have trouble finding neutral.
Tushar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2015, 03:14   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 16
Thanked: 5 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

I own STD. 350, So kick-starting is a routine procedure, Putting in 2nd gear and then gentle tap on front of the lever is easier than finding neutral FROM 1st gear.
Make sure that you move the bike back or forth a little bit to prevent grinding.
abhijeetK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2015, 10:16   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
ArizonaJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Posts: 1,020
Thanked: 1,994 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape velocity View Post
I have an Enfield Classic 350. Kickstarting the motorcycle is effortless after putting it in neutral with the GREEN LIGHT ON. But very often, the green light doesn't glow even after tinkering with the shifter repeatedly.

However, despite the neutral indicator light not glowing, the bike manages to shift into neutral - which I assume is due to the fact that there is a neutral zone between any two continuous gears. I suppose its called a false neutral? Here lies the problem.
There is only one real neutral position and it is between 1st and 2nd gear. Only when the transmission is in the real neutral will the green light illuminate.

Quote:
If I try to kickstart the bike - without the neutral light glowing - the bike starts, but makes a "Kraaaaaaaaaaatttt" noise as I put it into any gear. It seems as if gears are grinding against each other. Terrible sound.
The grinding you hear is the dogs on the side of the gears engaging with one another.
These dogs or lugs engage one another to lock the gears together and transmit power to the output shaft.
When the transmission is in another gear the lugs on the gears not being used are positioned to just clear one another. This position is what your calling a "false neutral" .

As you have found, the engine can be started but doing so in any position other than the real neutral between 1st and 2nd gear can be dangerous to both the motorcycle and to you.

With regard to the old "Neutral Lever", it only existed on the old 4 speed transmissions.
When the 5 speed transmission was introduced on the Iron Barrels in the early 2000's, the lever was not included.
The newer AVL Lean Burn engine also used the same 5 speed transmission.

Many would sadly say it is too bad the old Neutral Lever was left off and I tend to agree with them.
Such is the price of progress I guess.
ArizonaJim is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2015, 11:57   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,001
Thanked: 1,038 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

I initially had a neutral gear shifting problem with my brand new Thunderbird 500 which comes with the UCE engine. Overtime as I clocked about 1500 odd kms the problem has vanished. I think a new engine needs time to adjust the gears on its own by proper grinding after adequate riding. This comes from my experience of owning five of them RE motorcycles. I have Standard CI Bullets who have that small neutral lever which is very helpful to shift directly to neutral from any gear. Being said that I also find overall gear shifting and neutral gear shift very smooth and effortless in the new generation RE UCE engines.

Some of our members have outlined the ideal shifting pattern, practice it and you will learn to find the neutral. One more thing depress the clutch fully while changing gears and do not use half clutch. Also as mentioned by others do not kick start your bike till the neutral gear green light shows on your instrument panel.
navin_v8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th February 2015, 09:40   #10
BHPian
 
msrsooraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Muvattupuzha
Posts: 79
Thanked: 52 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

My suggestion would be is to put the bike in neutral before killing the engine. From my experience, its simply a lot easier to find neutral when the engine is warm and running. Should I leave my bike in the first gear after reaching home from the office, next morning its simply a task to find the neutral when the engine is cold. Pushing the bike even after applying complete clutch is an effort and the gear would shift into second simply refusing to go find neutral. Frustrated, I give up and start the bike in the first gear. I guess even when the clutch is completely applied, some contact still remains.

As a matter of fact, when the engine is cold, pushing the using gear-lever up per se is tough. I must say that thing have changed considerably over the six months of time that i have owned it. The engine seem to be still settling down, becoming smoother in the process. Every time I get the service done and the oil changed, the bike becomes smoother and the number of times the gear slipping has reduced considerably. And by the way, I personally know the guys at the service center. I sit with them, pick up a chat and make sure they do at least the bare minimum.
Lack of proper service or oil due of change will contribute a lot to "Finding the false neutral" or "gear slipping".

So leave the bike in neutral so its not an effort when you find it tomorrow morning.
Humble opinions of a 6 months old classic 350 owner.
msrsooraj is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th February 2015, 12:41   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 3,067
Thanked: 6,234 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Lots of good tips already. I would go with always go to first gear and then to neutral.

