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Does Your Bike Also Shift Hard During Warm-up?

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:34 pm
by rstanis2
I just started riding and picked out a 1993 Honda Nighthawk. It's in great shape. Since I don't know how motorcycles normally operate and warm-up I need some clarification here.
I don't ride the bike everyday. In fact it was sitting for 7 days before I drove it today. I have a problem with shifting the bike into second. It simply won't do it...until I drive it a few first gear. After a few blocks it stubbornly accepts clicking into second gear. A stop sign comes and I'm clicking back to first gear, which comes easy, almost as easy as normal operation. Take off, shift to second and it's not going, so I cruise in first to the next stop. I try second again and it accepts it barely. I feel like I'm going to tear a hole in my boot trying to shift it up. The shifting starts breaking in/warming up, it seems. I cruise like this until shifting to second comes easy. I had to drive for 6 stop 6-10 stop signs. With each attempt to shift up, it gets a little easier. Then I hit a real road and go through all the gears.
After this process, the bike works fine and gears shift fine.

Second problem, which may be related, is I start the bike in neutral, let it warm up rich until it's ready, then tap down into first and the bike jerks forward and if I let the clutch lever out and didn't throttle. The clutch is not disengaging. So I instead either throttle on a little when I shift from N to 1st, or I leave the choke on while I shift, then turn the choke off. Either one of these lets me click into 1st without the Jerk & Die. This happened sometimes when I bought the bike, but is happening more now that I installed a clutch cable.
It needs a professional to adjust it. Thing is this only happens when it's cold and sitting and I start it. If it's been driven that day, this issue will not arise. I'll take it in for a cable adjustment, which will make a mockery of me ("cable adjustment?"), but still I bet it'll happen because it did before I put the cable in too.

I just want to know if on a 1993 bike, this is normal operation. All these problems go away when it is warmed up and driven back and forth. I feel like it's wasteful to go and get whatever this is repaired since in driving far, the bike is fine. I know if I stopped into Honda Powersports then will say, "Won't know anything until we open the case and look at the transmission." I'm sure they will love to do a transmission rebuild for ...what I paid for the bike... but do I need it?
I'm sure on a 1993 they will find something, and who isn't looking to make money? I don't want to get sold something I don't need. My thought it this is all normal for the bike and isn't affecting my driving after a warm-up.

Third, the carburetors could be cleaned I suppose since when it is sitting and I start it the throttle response in first gear is terrible and matched with the stubborn second gear shift is horrible. The throttle is sluggish and takes a while to take off from a stop. Still this too goes away after 5 minutes of driving around the block and doesn't come back unless it's sitting again. Sitting..the more the worse it seems. 7 days was the longest and I thought the transmission was broke when it wouldn't shift to second for several minutes.

Should I just let it idle in my driveway for 10 minutes and see if this clears it up?
I don't know if idling is easy on the bike though.

It's my first bike and I tend to keep things for a long time and I just got it. For instance, I keep and put money into a 1988 Civic, and I don't mean money for modifications or cosmetics. If something is really wrong with my car or bike, I want to know and fix it.

Re: Does Your Bike Also Shift Hard During Warm-up?

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:19 pm
by jstark47
When was the oil last changed in this bike?

Re: Does Your Bike Also Shift Hard During Warm-up?

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:49 pm
by Johnj
I would have a full tune up including cleaning the carbs and adjusting the clutch cable.

Re: Does Your Bike Also Shift Hard During Warm-up?

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:19 pm
by rstanis2
I just changed the oil myself. I don't think dirty carbs would influence the pedal shifter. I agree with cable adjustment, but I got it pretty close. And when the bike is warmed up, it's solid. I just don't know the inner workings of it when it's cold.

Re: Does Your Bike Also Shift Hard During Warm-up?

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:56 am
by GS_in_CO
Sounds like you might have used too thick oil weight for the temperature. You didn't say what the temperature is.

Clutch runs in the motor oil. When the oil is still cold it's very thick and makes a lot of drag between the clutch plates which also affects being able to put it into or switch, gears.

It's not broken, the behavior is normal to some degree but you should double check the oil weight recommended vs what you used.

Even the carbs may be acting normal - folks got so used to computer-controlled fuel injected cars that they think things should work perfectly all the time. Carbs never worked perfectly - they were just the best thing available for most of the time and we suffered with their behaviors the rest of the time. (i.e. carburetor icing, stuck automatic chokes, stuck manifold heat stoves, inoperative warm air diverter valves, etc)