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Discussion Starter #1
After reading a related thread, I started to wonder how this crowd feels about the Neutral Assist technology that is featured in Victory bikes. It helps riders more easily select neutral.

It has gotten mostly favorable reviews from what I've seen. Is this something Triumph should explore for some models? Maybe not the modern classics given the "old school" nature of many customers for these bikes. Or maybe why not if it is technology behind the scenes like EFI?

What do you all think?

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an unnecessary addition to a bike..........I've ridden for 30 years and can find neutral..

Rob
 

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Not really needed on the Bonnies. They have the sweetest gearbox and transmission I've ever experienced. 10w-40 Castrol Power One racing 4T Fully-synthetic oil makes it even better.

Most of the problems with finding neutral or clunky gearchanges stem from poor clutch lever adjustment:



Some makers do have devices to make neutral selection easier, here's just a couple:

A particularly clever device was Royal Enfield's unique "Neutral Finder". This took the form of a little foot-operated lever on the gearbox that would force the gearbox to return to neutral if you stopped in any of the top three gears. One jab on that lever and the box returned to neutral. Magic...

An automatic device is used to this day on Kawasakis called the "Positive Neutral Finder", this is a fiendishly clever and exclusive device which allows for easy and accurate shifting from first into neutral while stopped. This avoids that annoying trait of many gearboxes where you try and click into neutral from first and it shifts into second gear instead, bypassing the neutral position. As soon as the bike starts moving the mechanism disengages itself allowing second gear to be selected as normal. Brilliant device that.
 

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My T100 is the easiest to get in to neutral of any of the bikes I've owned so I would suggest that one of these devices would be an unnecessary complication. I had a 1979 Kawasaki Z750 back in the day that had the device Forchetto describes. I'm sure it was responsible for my failure to find second gear during an impromptu drag race (I was young and foolish back then) which resulted in a couple of bent valves.
 

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Neutral finders were fitted to old Triumphs (and maybe other brands) in the late 50s and early 60s, can't see it as a step forward.
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The technology Forchetto cites from Kawasaki sounds exactly like what I read from Victory. At a stop in first, goes up only to neutral. Disengages in motion. Maybe I'm the only one who sometimes bypasses neutral. Sound like this crowd has it mastered. :D

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My Thruxton have no troubles with neutral My Wifes Bonnie is entirely diff. both same oil as Fochetto...Sorry cannot agree about Triumph boxes being good the old Triumph slickshift. B.S.A. Burman.Norton and Velocette boxes are realy smooth if the cluch is set up properly. They have camplate selection which is less mass for the selector to move than the drum type used today..........
T.U.D.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My EFI Bonnie shifts smooth and accurate. I never miss a shift. But I do occasionally miss neutral shifting up from first at a stop, too much pressure applied for half shift instead of full shift. Obviously not a huge issue, but it would be convenient not to even worry about it with a neutral assist. My original question wasn't necessarily intended to be Bonnie/Twin specific. But rather what this crowd thinks about the technology, and perhaps for other Triumph bikes.
 

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I had an old Kawasaki triple, with the Positive Neutral Finder. It was pretty cool, but every once in a while, while trying to make the 1st to 2nd up-shift, I would only hit neutral, followed by the engine revs skyrocketing.:mad: I wondered sometimes if the device caused that, although it shouldn't have. It worked by having 3 ball bearings inside the shaft that when the shaft is rotating, centrifugal force made them go outward to a position that should allow selection of 2nd. Only when the shaft was at rest, would one or more balls fall inward, which only allowed neutral to be selected as you pulled up on the shifter. Anyway, I agree with most that the Triumph box is super smooth & slick shifting... I very rarely have trouble getting neutral.
 

