My Third Kawi, Gearbox Question - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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My Third Kawi, Gearbox Question

Just picked up a new VN900C and this will be my third Kawasaki (650R, ZX6) -- I've noticed on the other two bikes that shifting from 2nd to 1st is extremely clunky, and if I down shift too quickly, sometimes I get stuck in-gear (1st or 2nd) and am unable to up/down shift, other times I get stuck in neutral and have to jam on the shift peg to force it to first. This has happened maybe a dozen times on the sport bikes, but I figured it was just the sport bikes that had it. However, leaving the dealership with the 900, about to flip a U, and on a downshift to first, the bike enters neutral, and I'm stuck with a brand new bike looking like a fool with the same gearbox issues as the sportbikes. Does anyone else experience this (I would hope so since it's been on all 3 of mine), and are there any remedies?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 01:22 PM
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That's strange ...I've never heard of anybody with that problem. What I do when coming to a stop light or stop sign is shift down w/braking till I come to second and then I brake with the bike in second and tap down to neutral while I put my feet down using the front brake only now. I never use first when coming to a stop. I keep it in neutral and let the clutch out to rest at the light. When it's time to go I just click one down to first.
On a U turn I just know to push extra hard from second to first and go right through neutral.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 03:25 PM
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Gear Box

I purchased my first Vulcan 900 (actually first motorcycle ever) in November. Bought a 2006 900 Classic. I have the same issue. It is "kluncky" when going from 2nd directly into first. When I have to stop quickly, and downshift quickly, it will sometimes give me a problem getting into first. My norm is to also give myself time in downshifting.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 07:55 PM
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I'm not sure if its the same issue, but the only thing I've noticed is the bike REALLY does not like to shift down while at a standstill. Like say you're cruising along and boom yellow/red light, or any quick stop, and you do not fully downshift during your braking, you will have a heck of a time gearing down while stopped. Press down and nothing happens.

On the upside, through this I've discovered the 900 can safely depart a stop in 3rd gear...just takes some clutch. But far as I can tell, there is no solution.

-2009 Classic
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NorthWanderer View Post
I'm not sure if its the same issue, but the only thing I've noticed is the bike REALLY does not like to shift down while at a standstill. Like say you're cruising along and boom yellow/red light, or any quick stop, and you do not fully downshift during your braking, you will have a heck of a time gearing down while stopped. Press down and nothing happens.

On the upside, through this I've discovered the 900 can safely depart a stop in 3rd gear...just takes some clutch. But far as I can tell, there is no solution.
I do concur with this, as I have a weird methodology to motorcycle riding and I noticed this immediately on the Vulcan. I usually turn the bike off with the emergency off switch, kick the stand out, and then remove the key. When I am about to ride, I pop the key in, turn the bike on, depress the clutch and shift to neutral, flip the emergency off switch back, and then turn on the engine so it can idle and warm up while I get ready to ride. This has been my habit with the other two bikes, but with the Vulcan, shifting to neutral with my hand or while standing in order to turn the bike on, well, it's been a chore. Sometimes I just put my gear on, hope on the bike, hold the clutch, and turn the engine on, after that, shifting is fine.

Weird, eh? Funky gearbox.

Kawa-knockies 'til I die.
'06 Murdered-out ZX-6
'07 Plasma Blue 650R
'08 Passion Red VN900C
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 12:28 PM
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I've never had this issue but I will tell you that this happens to a friend of mine very often on the same bike and what I noticed is that he does not pull the clutch all the way. I have advised him to correct his human error and he keeps blaming the bike. I test drove his bike and none of this happened to me in that 50 mile city ride. The clunk will deminish once you put some miles and complete the breaking period. Just keep using 10-40 oil, if not then the clunk will never go away.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 09:28 PM
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I have had a similar issue since my VN900D had 1 mile on the clock. What I found is if you clutch out between shifts the issue is not there. There was a thread about this early last fall where other riders had the same conclusion. As for the ole quick changing red light, once the shifter feels lke it is in low, I let the clutch ship just a little to verify it is actually in low, not 2 or 3. If it is not on low it clunks, the shift frees up and it goes right down to low.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 11:54 PM
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i guess most of the issues on this page are kinda 'normal'. for example @NorthWanderer, what you need to do if stuck in an upper gear at a standstill is loosen the clutch just a bit (like you'r in 1st and getting ready to start moving) and you'll hear the gears 'drop' in the gearbox; after that sound you can down shift... repeat the process for each down shift till you get to neutral. -this is because the gearbox on a motorcycle works on dif principles than the car's.. think of it as a mountain bike gear
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 09:56 AM
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I think it just may require a little break in time. Mine gave me a few fits at first but works fine now.

John
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 01:34 PM
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Not a big deal

I had the same problem all what it needs is some trans calaberation adjustment , i toke around 5 mins to adjust and i swear its smother than ever now . the mechanic says that all vulcans transmitions needs some adjusting after leaving the factory i dont know why ? but its not a big deal as long you dont ride long distance when the problem accures.

-2011 nomad

Last edited by fysl; 04-05-2010 at 02:33 PM.
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