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Talon X4 grinding on low and even popping out of gear

Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
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Talon x4
I've searched this a little, but haven't found a definitive answer.

Machine is basically brand new, just had the 20 hr service done at the dealer, also had them adjust the shift cable. It helped but didn't solve the problem.

Occasionally, after it's in low, I'll get on it and it will pop back out. I feel like the gate for low isn't designed correctly. I saw a post where a guy clearanced the gate further back.
 
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hondabob

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Like Killer says don't let it grind. All the belt drive brands are the same with a sub trans. With the engine at idle its important to shift quickly into gear. If it will pop out of gear the gear dogs may be damaged and need to be replaced. The shop manual says the engine needs to be removed to remove the sub trans. I think it can be removed by just lifting the engine up a few inches. It really does suck to have a problem like this especially with a new machine. Hope this info helps and keep us informed with the fix.

The shift cable should be adjusted so its centered in the more narrow neutral gate. When its fully into gear the shift lever should be in the center of the shift gate for Reverse, High, and Low. The shift lever should move forward and aft in the wider gear shift gates. If its preloaded forward you should have the --- on the display showing its not in gear. Never heard of one jumping out of gear but several have had the loud bang as it slams into gear when you apply throttle with the --- on the display showing its not fully into gear.

For testing you can do some shifting with the key on engine not running. Shift it slowly into reverse from park and you may get the --- instead of the R on the display. The shift lever will be loaded forward in the reverse shift gate. This may be easy to do on another Talon. Move the shift lever more toward Neutral then back to the reverse shift gate and it should be centered and wiggle back and forth.

My Talon has over 7,600 miles on it now and it is difficult to shift into low occasionally with a cold engine and it shifts perfect after the engine warms up. If it won't go into low I can move it a couple of inches in high or reverse and it goes into low ok.
 

Jefferson87

Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2019
254
220
63
Northern California
Ownership

Talon x4
Like Killer says don't let it grind. All the belt drive brands are the same with a sub trans. With the engine at idle its important to shift quickly into gear. If it will pop out of gear the gear dogs may be damaged and need to be replaced. The shop manual says the engine needs to be removed to remove the sub trans. I think it can be removed by just lifting the engine up a few inches. It really does suck to have a problem like this especially with a new machine. Hope this info helps and keep us informed with the fix.

The shift cable should be adjusted so its centered in the more narrow neutral gate. When its fully into gear the shift lever should be in the center of the shift gate for Reverse, High, and Low. The shift lever should move forward and aft in the wider gear shift gates. If its preloaded forward you should have the --- on the display showing its not in gear. Never heard of one jumping out of gear but several have had the loud bang as it slams into gear when you apply throttle with the --- on the display showing its not fully into gear.

For testing you can do some shifting with the key on engine not running. Shift it slowly into reverse from park and you may get the --- instead of the R on the display. The shift lever will be loaded forward in the reverse shift gate. This may be easy to do on another Talon. Move the shift lever more toward Neutral then back to the reverse shift gate and it should be centered and wiggle back and forth.

My Talon has over 7,600 miles on it now and it is difficult to shift into low occasionally with a cold engine and it shifts perfect after the engine warms up. If it won't go into low I can move it a couple of inches in high or reverse and it goes into low ok.
Thank you for the info, it goes a long with what I have read.

I shouldn't have to sit there and stare at the shift indicator every time I go from reverse to low. What is the point of the gate if it can be in the gate and not in gear?
 
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hondabob

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When I shift into gear I wiggle the shift lever back and forth in the shift gate to make sure its fully into gear, I don't look at the display unless the shift lever is loaded forward. You half to stop to shift and it must be at idle too so it only takes a split second to wiggle the shift lever.

The shift cable pulls the sub trans shift lever when you shift forward and it pushes the sub trans shift lever when you shift out of park. You may have a bad shift cable. Your dealer should be able to fix it in a day or two no matter what is wrong.

The shift gate doesn't hold it into gear the star washer on the end of the shift drum does. Your dealer should make sure the shift cable is adjusted properly and if it is they need to find the problem and fix it ASAP since its brand new. I don't think any of the forum guys have had a Pioneer 1000 or Talon jump out of gear. There is a false neutral between high and low. If the problem is easily reproduceable it should be easy to fix. If it will jump out of low range the low range gear dogs are damaged and need to be replaced.

