Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

DCT shifts empty

2831 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Ray
So, this is my last try to find a solution for my DCT Problem.

Apparently there are no Twin riders in Germany knowing this problem (Honda doesnt care),
but I got the same answer every time.
"Clean your shifting motor"

My bike had 1800km on it, when I bought it last year.
First it was all fine, but after maybe +300 km I noticed that the DCT tries to shift from 1st to 2nd gear,
and will not engage at first try.
It got worse till I wanted to ride to Italy. It tried three times to shift into second gear, then it engaged.

I searched for this issue in some forums and cleaned the shifting motor, right before I rode to Italy.
It had lots of coal residue in it, which shouldnt be normal with this low age.
While riding my bike through Italy I had the first shifting failure at about 1500km after cleaning the motor.

I let it be for the next 3000km and it got so bad, that it tried to shift 3 times every time between gear 1 and 2.
It also appeared between gear 3 and 4 now.

A friend of mine has the absolute same bike and borrowed me his perfectly working motor to test it.
It worked finde, because I cleaned it as well, but there was a failure to shift too.
He never had one single problem with that motor in his bike.

Last week I made an oil- and filter change with Motul 5100 10W30, cleaned my miserably working motor again (there were kind of big chunks of coal in the Motor after the ride to Italy) and hoped that this will change something, but it didnt.
The bike runs better, but since then I had 3 failures of shifting after only 200km.

So here I am... What could cause this problem, if not the shifting motor?

I´m really desperate and I´m considering to buy a manual bike, to change all my (optical) modifications to the new bike and sell this piece of junk.

Hope you can help me with this...

Best regards
See less See more
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
I've only heard of this problem on higher mileage bikes, say 40,000 miles. A new shift motor cures the problem. I haven't had a missed shift yet on my 19 in 12,000 miles. I don't have any worthy advise, sorry. One stupid question, the chain isn't too tight is it. The dct likes a loose chain.
  • Like
  • Helpful
Reactions: 4
Hi, thanks for the advice.
Didnt know the DCT will be affected by the chain.
I had it at low end and upper end tension. Sooo... I dont think thats it.
But I will change it again, just to be sure.
I have heard of this issue with the NC700X, but I haven't read of it in regards to the Africa Twin. But as @rustynut2 suggests, a new shift motor seems to be the common cure.
Check your battery condition and connections to it, and the cluster of negative wire connections to the frame under the tank l/h side must be clean and firm. You may simply not be getting good current to the shift motor.
  • Like
  • Helpful
Reactions: 4
Check your battery condition and connections to it, and the cluster of negative wire connections to the frame under the tank l/h side must be clean and firm. You may simply not be getting good current to the shift motor.
My wife had a loose connection of one of those negative wire connections to the frame. One of the issues it caused was for the bike to constantly try to shift between two gears. If it was in first it constantly shifted between 1st and 2nd, if in 2nd it constantly shifted back and forth between 2nd and 3rd, etc. But that may be only one of several ways it presents.
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Why on earth is the oil full of coal at such low milage? I have not experienced this on anything other than very high milage American v8 cars with little to no oil change history.

Is it possible that it was a lot higher usage than at first disclosed to you?
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Why on earth is the oil full of coal at such low milage?
I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about the shift motor, when he says "motor", not the engine. And what he's calling coal, is probably carbon residue from the brushes wearing on the commutator ring. If the commutator has some gnarly edges between each contact, it could be wearing the brushes at an accelerated rate.
  • Like
  • Helpful
Reactions: 5
Dear god, I didnt read anything about the loose connection, THANKS a lot!
That gives me some hope!

Yes I´m talking about the connection and carbon debree from the brushes in the Motor.
Sorry my technical english isnt that good.
In german carbon and coal has kind of the same meaning.

The previous owner had the bike for 2 years, but didnt ride it very often because he worked oversea most of the time.

Here are some pictures from the first cleaning with about 3000km on the counter.
After my Italy trip, it looked kind of the same, but with 3-5 bigger chunks of carbon in the housing.

Should i grind the edges between the connection plates on the actuator?

Automotive tire Rim Spoke Automotive wheel system Circle
Drinkware Automotive tire Fluid Liquid Drink
Textile Wood Line Material property Gas
Wheel Automotive tire Product Motor vehicle Alloy wheel
See less See more
Sorry for repost, but it didn't work to add another picture with edit function on my phone.

Those are the pictures from the cleaning after Italy and miserable function.

Tire Hand Wheel Automotive lighting Automotive tire
Wheel Automotive tire Bicycle part Camera lens Wood
See less See more
Ja, so der unter part in pic drei, the copper parts, is the commutator and die mark going around the copper segments should be polished out with some fine carborundum paper, say 600 or 800 grit. Hold a piece of carborundum paper around the copper part of the shaft with light pressure and turn the whole thing with your other hand to polish the commutator. Should only take a few turns, like sechs oder acht. That will reduce the brush wear. Definitely check the wiring connections and battery condition too. Es tut mir leid, mein Deutsch sehr schlekt ist. Aber Ich liebe ist! 😉 Veil Gluck!
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I didnt think that I should grind the commutator, because the brushes have the same wear marks and should fit to the commutator. But I will try this after checking the frame connection too, thanks!

What is a carborundum paper? I have grinding paper from 600 to 1000 grid, but does the material of it take effect?
What do you think how thick the copper plating is? The wearmarks are kind of deep...
Should I grind the edges between the single fields of copper? Could help with the wear but also reduce connection in a small percentage of the whole surface.
Your grinding paper will be perfect. The copper segments are several mm thick and you will only be polishing out 0.1 or so of a mm. As I said, just a few turns and it will be bright and shiny again. you want it to look more like the bit of copper up near the white resin. The brushes will smooth themselves out to fit the commutator. It's only dust and electrical arcing that has caused the grooves that you will polish out. Don't try and do anything to the dark lines in between the copper segments. That is insulation. Eventually, it will all be scratched again, but right now you have a problem so we need to try and eliminate any potential cause and the scratched commutator is one of these. I honestly think it will be a battery or connection issue.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.