All 1999 and 2000 model years share the same transmission style. The transmission is known for very premature failure due to (in my opinion) a design flaw. Typical life is about 20K miles.
Then in 2001 the trans was upgraded to a much better design. Unfortunately the 3rd gear gearing was prone to shattering from a hardening issue. 2001 transmissions apply for a “cush drive” recall kit which added cushions to the rear sprocket to help prevent 3rd gear from shattering. Some rare 99-00 bikes that experienced failures early in life were “upgraded” to the 2001 transmission. Those bikes were still prone to 3rd gear shattering (a different issue than the original, faulty, 99-00 design).
The 2002’s transmission were much better than the 2001’s. Small changes were made and gears tended to not shatter anymore.
Finally in 2003 they worked all the bugs out and refined the transmission to its final, reliable, form. Victory has long ago discontinued making parts for the flawed 99-00 transmissions, and are most of the way out of the 2001-2002 parts too. 2003 parts are still available at time of print.
There were many recalls issued over the next few years after the 1999 models hit the road. Although some of them deal with pieces of the driveline – there was never a recall that permanently and correctly upgraded the faulty transmissions. The 2001 or 2003 upgraded transmission were considered an upgrade, rather than a recallable issue. Polaris does not keep track of which bikes were upgraded to the better transmission. That was considered a dealer installed “upgrade”. Upgraded bikes can be spotted by the new style speed sensor reading off the front drive sprocket (stock 99-00 bikes had the speed sensor in the block).
So what do you do?
Since 2003 there has been an update where a 2003 transmission could be retrofitted into a 1999-2002 case. The “kit” was discontinued about 2009, but parts are still available to al-la-carte to convert your old transmission to the newer, better 2003 style. Expect to pay in the area of $4500 parts/labor/tax to do this conversion here at the Vic Shop.
The next natural question you’ll have is: can I swap in a later model engine and transmission. Maybe even a 6 speed? The answer is: Yes. The Vic Shop specializes in swapping 2003-2005 92-inch 5-speed engines into the older models. We can also do a 100inch 6-speed conversion for a bit more money. Again, expect to pay in the $4500 parts/labor/tax to have the 92/5 conversion done. Add another $1000 to do the 100/6 combination. Also keep in mind that the donor engines are coming from motorcycle wrecking yards, and finding a suitable donor can sometimes be an issue.