VL 1500 shifting issues
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  1. #1
    My Bike(s)
    Suzuki Intruder LC

    VL 1500 shifting issues

    Hello. I would imagine that this issue has been discussed in detail before, but I thought I would ask it again. I just bought a 1999 Suzuki Intruder 1500LC with 36K miles on it. I am taking it to the local suzuki dealer next week for service; i.e, oil change, etc. I would also like to explain to them the problems I am having with it, mainly with the transmission and shifter.
    My bike will randomly pop out or drop out of gear at the most inconvienient times. Some times it will just drop out of 4th gear while just putting down the road. Other times, at a stop it will pop out of 1st gear, and I really have to 'stomp' on the shifter to get it to go back into 1st gear, sometimes after downshifting to 2nd gear to make a turn, it will pop out of gear, which to say the least makes for an interesting turn. This is mainly after the bike is warmed up.
    I have read several posts from several different forums, and they say it could be anything from a bent shifter fork to the wrong type oil. As a matter of fact, I read a post from a person who was experiencing the same type problems. He said he changed the oil to the correct grade and the problems went away. Would the wrong grade oil cause shifting problems?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Can-AM Spyder
    Ocala, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by jimwelsh View Post
    Would the wrong grade oil cause shifting problems?
    Don't get your hopes up too high. Almost never.

    Let's pray for some blocking or binding in the external linkage, causing you to not get it completely INTO the gear when you think it is.
    If the problem is inside the transmission it could get VERY expensive.

  4. #3
    My Bike(s)
    2002 suzuki vl 1500 lc
    Chateauguay Quebec Canada
    Sometimes when the oil reaches the end of its life, my vl 1500 doesnt shift as well also throwing out a gear from time to time . But after oil and filter change .. no problems even under hard acceleration in all gears . Also where the shifter pivot bolt a little lube from time to time helps for a positive gear engagement . Hope your problem is a simple fix .

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  6. #4
    Just Won't Go Away !
    My Bike(s)
    Buford, GA
    The intruder 1500 uses unit construction, meaning the transmission and engine are one unit inside a shared case. So any oil related problems usually pop up as transmission issues before they show up as engine problems. Often false neutrals, poor shifting, and clunky shifts result when the oil is overdue for a change, or the wrong type is put in. Actually popping out of gear is rare.
    Another problem area with the Intruder 1500 is the shifter linkage bushing, which is marginal at best and downright crappy once it starts to wear out. It causes slop in the linkage so shifting becomes and issue, and the bike does not go fully into gear. If the bushing was not properly lubed over the bike's life, it is probably shot. Try a GBushing from G-Man Industries, which is a bronze bushing impregnated with oil so you never have to lube it and it will last longer than the bike. Gary has them on sale for $25, about the same price as another crappy OEM one.

    GBushing VL1500 - GBushings - Shifter - GMan Industries, LTD.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


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