Need Help DCT malfunction; Stuck in gear and refusing to shift after 40 mins of riding [Resolved 4/26/21]

16DCT

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
70
Points
18
Location
socal
Visit site
[Update 6]: The new shift motor arrived today. I installed it and just came back from a roughly 2 hour ride putting 30 miles on the new motor. I made sure to do lots of stop and go traffic and tried to put as much strain on the shift motor as possible by staying in drive mode and doing hard braking when coming to a stop. It handled perfectly fine. Though, this doesn't exactly mean the problem is fixed since I was able to ride home with the old shift motor from the dealership on Tuesday without an issue. It will take a lot more testing to figure out if this solved the issue. I will be going for another ride tonight and see what happens.
 

lootzyan

Active Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
678
Reaction score
56
Points
28
Location
US
Visit site
... Mine had such a clean snap that nothing looked out of place without looking carefully at the picture in the service manual and comparing it to the parts in your hand...

Just a larger fillet radius at the fracture point it would be enough to strengthen the pin against breaking.
 

16DCT

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
70
Points
18
Location
socal
Visit site
Just put another 62 miles with the new shift motor and the ride went smoothly. That puts me at 134 ish miles in total with the new motor and not a single hiccup. I'll wait until 250 miles until I can say with confidence that replacing the shift motor fixed the issue.
 

Griff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
305
Points
83
Location
Wicklow Ireland
Visit site
Just put another 62 miles with the new shift motor and the ride went smoothly. That puts me at 134 ish miles in total with the new motor and not a single hiccup. I'll wait until 250 miles until I can say with confidence that replacing the shift motor fixed the issue.

Fingers crossed for You.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
8,623
Reaction score
1,818
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
Good luck as you continue to test your repair!

So in hindsight, it appears that taking the motorcycle to the dealer provided little to no value in solving the problem. You apparently diagnosed and fixed the problem yourself. The dealer’s advice may have taken the process in the wrong direction and added unnecessary time and cost to the repair, if it even was repaired.
 

lootzyan

Active Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
678
Reaction score
56
Points
28
Location
US
Visit site
Now you have a chance to take your replaced shift motor for torture and force it to reveal the secrets of failure. Was it overheating, opens or shorts or open shorts?
Jokes aside, it may be too early to finally blame this shift motor, but if that turns out to be the case, my main suspicion is on the brushes of this motor. Typically, with a electric motor running in one direction only, the brushes fit into the commutator and provide good contact for a very long time. In this motor, the change of direction of rotation takes place many times in a relatively short time, especially when driving in heavy traffic. The brushes and their housing must be well designed for this type of work. It may seem that Honda has not really managed to ensure long-term reliability, also taking into account many years of trouble with a similar shift motor used in ATVs.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
8,623
Reaction score
1,818
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
Maybe as more high mileage DCT NCs surface with shift motor problems, it may become a wise practice to proactively replace the shift motor at, say, 50,000 miles or 80,000 km.
 

lootzyan

Active Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
678
Reaction score
56
Points
28
Location
US
Visit site
In the Honda ATV universe with ESP (Electric Shift Program) the replacement shift motor has become quite a profitable business. The offer is large for replacement shift motors but there are quite a lot of voices of dissatisfaction.
 

mtnbiker1185

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
88
Reaction score
53
Points
18
Location
Chesapeake, VA
Visit site
Just out of curiosity, after about 40 min to an hour, stop and see how hot the new shift motor is. I am curious to know if it is getting as hot as the old one was. If not, it furthers leads to the old motor failing and your problem now being fixed.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
8,623
Reaction score
1,818
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
Just out of curiosity, after about 40 min to an hour, stop and see how hot the new shift motor is. I am curious to know if it is getting as hot as the old one was. If not, it furthers leads to the old motor failing and your problem now being fixed.
Is the shift motor located in a place where it’s temperature can be easily measured by the side of the road?
 

mtnbiker1185

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
88
Reaction score
53
Points
18
Location
Chesapeake, VA
Visit site
Is the shift motor located in a place where it’s temperature can be easily measured by the side of the road?
From the service manual picture that was posted it appears to be on the outside of the case, so shouldn't be terribly difficult to get to. Granted, I don't have easy access to my bike at the moment since I am at work so I can't be positive. Plus, OP stated in one of his previous posts that his old one got so hot it would instantly evaporate water splashed on it, so I took that to mean they have accessed it while alongside the road in the past.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
8,623
Reaction score
1,818
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
Thank you for the follow up posts, 16DCT. Your well documented thread will surely help others that encounter the same problem.
 

16DCT

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
70
Points
18
Location
socal
Visit site
Fingers crossed for You.
Thanks!
Good luck as you continue to test your repair!

