2009 Vulcan Voyager blown tranny - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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2009 Vulcan Voyager blown tranny

Well folks I have been reading this forum for many years and used it to research my bike before I bought it. Sad to say that after 39576 miles the transmission locked up just outside of Sioux Falls South Dakota last weekend while on a ride to see Joe Walsh in concert. My Kawasaki dealer in Lincoln Ne was awesome and was able to phone the dealer in Sioux Falls. They all stayed open late until I was safe and sound. The dealerships on both ends were fabulous I don't have enough time to sing their praises. I picked up my bike from Sioux Falls this weekend and trailered it back to Lincoln Nebraska. I am waiting on a diagnosis of what went wrong but it was major. The bike became possessed and the whole thing sounded like a cat was stuck in the engine. The back tire locked up at 75 and fortunately something exploded in the tranny which let the tire start rotating. Probably the longest 3 seconds of my life as I felt the bike start to slide sideways with my wife and I on it. Kept it up and between the lines.

3 weeks ago I had it in for service and a louder than normal shifting noise from 1st to 2nd and then back when coming to a stop light from 2nd to 1st. That darn "CLUUNK" has always been unnerving to me but my buddies with Harleys have always said that its not that bad. My dealer has always checked it out and have never found anything.

So now at the height of the season we are bikeless but have been having a good time in my jeep with the top off. Closest thing I have to the bike.

If anyone has had any type of failure like this I would really like to know.

Thanks
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post #2 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:05 PM
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HOLY C#?#&/, thank goodness you are O.K. That is scary, especially with wife on back. I have not heard of anything like that happening to any 1700's. You probably have more miles that most but not enough for a tranny problem like that. I hope they find the cause. Keep us posted and enjoy your summer.

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post #3 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 04:07 PM
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DANG!!! That scares me just reading it. Glad you both came out unharmed. Hopefully they will get you back on the road soon.
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post #4 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 12:00 AM
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A friend of mine with a 2009 Nomad (bought in 2010) was having trouble with 2nd gear slipping under acceleration. It was getting worse, so he took it to the dealer up here in Canada. Turns out that four of the 6 gears are damaged, the output shaft is also damaged. The dealer admitted that they've had an 09 Voyager in with the same issue.

He purchased the GTPP last year, good thing. Kawasaki is sending replacement parts, but he's choked. Its now got me concerned about my 09 VV. Reading this new thread has elevated my concern. Apparently Kawi made changes to the 2011's, but who knows.

Glad you kept the shiny side up. Must have been unbelievably frightening.

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post #5 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by CornHusker View Post
Well folks I have been reading this forum for many years and used it to research my bike before I bought it. Sad to say that after 39576 miles the transmission locked up just outside of Sioux Falls South Dakota last weekend while on a ride to see Joe Walsh in concert. My Kawasaki dealer in Lincoln Ne was awesome and was able to phone the dealer in Sioux Falls. They all stayed open late until I was safe and sound. The dealerships on both ends were fabulous I don't have enough time to sing their praises. I picked up my bike from Sioux Falls this weekend and trailered it back to Lincoln Nebraska. I am waiting on a diagnosis of what went wrong but it was major. The bike became possessed and the whole thing sounded like a cat was stuck in the engine. The back tire locked up at 75 and fortunately something exploded in the tranny which let the tire start rotating. Probably the longest 3 seconds of my life as I felt the bike start to slide sideways with my wife and I on it. Kept it up and between the lines.

3 weeks ago I had it in for service and a louder than normal shifting noise from 1st to 2nd and then back when coming to a stop light from 2nd to 1st. That darn "CLUUNK" has always been unnerving to me but my buddies with Harleys have always said that its not that bad. My dealer has always checked it out and have never found anything.

So now at the height of the season we are bikeless but have been having a good time in my jeep with the top off. Closest thing I have to the bike.

If anyone has had any type of failure like this I would really like to know.

Thanks
Good reaction driver. Hope your wife is ok.
Some good end a season ridin with your names on it yet!
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post #6 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 04:36 AM
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I am glad that the two of you are safe and unhurt. I hope it didnt scare the wife out of riding in the future with you.

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post #7 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 08:31 AM
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When you had it in for service, did they do anything with the tranny?


Jeff, Twin Cities, MN


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post #8 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 01:49 PM
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Glad to hear you and your wife are ok. It could have been a lot worse, and I don't need to explain that one. I thought perhaps the cause of your "disturbance" may be your shift drum or one of the gears coming undone inside your tranny at speed.

I have a design question for those familiar with the Harley "clunk" sound when shifting...

Does the Vulcan 1700 engine use the same primary chain drive similar to Harley or does it use the gearing used by others such as Victory? I've read that "clunk" sound is the chain going under tension when the bike is shifted and eventually it needs to be inspected, although Harley doesn't tell you that.

Any thoughts on the Vulcan setup? Anyone have any high-mileage issues with the tranny?

Again, great job to CornHusker for keeping it on the road!!
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post #9 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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CornHusker, first and foremost, I'm very happy you and your wife are safe. I had a transmission problem with my 2010 Nomad. Here's the thread on my problem. Since I got it back (over 10k miles ago) I have not had any problems, although I still hear some clattering occasionally on downshifts, particularly when two-up, which I guess may be a problem. Best of luck with your issues.

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post #10 of 129 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ********* View Post
When you had it in for service, did they do anything with the tranny?
Fortunately for me the service manager at my dealership is a pretty awesome guy. He took the bike for a ride and when he came back he said that he couldn't hear anything out of the ordinary. Keep in mind that service guys probably ride 100 bikes a week. That being said I still insisted that something was wrong and I could feel it with my foot. He wrote an incident report so I am covered as far as that goes. He called today and said they won't have the engine out of the bike for at least another week.
So I am still in a holding pattern
Thanks all is well
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