I broke the low range on my Pioneer 1000 but I abused it by trying to pull my buddy out of the snow. It was like a 6,000 pound load. I was pissed and jerked it enough times to damage the engagement gears. We ended up shoveling it out and towing him in high range. He broke a belt. I replaced the high and low range gears and both shift forks. Good Luck.

lowrange.jpg
 

Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
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I played with the shifter a little bit the other day. With the stock gate removed, it shifts into low perfectly every time. I really think the stock gate is the problem. I thought about making my own, but I wasn't sure what the dealer would think of it, and I didn't have any decent material.

I also talked to the dealer and they said they can look at it on Thursday. He said they may clearance the gate for low if that's what it takes.
 
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hondabob

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Compare it with another talon. It should shift into low the same. I did clearance my shift gate for low but mine has over 8,000 miles on it now. I will get it fixed at 20,000 miles if it doesn't get any worse. Only on cold start I sometimes have to move it forward or back a couple of inches to get into low. After driving for about 10 to 15 minutes it shifts ok. It is important to shift it quickly into gear.

20191120_100717_resized_1.jpg
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Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
254
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Northern California
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Talon x4
Compare it with another talon. It should shift into low the same. I did clearance my shift gate for low but mine has over 8,000 miles on it now. I will get it fixed at 20,000 miles if it doesn't get any worse. Only on cold start I sometimes have to move it forward or back a couple of inches to get into low. After driving for about 10 to 15 minutes it shifts ok. It is import to shift it quickly into gear.

View attachment 176635 View attachment 176636
I don't know, maybe the 4 seater cable has more stretch? Mine has less than 200 miles.
 

hondabob

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The 4 seater has a longer shift cable and so does the Pioneer 1000. Both ends of the cable have the tube crimped into the cable housing so it will move and follow the cable. If it separates like it on my Pioneer 1000 a bit before 12,000 miles it won't shift into low gear. When the tube separates the cable turns into a rope.

20180305_165706_resized.jpg


20180305_165721_resized.jpg


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20180308_113857_resized.jpg
 
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Montecresto

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Like Killer says don't let it grind. All the belt drive brands are the same with a sub trans. With the engine at idle its important to shift quickly into gear. If it will pop out of gear the gear dogs may be damaged and need to be replaced. The shop manual says the engine needs to be removed to remove the sub trans. I think it can be removed by just lifting the engine up a few inches. It really does suck to have a problem like this especially with a new machine. Hope this info helps and keep us informed with the fix.

The shift cable should be adjusted so its centered in the more narrow neutral gate. When its fully into gear the shift lever should be in the center of the shift gate for Reverse, High, and Low. The shift lever should move forward and aft in the wider gear shift gates. If its preloaded forward you should have the --- on the display showing its not in gear. Never heard of one jumping out of gear but several have had the loud bang as it slams into gear when you apply throttle with the --- on the display showing its not fully into gear.

For testing you can do some shifting with the key on engine not running. Shift it slowly into reverse from park and you may get the --- instead of the R on the display. The shift lever will be loaded forward in the reverse shift gate. This may be easy to do on another Talon. Move the shift lever more toward Neutral then back to the reverse shift gate and it should be centered and wiggle back and forth.

My Talon has over 7,600 miles on it now and it is difficult to shift into low occasionally with a cold engine and it shifts perfect after the engine warms up. If it won't go into low I can move it a couple of inches in high or reverse and it goes into low ok.
Is Honda issuing a statement or recall for this?
 
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hondabob

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Most won't have any problems with the shift cable. I have to stop frequently to go through gates so my shifter gets a lot of use. Most will not have a problem. The tube pivots at the crimp joint and will eventually wear out. The Honda cable costs about $30 so its not a big deal and on the Pioneer 1000 if you really need low range you can lift up the seat and shift it by hand. All the other gears will shift ok. The Polaris shift cable breaks in half at the pivot point and its a smaller cable.
 

Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
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Talon x4
What is a realistic time to diagnose and repair or replace a sub transmission?

The dealer spent the last 2 weeks diagnosing bad I4wd module. Now they're saying another 2 weeks to get the low gear issue.

@HondaTech
 

HondaTech

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What is a realistic time to diagnose and repair or replace a sub transmission?

The dealer spent the last 2 weeks diagnosing bad I4wd module. Now they're saying another 2 weeks to get the low gear issue.

