Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: south-central Pennsylvania
2012 Voyager Shift Issue?
Excerpt from the letter I sent Kawasaki early this week.
When starting out in first gear, either from a cold start or from a red light, the motorcycle will not shift through neutral into second gear. Once in neutral it feels spongy or bouncy on the up-shift and will not go into second gear without first shifting back into first gear and then through neutral into second. It usually, though not always, will find second gear this way. Occasionally it has taken more than one try. As stated, this is an intermittent problem and will repeat for me. I have attempted to 'flop the block' and attempt to shift at the same place, speed, and rpm without being able to replicate the failure.
There does not seem to be any predictable pattern as to when this issue will occur. It does not seem to matter how long the motorcycle has been running as it has failed to find second gear at an intersection less than a mile from my garage, but on one occasion it shifted perfectly the for more than 500 miles on a three-day road trip before failing, and on some rides the problem never occurs. I ride nearly every weekend, most times both days, and it is a rare occurrence to go for anything less than a very short (less than 25 miles) ride without a failure. This failure has occurred both when I was riding solo and when I was riding two-up with my girlfriend. It is also not unique to my driving style. Both my cousin, who has been riding in excess of 35 years, and my friend, who has been riding for at least 15 years, have experienced this issue on my Voyager when they were testing it out on a longer ride in consideration of purchasing their own. (My cousin opted for a Yamaha Venture after experiencing the problem, though he allows that the Voyager is a more comfortable ride.) Shift speed and RPM also does not seem to affect the failure rate.
Bought the Voyager at Twigg Cycle in Hagerstown, MD. They nor Freedom Powersports in Everett, PA have had any luck duplicating the issue. It's spent 6 or 7 weeks between the two shops since the it had about 900 miles on it, which was when the problem started, til now (about 5100 miles). My girlfriend has been on the phone 3 times with Kawasaki's customer service over this and no one is being any real help.
I had a 2004 Vulcan 1500 before this. About 20,000 miles and it never need anything but oil changes and tires.
Has anyone else had this problem?
(Or have any advice for getting Kawasaki to actually fix the problem.)