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Gearshift Drum Repair Questions

9709 Views 36 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  The_AirHawk
Looks like 'split the cases' time, which is why it will be 1400 clams for the shop to fix it. You could get a repair manual and give it a go yourself, if you have decent mechanical skills. Or, it may just be time for your Nighthawk to join many of the other Nighthawks down at the local bone yard.
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A Clymer manual will show you how to do any repair on the bike. Realize that a new shift drum will be very expensive. Even gasket sets for Japanese bikes are outrageously overpriced.

Check for the parts blowup on the shiftdrum to see if there are subassemblies you can replace. You can also try to find a shift drum at a bike salvage yard.

Changing the shiftdrum requires pulling the engine and completely dismantling it. That will take a lot of hours if you've never done a motorcycle engine before. It'll take a lot of hours if you have done a motorcycle engine before. Since it's a Honda it may also require some special tools.... Honda loves that. The difficulties of rebuilds and the outrageous cost of parts explains why Japanese bikes are throwaways.
Jap bike boneyard. Never see an American bike boneyard, only swap meets.
Engineered that way so that you just go buy a new one until you get sick of that and go buy Harley. Jap bikes are made to be used once and thrown out with the trash.
No Italian or Britbikes in the boneyard either. All Japanese all the time.
Strangely all my Japanese bikes are affordable to repair, fairly easy to maintain, and there are plenty of salvage parts for most of 'em. That said, this is a pricey and time-consuming repair. You might just want to say Byehawk on this one if the rest of the bike's showing its age.

The Harley comments on a repair post are moot, and I can tell you I see a lot of non-working Harley's in driveways/garages/yards too. All bikes cost money -- more-so if you aren't a mechanic yourself -- but at least some bikes are so affordable at the start that even after years of purchasing, all the repairs needed add up to less that "some" bikes. *grin*
"Strangely all my Japanese bikes are affordable to repair"

Which ones would those be?
Cruise around town until you find another the same color. Switch license plates. Ride home.

Problem solved.
Luckily the nighthawk is a fairly easy engine to work with, I'd recommend getting a Honda service manual do to more specific proceedures on the job and torque specs and patterns. I don't know about your area but out here in So Cal most shops are not willing to give too much info. Liabilities I guess, but if you're a fairly competent mechanic and have some patients it should be a rather painless experience. The exploded veiws in the manual are great but I suggest taking lots of pictures while disassembling the motor and put the bolt and small parts in labled bags, it really helps if for some reason you have to set it aside to work on it later. Good Luck
The only Jap bike I've had to repair was a clapped out '79 XS650S because it had been sitting outside for 10 years before I bought it. It was quite the fun project for a high school kid at the time.
Yeah yeah so terrible these japanese bikes. But hey, if you have a Nighthawk and suffer a broken gearshif drum, you get it from the knackeryard. Cool.

I got all the parts even for my Kawi H2 gearbox from the States with almost no money at all - and this is a pretty rare bike worth something today. I guess many of them were crashed in its time. On promise, I had to pay with a bankers cheque and the bank took almost as big special cheque preapartion fee than the parts were worth.

- cruiz-euro
I don't know what use patients would be. Sick people aren't very helpful. If they are mental patients (like KP) then they'll be more likely to hinder the proccess.
I've never said that Japanese bikes are terrible... just throwaway.

For every old model that has collector value there are hundred entirely worthless ones. All in the scrap heap.
LOL good one..Probably why my dad prefer to fix stuff alone without the help of my brother and I .. Mom said it was because he was a perfectionist but now I know the bitter truth... Thanks seuzero..for making my day..
Good article idea: Harley vs Metric Cruiser or Buell vs Ninja total cost of ownership

With all of the anti-Japanese bike banter of the GPTB seems like a great article would be study of total cost of ownership of various bikes like the Car mags do. Of course with HD you have to include all the official HD arm chaps, etc. in the equation. Doesn't Night Hawk have self adjusted valves?
kind of off topic here but;

heres a thing i always thought curious...i understand jap bikes are high volume sellers and generally as far as harleys go pretty cheap...

so how do they fund all the r&d into the state of the art weapons they compete with each other on....and the race sponsorships etc....

i know they have all the other components of their companies but surely the motorcycle divisions have to make stand alone profits?

compared then to harley for example ..which i am guessing has a limited r&d budget..well i assume there has being no radical steps which they have been to the forefront they make huge profits right? i mean their only major cost is labour right ? ..are these bikes made in the US or just assembled there?

so i am always amazed at the prices commanded by harleys from the factory....even in europe with a weak this the ultimate triumph of marketing ??

bmw would strike me as a very similar operation ...up to recently only one major engine but a lot of technology on the suspension brakes gizmos etc..high german labour costs ..high reliability ..high tech-ish..and the corresponding high cost

jap bikes ..high reliability ..high tech ..and resonably high japanese labour costs......low price

harley ...dont know about reliabilty in terms of high mileage commuting..low tech ...high labour costs ?? and sky high price....

i am not favouring any bike in particular having ridden all sorts my self ...but surely the ultimate con is to sell a disposable bike at a very high price and hence all repair work is considered cost effective ??

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h2 great :)

my friend did one up recently ....took me for a spin ..wild bike....flexible frame ..skinny tires ..*brakes* of a sort...and great feeling when it came on the pipe :) ..have fun with it :)
Do it yourself. If you don´t, I suggest you sell it on the e-bay and move on to origami. My advice is

1) do it in the comfort of your room, whatever your mom/wife/gay partner says

2) get a manual

3) get a case of beer

4) take your time

It actually grows on you, tinkering with the project. Unlike some people are claiming, parts are not expensive. Cyclebandit´s price for the complete drum is 150 bucks which is not much, at least if you compare to high class call girl in Vegas. And you can get much cheaper from a salvage yard. Which are full of japanese bikes as mentioned before. Which is a good thing if you own a japanese bike.

- cruiz-euro

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It's trite but true that something is only worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Back in the 70's and 80's you could get a used HD big twin for a couple thousand bucks. But still you didn't find them in junkyards.

As far as "modern tech" goes the main features of Japanese engines were all developed before 1920. The true modern tech is the metallurgy and production techniques that allow the production of motorcycles that run far more than 100,000 miles without rebuilds. Since almost any bike you buy today, including HD, will run over 100,000 miles any bike uses "modern tech".

Only the ignorant or stupid believe that an inline-4 is "modern" and a pushrod V-twin is somehow "ancient".

The only really new thing in the last decade is widespread use of EFI. And everyone uses it. And most still have carbbed bikers too including the Japanese. Guess the Big4 use "old tech" too when it's convenient.

In any case all this is in the eye of the beholder. One guy thinks that his throwaway sportbike is a great deal because he gets 100+ hp pretty cheaply. Another guy thinks that his Harley is a great deal because he can keep it running for 20 years or more. Both are right. And both are modern bikes that use decades old tech because it works.
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funding R&D

If I had to guess I'd say that the cruiser sales from the Big Four funds their R&D: I can't believe that there is $3,000 more R&D in a VTX ($14,000) than in a CBR1000RR ($11,000).

Bryan...I'm open to other suggestions, though...
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