I'm riding a Honda CB600F Hornet built 2006 (last model with carbs). I put it away for the fall/winter about 6 months ago. This week I was doing the maintenance, cleaned the brakes, lubed cables, synchronized carbs, changed the oil etc.

I noticed accidently I could put it into gear (first, second etc.), without using the clutch, while running. Obviously this isn't right, so I checked cable freeplay, tried readjusting, didn't really make a difference.

After some fiddling around (possibly due to cable adjustment?) I can't put it into first gear at all anymore (not even with clutch), but I goes up to 4th without the cluth again. 5th and 6th won't work at all. If it shifts, it will stay in gear though, so the clutch isn't slipping. Is it sticking? I'm thinking of opening the transmission and checking the plates etc. but I'd rather avoid this if another option is available.

Very strange situation, I'm not sure what can be causing this, especially because I didn't have this problem when I put it away for the winter...

Could this be the transmission plates that need replacing? I'm sure I put in the correct amount and type of oil.

Any help would be appreciated.

EDIT: To clarify, this behavior occurs while the engine is running

  • 1
    Am I mistaken in thinking that you can indeed shift into gear without using the clutch on a motorbike? In other words, you should be able to upshift and downshift whilst driving, without using the clutch. That's obviously something that's likely to hurt your transmission though. P.S. Great tagging work on this question! :)
    – JoErNanO
    Apr 18, 2016 at 8:17
  • @JoErNanO I think its mechanically possible, but you'd have to match gearbox and engine speeds (RPM). Pretty sure this is quite difficult and like you said, not something you want to do on a regular basis. There are also aftermarket "quickshifters" which basically clutch for you, but I don't have one of those installed :)
    – rumblefx0
    Apr 18, 2016 at 8:26
  • @DucatiKiller Idle, as in, engine running but in neutral? Doesn't seem to explain why it won't shift into 5th/6th or first gear though.
    – rumblefx0
    Apr 18, 2016 at 8:50
  • To clarify, the whole clutching/shifting problem is while the engine is running.
    – rumblefx0
    Apr 18, 2016 at 8:58
  • @DucatiKiller Haven't tried it, because I can't get it reliably in first gear. Why do you ask?
    – rumblefx0
    Apr 20, 2016 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


In any motorcyle you CAN shift into gear without using the clutch, you have to match the engine speed with the output speed, many people use it for racing, and if done correctly does not cause excesive wear, but for normal use, it is not recommended.

now when you say it wont shift into gear, do you mean the shifter just come to a halt before the shift engages? or does it go all the way through but you dont feel the thump of it shifting? Does your motorcycle have a gear indicator? does it indicate the upshift?

What I guess is the problem, you either have the clutch badly adjusted, if it is partially clutched you may burn the pads and have trouble shifting and low speed output.

If it is too loose, then the lever does not engage the clutch completely.

Also, do an engine oil change, make sure it is the correct and the correct amount.

If all fails, then an inspection of the clutch may be in order.

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