How to adjust linkage on a chinese cvt atv

5 Common Chinese ATV Transmission Problems (And How To Fix Them) – LionParts

Many riders experience common problems and frustrations that can be solved by understanding the subtle nuances of their engine systems. This article will take a closer look at the different transmission issues for Chinese ATVs and how to diagnose them properly to fix them correctly. Keep reading to maintain peak performance from your engines!

What Are The Most Common Chinese ATV Transmission Problems?

Here are the five most common Chinese ATV transmission problems and how to fix them:

1. Gear-Shifting Troubles

The most common symptom of a transmission problem is difficulty shifting into one or more gears, referred to as “gear-shifting troubles.” Low transmission fluid levels can cause this improper cable adjustment, worn-out synchronizers, and even faulty clutches. Shift motor gears should all be tested for proper function before considering any major transmission work.

2. Clutch Noise

Another common Chinese ATV transmission issue is rattling or grinding noises from the clutch area when the vehicle is in a neutral or idle position. This could indicate a problem with the clutch plate or pressure plate, which should be inspected and replaced if necessary. Semi-automatic transmission ATVs may also suffer from “jumping” or jerking when the clutch is engaged.

3. Reverse Gear Issues

Some riders have reported having trouble engaging the reverse gear on their Chinese ATVs; this could be due to a worn-out clutch, a faulty gear selector, or even an incorrect drive chain alignment. Wet clutch systems may cause reverse gear problems and should be checked for proper adjustment and lubrication.

4. Slipping Gears

Slipping gears occur when the engine’s power is not being transferred to the wheels, decreasing performance and acceleration. Low transmission fluid levels, worn-out synchronizers, or a faulty clutch can cause this.

5. Overheated Transmissions

Suppose your Chinese ATV's transmission runs hotter than usual for extended periods. In that case, it may be due to poor lubrication or clogged filters, causing heat to build up inside the unit and eventually causing overheating.

How To Identify Transmission Problems On A Chinese ATV?

Identifying transmission problems on a Chinese ATV is not always straightforward, mainly because the system has several components. The three main areas to inspect are the shift selector and linkage, the belt and pulley, and the engine drive shaft. That being said, by checking all of these parts thoroughly and performing regular maintenance, an ATV owner can easily spot any issues before they result in severe damage or costly repairs. Shift motor moving parts should be tested to ensure they are properly lubricated.


Carefully examining these parts for damaged hardware or excessive wear can alert you to any problems that may have arisen with the transmission. Listen for unusual noises from the area around the belt and pulley, as this may indicate something is off balance; if so, immediate action needs to be taken, as this could pose a safety hazard if left unchecked. Also double, check that all parts are secure and look at their condition for signs of damage, such as fraying plastic or rusty metal.

What Are Some Of The Potential Causes Of Chinese ATV Transmission Problems?

Several different issues can cause Chinese ATV transmission problems. The most common causes are inadequate lubrication of the gears, a damaged or worn-out drive belt cover, and poor-quality components. Inadequate lubrication of the gears can lead to grinding and slipping as they move against one another. If this is an issue, it is important to ensure that all of the moving parts are well-oiled and adjusted for proper tension. Electric shift ATVs may have a disconnected or faulty wiring harness, which would prevent the shifter from engaging the desired transmission gear. Shifting problems can also arise from worn-out shifter links and poor cable adjustment.

A worn drive belt will cause the engine to work harder than normal to move the vehicle forward, decreasing fuel efficiency and performance. Poorly made components may also cause Chinese ATV transmission issues due to a lack of strength or durability. It is essential to ensure that only high-quality ingredients are used when making or repairing an ATV. Other causes of Chinese ATV transmission problems include improper shifting, lack of maintenance, and incorrect assembly. Improper activity can result in the gears not engaging correctly and can cause grinding and slipping as they move against one another.

How To Fix Chinese ATV Transmission Problems?

Chinese ATV transmission problems can be a real headache for the average ATV enthusiast, but luckily there are ways to fix them and get back on the trail. Generally, an ATV transmission problem may come from wearing linkage components, low fluid levels, worn drive belts, or even incomplete shifting. To identify the exact cause, visually inspect all related parts for any signs of wear or damage. Then, check for low fluids using either a dipstick viewer or a special adapter equipped with an oil pressure gauge. You should also inspect the shift lever, clutch, and pulley parts to ensure they are properly working.


Once the cause is determined, it can usually be solved by replacing worn-out parts or adding more transmission fluid. Additionally, full diagnostic services allow mechanics to investigate transmission problems' sources further. All in all, Chinese ATV transmission problems don't have to be daunting; most owners should be able to locate and solve their issues with minimal effort.

