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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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Thanks, needspeed and ryder rick, for adding clarification. You are both absolutely right, and your points, taken together, add a good deal to our understanding of this.

Yes, every shift passes through a potential "false neutral" as the splined gear that is involved disengages and re-engages. The second to third shift is, however, the only one in which two splined gears must move. One returns to its neutral position, the other leaves its neutral position. Doing so requires what ryder rick describes - both a little more "assertiveness" on the shifter and maybe a little more rotational speed than other gear changes.

I think some guys, maybe guys a little newer to these bikes, might under-rev them and shift at too low of rpm's. They treat it like a "Harley", which it is, but really isn't... These things are happier when revving a bit more than some would expect, certainly a bit more than any big twin. Even under very light throttle, not really "getting on it", I let mine freely rev up over 4,000, maybe to 4,500 rpm between shifts. It's amazing how much better it shifts, and it certainly cannot hurt these machines. Besides, they have their own very distinctive sound when we do this, far different than their lugging big twin cousins.
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