False Wilbur is an annoying state when you drop a gear and instead of slotting the right gear you hit a neutral. This is what exactly you feel when you encounter a False Neutral but in reality, this condition is not that simple. Getting into a neutral state while changing gear of your motorbike is not always "False Neutral", for example; having a gear pattern 1-N-2-3-4-5, while upshifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear if you experience the same condition and you hit the neutral, it is not False Neutral instead you've actually hit the "True Neutral". Let's take it to another level and try to understand what's actually going on in the transmission.
When we say we've experienced a False Neutral, we mean that a Neutral like condition is being experienced while shifting between two gears other than 1st and 2nd in case of above-mentioned gear pattern (1-N-2-3-4-5). In this kind of situation, the engine revs freely and no gear is been engaged so far, in fact, it's a kind of limbo between two gears and no gear has been cogged whatsoever.
Apparently, the False Neutral state does not pose any threat to the engine or the transmission but it is indeed a very frustrating and annoying condition. The False Neutral can be seen on both comparatively older and brand new motorcycles. As far experiencing False Neutral in old bikes is concerned, normally worn out gears and bent shift forks come out as the culprit. But the same can be seen on brand new motorcycles as well and hence this should not be misunderstood as any mechanical fault.
In comparatively newer machines and sometimes even on the brand new motorbikes, the False Neutral can also be seen. Generally, it is witnessed when you try to shift the gear while accelerating the bike you tend to hit the false neutral more, this could happen between any gears and while both up and downshifting. Encountering False Neutral in newer machines is generally caused due to slotting gears in hurry. It is seen that when correct pressure is not given on the gear shifter and one just tap the shifter while pulling the clutch, False Neutral hits.
To avoid false neutral one should preload the shifter before actually pulling the clutch and dropping the gear. This method is found effective by many riders across the world and is considered a remedy for the False Neutral state especially on new bikes. The preloading of the gear shifter helps the shift fork to engage the right gear and one can actually feel the meshing of gears happening.
While False Neutral does not seem fatal for the engine or transmission but the overall experience could lead to a disaster depending on the timing of the event. As the false neutral generally occurs at high acceleration, it is likely that one is doing the maneuver while overtaking any vehicle and hitting a false neutral at a crucial condition like this could be fatal.
Another thing that needs to be kept in mind is once you hit the false neutral, try to get it back in the slot by upshifting (e.g.; from 3rd to 4th or from 2nd to 3rd) and always avoid doing downshifting (e.g.; from 4th- 3rd or from 3rd to 2nd). This is very important and can be understood by assuming you are experiencing the false neutral while making a cornering maneuver. If you downshift to get out of the false neutral, there are full chances of the rear wheel lock and you will never want this to happen while you are at the corner of the road.
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