Grinding 1st gear

Twin Pots

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FJR 1300 Yamaha
Although noisy first gear selection has previously been discussed here I always like to share my own experiences just in case it may help others. We oldie Triumph riders (us and the bikes) all know we have to free the clutch prior to starting after the bike has been standing for a while so as to minimise clutch drag and avoid problems engaging first gear. Idle speed etc. all matter and some suggest engaging 2nd gear first. For me none of this worked. Mine can be bad enough to sometimes stall the engine and always sounds expensive.
My solution was to slowly tighten the clutch cable at the lever before every ride and then see if the clutch slipped during riding. My first gear grinding actually stopped before I experienced any clutch slip. My bike now snicks into first gear like a modern bike and the gearbox itself is actually very impressive throughout all the gears. Admittedly the standard Triumph clutch is more akin to a switch with almost no "feel". Any modern rider would certainly need to acquire the skill of not stalling, especially as the standard first gear on my 67 Bonni is quite long to begin with. On/off at the clutch lever requires very little movement. This would not be the best bike for the average modern learner rider to practice slow speed balance using clutch control! Why had I not tried over tightening the cable before? because I had always worried about wearing out my clutch if it slipped so I never wanted to tighten the cable too much. I then decided to sod it. New clutch plates are cheaper and easier than a new gearbox rebuild. I still need to free the sticky clutch plates in the morning before starting but for the ride itself gear selection, including finding neutral, is no longer the annoying and noisy battle it once was. Yes it may put extra strain on the clutch cable but the benefits I think far outweigh the cost of a new clutch cable every now and then. It works so who am I to argue.
To refer back to my Breath Easy post on renewing needles and jets I can now report I no longer have to remove and clean the spark plugs every 150 miles to cure misfiring plugs. I also finally trust my bike to reliably idle at the traffic lights without constant reassurance throttle blips and at an rpm that allows the front wheel to shimmy as only a proper Triumph should. Don't you just love it when it does that! As Shakespeare once said " Methinks ye balance shafts are but for cissies and thou dost not needeth them ". Couldn't put it better myself.
 

Rocky

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Very interesting.
 

grandpaul

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I simply snick into 2nd, THEN select 1st gear. No graunching...
 

triumph david

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Sounds like you are talking about my Triumph!
 

Twin Pots

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Triumph Bonneville 1967
FJR 1300 Yamaha
I simply snick into 2nd, THEN select 1st gear. No graunching...
That's why I mentioned that it didn't work for me and that it could possibly be helpful for anyone else suffering with the same problem. For me engaging 2nd gear was just as bad as first gear so it just meant twice as many crunches every time I stopped at traffic lights. I live in Suburbia so a fair few traffic lights to negotiate before I reach the open roads.
 

grandpaul

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That's why I mentioned that it didn't work for me and that it could possibly be helpful for anyone else suffering with the same problem. For me engaging 2nd gear was just as bad as first gear so it just meant twice as many crunches every time I stopped at traffic lights. I live in Suburbia so a fair few traffic lights to negotiate before I reach the open roads.
Ah, so...
 
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