2008 RMZ 250 shifting problems

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9/15/2010 7:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/27/2010 9:29 AM

I just noticed my bike doesn't want to shift into 4th at speed. I tried putting along slowly and I am able to get both 4th and 5th. Weird...

Now here is what I think it might be... I just recently changed the oil and didn't do the filter. Maybe the filter is dirty and is the cause...

Or maybe I need to replace the plates, springs...ect?



9/15/2010 9:11 AM

Dave, usually unless the clutch basket is notched and causing the clutch to bind it wouldn't be an issue. If the clutch assembly looks good I think you are going to have to split the cases and inspect the dogs on the gears, shift forks and even the pins the shift forks ride on. If it shifts at low rpm but not under acceleration it pretty much has to be in the gearbox.


9/15/2010 9:42 AM

What will it cost if I take it to the dealership?


9/15/2010 10:24 AM

Dealership service prices vary from area to area and then shop to shop. Let your fingers do the walking and talk to some of the shops in your area. You might save some $$ if you pull the engine out of the frame. The only short coming by doing that the dealer can't test ride the bike. Be sure to ask for any parts they replaced also.


9/15/2010 10:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/15/2010 11:46 AM

Thanks for your advice, but since that was my first oil change I'm going to drain it, replace the filter and refill with a synthetic oil (Maxima) and see if it shifts better. I've been reading a lot of the same problems on other forums and some of it was oil related...

If it doesn't improve then I'll remove the clutch basket and inspect for notches and if I don;t find any then I have a few dealers and performance shops that are pretty close by.


9/15/2010 11:22 AM

The thing to remember is oil doesn't know RPM's so if it works putting but not under load its pretty much mechanical. Be safe


9/15/2010 11:46 AM

Whoa let me first correct myself... I meant that it can't get into 4th at speed, but can shift in to 4th at low speed (RPMs)

I talked to a guy at a local shop and he said it is possible that if the original owner was running synthetic oil and I changed to a non synthetic this problem might happen. I'm going to try using synthetic this time and keep my fingers crossed...


9/22/2010 9:42 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/23/2010 4:41 AM

So I did the oil and filter change using 10w/40 synthetic oil and it shifted great, but then as it got hot it wouldn't shift up into 4th from 3rd at high RPMs. I could however shift down to 2nd and then shift back up to forth which of course is not good at all.


9/22/2010 1:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/22/2010 1:20 PM

that sounds like a possible bent shift fork or the rod the shift fork slides on could be bent, that means the cases would have to be split.


9/22/2010 4:43 PM

Definitley rounded the edges on the gear dog.


9/23/2010 4:41 AM

Any ball park figures on what this may cost me? I don't have the time to fix this myself...



9/23/2010 6:16 AM

Not sure about the labor rate were you are at but, but proberly flat rate would be 3 1/2 to 4 hours. It would be a little less if you pulled the engine but then they couldn't test run it when they finished,


9/27/2010 8:27 AM

Dave, take it to Pete Collins....I'm sure you know him from NESC.

He is very reasonable, has the fastest turn around for racers and isn't too far from where you are in Gardner.



9/27/2010 9:43 AM

Yes I am familiar with Pete's shop in Marlboro. I hear good things about them... I actually drive by Marlboro every day for work so I might think of using them in the future.

I went for a ride out by Crow Hill Thursday and saw some improvement in the shifting. It seems that if I completely stand up on the pegs and shift from 3rd to 4th I can push the gear lever up enough to make the shift as opposed to doing it while sitting. So having said that I'm thinking of maybe readjusting the shift lever at a lower angle so I can get more leverage on it.

I hope this works because I'm planning on racing soon and I need to get this fixed ASAP.


10/7/2010 6:07 AM

Ended up bringing my bike to Cycle Design which is 4 miles from my house, plus that's where I purchased the bike. Hopefully it ends up being something simple, but I'm planning for the worst just in case.

Last night I spoke to the tech and he said my clutch cable was out of adjustment, but I was messing with it trying to improve my shifting results last week so that might just be the fact that I didn't adjust it back. Anyway.... keeping my fingers crossed.

Also I stripped the Oil Plug threads the other day while checking for metal fragments in the oil... This pisses me off because I always use a torque wrench and follow the specs. Luckily Cycle Design installed a Timesert which is way better than a helicoil. In fact it is better than stock and will hold up against all the oil changes a 4-stroke endures.



11/9/2010 7:19 PM

my 07 rmz did the same thing. but my 08 has yet to have any shirting problems


11/10/2010 4:34 AM

There actually wasn't any mechanical problems after having it looked at. I needed to make some adjustment to the clutch and I found I wasn't letting off the gas enough when up shifting (advice from another Vet Rider) from 3rd to 4th. I was so used to riding 2-strokes and the way they shift. 2-strokes you don't have to always let off the gas or even use the clutch in order to make the shift. 4-strokes you have to completely be off the gas in order to make the bikes shift, especially when you are going from 3 to 4th on these RMZs. Once I changed my shifting style I noticed I was able to make the shift...

I do however miss a shift when I'm on a sprint lap as I fall back into my old shifting habits of the 2-strokes. Its hard to break that old habit sometimes....