Tips For Preventing Transmission Problems On A Chinese ATV

Owners of Chinese ATVs should take extra caution when riding, especially when crossing enormous obstacles or on rough terrain. Regular maintenance is also crucial in preventing transmission issues. Changing the transmission fluid at least once a year helps ensure that the vehicle's internals are well-lubricated and free of debris buildup. Additionally, inspecting the drive belt for signs of wear and tear often can help prevent costly repairs down the line. Finally, using only high-quality components during repairs or replacements reduces the chance of unexpected problems arising later on.

Final Words

Chinese ATV transmission problems can be tricky to diagnose and fix, but with a little knowledge and patience, they can be solved quickly. Regular maintenance will also help minimize the risk of wear and tear that could lead to more severe damage. Always use high-quality replacement parts if needed and ensure all fluids are kept at optimal levels for optimal performance. If you need parts for your ATV, make sure you check out Lion Parts for the highest quality parts and all your outdoor needs!

ATV Won’t Go Into Gear or Shift

Troubleshooting an ATV that won’t go into gear or won’t shift gears can be quite complicated, but not always. Whether you can address the issue on your own depends on the severity of the problem and your mechanical skill level.  

ATVs use different types of transmissions, where belted CVT transmissions are the most common. The possible causes and the steps required to solve the problem depend on the type of transmission your ATV has. 

This post covers some of the most common causes if your ATV doesn’t go into gear. It is meant to guide where to begin your troubleshooting, not as a complete repair guide for all ATV transmissions. 

The service manual for your specific brand and model will provide more detailed troubleshooting procedures for your transmission issues. 

Check out eManual Online to get factory workshop service and repair manuals for your ATV.

Please note that it’s easy to worsen a transmission issue if you don’t know what you are doing.

Some of the repairs require special tools such as a clutch puller or a clutch disassembly tool. If the repair seems intimidating to you or you do not have the right tools, it is recommended that you take the bike to a dealer technician.

Page Contents

Step 1: Does the ATV shift gears normally with the engine off?

We recommend you begin the troubleshooting by testing whether you can shift gears when the engine is not running. This initial test allows you to narrow down the possible culprits of your gear-shifting issue.

If you can shift gears with the engine off, you know that the gear-shifting mechanism and the inside of the gearbox most likely work fine.

Gear shifting problems that are only present when the engine is running are usually clutch- or belt-related (Step 3) or caused by a high idle (Step 2). You may find that the bike wants to creep or move forward when in gear at idle. But even without creep, the problem may be with one of these components. 

If you cannot shift gears with the engine off, we recommend you jump straight down to Step 4.

Step 2: The idle is set too high – causing the clutch to engage

Many ATVs come with an automatic clutch that engages when you apply throttle, and the clutch speeds up. The same principle applies whether you have a wet disc clutch or a dry clutch, as you find on a belted CVT transmission.

If the ATV, for some reason, idles higher than it’s supposed to, it may cause the clutch to engage slightly, putting a small but constant tension to the metal gears inside the gearbox. This pressure on the gears makes the ATV very hard to shift.

Most ATVs should idle around 1100 to 1200 RPM. If your bike’s idle is higher than this, you must address the cause of your high idle.

There will be an adjustment screw to set the idle for carbureted ATVs. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct setting for your bike. Adjusting the idle on a fuel-injected ATV is usually a job for a mechanic.

Related: How to Idle a Four-Wheeler: Proper ATV Idle Adjustment

Step 3: The CVT is engaging too soon or not disengaging properly

When idling, the primary clutch on a belted CVT transmission is supposed to spin freely without engaging (not pulling on the belt). This relieves the tension on the gearbox and allows you to shift gears.

When you hit the throttle, the primary clutch closes and pulls the belt. The belt makes the secondary (driven) clutch spin, creating tension between the gearbox’s gears. 

This is how a CVT transmission works:

However, when the transmission is not tuned correctly or has a mechanical issue, it may engage and spin the secondary clutch even at idle.

To troubleshoot an issue like this, you need to remove the belt cover to inspect the clutches and see how they behave when the engine runs, both at idle and when revving in neutral.

Please note that the clutches will be spinning at high speeds. Keep your hands and all loose objects away from the clutches to avoid severe injury.

Cause 1: The clutches are dirty

If the primary clutch is packed with dirt, it may bind or not open enough to release the belt. Now is a good time to pull the clutches for proper cleaning and service.

