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Research Rat

Good News and Bad News: XR650L Shift Shaft

23 posts in this topic

I'll start with the good news. I just got returned from a great weekend at the Hancock Quarry Run Dual Sport. IMHO this wasn't so much a dual sport ride as as a turkey run over mountain enduro trail - never ending vertical climbs on shale, steep, long descents, and a few "diarrhea" mud bog trails as well. I wouldn't imagine someone being able to hike these trails let alone ride a motorcycle up then. The pig didn't like the tight stuff, but the power was great for zinging up the wide stuff and the added weight forced the suspension to work harder on the descents.

Now the bad news. When motoring up a small incline, I launched over a smallish dirt whoop and the bike went out from under me landing on the left side. The shift lever was completely mangled, which didn't seem like a big deal at the time since I had a replacement on me. I pushed the bike to the side of the trail and pulled the shift lever and when I looked at the shaft I could tell something was wrong. When the bike went down, the force pushed the shift lever back and up into the case saver and then tweaking the shift shaft rearward. The end of the shift shaft is now macaroni shaped. I was able to force the replacement shifter onto the shaft and finish the section, so the transmission appears to be in working order. However due to the shape of the shaft, the shifter points out and rearward, so not comfortable to ride.

What are my options here?

1. Replace shift shaft. What's involved? I believe splitting the engine.

2. Is it possible to reshape the shaft with it still in the case?

3. Other?

Thanks.

-Scott

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i would try to straighten it with a 16" cressent wrench; and have a friend hold the bike still. not fast but slow and easy.

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Since you have to split the cases to replace that part I would try to bend it back.

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Cleonard, any recommendation for going about bending it back in place?

Steve, how would the crescent wrench approach work?

I imagine one would have to be careful to avoid destroying the splines on the shaft.

-Scott

Since you have to split the cases to replace that part I would try to bend it back.

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Shouldn't have to split the cases to replace it. You'll have to remove the clutch cover and maybe the clutch basket to get it out.

Of course, it will have to be straight enough to pull out fromt he right, so if it comes to this, you'll probably have to saw the left end off.

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Shouldn't have to split the cases to replace it. You'll have to remove the clutch cover and maybe the clutch basket to get it out.

Of course, it will have to be straight enough to pull out fromt he right, so if it comes to this, you'll probably have to saw the left end off.

What he said.

It's not a big deal; Find yourself a shop manual if you don't already have one, straighten the shaft as much as possible, remove right side case, remove one or two set screws (if any), and your almost done:thumbsup:

Have a new seal, shaft, and gasket on hand. The hardest part will probably getting the bent shaft out. The cases can handle a little galling from spinning/gently hammering the bent shaft out, but make sure the seal area is free from burrs etc. before reassembly.

Good luck:thumbsup:

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There seems to be some confusion as to wether cases need to be split to replace the shaft.

I have the xr650l clymer manual at my garage, but haven't had the time to get there to look this up.

Has anyone done this him/herself or can anyone provide a definitive answer?

-Scott

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Cleonard, any recommendation for going about bending it back in place?

Steve, how would the crescent wrench approach work?

I imagine one would have to be careful to avoid destroying the splines on the shaft.

-Scott

yes you will need to be carefull with the splines but prying on them should not harm them; i would put the cressent on the spline shaft all the way up to the case and get it as finger tight as i could then i would press the handle of the cressent in the direction needed to straighted the shaft while my other hand holds on to the head of the cressent to keep it from sliping off the shaft ( night want to ware gloves ) and some one needs to hold the bike that 16" cressent has enough leverage to just move the bike, i would not put any tape on the shaft either if the wrench does crush a spline you can use a needle file to open it back up but that tape may add to the slip off of the wrench.

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on 2-strokes you can slide it out from behind the clutch basket......on the L it's a case spitting affair(like most 4-strokes)

And I would be very careful putting side loads against the cases trying to bend it back....a cracked case will really suck...just split em and get it over with

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You could try cutting the splined end off of the damaged lever and using it to protect the splines. :thumbsup:

It's been a while since I have have split the cases on an RFVC, but I don't see how the shift shaft(1) is going to come out without doing so. :excuseme

650L-gear-shift.gif

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Ah. Bummer deal. Straighten that baby as much as possible, watch the seal for leaks, and keep going:ride:

Or start buying that piston you always wanted!:thumbsup:

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Well, the top end was recently rebuild again with the high comp and overbore, so the bike already has the piston that I want :worthy:

-Scott

Ah. Bummer deal. Straighten that baby as much as possible, watch the seal for leaks, and keep going:ride:

Or start buying that piston you always wanted!:thumbsup:

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I talked with a few mechanics that were at the event this weekend, and there seems to be some popular sentiment that often a bike's shift shaft can be removed from motor on the clutch side via removal of the clutch cover. No one was able to comment specifically for my motor.

