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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Suddenly I can't shift into 1st, and any suggestions would be a big help. Strangely, I'd just been thinking about putting in the Factory Pro Evo-7 STAR shifter kit some time this winter, and then this happened. I'm hoping that installing the shifter kit now will clear this up. Am I on the right track?

I have an 03 636, no engine/transmission/clutch mods, 26,000 miles and I take very good care of her.

Like most 636 owners, I've had the occasional problem with the 1-2 shift getting hung up in neutral, but that's just been annoying and pretty rare -- maybe 10 or 15 times in 5 years.

Yesterday, I couldn't engage first. This happened first when the bike was cold, and eventually went away. Later in the day, during a longer ride it happened again and has stayed that way. Shifting up from 2nd was OK, and shifting down from any gear above 2nd was OK, though up and down both seemed to be a bit harder than usual. But trying to shift down from 2nd, the shift lever felt stiff (but not completely unmovable), wouldn't engage 1st, and didn't seem to be coming back up to it's normal position when I'd stop trying to shift.

I did a quick check of oil level, gear lever position adjustment, clutch adjustment, chain tension, and other easy things and didn't uncover any problems. I haven't yet taken apart the shift lever mechanism to give it a good cleaning and lube, but will be doing that tonight.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Sounds like a bent/worn shift fork.
 

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Is the clutch hydraulic on the 636R? If it is a cable it could be out of adjustment or maybe if hydraulic it's time to rebuild the clutch cylinder or add fluid.

Other thing.. bent shift shaft or bent shift fork.

I'm asuming you are having trouble downshifting into 1st gear? Sometimes when a bike is parked you have to roll the bike forward or backward a few inches to get 1st gear to engage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. So it might be the dreaded bent shift fork or shift shaft. CRAP!

Last night I played around with the gear lever adjustment linkage, raising and lowering the lever a bit. Now, I can shift down into back and forth between 1st and neutral, but not up from neutral.

Still sound like shift fork or shaft?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sounds like you have got it sorted, was just the adjustment.
Unfortunately not. Now I can shift between 1st and neutral only. Can't shift up from neutral to 2nd, 3rd, etc. Before adjusting the linkage, I could shift up from 2nd to 3rd, 4th, etc. but not down to 1st or neutral.
 

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Thanks everyone. So it might be the dreaded bent shift fork or shift shaft. CRAP!

Last night I played around with the gear lever adjustment linkage, raising and lowering the lever a bit. Now, I can shift down into back and forth between 1st and neutral, but not up from neutral.

Still sound like shift fork or shaft?

yeah still sounds like it that or the rachet on the end of the shifter arm and the shift drum are worn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update for anyone trying to sort out a transmission problem on an 03 ZX-6R...

After having problems engaging first, and third from second, I checked all the easy stuff (chain tension, clutch drag, oil level) then replaced the stock shift drum cam (the star-shaped thing) with the Factory Pro shift kit. No improvement though, and would still have trouble getting into first sometimes, and also trouble getting from second to third unless I'd put a little downward pressure on the lever first. The shift lever still felt wrong, as it didn't bounce back to it's normal unweighted position on its own. Since it wasn't springing back to the "neutral" positon on it's own, I figured some of the internal springs in the shift mechanism weren't doing what they were supposed to.

I was just about to pull the clutch again to get at all the internal mechanisms, and if that didn't work I would have split the cases to check out the shift forks, shift drum, etc.

One last time, I sat beside the bike and moved the gear lever up and down by hand to see if I could feel anything going on inside. The gear lever was pretty stiff, and then I noticed that moving it up and down actually rotated the left footpeg. Aha!

The left footpeg bolts through the gear shift lever, and though the pivot is somewhat protected by o-rings on each side, mine was completely dry and greaseless, and very rusty. After cleaning and polishing the rust away, I greased up the joint, put it all back together, and... the transmission shifts BEAUTIFULLY. Better than new. The Factory Pro kit makes for much quicker shifts with very little effort.

I thought I had checked all the moving parts of the shift mechanism, but I had overlooked the most important part! Surprising that this part was so rusty, as the bike's garaged and I almost never ride in the rain, but there you go.

If you're having difficulty shifting, as opposed to having the transmission jump out of gear, check each part of the external shift mechanism first, especially the shift lever pivot. It's an easy job if you detach the shift rod completely, then remove the whole footpeg bracket from the frame. This makes it easy to get at the allen-head bolt on the back side that connects the footpeg and the shift lever to the bracket.
 

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good deal man. i've never had problems with mine, but ima check that to see if it needs cleaning.
 
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