Cause 2: The clutch spring is getting weak

The springs inside a CVT transmission clutch may weaken over time, preventing it from functioning as it should. Clutch springs are replaceable, but you may need special tools to pull and disassemble the clutch.

Cause 3: The clutches are not aligned; a bad or loose engine mount

If the motor mount is bad or has come loose, the primary clutch may be out of alignment. Use a pry bar to see if you can lift the whole engine. You should barely be able to see the engine move, if at all.

Cause 4: The clutches are not aligned; the belt is offset (common issue)

The drive belt should ride in the clutch assembly center, not touching the primary’s two clutch sheaves. If it does rub against one of the sheaves, it will cause unwanted tension on the belt.

The alignment between the two clutches can be adjusted by adding or removing metal shims/spacers between the sheaves, usually on the driven (secondary) clutch.

Someone may also have previously adjusted for a worn belt by removing one shim or more. When installing a new belt, you may need to add those spacers back to prevent binding, leading to gear-shifting issues.

Cause 5: Worn drive belt

If the drive belt is worn too much, it will ride low on the sheaves, causing a slight creep.

Cause 6: Using an aftermarket drive belt

We recommend that you only use OEM belts. There are aftermarket belts available that offer better performance and longevity at a smaller price. But slight variations in production tolerances can cause issues such as the clutch engaging too soon.

Aftermarket belts also use a harder compound to make them last longer, which may wear your clutch sheaves over time.

Cause 7: Shredded drive belt

Remove the belt cover. If the belt is shredded, it may have gotten wrapped around the driven shaft, causing it to bind up.

Cause 8: Worn EBS washers (common issue)

Polaris ATVs with EBS (engine brake system) have components that may wear out in time. Inspect the EBS fiber washers (one on each side of the EBS bushing) on the primary clutch to see if they are worn out. If the washers are worn, the belt may not ride in the grooves as it should and instead ride one of the sheaves.

Cause 9: Bad one-way bearing

Some ATVs with engine brake systems have a primary clutch with a one-way sprag bearing, a so-called one-way clutch. It is supposed to spin freely in one direction and be locked in the other direction.

This bearing may go bad over time, preventing the clutch from turning freely. It may be hard to tell if the bearing is ok; just a slight drag may cause shifting issues.

Step 4: The ATV won’t shift gears even when the engine is turned off

In this case, the problem is likely with the gear-changing mechanism or the transmission’s internals. Begin by troubleshooting the externals as they are the most accessible. 

Cause 1: Gear linkage is worn or out of adjustment

Some ATVs have adjustable gear linkage. If not adjusted correctly, the bike will not shift as it should.

How to inspect and adjust the gear linkage:

  • Make sure the ATV is in neutral (N).
  • Remove the linkage from the shift box.
  • Inspect the bell cranks to make sure they are not stripped or have split.
  • Inspect the ball ends for wear.
  • Replace any damaged components.
  • Set the gear shifter to neutral.
  • Adjust the ball ends until they drop straight onto the shifter.

Cause 2: Manual clutch transmission issues

On ATVs that have manual clutch transmissions, you should make sure that:

  • The handlebar-mounted lever is not damaged.
  • The cable is not broken.
  • The cable does not need adjusting.

Cause 3: Internal gearbox issues

To test your gearbox for internal damage without splitting the case, you can try this method:

  • The engine should be off.
  • Remove the belt cover.
  • Remove the drive belt.
  • Shift the bike into gear.
  • Try manually rotating the primary clutch; the bike should move.
  • You likely have an issue inside the gearbox if the bike does not move.

Cause 4: Wore or bent shift fork

One of the most common issues one could be facing with a gearbox’s internals is having a worn or bent shift fork.

The shift fork is what shifts the gears in place. It can’t push the gears completely in place if it is bent or worn.

Step 5: Wet clutch or hydrostatic transmission issues 

Some ATVs use an oil-sump wet clutch combined with the dry clutches on the CVT belt transmission. You also have some Honda ATVs with hydrostatic transmissions that use oil to drive the ATV forward.

Here are a few things to check out whenever any of these types of ATVs won’t go into or shift gears.

Cause 1: The oil level is low

Ensure the oil level is correct, or the bike may not shift as it should. 

Cause 2: The oil needs replacing

If the oil is old or contaminated, it needs replacing:

  • Drain the old oil into a drain pan.
  • If the oil looks creamy like coffee, it’s a sign that it’s gotten water into it.
  • If the oil is black and smelly, it’s old and long overdue for replacement. 
  • Also, look for debris, such as old seals drained with oil.
  • Add new oil to the correct level. Make sure it is according to spec. 
  • Let the bike run for 10 minutes.
  • Change the oil once more.
  • This final time, also change the oil filter. 

