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Bent Shift Fork(s)

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Bent Shift Fork(s)

PostAuthor: mfats123 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:00 am

Bought a Virago XV700 with shifting problems. I have to jam it into first gear (sometimes it slips back into neutral) then going into second gear it will land on neutral and I have to click up again to get into second (which sometimes works). Once in second It's easy to go from 3-4, 4-5, etc. but may slip into a gear above or below. This poses a big problem when it comes to actually driving it. It may or may not be bent shift forks as I'm no expert but I know the problem is somewhere in the gearbox. My plan is to get into the gearbox and see whats going on. So, my questions are, what headaches lie ahead? What are the basic steps in getting the engine to a place where I can split the case and view/repair the gearbox? What parts will I have to remove and in what order (generally speaking)? How many hours should expect to be working on this?

Background: I rebuilt an '82 Kawasaki Z550 LTD a year ago which required some engine work but not much. I have never completely taken an engine apart but, I am still very familiar with parts/layout/function.

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Re: Bent Shift Fork(s)

PostAuthor: Jake » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:19 pm

Before you go into the trouble of digging around inside, try the simple approach first.

This may or may not help your situation, pry up the rubber boots on the shift linkage and flush them out with WD40. It could be the joints are dry and have some grit in them.

I don’t recall anyone having the exact problem you are having, but in most cases, there is an immediate improvement.

Give it a shot and let us know if it helps before going deeper.
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Re: Bent Shift Fork(s)

PostAuthor: mark75 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:14 pm

Howdy, and Welcome to VTF.

:yup: when those joints get dry / dirty they tend to get balky and jam-up. [specially in 1->N->2] ---> @ #13 & #18 ---> ... hift-shaft
acting very much like the issue you describe.
I would think a defective fork would cause issues with other shifts too... :con:

some get lots of wear at the dog-eared end "cog"- #3 of the shift cam ---> ... t-cam-fork
or the "clawed" arm 'claws' of the shift lever-shaft [part hidden distal of #2 in the other link]
[the 'claw-arm' grabs the 'teeth' on the 'cog' to rotate the cam/shift gears. that's where you can get much, heavy wear]

the 1st thing you will want is a good service manual - [IMO the vintage hard-copy 920/750 OEM is best]
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Re: Bent Shift Fork(s)

PostAuthor: nanno » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:00 pm

mark75 wrote:I would think a defective fork would cause issues with other shifts too... :con:

If it's a worn or sticky shifter shaft, you get exactly that.

In short strip the engine to the shortblock, then lift the right crank-case half off. Crank and gearbox can remain in the left case. Polishing the selector shaft with a polishing mop yields some great results. If you actually have a bent fork, you'll see it as it will be polished on only one tooth.

Pictures taken are from an 1100 install in a set of XV1000 TR1 cases, but the gearbox is the same



You can see the wear-marks very nicely on this shaft:

Image - Nanno's accumulated findings (and blatant show-off) - infos on my TR1's, my performance and reliability mods and a bit of show-casing of the stainless steel exhausts I build (My blog -
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Re: Bent Shift Fork(s)

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:26 am


Possibly, sounds close to what happened to the wife's bike few years back. Shift lever had a mind of it's own. Coarse, just had to happen at a rally, camping out in middle of no-man's land. Had to do something. Leaned the bike against a tree and tore off side cover (left). Found one leg of the torsion spring (can't remember which atm-- #6 or #4) had snapped. Luckily, there was enough leg left to reposition and bend it to be able to catch and hold its position. "Maybe" yours will be as easy..never know. Lets' hope for the best. :bg: ... hift-shaft
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