@HondaTech
I've never attempted a Talon sub trans yet, I can have a P1K sub trans out in around a hour. The Talon is a little more involved with its placement, but it can be pulled without pulling the engine like th service manual states. The trouble is getting Honda to ok pulling it, unless the dealer can make it pop out they'll want your ok to pull and if nothing in the sub trans is messed up, you'll be footing the bill for removal and reinstall.
 
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Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
254
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Northern California
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Talon x4
I've never attempted a Talon sub trans yet, I can have a P1K sub trans out in around a hour. The Talon is a little more involved with its placement, but it can be pulled without pulling the engine like th service manual states. The trouble is getting Honda to ok pulling it, unless the dealer can make it pop out they'll want your ok to pull and if nothing in the sub trans is messed up, you'll be footing the bill for removal and reinstall.
OK, so what's a realistic turn around time? A 3-4 days, a week, 2 weeks?

They already said they can hear bad noises in low, this is after I had them adjust the shift cable at the first service, due to grinding. So I have a paper trial.

Also, I'm positive that my machine had 50 miles on it when I got it. I didn't think much of it, but with all the issues I'm having, I find it odd now. Isn't it normal to only have a few miles?
 

hondabob

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I'm over 9,400 miles now. I shift into low quickly and never let it grind. It never jumps out of gear. I need it everyday so I don't plan on getting it fixed until 20,000. Most of the time I can move it slightly in high then get it fully into low with a quick shift. After a 10 to 15 minutes warm up it shifts into low ok. Mine was ok until around 4,000 miles. Jumping out of gear usually occurs with damaged gear dogs and there may also be a bent shift fork. Jamming it into gear above idle will damage the gear dogs. One of the guys at our shop shifted into reverse at above idle and ruined his reverse gear dogs. The Yamaha YXZ and motorcycles that were shifted with out the clutch will eventually have gear dog damage and jump out of gear. I have fixed a lot of transmissions. Our shop sponsored a rider that ruined the trans at every race. The store owner told him its a lot easier to replace the rider then the trans. He started using the clutch. Yamaha and Honda are usually good about covering a repair even if they think its customer abuse especially on a new machine. I think on Jefferson's Talon they may find an assembly problem and the shop should take a lot of pictures as they disassemble it. It could be as simple as a missing shim. The Talon model has several owners that have had the shift bang that occurs when the trans is not fully into gear and slams into gear as the throttle is applied. The Pioneer 1000 does not have the problem with a similar sub trans. All three models have a high quality shift cable.
 
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hondabob

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50 miles is a demo in my opinion. Moving them up front will put on a few miles. If the shop has to deal with tech line that may take a few days.
 

Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
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Northern California
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Talon x4
So they said they ordered the parts today and are really hoping to have it done by Saturday.

Then he mentioned that honda will only warranty a sub transmission issue once. Are you f***ing kidding me? My shift cable was adjusted wrong from New, it was grinding before the 100 mile service. 😡 If I have another issue, I'm definitely going to be getting a lawyer involved, so pissed at this whole purchase.
 

Jefferson87

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Dec 27, 2019
254
220
63
Northern California
Ownership

Talon x4
50 miles is a demo in my opinion. Moving them up front will put on a few miles. If the shop has to deal with tech line that may take a few days.
I need to bring this up again, I wish I had a way to prove it. The more I think about it, the more I think the other dealer they got it from did something shady.
 

hondabob

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Well it only takes one demo ride driver to shift it above idle or while moving to damage the sub trans. All the belt drive sub trans are the same. If there is another failure from a defective part or shop repair work it will probable be covered. Jefferson, don't let your dealer piss you off. Most high volume Honda dealers have repaired a Pioneer 1000 sub trans. Its a little more difficult to get the sub trans out of a talon but the engine does not have to be removed. It does have to be lifted up, not sure how much. Most Honda service reps are familiar with the Pioneer 1000 and they know several were run without oil and many others were abused by shifting above idle or while moving. The sub trans is tough, mine is at 9,600 miles now and shifts ok after a 10 minute warmup. I can get it into low most of the time when cold but I have to move it in high and its such a PITA I just use high until its warmed up. I will get it fixed before I sell it at around 20,000 miles. I need it everyday, it has my night ride lights plus I'm keeping the miles off my 2020 Talon and may add the Turbo on it.
 
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