Cause 3: The oil is not moving correctly through the engine

Using an oil pressure gauge, it is possible to measure if the oil moves well through the engine. If the pressure is weak, you may have bad seals and need to open the engine.

Step 6: Honda ES electric shift transmissions: shifter motor issues

ATVs with an electric shifter, like the Honda AS models, use an electric motor to shift through the gears. If the motor does not work, the bike will not shift gears.

The only way to make it shift is by using the emergency shifter (a short-shifting shaft sticking out the left lower side of the engine, use the supplied gear change tool). If the bike shifts when using the emergency shifter, you need to address the shifter motor.

Cause 1: The motor is wet

If the ATV has been submerged, you must ensure all the water is drained from the shifter motor.  

  • Remove the motor and give it a proper cleanse with an electronics cleaner. 
  • Let it dry, and re-grease it with dielectric grease. 
  • Hook up the motor to a 12V battery to test it before reinstalling.
  • Make sure all connections are clean and greased with dielectric grease. 

Cause 2: The motor is burnt out

Remove the motor. If the motor does not turn even when hooking it up directly to a battery, it may be burnt out and need replacing.

Cause 3: The battery is not adequately charged

It is easy to forget that an electric-shift ATV needs electricity to shift. Make sure the battery is properly charged and in good condition.

Related resources:

How to charge an ATV battery

How to troubleshoot an ATV battery that is not charging.

Cause 4: Too heavy or gummed-up grease in the shift motor gears

If you try to shift on an electric shift ATV, you may hear the shift motor moving, but it does not shift completely.

You may find that the problem is worse at colder temperatures. Fixing this issue is relatively easy. All you need to do is replace the old gummed-up grease with all-temperature, white lithium grease.

For the complete procedure, go to

Cause 5: Bad angle sensor

Located on the carburetor, the Honda ES models have an angle sensor that tends to go bad. After replacing the sensor, make sure it is clocked correctly.

Step 7: The ATV won’t shift into gear or into neutral without rocking it back and forth

When this happens, there is usually no need to worry. In fact, most ATVs are affected by this issue, some more than others.

What happens is that the wheels must be rotated slightly for the gears inside the gearbox to sync (line up).

You may have noticed that this phenomenon worsens when trying to shift in and out of “park” when standing on a hill.

The best way to avoid this is by applying the parking brake before putting the transmission in “park. ” This way, the gears won’t bind up, and you can shift in and out of gear effortlessly.

Do-it-yourself ATV clutch adjustment and repair - replacement and maintenance device

The ATV clutch is responsible for both gear shifting and vibration reduction during the ride. ATVs for children are no exception.

As a rule, the occurrence of any problems with this component of motor vehicles, the rider feels immediately. It is recommended to service the ATV clutch every 6000-7000 km, but sometimes all kinds of problems can occur earlier. The rate of wear of the functional components of motor vehicles directly depends on the conditions of its operation.

ATV clutch failure signs

The following points can serve as a signal that something is wrong with the motorbike clutch:

  • ATV starts moving only at high speeds;
  • during the ride there were tangible jerks or vibrations;
  • motorcycles began to slip;
  • The
  • rider began to have difficulty shifting between ATV speeds.

Depending on the severity of the failure, the problems described above can be solved either by repairing the vehicle's clutch or by replacing it completely. As for Chinese models of ATVs, here it is necessary to check whether the nuts on the clutch are securely fastened. Poor assembly of motorcycles can also cause suspicious sounds in the variator area.

How to change the clutch on a children's ATV?

To change the clutch on a children's ATV with your own hands, you will need:

  • prepare the necessary set of tools;
  • unscrew and remove the chain reducer behind which the clutch is located;
  • remove the central bolt using a screwdriver;
  • gently pry and remove the clutch from the ATV;
  • replace the worn component with a new one by reassembling;
  • tighten the chain.

In general, this procedure is quite simple and fast. In older models of ATVs, everything is somewhat more complicated. Before proceeding with the dismantling of any components of motor vehicles, be sure to read the instructions from the manufacturer.

Why does my 50cc, 110cc, 125cc, and 250cc ATV clutch fail and need repair?

Even in Chinese models of ATVs, the clutch boasts an impressive margin of safety, and therefore its breakdown often occurs as a result of improper use of this equipment.

