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false neutrals

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trevor machine
the 900
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false neutrals

Post by trevor machine on Sat 21 Sep 2013, 8:56 pm

Twice today I've somehow managed to find myself between gears on my CB500. I don't know enough about bikes and engines to say that what I experienced was technically a false neutral. But it was as though the bikes was in neutral, between third and fourth. I twisted the throttle as normal, expecting the bike to do what bikes do - pick up a bit of speed, etc. But what actually happened was the tacho needle swung into the red and the engine revved out. I no likey. Bike no likey. Why for it do this? 

I reckon it's done this about 5 or 6 times in the last 4 months. Scares the bloody life out of me when it does.

It's a '97, 15k miles - looks in great nick. Has had a pampered life, afaIct.

I change the oil every two thou. Use bog standard 10w40 - car oil.
Filter every other change. Is this where I'm going wrong? Should it be longer intervals and better oil? Or is that all irrelevant and there's something wrong with one of the selector forks or whatever they're called?
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ryancook1993
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Re: false neutrals

Post by ryancook1993 on Sat 21 Sep 2013, 11:03 pm

With bikes it just happens, most of the times it is caused by being girlish/lazy with how hard you kick the gear lever. It doesn't get any less scary, heart still jumps a beat when hitting a false neutral.

HOWEVER

as far as I am aware car oil can have bad additives for bikes, you can get nice and cheap 10w40 motorcycle oil from halfords. 
If your ride the bike hard I personally like to use good oil, however according to people, because of how bulletproof the engines are, they dont require good oil. I prefer to treat my steed well.
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stormbringer
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Re: false neutrals

Post by stormbringer on Mon 23 Sep 2013, 7:47 am

@ryancook1993 wrote:as far as I am aware car oil can have bad additives for bikes, you can get nice and cheap 10w40 motorcycle oil from halfords. 
If your ride the bike hard I personally like to use good oil, however according to people, because of how bulletproof the engines are, they dont require good oil. I prefer to treat my steed well.

First off: Yup, it does do that from time to time. And every time you get kinda scared - along with any elderly ladies who happen to be out walking their poodle, right next to you. Did I get a STARE from one of those old ladies recently...

Ah, ye olde oil debate Smile
Some car oils contain friction modifiers said to be not-good for your clutch. Remember; cars generally have dry clutch mechanisms located outside the gearbox/engine compartment and thus this is perfectly OK.
The CB - and most bikes - use wet clutches. Motorcycle oil does not have said additives in order to avoid clutch slip. You can recognize proper motorcycle oil by its JASO certification.

That said, many people on here use plain car oil and still have happy lives - the CB doesn't seem to mind. It's still not clear to me why. Perhaps not all car oils contain beforementioned friction modifiers? Dunno. Haynes states 10w30 API SE or better.

To be on the safe side, I'm using JASO-approved Castrol Power1. Yes, it's expensive, but it's also important. I'm thinking 'insurance' here... And there's no reason to NOT at least buy Halfords bike-oil, as said by ryancook. Same price range.

Oil change every 2k? Doesn't the Haynes manual prescribe 8000 miles - or every year, whichever comes first?
Mine just passed 6000 miles, no oil consumption, oil has only turned slightly brownish. A little bit uncanny, actually. Any and all vehicles I've ever owned have turned their oil black as soot over time, but the CB seems to defy logic.


Last edited by stormbringer on Sun 30 Mar 2014, 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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trevor machine
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Re: false neutrals

Post by trevor machine on Mon 23 Sep 2013, 9:04 am

Thanks guys.

Yeah my intervals are really short, and probably a total overkill. Book says 8k - I do mine a quarter of that. Waste of money? Probably.

Anyway - yesterday I was on the bike pretty much *all* day. Weather was absolutely perfect (if somewhat blindingly bright at times). One of those days where even the long, straight, boring roads feel good. In the morning I was out on the wolds, along narrow, winding lanes - having a blast with an utterly fearless guy on a knackered old CG125 who pinned it at 60mph round the most frightening corners. Set a challenging pace, he did! Other guy was on a ER5f - and as he didn't know the route, tended to disappear in our mirrors. It's okay - he caught up at junctions, and there's no shame in being sensible on roads you don't know. Hell, there's no shame in being sensible on those you *do*. Well okay maybe a little. Laughing 

Then in the afternoon I was on me lonesome - taking it easy, some long straight stretches at 60mph, punctuated with slow, low gear town riding. Just as enjoyable as the sport of the morning, to me at least.

But the point is simply this: I was determined to avoid any false neutrals. And taking ryancook1993's advice I decided to exert a little more strength. Rather than using the end third of my foot, I used the middle third - the instep. Getting a good, meaty bit of boot under the selector every time. Seemed to help. Certainly didn't get any FNs anyway. Will continue this way.
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stormbringer
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Re: false neutrals

Post by stormbringer on Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:35 am

Practice makes master. I've found that revving the engine  - that is, keeping it apove 6k - kinda makes the gearbox much smoother on transitions. No need to force it, just little clicks, possibly aiding the process with the throttle. This also helps to avoid labouring the engine at low revs. Makes for a much more fun ride. CB really lives to rev!
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teamster1975
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Re: false neutrals

Post by teamster1975 on Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:24 pm

Make sure you've got the clutch cable adjusted properly as well, there should be 2-3mm play at the lever.
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davetheworv
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Re: false neutrals

Post by davetheworv on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 6:58 pm

a well adjusted chain makes a lot of difference too.