HT-do you happen to have the blown apart schematic for the clutch side of the motor?

-Scott

You could try cutting the splined end off of the damaged lever and using it to protect the splines. :thumbsup:

It's been a while since I have have split the cases on an RFVC, but I don't see how the shift shaft(1) is going to come out without doing so. :excuseme

650L-gear-shift.gif

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Yeah, there are several in the pdf manual; one with the clutch basket installed and one without. I could also get an actual photo from an XL600 engine this evening if it will help.

A number of bikes have designs that allow the shifter shaft to be replaced after removing a side cover, but these RFVCs are not among them.

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Thanks for forwarding the link.

I'm not even sure if the shaft is accessible via the inside of the clutch. That aside, it looks like there are lockrings atthched to shaft-no idea if how they'd make it out and back in during replacement.

-Scott

Yeah, there are several in the pdf manual; one with the clutch basket installed and one without. I could also get an actual photo from an XL600 engine this evening if it will help.

A number of bikes have designs that allow the shifter shaft to be replaced after removing a side cover, but these RFVCs are not among them.

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It wasn't horribly bent, maybe you can bend it back just enough to clear the cover and bend up the msr shifter to make it usable.

The MSR shifter looked a lot stronger than mine- I think mine's a moose?

Dave

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Dave,

I've talked to a few people and I think this is the best bet for right now. The transmission shifts fine and the seal is intact, so aside from the bend, there is no real issue.

I have a mechanic friend coming by the garage tonight to examine. I'll try to snap some pics.

I debating selling the bike and picking up a modern 250. You might see an ebay posting soon :thumbsup:

-Scott

It wasn't horribly bent, maybe you can bend it back just enough to clear the cover and bend up the msr shifter to make it usable.

The MSR shifter looked a lot stronger than mine- I think mine's a moose?

Dave

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Dave,

I've talked to a few people and I think this is the best bet for right now. The transmission shifts fine and the seal is intact, so aside from the bend, there is no real issue.

I have a mechanic friend coming by the garage tonight to examine. I'll try to snap some pics.

I debating selling the bike and picking up a modern 250. You might see an ebay posting soon :thumbsup:

-Scott

Smaller tank and a few sprocket teeth and you would have had an easier ride...

Dave

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Well it looks like it's part of the shifting drum.

Splitting the cases, wow, I feel for ya man. I just did a top end rebuild last fall, didn't split the case. If you havn't done it before it's a lot to learn just doing the top, never mind the tranny.

If I were you, I'd find a person in your area that wouldn't mind helping you out a night here and there for the major disassembly/reassembly. A few cases of beer well spent.

Also, if it was mine, since the top is coming off anyway. I'd certainly remove & clean the head, valves & piston, hone the cylinder, lap the valves, new valve seals and piston rings. Check the wrist pin with a .0001 micrometer or just replace that too. Find a good deal on gaskets.

You'll have a chance to really inspect the tranny too. Be ready for another shopping list at this point. A 2002 bike will certainly have some marginal parts in there, Check the gears, shifting forks and drum well.

Just break the rings in and she's gonna be mint!

Good luck with your bike. PM me if you wish.

Rob

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Thanks for the tips Rob.

The tweaked shaft doesn't look that bad, splines are intact, seal is intact, and transmission shifts well. I reinstalled the shift lever and bent it a tad to keep the shifter in line with where it's comfortable to shift up and down.

My plan at this point is to put it up for sale. I'd love to keep it and rebuild the motor, but I think a light enduro bike is in my near future. I already pay for monthly parking-adding another race horse to the stable simply isn't in the cards.

The top end is completely fresh, new JE 101 10.5:1, hot cam, and head was ported and revalved by xrs only. It's a hot little motor.

-Scott

Well it looks like it's part of the shifting drum.

Splitting the cases, wow, I feel for ya man. I just did a top end rebuild last fall, didn't split the case. If you havn't done it before it's a lot to learn just doing the top, never mind the tranny.

If I were you, I'd find a person in your area that wouldn't mind helping you out a night here and there for the major disassembly/reassembly. A few cases of beer well spent.

Also, if it was mine, since the top is coming off anyway. I'd certainly remove & clean the head, valves & piston, hone the cylinder, lap the valves, new valve seals and piston rings. Check the wrist pin with a .0001 micrometer or just replace that too. Find a good deal on gaskets.

You'll have a chance to really inspect the tranny too. Be ready for another shopping list at this point. A 2002 bike will certainly have some marginal parts in there, Check the gears, shifting forks and drum well.

Just break the rings in and she's gonna be mint!

Good luck with your bike. PM me if you wish.

Rob

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