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I recently picked up a 2001 TRX500FA for cheap. It runs good but won't shift out of 1st gear. And it sputters/hesitates when in reverse. The dash is also flashing when running.

I tried searching similar threads and found a few that mentioned various things like the angle sensor. I tested and replaced that to no avail.

What should I try next?

Here's a video of the dash flashing:

The ATV also makes a weird metallic howling noise just off idle. I suspect this is an unrelated issue to the shifting problem though.
 

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Similar issues with mine - same year/model. In my case the auto trans (Hondamatic) was faulty and needed replacement along with the oil pump. Later on the shift motor (on the outside left of engine) also got stuck which gave the constant flashing like on yours. It would stay in one gear until it was removed & freed up. You can try that first - if that's all it is you're lucky. The new trans cost a fortune but the bike was in too good a shape to abandon.
 

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With what you've described and knowing the history of these Rubicons, it's quite likely that the Hondamatic is faulty. If you decide to repair it then you're looking at a replacement assembly since Honda doesn't sell parts to rebuild them.
 
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