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Damn... my first potential mechanical issue on my duc... :'(

Its pretty intermittent but happens at least once every time I ride it.

I'll be accelerating and shifting up through the gears. After I shift from 3rd to 4th or 4th to 5th (I think), I'll notice a big surge on the tach as I roll back on the gas, but no power and it appears to be in neutral. Then after a second or two, as the tach needle swings back toward 4k it will fall back into the gear I was just in. By that point I've slowed down too much even for that gear and have to downshift.


It's currently a minor annoyance, but it would totally **** up a track day, and sucks during group rides too...

Any input on to what might be going on here? Thanks!
 

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It happens a lot when you get carried away and loose a little concentration on your foot work.

just remember to make sure you engage the gear all the way, no matter how fast your shifting.

mis-upshifts aren't nearly as potentially catastrophic as a mis-downshift...

at the track or on a spirited ride.


Q
 

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I load the shift lever, then pull in the clutch, then shift very positively to make sure there are no issues. That seems to ensure no mid or missed shifts.

Ken
 

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"stop using that darn clutch to shift, you are just setting yourself up for errors." [clap]

Q
 

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Ducati transmissions get false neutrals. I've ridden more than a dozen of them and every single one could easily stay between gears on either side of 4th gear. I've never had one pop back into gear though, I've always had to hit the shifter again.

Some bikes are more prone to false neutrals than others. My 1997 M900 was the worst, with the first one occurring while attempting to pass a truck on a farm road when the bike had less than 20 miles on it.

There are two things that can help reduce false neutrals. You can move the shift lever down about half an inch and that will put more pressure on the shifter during upshifts. That helped a lot with the 97. The other thing is to concentrate a bit more while shifting and make sure you shift in a firm manner, rather than lazily. Lazy shifting is the number one cause of hitting false neutrals on Ducatis.
 

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Scott R. Nelson said:
You can move the shift lever down about half an inch and that will put more pressure on the shifter during upshifts.
+1
Yea, that's what I was trying to say; you just said it better. ;D

Ken
 

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I've experienced the same thing on my '06 S2R. After reading the other suggestions I'm going to focus on more firm shifting while under hard acceleration. That seems to be when it occurs the most. When I'm in a hurry.
 

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My first post here on the DML was regarding a crappy shifter feel and false neutrals on my 98 M900. I've since done exactly what Scott R. Nelson says above and have avoided the situation ever since. Concentrating on my shifts helped quite a bit, but the biggest factor was moving the shifter down a bit so that my leg was at an angle where I could get more muscle behind my shifts.

-Danimal
 

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I always had that question on why my bike did that. Just thought it was a me thing... glad to know some one else is occurring the same thing. Also only happens to me when i'm in a hurry. Will work on the firm shifts.. Thanks again DML
 

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More radical than rotating the lever down is flipping the linkage over for GP shift pattern (I haven't done it myself). Those who have done it report that pressing down for an upshift is more natural and they get more positive shifts that way.

My wrench recommended cultivating the habit of keeping the level loaded until after you release the clutch. Takes a little while to program that into the synapses, but it works great. If you do that, you won't miss shifts.
 

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CRASH! said:
My wrench recommended cultivating the habit of keeping the level loaded
What does that mean?
 

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Aguacate said:
What does that mean?
Before you pull in the clutch and pull up into the next gear, you put upward pressure on the shift lever with your foot. Taht way when you pull in the clutch you are already applying pressure to the shifter and thus the shifts are more positive.

I seldom do it but have at times, it works...I just don't stay in the habit.
 

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Actually, that's not what I meant.

I meant,

1 pull in the clutch lever
2 lift up on the shift lever (not level ;D)
3 keep upward pressure on the shift lever until after you have released the clutch.


That'll do ya [thumbsup]
 

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CRASH! said:
1 pull in the clutch lever
2 lift up on the shift lever (not level ;D)
3 keep upward pressure on the shift lever until after you have released the clutch.
Hmm...never heard of that method. I'll be giving that a try tomorrow.

-Dan
 

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CRASH! said:
Actually, that's not what I meant.

I meant,

1 pull in the clutch lever
2 lift up on the shift lever (not level ;D)
3 keep upward pressure on the shift lever until after you have released the clutch.
Hmmm, I have never heard of that method. I don't often miss a shift...but I'll experiment with that technique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the tips all... well I guess its good news that its my sloppy technique and a finicky clutch...

I've altered my shifting style and it hasn't happened lately so maybe that was it.
 

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I am a bike mechanic part time and I have also raced as well as attend track days regularly. In my experiance I can honestly say that almost all bikes catch false neutrals at some point, even brand new ones. I cant imagine Ducati would be any different. I have found and seen first hand that adjusting your shift lever can resolve this issue (of course not completely) but it will help eliminate how frequently it happens to you. adjusted it so that you have the correct leverage will make a huge difference. I have also seen people who have adjusted it so that the shift arm (the part that connects to the shift axle that goes into the side case) has been way off its leverage point, please keep in mind that the rider input part of the shifting is basic mechanics and that you are taking a downward force and through varies linkage are transmitting that force into a different direction, if you dont have the neccessary leverage you will also be half shifting.

now if you know your in gear and the bike slips out of gear into what may seem like a false neutral and then back into gear and so on it is typicaly the drive dogs on the gears of your transmission (time to split the cases) expensive job.

I am one to preloads my shift lever when I shift and I almost always use my clutch but I am only on it with two fingers and its just enough to put slack in the drive in order for the shifter to naturally fall into its next gear (I always ride GP shift too, 1 up 5 down.
 

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Try the GP (reverse) shift pattern. I did it about 1000 miles after I got my Duc and I like it a lot. It's a free mod, and if you don't like it you can always switch it back. The downward movement to shift up through the gears has all but eliminated false neutrals for me. You just pull the clutch and kick it. [thumbsup]
 
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