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Hi. Just purchased an 02 Bird with 43k miles. Gears are sweet and noiseless up and down, but engaging 1st from rest is very noisy almost like clutch only partly disengaged or is dragging. Is any adjustment possible? Would a thorough bleed of hydraulics help? Ideas appreciated!
 

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You may find going into 2nd then selecting 1st works better- there are some substantial gears inside the box that need to match speeds. I've also found waiting a couple of seconds after pulling the clutch in can help. May also be worth cleaning the pushrod area behind the sprocket cover- crud build up can cause issues, best to eliminate.
 

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As Kris has mentioned it's characteristic to the bird. Along with clutch basket rattle if idles set below 1200 rpm
 

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Tractordriver said:
Would a thorough bleed of hydraulics help?
It certainly won't do any harm! When I buy a bike I like to replace these fluids since you never know how the previous owner has treated the bike. If the fluid is dark or when you remove the fluid cover you see 'sludge' in the bottom of the reservoir then it is time to replace the fluid and clean out the sludge.

As Krisbiker has mentioned keeping the push rod clean should be on every bodies 'must do' list, I regularly remove masses of 'mess' from that area, I've even found a ripped up plastic bag stuck behind the cover.

Do that and assuming that you have a firm lever that doesn't loose pressure, the push rod is straight (roll it on a sheet of glass or similar to check) and you can be content that you have done what you can.
 
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