So in hindsight, it appears that taking the motorcycle to the dealer provided little to no value in solving the problem. You apparently diagnosed and fixed the problem yourself. The dealer’s advice may have taken the process in the wrong direction and added unnecessary time and cost to the repair, if it even was repaired.
Yeah the dealer wasn't of much help but I can't blame them entirely since they did everything that Honda requires them to do as far as checking the shift motor. Even with the repeated bench testing and field testing they weren't able to get it fail. So naturally they did not think my shift motor was the problem and they wanted to move on to the next steps, which was to check for the loose/broken shift pin, and then to replace the ECU. But I sorta knew from reading @telecam's thread that replacing the ECU wouldn't solve the issue. I'm glad I didn't go that route.
Now you have a chance to take your replaced shift motor for torture and force it to reveal the secrets of failure. Was it overheating, opens or shorts or open shorts?
Jokes aside, it may be too early to finally blame this shift motor, but if that turns out to be the case, my main suspicion is on the brushes of this motor. Typically, with a electric motor running in one direction only, the brushes fit into the commutator and provide good contact for a very long time. In this motor, the change of direction of rotation takes place many times in a relatively short time, especially when driving in heavy traffic. The brushes and their housing must be well designed for this type of work. It may seem that Honda has not really managed to ensure long-term reliability, also taking into account many years of trouble with a similar shift motor used in ATVs.
Yeah I would have to figure out how to do it. If I had to guess I'd also point to the brushes and maybe the windings. Perhaps they were repeatedly making and losing contact, making the motor work much harder which made it get too hot and eventually fail.
Maybe as more high mileage DCT NCs surface with shift motor problems, it may become a wise practice to proactively replace the shift motor at, say, 50,000 miles or 80,000 km.
Telecam's failed at only 6,000 miles, Helix failed at 35,000 miles, and I'm seeing threads on CTX forums where they are reporting shift motor failures at 10,000 miles, 16,000 miles and another at 25,000 miles. Saw a couple of threads on Africa Twin forums as well but can't remember the mileage. It should be noted though that the CTX700 and Africa Twin DCT models use a different part # for their shift motor.
Just out of curiosity, after about 40 min to an hour, stop and see how hot the new shift motor is. I am curious to know if it is getting as hot as the old one was. If not, it furthers leads to the old motor failing and your problem now being fixed.
Is the shift motor located in a place where it’s temperature can be easily measured by the side of the road?
Yes, the shift motor can be accessed with a 5mm hex key to remove the left side under belly fairing (just needs to be moved out of way). After my 84 mile ride last night I took a spray bottle and sprayed water on the shift motor and it was not hot enough to instantly evaporate the water. This is in contrast to my old shift motor which I sprayed water on upon taking it home from the dealer (roughly 30 miles) and it instantly evaporated the water. The old motor did not fail on me on that particular ride, but it was still excessively hot based on that test. I should have bought one of those thermal temperature gauges lol.
 
Last edited:

16DCT

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
70
Points
18
Location
socal
Visit site
Thank you for the follow up posts, 16DCT. Your well documented thread will surely help others that encounter the same problem.
You're welcome!
I would like to thank everyone here who was able to help pitch in ideas on what areas of interest to look at when facing this issue. I pretty much knew right from the start that the issue would either be the shifter pin or the shift motor thanks to all of the knowledgeable people on this forum.

I'll be editing the OP soon with the solution to my problem so that future readers who face similar issues can see what solved the problem.
 

16DCT

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
70
Reaction score
70
Points
18
Location
socal
Visit site
[Final Update *Problem solved*]: Another 91 miles on the clock which puts me at 309 miles total with the new shift motor without a single hiccup. I can now say with confidence that the issue is fixed. As expected, the Shift/Ratio Control Motor (Part: 31300-KVZ-631) was the sole problem in my particular case. The part is roughly $225 dollars on Partzilla, but I paid extra for expedited shipping. I also paid for 6 hours worth of labor costs at the dealer, and my bike was at the shop for over 2 weeks. They were unable to get the old shift motor to fail despite multiple bench tests and test riding the bike, so in theory that was a total waste of time and money. My theory for this is that they never rode it long enough to get it to the failure point (or tested the shift motor long enough on the bench).

So if you are facing similar issues as described in this thread, combined with DTC codes 24-1 and 57-1, you may have a problem with the shift motor. It's very easy to replace at home. You will need to remove the left side belly pan, the front sprocket cover, the exhaust guard, and after that it's just 3 bolts to remove the old motor and install the new one.
 
Last edited:

Griff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
305
Points
83
Location
Wicklow Ireland
Visit site
Many thanks for following through on this very useful thread. Glad to hear that all is well with your bike again albeit the unnecessary expense incurred.
 

telecam

Site Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2015
Messages
174
Reaction score
8
Points
18
Location
Washington DC
Visit site
[Final Update *Problem solved*]: Another 91 miles on the clock which puts me at 309 miles total with the new shift motor without a single hiccup. I can now say with confidence that the issue is fixed. As expected, the Shift/Ratio Control Motor (Part: 31300-KVZ-631) was the sole problem in my particular case. The part is roughly $225 dollars on Partzilla, but I paid extra for expedited shipping. I also paid for 6 hours worth of labor costs at the dealer, and my bike was at the shop for over 2 weeks. They were unable to get the old shift motor to fail despite multiple bench tests and test riding the bike, so in theory that was a total waste of time and money. My theory for this is that they never rode it long enough to get it to the failure point (or tested the shift motor long enough on the bench).

So if you are facing similar issues as described in this thread, combined with DTC codes 24-1 and 57-1, you may have a problem with the shift motor. It's very easy to replace at home. You will need to remove the left side belly pan, the front sprocket cover, the exhaust guard, and after that it's just 3 bolts to remove the old motor and install the new one.
So glad I was able to share my own experience and help you track down the issue and somehow limit the bleeding... My bike having gone through the same ordeal 2 years ago, it's obvious that this forum has proven more useful to diagnose the issue than Honda very own dealers/tech communications. Ride safe!
 
Top