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Monster 620ie - Harsh Gear Change

Discussion in 'Monster' started by Twin-pipe, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Guys, looking for some help/ideas to solve a very harsh gear change on 2003 Monster 620ie with 8000 miles on the clock.
    Local Dealer says to change the oil and see how it goes but I'm not buying it. Changing up is 'mechanical' but changing down is like dropping a bag of bricks which cant be good. I've tried feathering the selector, throttle etc which achieves either no gear or the same result. The only comfortable change is once you're at a stop and change down. Anything on the move and it's horrendous - you end up trying to avoid shifting!
  2. They are all like that....depends what you have come off riding. Is this a new bike to you or developed over time? FWIW I know loads raced, totally abused, never let go (or very very rare)

    Could also be clutch, if someone has put fully synth oil in there they don't like is..also may have a ATPC (slipper) fitted as some models were :)
  3. gear changes on ducs are very heavy compared to most other bikes ,
    check your chain tension as too tight or too loose can feel very odd
  4. Replies v much appreciated. Ive been riding Ducatis for 20 odd years, 851 / 888 / 748 / 998 / 999 and this gear change isnt right - its verging on dangerous in my book, not least because you avoid gear changes when you should be making one. This is the first Duc I have had with a wet clutch and i thought it would make a good town hack.
    I have read various threads on other sites as suggested and most point towards heavy up changes as opposed to down changes. The up change is certainly heavy but you can manage this on the throttle but you have to wince prior to making a down change (it crashes into gear) and whilst not good practice you wouldn't down change prior to exiting a corner for fear of something locking up.
    I will start a process of elimination by (reluctantly changing oil, clutch fluid and I will certainly pay close attention to the chain / any wear on the sprockets but if In honest I'm not expecting a miracle solution here. (I would have hoped that my Ducati Dealer would have flagged some of these items. The Clutch lever bites at the very beginning of the travel so im guessing theres plenty of 'throw' to release the plates?
  5. My 10:1 would be on the clutch being an issue. Either because of the worn clutch, plates in incorrect, air in the system or wrong engine oil :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. sorry just saw new member and assumed ;-)

    fwiw, the fully synth oil issues usually resulted in clutch slipping under hard acceleration in 4th gear up, not gear down changes in my experience
    what happens if you upshift without the clutch? does it crunch?

    i'd start give the clutch a proper bleed, maybe swap for a different clutch slave if you can before you drop the oil and start pulling the engine covers off

    if that dont fix it i'd suspect the clutch is knackered
    there were some instances of the clutch springs (or some other part) breaking in the APTC clutch but thought this was related to few Monster s2r800 models from in 2005
  7. That true, it tends to slip the clutch a lot more at any revs, makes pulling away more difficult
  8. Thanks guys - I'll start tinkering over the weekend and if I find anything positive I'll report back
  9. Can you select neutral at rest with engine running??
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Selecting gears at rest (with the engine running) is no problem. Where possible I choose to coast to a stop in 5th and then drop through the gearbox to select either first or neutral. At rest the gear change is what you might expect but soon as the gearbox is under load (ie your moving) the gear changes revert back to 'slapping' into gear (there's no grinding of cogs just a v heavy mechanical 'clunk') I would say is not so bad when the engine is cold but once you've a couple of miles on the clock it reverts to type.
  11. So if you coast to a halt in gear, you can easily select neutral.
    If this is the case, that suggests the problem is not with your clutch.
    Have you checked the chain adjustment, as previously suggested?
  12. For that reason I was slightly sceptical of the clutch being the issue but was happy to go through the elimination process. It appears that my chain adjustment needs to be within 25-27mm for this model so this will be my first point to check but I naively assumed the dealer would have adjusted this as part of the vehicle check (knowing I had gear change concerns) I paid for!
  13. Looking through your thread it looks as though most fault-finding bases have been covered. Just to confirm:- with engine hot, gear selection at a standstill is fairly normal - i.e. the bike doesn’t lurch forward momentarily with a loud “clunk” from the gearbox? If this is the case then it sounds as though the clutch is okay but I guess there’s a chance it could behave differently on the move due to the wrong oil. (worth changing just to rule it out). If it’s not the clutch then this is ringing bells but can’t remember the details - something to do with dragging layshaft bearing(s) somewhere – I hope somebody else can add more or that you find the solution.
  14. I'm not so sure that you can discount the clutch being the problem because it selects gears ok at a standstill.
    I would still be suspicious of something causing the clutch to disengage poorly .. something like warped/sticky plates or deep notches in the basket.
    Also, I'm assuming that you will not have overlooked a badly adjusted chain but have you checked for a bad tight spot in it ?
    I have a 750 monster with wet clutch.
    Its done nearly 25k miles, all of it on the recommended Shell Advance Ultra oil,and the gearchange is slick.
    Ok, its maybe not "Honda-smooth" but its still slick.