The main causes of premature ATV clutch wear include:

  • the use of low-quality lubricants;
  • abrupt shutdown of this component under heavy load;
  • long slip;
  • holding for a long time in a half-pressed state.

The only way to prolong the life of your ATV clutch is to use it properly and carefully. It is advisable to use good oil, and do not forget about timely maintenance.

The use of high-quality clutch discs in the ATV ensures a smooth start of the vehicle, and also fully ensures reliable grip without slipping even under fairly high loads. The exception is children's electric ATVs, in which there is simply no clutch disc.

ATV Clutch Adjustment 50, 110, 125 & 250cc

ATV clutch usually needs to be adjusted no more than once a year. Before starting work, place the vehicle on a special footboard.

The process of adjusting the clutch on a motorbike is quite simple, and consists of the following steps:

  • find exactly where the clutch is located on your ATV model. If necessary, refer to the user manual for assistance. If the cover prevents access to the clutch, then dismantle it;
  • find the most suitable wrench for the large lock nut, which is usually located in the very middle of the clutch housing. Loosen it a little, but do not unscrew it completely;
  • turn the adjusting screw slowly until resistance is felt and then turn it back a little;
  • tighten the nut while holding the screw securely with a screwdriver. It is very important that it does not move when tightened;
  • Check ATV clutch operation. If it operates too slowly or too quickly, adjust the screw in the desired direction (tighten or loosen).

Since adjusting your ATV's clutch is easy, you can repeat this procedure as needed. In the vast majority of motorcycle models, this functional component is adjusted in a similar way. If there are certain nuances in the clutch setting, they are explained in detail in the official vehicle manual.

05/29/2021 4573

How to shift gears on an ATV - ATVARMOR


  • Published bakkie

02 Dec

Any wheeled vehicle - from a bicycle to a multi-ton truck - has a transmission in its device: a system that transmits rotation from the engine to the wheels. The operation of the transmission - and therefore the speed of driving - can be controlled by shifting gears.

Gear shifting is organized differently in each mode of transport. In the article below, we will tell you exactly how to shift gears on ATVs, and what gearboxes are found on such equipment.

Types of gearboxes for ATVs and a list of gears in them

Gearboxes for ATVs can be of two types:

  1. Mechanical. Similar to motorcycle gearboxes. They are put mainly on racing models, but in recent years they have also begun to be found on utility ATVs. They have a foot clutch or clutch with a lever on the steering wheel (in most cases it is), and a foot shifter. Manual transmission usually has 4 “forward” gears, neutral and reverse.
  2. CVT. They have high and low (L and H) forward gears, neutral, reverse and parking brake. Some ATVs (the cheapest and least powerful) can have only one forward gear. You don't need to depress the clutch to shift.

Rare and mostly found in older models, but other variations can be found. For example - "automatic" with the ability to manually shift gears.

Manual ATVs are a little more difficult to drive (at least at first, until you get used to it), but you can more accurately select the appropriate mode. And vice versa: CVT "boxes" are much easier to operate, they are easy to master for a beginner who gets behind the wheel of an ATV for the first time. But on the other hand, with active driving along a route with variable difficulty, riding a CVT will be a little less convenient.

For example: you are driving on a flat packed dirt road on H and you see a large stretch of muddy road ahead with deep mud (or a steep hill, or bumps, or stones). You will have to come to a complete stop and shift to L, drive through mud, and come back to a dry road, come to a complete stop again and shift back to H. , like motorcycles, and a manual clutch lever on the handlebar on the left.

The foot lever device can be of two types:

  1. One lever. Gear shifting is carried out with the toe of the foot, pressing the lever from top to bottom (gears from 1 and above) or from bottom to top - from a higher gear to a lower one.
  2. Two levers. Gear shifting is carried out by the heel and toe of the left foot. The rear lever shifts gears up, the front lever shifts down.

The shift itself is carried out in the same way as on motorcycles:

  1. We start the ATV (always in neutral or park gear).
  2. Fully depress the clutch.
  3. Press the gear lever with your foot, selecting the first gear.
  4. Slightly press down on the gas trigger and at the same time slowly release the clutch lever. When learning on any type of transport with a manual transmission (car, motorcycle, truck), this point is the most difficult, and it can only be gained by practice, catching the balance in working with the clutch and gas. If you have experience driving any vehicle with a manual transmission, you will quickly get used to an ATV with such a gearbox.
  5. Having completely released the clutch, we move only with the help of gas, adding or decreasing it (and, if necessary, braking with a foot or hand brake).
  6. Having gained speed, we squeeze the clutch again, and turn on the next gear with our foot.

    Learn more