Motorcycle Repair/high 1st gear


This is going to make me sound like a beginning rider although iv been riding for years. Iv owned several dirt bikes as a kid, graduated to a harely sportster, then a 77 harley low rider. That being said. I recently was given a 1981 cb900 honda.My buddy had it in storage and wanted it out of the way. After alot of work the bike now looks and runs awsome.My problem is... the 1st time i tried to ride it i stalled it several times on take off. I double checked and made sure i was in 1st gear. It is a 10 speed tranny. Or more like a 5 speed, shift 1 thru 5 and kick it into high crusing, overdrive,... Personally i dont really care for it. but i also made sure i was in 1st gear low. 1st gear low feels like 2nd gear on any other bike. I really have to feather the clutch and keep the rpms up durring take off.The clutch adj. is right were it needs to be. ???? I just need to know if anyone elce has this problem or is it that hondas dont like old harely riders?

Hi Dan,

Harleys may have more low speed torque
So make sure the honda is in the low range
For starting out.
The 900 is fairly heavy so it may take some
Practise to ride it. The clutch could be a little
Grabby or the carbs may need some seafoam
Or such run through them to improve the throttlle

Some hondas can sense old harley riders and may
Need a firm hand to show them who's boss.
A long ride might tame the beast however.

Wayne S

Motorcycle Repair

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Wayne S.


Licensed Motorcycle Mechanic, Knowledge of motorcycles from 1960 up, Japanese, British and most other brand motorcycle repairs.


Worked for Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki British: Triumph, Norton, BSA Other: Most Scooters and Mo-Peds

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