    ps. there is a well known issue with selector springs breaking.
    I'm not convinced that this is actually your problem but it might be worth a check since it is a known weak point.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  15. hmmm - when I've had oil issues in my wet clutch (Honda), it's slip you get, not clunks. If it is clutch, it sounds like failure to fully disengage. Have you run it on a stand with the back wheel in the air?

    I would start off by going through all the clutch items - ie start with operative bits - hydraulics, pushrod etc - is it moving as far as it needs to?
    then it's checking plates, basket etc
  16. Having spent last 12 months on an Africa Twin I unearthed the Monster for a blast and an MOT. A small part of me was hoping the gear selection problems might have fixed themselves but alas not. Based on some of the previous comments Ive changed the engine oil (which was grim) and I was told to get things nice and hot and any 'sticky plates' should get decontaminated and an improvement should materialise.
    Engine temperature got to circa 95 degrees slogging through London traffic for about 90 minutes but unfortunately no change in gear selection.
    Before I drop the clutch plates for further inspection could I ask for your thoughts as I feel the bike deserves to be fixed. Summary:
    • Low mileage bike 8000 miles (prob stood for a while)
    • Sprocket not worn
    • Chain adjustment within 25-27mm tolerance but I have noted some stiff links
    • Gear changes 'acceptable' when cold
    • Gear changes up or down horrendous when hot - especially down.
    • Gear changes OK when stationary
    • Off the bike - you have to push the bike to get the clutch to release when in gear with clutch lever depressed. (Sticky Plates??)
    Has anyone actually had to clean clutch plates??

    I have posted another couple of questions regarding faulty reserve light / sender (just run out of petrol but no light!) and recommended & affordable motorcycle spray shops?
  17. If you've found tight spots in the chain, I would replace that before doing anything else.
    As I said before, my 750 monster changes gear smoothly .. but only if the chain is in good nick and well adjusted.
    No guarantees but that chain could well be your problem.
    Now comes the bit that I'll probably get chastised for, but ....if the sprockets look reasonably good I might consider sticking a new chain on the old sprockets before shelling out on a complete new chain and sprocket set.
    Ok, that's generally considered to be bad practice but in this case it might be worth doing just as a cheap, quick test to see if it sorts your gearchange issue.
    In my opinion there's a pretty good chance that it will, but if it doesn't then at least you will have cash left to spend on clutch internals.
  18. It’s really odd that the clutch could work well enough to allow neutral selection at rest but drag badly enough to cause gear selection issues at speed.
    The only thing that occurs to me, if it were a dry clutch, is a spinning pushrod causing the fluid in the slave cylinder to boil.
    Could something similar happen with a wet clutch??
    If not, I would be looking elsewhere.
  19. Really interested in how you get on here. A friend just bought a 2004 620 and it has a similar condition.
    When I test rode it for him cold it was fine, but once hot the downshift becomes somewhat harsher.

    Out of interest, does yours have an aftermarket clutch slave? (like oberon or similar) This bike does, and I'm wondering if possibly it doesn;t generate enough travel.

    Good luck.
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