I would never have expected there to be a problem as it only happened occasionally, just a bit of a lazy change probably. I do it myself sometimes so know from experience
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Basil Moss
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Re: false neutrals

Post by Basil Moss on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 8:42 pm

Yeah I get them time to time, and the bloke at Racing Lines in Derby (who used to race the CB500) told me he's had this. Seems to be if I'm too gentle with the gear lever. If you blip the throttle at just the right moment it slips from one gear to another with barely any force, which is good as it means you've matched it well and not stressed the gearbox, but even then a little more force after you've felt it engage helps to make sure it's well seated in the gear. I seem to get it between 4th and 5th, and often when it happens I'm giving it beans and revving quite high to start with.
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trevor machine
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Re: false neutrals

Post by trevor machine on Thu 26 Sep 2013, 5:04 am

@stormbringer wrote: CB really lives to rev!
 Yeah it does - but then, on the other hand, the deep thumping notes the engine makes at lower revs are really something to delight in, imo. With the stock can they're audible but not emphasised. But stick an e.g. Fuel on, whip the baffle out and wow. Those deeper tones really come to life. Short-shifting up to third, then taking third through the rev range makes such sweet, sweet music - the cacophony goes from a rich baritone rumble, to an angry bark, into a furious howl right through to a terrifying, prolonged scream. One of the best sounding bikes on the road, imo. And yet you could quite easily own one for years and years without ever knowing how well they can bray.
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stormbringer
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Re: false neutrals

Post by stormbringer on Thu 26 Sep 2013, 7:28 am

@trevor machine wrote:
@stormbringer wrote: CB really lives to rev!
 Yeah it does - but then, on the other hand, the deep thumping notes the engine makes at lower revs are really something to delight in, imo. With the stock can they're audible but not emphasised. But stick an e.g. Fuel on, whip the baffle out and wow. Those deeper tones really come to life. Short-shifting up to third, then taking third through the rev range makes such sweet, sweet music - the cacophony goes from a rich baritone rumble, to an angry bark, into a furious howl right through to a terrifying, prolonged scream. One of the best sounding bikes on the road, imo. And yet you could quite easily own one for years and years without ever knowing how well they can bray.
Versatile. That's the word I come to think of, hearing 'CB500'.
Stock can, just trundling along, it's possible to move about almost unheard. I've actually managed to sneak up on unsuspecting cyclists, startling them.
The other day I was on a rideout with 25 other bikers (driving school 'fall-rideout'), bringing all kinds of bikes - from 250cc vintage to something barely (if at all) road legal, vaguely identifiable as 'Suzuki'.
The CB doesn't rumble at all - at least not compared to a SV650 V-twin. It doesn't scream like eg a Bandit400. No. It has its own voice, actually quite nice. Sort of 'solid' or 'oldskool'. But as you said, to know, you have to rev it.

Owning a good sounding bike is on good unless you go make some noise Smile Luckily, I've got a 14 kilometer commute, and at 5:30 in the morning, the road is all mine. 5 kilometers of engine-warmup, and then the fun starts. Danish term for giving it the beans is 'wringing the pig's ear' - you get a nice squeal... I'm not short-shifting anything, as this keeps me out of the power band. No fun.

And so, I arrive at work, chuckling. It's highly illegal riding like that - but oh boy does it improve my quality of life.


I've got a Fuel can on my christmas wishlist already Smile
Partly to get at the rumble, partly to avoid the mild steel original can rusting, partly to get rid of some weight, and also a little bit for the good looks.
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Gonzumzum
the 900
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Re: false neutrals

Post by Gonzumzum on Thu 26 Sep 2013, 12:31 pm

New can will decrease your mpg...
Not because of technical issues, but because you´ll get so more addicted to the engines noise, youll be reving way more often that you used to.

I installed this on my bike.
http://www.dan-moto.com/DM_INT/cb-500-s-n-1993-2005-titanium-gp-product-806.html?zenid=q1bv16m4k4rj1ikts5k894se02

You should order the muffler because without, it´s just impossible. You can hear it on the moon i would say...

The noise it makes is just addictive. Beautifull. Deep, throatfull.
And when it revs....smalls streets with walls on both sides, is just crazyness!!!!

Here is a pic!


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MAXMONTY500
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Re: false neutrals

Post by MAXMONTY500 on Wed 08 Aug 2018, 3:11 pm

I have recently bought a cb 500, 1998 which I believe has had an engine rebuild, but the history is basically unknown.  I have had some false neutrals going up the box in the higher gears but it is not a constant problem. Not sure if this is due to a mechanical problem or just one of those things.  Not sure if it may get worse or whether it may cause damage longer term. Any comments gratefully received
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Jameshambleton
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Re: false neutrals

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 08 Aug 2018, 6:53 pm

in between 5th and 6th you'll find one pretty easily if you're clutchless shifting

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