Excessive gear lever play on the Pulsar 200NS

During my recent Sunday Morning Ride to Layang-layang, I experienced a gear shift issue on the Pulsar. Well, for some time now, I thought the gearshift on the 200NS felt strange. After the recent 2,000km run to Betong, Thailand and back, I thought that the gearshift felt kind of harsh. Initially, I attributed it to possibly spent oil. Although it was a mere 2,000km, I was running at high RPM’s for extended periods of time. And so when I returned to Singapore, I performed an engine oil change. Unfortunately, even the fresh oil – Motul’s fully synthetic 7100 – didn’t bring me the once-familiar super-smooth gear shift experience.

During the Layang-layang ride, it got worse.

Much worse.

At a juncture, I couldn’t downshift my bike! And I was forced to pull off from stationary on gear 2. Oh gosh! I hope it isn’t a gearbox issue. Now, THAT will be expensive repair.

So when I got back home, I visually inspected the gear shift area, and realised that the free play around the gear shift lever seem to be excessive. The entire lever was quite literally loose and felt like it was all ready to drop off! Yeah – I’m not kidding!

A trip to Universal Motors at Bukit Merah, and the mechanic there confirmed that it was a worn gear shift lever. But what he (and I too) were afraid was a worn spline on the gearbox shaft. Now, THAT will be an expensive repair!

A quick visual inspection of the gearbox shaft after removing the existing gear shift lever suggested that the splines on the gear shift shaft are still good. In fact, I think the gear shift shaft if made of a stronger material than the mating portion of the gear lever (aluminium?), and thus most wear would be on the easily replaceable lever instead of the shaft.

And since I was at Universal Motors, I compared the free-play of my worn gear shift lever with that of a brand new Pulsar 200NS. Oh! What a world of difference!

A brand new gear shift lever and $35 poorer, my Pulsar now shifts smoother than I’ve EVER experience it on her before! (I bought the bike pre-owned, not brand new.) Just when I was starting to get disappointed with the Motul 7100 gear shift “smoothness”, it really is the gear shift lever after all!

Silky smooth gear shifting once again. Easy replacements like this that dramatically improves the ride experience – I LIKE!

6 thoughts on “Excessive gear lever play on the Pulsar 200NS”

  1. Bang on!!! I need to check this… :/

    I am thinking its the new 300v that is causing this issue… but I guess this might be an issue in my case as well…

    How many kms did your machine complete?

    1. The odometer was reading approximately 53,000km when I had to replace my gear lever. Yeah – check yours too. If there’s excessive play, get it replaced (or fixed).

  2. Hi there. you sure are a dedicated 200ns rider. Your blog is very informative and there lots of good contents I enjoy reading. I myself ride 200ns and it has been a good experience. But i once experienced the carburetor float and the monoshock problem, but it has been fixed by the mechanic.

    Questions.
    1. How to fix scratched fuel tank? Do yo have any solution to this?
    2. What is the best position/angle of the shift lever (clutch)? mine is bit kind of loose and gear shifting is hard/harsh and makes a loud clunk noise every time I shift gear. Any solution?

    Thank you in advance. Waiting for your next 200ns updates!

    1. Hiya! Thank you for your kind words.

      1) This would involve work similar to repairing any scratched paintwork. Depending on the depth and severity of the scratch, the repair solutions could range from merely polishing it off, to something more aggressive such as rubbing compounds, or even wet sanding it, and in the worse case – respray.

      2) I guess the “best” angle is something you feel comfortable with. If your gear shift lever is loose, pray that the shaft spline is good. If so, just replace the gearshift lever. Otherwise, it would be a messy opening up of the gearbox to get the shaft replaced.

      Good luck!

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