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Have an '02 998 and got to take the bike out last weekend for a ride through the closest twisties and had a blast. The trip was about 200-250 miles and towards the end of the trip it was almost impossible to shift into neutral. Anyone else had this problem? Is it possibly an overheating problem? Any ideas? Thanks.
 

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Im not sure this is the same problem but, I notice that my 996 will not (or is very Difficult to) shift into neutral at a stop. If the motor is off it shift to neutral with no problems and if I shift it to neutral will still rolling it goes easy. But at a stop its just tricky to find I assume this is some tyme of designing trick ducati used to shorten the 1st to 2nd gear change so that you wont hit neutral while riding
 

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i'm thinkin you might be workin on your clutch soon.
 

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cheech said:
adjust the rod on your shift linkage.
why would the height of the lever make a difference? I could see if the rod was loose or something. do the 998s have the same kinda rod as the 999 with the adjustment in the center as well as at the end?
 

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Hwy1&17 said:
why would the height of the lever make a difference? I could see if the rod was loose or something. do the 998s have the same kinda rod as the 999 with the adjustment in the center as well as at the end?
I'm not talking about adjusting the shift lever height. Adjust the rod length. There maybe too much or not enough tension so it's binding. Soft neutral is usually harder to find, since most people shift hard up and down. I had these same symptoms in the past.
 

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Rev and King, I had the same symptoms that both of you guys are describing and after I replaced my push rod bearing that frozed up and messed up my Evo clutch slave cylinder, it now shifts very smoothly. I don't know if that is the answer but it is a good place to check.
 

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cheech said:
Adjust the rod length. There maybe too much or not enough tension so it's binding. Soft neutral is usually harder to find, since most people shift hard up and down.
I'm confused :confused: adjusting the rod length only raises or lowers the shift lever
 

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kingsnake1650 said:
Im not sure this is the same problem but, I notice that my 996 will not (or is very Difficult to) shift into neutral at a stop. If the motor is off it shift to neutral with no problems and if I shift it to neutral will still rolling it goes easy. But at a stop its just tricky to find I assume this is some tyme of designing trick ducati used to shorten the 1st to 2nd gear change so that you wont hit neutral while riding
I had that problem when I bought my 996. A few weeks later I pulled apart the clutch cover and looked at the clutch springs. Rusty as they were I tried to get the rust off (wd40). BUT be abvised not to let any WD40 come into the clutch itself. I had a clutch slipping problem after I cleaned the springs with the wd40m, seemingly something got into the clutch discs.

Anyway, after the treatment I was able to find the neutral really easy compared to before. Might be the springs?
 

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mabey your rpms are too high,while stopped,( at idle , +/- 1100 to a max 1200 seems to work for me )
sometimes i just roll the bike forward(couple of inches)
with tension on the lever,
and it goes in real easy
 

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If your gearbox works properly when the engine is not hot and then it is hard to find neutral after a prolong ride, it usually means that the fluid in your clutch hydraulic system is contaminated with water.

DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids are Hygroscopic (not Hydroscopic) which means they absorb moisture from atmosphere readily. As brake fluid gets old, more moisture is absorbed from atmosphere. The added moisture, will reduce the boiling point of the brake fluid significantly. As the fluid gets hot and the added moisture boils, it turns into air. Unlike fluid, air is compressible. When water turns to air, the same amount of lever throw will not cause the same amount of throw in the slave cylinder as before. In turn that will cause the clutch plates to not fully disengage when the lever is pulled.

When the rear wheel is not moving or is moving very slowly, the added drag will make it more difficult to find neutral and in some cases going into first gear.

I recommend you replace the fluid in the clutch hydraulic system with a brand new one and --FULLY-- bleed the system.

When replacing the fluid, it is best to remove as much fluid as you can from the reservoir using a paper-towel first. Just leave enough to cover the hole on the bottom of the reservoir. Then add fluid and bleed the slave and watch the fluid coming out the slave bleeder. When it starts changing color it means the new fluid is coming out.

When I replace the fluid in my bike, I take the clutch slave cylinder off the case and push the slave piston --ALL the WAY IN -- using a small wooden dowel before I start adding fluid to the reservoir. This forces all the old fluid out of the slave cylinder. I use a C-clamp or duct tape to keep the dowel in, I then add the fluid until all the old fluid is out. I then remove dowel before I start bleeding the system.

In some cases, depending on the angle of your clip-ons, you may also get some trapped air in the first elbow right after the clutch master cylinder. Getting that air out is kind of difficult when bleeding the system. After the slave is bled, you can pull in the lever and simply crack open the master cylinder banjo bolt while holding the level. Once the fluid starts coming out, tighten the banjo bolt before releasing the lever. Repeat this three to four times to get all of the air out. It is important to wrap the banjo bolt with some throw-away rag or towel, to make sure the fluid does not get on the fairing pieces or any other pieces on the dash. Brake fluid will eat paint and will also dull the clear plexiglass on the tach or speedo. Have a spray bottle filled with soap and water handy, in case you get brake fluid on those parts. Clean immediately with soap if you get fluid on any parts and later rinse thoroughly.

Also note if the throw-out bearing in the pressure plate is not working properly or if it is seized, it can cause all sorts of unexplainable problems with your clutch. It is a great idea to remove the pressure plate off the bike and inspect the throw-out bearing for smooth operation. If it is binding or seized do not ride the bike until that bearing is replaced.

Try the above and see if that solves your problem. If it does not, report back here and we go from there.

Regards,
-Fariborz
 

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the most common cause of your problem is a lack of throw from the slave cyl. if you haven't changed anything, like rearsets or clutch plates, basket or pressure plate, you can probably rule out an error in installation. bleeding the system is a good start, remember too, to bleed the banjo fitting at the m/cyl. air gets trapped as it's the highest point in the system and even using a mityvac can still miss it. if that doesn't fix it, check the condition of your basket, the edges where the friction plates hammer away get worn and once they get too bad the plates can bind on the jagged edges on the basket. this doesn't allow the clutch to disengage fully and it will drag. an easy way to see if your clutch is dragging is by sitting on the bike, putting it in first and with the clutch lever in, hit the starter, if the bike pulls or lurches forward you have a dragging clutch and will have to disassemble it to inspect and fix.
good luck,
paul.
 
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