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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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positive neutral finder

I am still getting used to my new ride. I have had other motorcycles and not had this problem before. The bike only has 3000 kilometers on it. Something wonky with the positive neutral finder. It doesn't work too well, if at all. Also, when downshifting the bike has to be rolling or else it gets locked in whatever gear ( usually 5 or 6) I am in if I stop without downshifting. It takes some clutch work to get it to shift. Also the gear indicator goes blank. I guess these are probably related somehow to the positive neutral finder not working too well? Suggestions? Thanks.
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 classic LT
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:38 AM
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Have no idea what to tell you. Every bike I have ever owned has been like that. Either have to work the clutch or rock the bike to get all the trans parts to line up to go in to the next gear. I would say it might would be a good idea to make downshifting a habit when coming to a stop. Not just because of the gears but you never know when you may need to drop clutch and get out of there. Don't want to be rolling at 15 mph with the trans in 5th or 6th and need to roll out. I know during a panic stop you are not thinking of that, but that is the only times I have had that happen to me. Well that I can recall at least.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:50 AM
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It is ALWAYS a very good idea to downshift through the gears while coming to a stop. One, you use the engine to assist in slowing down. More importantly, you want to be in the correct gear in case of an "OH SH!T I GOT TO GET OUT OF THE WAY!" surprise situation. If you are in sixth gear doing 15 or 20 mph, you are a sitting duck.

Every bike I have ever owned required a little clutch engagement to change gears from a dead stop. As far as positive neutral, if you are rolling at all, it will usually pop right past neutral, but I've been pleased with mine.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldncrzy View Post
I am still getting used to my new ride. I have had other motorcycles and not had this problem before. The bike only has 3000 kilometers on it. Something wonky with the positive neutral finder. It doesn't work too well, if at all. Also, when downshifting the bike has to be rolling or else it gets locked in whatever gear ( usually 5 or 6) I am in if I stop without downshifting. It takes some clutch work to get it to shift. Also the gear indicator goes blank. I guess these are probably related somehow to the positive neutral finder not working too well? Suggestions? Thanks.
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 classic LT
Yeah I know what you mean when the indicator goes blank, it's happened to me a few times. I've never been caught in 5th or 6th, maybe 2nd or 3rd but like you said a little clutch work and she'll kick down for ya and that usually when the indicator goes blank for me until I find 1st gear. I never had problems finding N, in fact sometimes I find it when I'm not wanting to.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldncrzy View Post
I am still getting used to my new ride. I have had other motorcycles and not had this problem before. The bike only has 3000 kilometers on it. Something wonky with the positive neutral finder. It doesn't work too well, if at all. Also, when downshifting the bike has to be rolling or else it gets locked in whatever gear ( usually 5 or 6) I am in if I stop without downshifting. It takes some clutch work to get it to shift. Also the gear indicator goes blank. I guess these are probably related somehow to the positive neutral finder not working too well? Suggestions? Thanks.
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 classic LT
Yea the gear indicator is pretty much worthless on my bike for city driving now. It seems to get dumber the more miles I put on it.

When my bike plays hide and seek with the neutral gear though I notice that it's easier to find when I use the heel shift for some reason. It's the only reason I don't cut the thing off.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 02:53 PM
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Both my Vulcans, my Victory, and my wife's Shadow do this. But like Diehard I'm not in high gear when it happens, 3rd at the most, and it doesn't happen often because I downshift as I roll to a stop so I'm in useable gear if I have to clutch out and scoot. the neutral finder is really only supposed to work easily when lifting out of 1st...I'm not sure I've ever intentionally found neutral coming back down in the gears.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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positive neutral finder

Symptoms getting worse. Jumps from 1st to second at complete stop. Took it to dealer, discovered warranty still in effect so let them deal with it. I'll update when I get it back.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldncrzy View Post
Symptoms getting worse. Jumps from 1st to second at complete stop. Took it to dealer, discovered warranty still in effect so let them deal with it. I'll update when I get it back.
Well, that definitely sounds like something is not quite right.

the VN1700 has a hydraulic clutch, right? I dunno much about hydraulic clutches, but the Shadow (cable-actuated clutch) actually started to do things like that right before its 600 mile service. Clutch adjustment fixed her right up. Hopefully it's that simple for yours too.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 05:45 PM
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I will admit that the positive neutral finder on the Voyager doesn't work as well as all my other Kawasakis. On those bikes there is no way you can shift into second unless you are moving. I can shift into second from a stop on the Voyager, but I can find neutral fairly easily. Have you ever tried to find neutral on a Harley? The salesman told me to turn it off first. Huh?

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I will admit that the positive neutral finder on the Voyager doesn't work as well as all my other Kawasakis. On those bikes there is no way you can shift into second unless you are moving. I can shift into second from a stop on the Voyager, but I can find neutral fairly easily. Have you ever tried to find neutral on a Harley? The salesman told me to turn it off first. Huh?
That made me laugh a little because I am so spoiled by Kaws neutral finder. When my buddy let me ride his Ultra Classic I was constantly back and forth between 1st and 2nd. I finally got aggravated and grabbed the clutch with my right hand and reach down with my left and and barley pulled it up with my hand and found it. Needless to say everyone got a good laugh out of it. My buddy was a former owner of a 1600 nomad so he knew about it. But I showed the rest of the guys there how the Kaws operated and they thought it was pretty neat.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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