Finding Neutral
25 May 2015

It's never going to be easy to find neutral with the engine running.

From Peter Goddard, as reported by johnnyrottin - Benelliforum (30 Nov 2007)
.... the gearbox functions exactly as it was designed. The LE runs the exact same gearbox as (the) race bike and that was also translated over to the road bike. It was fully intentional that neutral is almost impossible to select, making it almost impossible to mis-shift. He said the gearboxes were bulletproof.

The engagement dogs are shaped to draw them into mesh, when under load. So unmeshing them, while under load (with the clutch dragging - even slightly), will be difficult.

from JohnnyO - Benelliforum (29 Nov 2007) -
Guy's the reason the bike won't select neutral is from clutch drag, not from undercut engaging dogs (although that does make it worse if the clutch is dragging). The Tornado's should have had the fibre plates changed when the actuating arm was changed, the RS's came with the different plates, as did the TnT.... that's why they select neutral much easier.
I think the replacement fibre plates may be the same as Honda CR250, I vaguely remember them having the Honda 'KA4' code on them, but then the KA4 code may mean something totally different?
The replacement plates were thinner (.2mm) also, I think an extra steel plate (2.0mm) had to be fitted with the new fibres to keep the stack height correct so the slipper action worked correctly.

There are a couple of things you can do though -
1. Adjust the clutch correctly - pg 162 in the Workshop manual
2. Use the steel clutch actuating arm (connects to the cable on the LHS) - not the cast original. Mine is painted black.
3. The clutch fibre plates should have been replaced at the same time as the actuating lever.
4. Adjust the hand lever to begin disengagement early in it's movement. If the lock nut is not tightened, the screw will eventually move in, reducing your travel.
5. Learn how to select neutral while still moving. If you pop the clutch below 2500 rpm, to select neutral, there'll be less likelihood of the engine stalling as well. It's an art. It becomes second nature after a while. 6. If you've done a few k's the clutch lever pivot hole may have become elongated as it has worn. This reduces the clutch cable travel.

Clutch Lever Pivot Hole

Refer to Clutch Bush under Maintenance / Levers for a drawing of the bush.
7. Selecting from second gear is easier than from first
8. mikerj reports that using a lighter oil makes it easier to find.
9. A hydraulic clutch conversion can give you more throw, making it easier to select neutral. That worked for me.