I have had the occosional problem with finding neutral on my 1975 Bullet. It has the new 5 speed gear box, so no neutral finder.

I find when I put my foot on the gear level with my toes on the front end and heel on the rear end you get a bit more control then just using only your toes or your heel. It will allow you to rotate your foot slowy and subsequently hit neutral.
Try and see

Br Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th February 2015, 12:57   #12
BHPian
 
altoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 52
Thanked: 64 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

I read somewhere to bring the bike in neutral while it is still in motion. Have been following the same on my TB 350 (2 months old). Hence when I have to stop for a signal or park after riding, I gently tap with toe from 2nd to neutral during the last 20-30 cms before complete halt. This has not failed me yet (odo is only 800 kms ).
altoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th February 2015, 23:48   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: shimla
Posts: 23
Thanked: 0 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate.

However, the motorcycle has so far clocked about 4,500 kms., and I have kickstarted it, about 20-25 times,with this 'false neutral' approach. I hope no serious damage has been caused to the gearbox?

Moreover, kickstarting the motorcycle, after putting it into neutral, can be tricky especially in situations where you need to speed away immediately e.g. Traffic light turning green.

To avoid fumbling in such situations what I do is: pull the clutch- electric start (regardless of the gear I'm in) -engage the first gear- and accelerate. I hope I'm doing the right thing, or is it necessary to put the motorcycle into neutral even while electric starting it? Please explain.
escape velocity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2015, 11:39   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,001
Thanked: 1,038 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape velocity View Post
Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate.

However, the motorcycle has so far clocked about 4,500 kms., and I have kickstarted it, about 20-25 times,with this 'false neutral' approach. I hope no serious damage has been caused to the gearbox?
This approach of shifting gears will do more damage than good. As mentioned in your owners manual use the correct shifting pattern and always keep the motorcycle in "correct/proper" neutral position while kick or electric starting.

Quote:
Moreover, kickstarting the motorcycle, after putting it into neutral, can be tricky especially in situations where you need to speed away immediately e.g. Traffic light turning green.

To avoid fumbling in such situations what I do is: pull the clutch- electric start (regardless of the gear I'm in) -engage the first gear- and accelerate. I hope I'm doing the right thing, or is it necessary to put the motorcycle into neutral even while electric starting it? Please explain.
I dont know about your place but most of the cities in India now use a countdown board at the traffic signals. Here in Bombay I use it as a indicator to kickstart my RE Standard CI 350 Bullet when there are 20 seconds to go and use electric start on my RE Thunderbird 500 when there is about 5 seconds to go. Regardless of the motorcycle I am riding I always engage the neutral gear before shutting off the engine if the signal countdown indicator shows anything above 40 seconds or after completing my ride. Your approach of pulling the clutch and electric starting in whichever gear is not correct and will result in transmission damage. You are merely disengaging the clutch from the transmission and thinking well my motorcycle still starts so there should be no problem. Remember that the company has provided the neutral indicator green light for a reason. Also ultimately you are shifting to first gear after electric starting from whichever gear then why not shift to the correct neutral gear from the beginning, indirectly you are ultimately coming to first gear so what's the fumble?

As mentioned electric start or kick start ALWAYS put your motorcycle into the correct/proper neutral gear before starting and shifting from first gear and upwards. Hope this helps.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 6th February 2015 at 11:43. Reason: grammar edits
navin_v8 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2015, 01:15   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: shimla
Posts: 23
Thanked: 0 Times
Default Re: Royal Enfield: Finding Neutral Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post

1. The easy one : Shift down to 2nd gear and give a light tap downwards and slot it to neutral position just before the motorcycle rolls to a stop. It is really easy with some practice.
This, indeed, is a correct way to put the motorcycle in neutral.Not at all difficult to master. Many thanks!!!
escape velocity is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Switch off / Park in first gear or neutral? devnull Technical Stuff 49 18th December 2015 16:57
Scorpio MHawk-5th Gear Slips to Neutral akshay4587 Technical Stuff 15 16th December 2011 00:02
Santro gear shifts suddenly into neutral nura Technical Stuff 18 11th August 2008 14:21
Gear slipping to neutral? - Wagon R johy Technical Stuff 32 25th March 2008 19:01
Re: Gear "jumping" to neutral??? johy Technical Stuff 9 9th November 2006 21:45


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:11.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks