Transmission reconstruction required

I’ve mentioned in another post that 2nd gear on my bike “skips” under load. The diagnosis is worn dogs. Could be a shifting fork. I understand how the transmission works.

Question: should I “just” find a talented motorcycle mechanic who works on vintage bikes, or wager to fix it myself?

To me it seems simple enough, but then I’m not actually a motorcycle mechanic and I don’t have an equipped shop. I’m not a complete mechanical idiot. I’ve pulled the carbs, and cleaned them, I’ve pulled the forks and replaced the seals, I’ve done the brakes, but that’s about the extent of it. I have a garage. I have some tools. I can buy more tools. I can buy parts. When I was a kid, I did a lot of work on a VW Bug. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, so I’m not completely useless with a torque wrench. Even so, it seems like I could end up with a basket of parts which is not an acceptable outcome.

I suspect a shop will want the bike to be in and out quickly and they will not be at all careful with their work. As such, I’m reluctant to take it to a shop. Where do you even find a shop that agrees to work on a 36 year old bike anyway? My only other alternative is to baby it in 2nd gear, and that is a little sad.


By the sounds of things you are more than up to the job yourself.
If you can read a workshop manual and follow instructions changing the gearbox is not a big deal.
You are also correct in saying it may be a shift fork issue,we have come across that before.
The later F model has a stronger transmission,the E shares some components with the 750 that it was developed from,which are obviously under more stress in the 1000,and this problem is not uncommon.
We have fitted the complete transmission from an F into an E,it’s a straight swap
Go for it


I understand from reading at this site and other places that for 1984 there were E, F, and rarely G versions. I’ve always referred to my bike as a 1984 VF1000F. Does that mean it is an F? I thought the “FE” bikes were first introduced in Europe. In that case I wouldn’t have an “E”. Or is it actually an E cause it was made in the US? Or do I have to check the VIN?

Look at your engine number
SC15-20****** is FE
SC15-21****** is FF
SC15-22****** is FG

Honda have used letters in their model designation for years,for example a CBR1000FH is model year 1987 as indicated by the H suffix
So 1980 was A
1981 was B
and so on

I’ve got SC15E-20***** so I guess that’s an FE, and I should look for an FF transmission if I can find one.

Assuming I don’t find a complete FF transmission in gently used condition –Wait, does that even actually exist? – Is the typical route to replace parts during a rebuild? NOS when you can get them? I’m sure if I re-build it to a pristine FE transmission it’ll be fine for years to come.

Prepare for a long wait,these parts do turn up but not often.A complete transmission from an FF is a good bet,they turn up regularly in the UK as well as in Europe.
Far more FFs were produced than FEs and were popular,especially in Germany which is a great source for parts

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