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MSU 500 hard to shift gears


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Hey all!

Uncle's got a Massimo MSU 500 that he's been having some trouble with and I've been trying to help him out. He bought it used from some guy and I don't think it was in the greatest shape when he got it. The only thing he's done to it is add his Army Air Cav and Vietnam stickers to it. 

Started off saying it would shift really hard when setting off. Found the dipstick and it was low! So did an oil, air filter, oil filter and spark plug change for him today and it's setting off 1000 times better now. However, it's almost impossible to shift the gear lever. We still had the engine cowl off and I was having to tap the lever on the engine end with a hammer to get it to shift. I don't think it's because of how hard he was pushing the brakes because he seemed to be pushing pretty hard. Got it loosened up a little but still really difficult to get it to move between H L and R. 

There is what looks like a flashing front diff on the panel when it's running, and a noise coming from the front diff/axle but I don't know if that has something to do with it. 

Uncle ordered the tune up kit from Dr Motorcycle and he included gear oil, but can't for the life of us figure out where we check this and where it needs to be changed. I've read somewhere that we need to check the diff levels, but that wouldn't make a difference in how it shifts would it?

Any and all help welcome as I'd like to get Uncle's side by side running again and allow him to get about his property again. 

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1st. You should always be stopped with your foot on the brake in order to shift these things. Mine has an interlock that will do just as you are describing. 2nd, I don't think they like to cold shifted without the engine running and your foot on the brake. Also, on occasion, I have to coax mine up into low gear and hold it until I'm moving. I've played with the linkage adjustment several times and got it where it shifts good enough for me. I bought mine new (2017) and it has never been 100% in that area.

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