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Being that I posted earlier about neutral issues with my Bonnie, I am not against something like Kawasaki's. Lately, I've had pretty good gear shifts to or from neutral with only the occasional fail when starting up cold. Though, I'd like to see reports on the reliability of the parts. I wouldn't want something else that might put the Bonnie in the shop and off the road. :p
 

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Its the word manual that gets people going.
Everybody wants automatic everything.
Its supported by people who have had automatic cars all their lives - never having driven a manual or 'stick'. Let alone riding a motorcycle.
All the automatic motorcycles coming out... Argh, yuk, barf. :eek:
Girls bikes!
Learn to shift, which includes finding neutral!
 

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Best Practice is no neutral

I admit that I'm as guilty as anyone here but I believe best practice is to leave the bike in first with clutch engaged (of course!) at stops. This allows one to scoot to safety if a threat is approaching from behind.

Neutral assist would thus be a negative safety feature.

... just sayin'.

P
 

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I admit that I'm as guilty as anyone here but I believe best practice is to leave the bike in first with clutch engaged (of course!) at stops. This allows one to scoot to safety if a threat is approaching from behind.

Neutral assist would thus be a negative safety feature.

... just sayin'.

P
Maybe junctions are different in other contries but in the UK whatever is in front of you (or going to be there by the time you are) is at least as dangerous as whatever is coming up from behind so scooting off is also likely to be prone to a 'wee spot of bother' particularly if you've been watching behind instead of in front of you for the last few minutes, and it will be your fault.
 

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Oh dear. l find myself disagreeing with Forchetto. Maybe l should be banned!
l wouldn't say the Bonnie transmission/ box is anything to rave about. Selecting first means a noticeable "Clunk", l believe this is down to the "Wet clutch" OK, l can live with it. Gearchanges themselves, are good enough, but nothing to write home about. (The clutch is correctly adjusted)
The best clutch action l've come across was on a 30's 16 H Norton, the old Sturmy Archer "Dolls Head gear box. Smooth as silk, slow box though, about a foot of travel on the foot lever!
The best gearbox was the AMC/ Norton box.
The most interesting was a 30's MOV Velocette. Up for up, down for down, very wierd at the time, on the right side of course. The clutch was a whole new ballgame, sort of hinged affair, adjusted by shoving a tommy bar through a hole in the sprocket and rocking the bike in gear. But it worked well.
Oh yes. No problem finding neutral
 

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The Bonnevilles transmission is fine the way it is. Adding a neutral assist will only clutter up something that already works. Usually the simplest design is the best one.
 

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Been riding for 50 years and never have had any real problems finding neutral. If your not sure you're in neutral let the clutch out just a tad and it'll tell you immediately if your not. I bought the Bonnie for the retro feel, look, and ride. The memories of my youth are back today with the T100, only this one is totally reliable. Let's leave her be.

Used to be a popular song titled "Lazy Bones". Too many younger cyclists must be just plain lazy to not want to take the time to gently "find" neutral. And as for automatic transmissions on cycles, I can't think of anything worse.

Karl
 

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The company that could use a neutral assist finder is the company that would never dream of it: Ducati for their dry clutch models.

The Bonne, on the other hand goes into neutral effortlessly. At least mine does.

And that whole thing about being on high alert for rear enders at all traffic lights, clutch in, eyes rivetted on mirrors...it must be exhausting to live that way. Not saying one should be oblivious to dangers, just saying how vigilant one needs to be is dependent on traffic conditions, speed other motorists are travelling on a given road, and visibility. Sometimes (most times?) popping it into neutral and relaxing for a moment is rejuvenating.
 

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I find the Bonnie very easy to kick into nuetral, up from 1st or down from 2nd. As for the traffic light thing, this is totally dependant on where you are. Tucson is notorious for drivers rear ending anything. I have personally had to launch away several times to avoid being a hood ornament for some jack-wad with a cell phone & a big mac. I always stop at lights off to one side so I can shoot between cars or off to one side of them. This has saved my life a few times, like the Ford F-250 that rammed the car that was in front of me. I saw them coming and shot to the right and he hit the guy in front of me.
Once I stop and notice that the guy behind me is slowing or stopped, then I'll kick it into nuetral to relax the hand.
 
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