Hard clutch shifting? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Hard clutch shifting?

Hello all, not only I'm a new vulcan owner, I'm totally new to riding (3 months). I have been experiencing a weird shifting issue which I don't know if its a problem or just something to get use to. Sometimes while riding, the clutch seems hard to shift. It doesn't slip or not go into gear, but it seems like it takes more effort. Usually I will notice this after riding a while, especially with stop and go traffic. Shifting starts out smooth, but then it seems a little more rough, as if I can feel the clutch moving up to two clicks to get to gear. Down shifting isn't really a problem since I'm stepping on the clutch, but up-shifting just feels weird. I thought it was my foot position on the pegs but changing positions doesnt matter. The stranger thing is that after sometime it may get smooth again. i dont do very long trips as i mostly commute under ten miles, but i don have NYC traffic to deal with. Don't know what to think of this. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 10:05 AM
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Assuming you mean "shift lever" when you say "clutch"...

900 transmissions are pretty chunky on the whole. Straight-cut gears do tend to be noisy and give a solid "thunk" from gear to gear.

However, even with that in mind, I'd check the clutch lever freeplay. If it's too loose, the clutch may not be engaging all the way when you pull in the lever. There's a rundown on the procedure in your owners manual, and if you don't have one, you can download one at the Kawasaki website.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tdfriday View Post
Hello all, not only I'm a new vulcan owner, I'm totally new to riding (3 months). I have been experiencing a weird shifting issue which I don't know if its a problem or just something to get use to. Sometimes while riding, the clutch seems hard to shift. It doesn't slip or not go into gear, but it seems like it takes more effort. Usually I will notice this after riding a while, especially with stop and go traffic. Shifting starts out smooth, but then it seems a little more rough, as if I can feel the clutch moving up to two clicks to get to gear. Down shifting isn't really a problem since I'm stepping on the clutch, but up-shifting just feels weird. I thought it was my foot position on the pegs but changing positions doesnt matter. The stranger thing is that after sometime it may get smooth again. i dont do very long trips as i mostly commute under ten miles, but i don have NYC traffic to deal with. Don't know what to think of this. Any thoughts?
Thanks
Terrance


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With all due respect the "problem" is probably you. You're a new rider, with a new bike, and most likely you're just not used to it yet. Give it time and you'll get better at shifting and your "problem" will go away.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 11:32 AM
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Tdfriday;

The clutch is the handle on the left side of the bike. The 'shifter' is that thing you hit with your feet to change gears. Are we under the right assumption that you meant 'shifter'?

If that's the case, it sounds pretty normal. These 900 transmissions can be finnicky. Mine does the same thing.

One tip- let out the clutch a little bit if shifting more than one gear at a time. So, shift, let it out a little bit, pull it back in, shift again. These transmissions don't like to shift more than once with the clutch pulled. I sometimes coast with the clutch pulled, and downshift as I slow down (not all at once! But as I slow down to the appropriate speed, I down shift). When I do that, I usually need to feather the clutch out after a gear or two to get it to 'engage' all the way.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 11:33 AM
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I notice a difference in shifting depending on footwear. I mostly wear boots so never have a problem but if I venture to wear sneakers on a quickie ride, seems to feel hard to shift up.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yes..."Shifter" not "clutch".... Thanks for the correction and the advice. Much appreciated.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 07:46 AM
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Yes..."Shifter" not "clutch".... Thanks for the correction and the advice. Much appreciated.


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Try this trick for upshifting. When you're ready to shift up, move the toe of your boot in contact with the shifter. Just a light touch. When you actually shift, increase the foot pressure as you pull in the clutch lever and back off the throttle. You will find that the dogs in the gearbox will line up easier and your shifts will be smoother.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Daboo311 View Post
I notice a difference in shifting depending on footwear. I mostly wear boots so never have a problem but if I venture to wear sneakers on a quickie ride, seems to feel hard to shift up.
My bet's on the footwear. The second time I had my vulcan out (first bike) with the new boots I'd bought, I had the same problem and was ready to take the bike back to the dealer. On a suggestion from my wife (yeah, I hate to admit it), I changed shoes and went for the same ride. No problems. I kept the bike and returned the boots. Good luck.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 05:36 PM
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check the clutch cable

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
Try this trick for upshifting. When you're ready to shift up, move the toe of your boot in contact with the shifter. Just a light touch. When you actually shift, increase the foot pressure as you pull in the clutch lever and back off the throttle. You will find that the dogs in the gearbox will line up easier and your shifts will be smoother.
I do this exactly. My 900 does shift "harder" than my 87 Sporty.

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