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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

This morning I had an issue with downshifting to 1st or Neutral, I believe I am stuck in 2nd (hard to tell). Even at a stop I cannot downshift. Tried riding round the block still no luck in downshifting from what I believe is 2nd to 1st, will go up the gears 2, 3 ,4 & 5 and then backdown 5, 4, 3, 2 no problem.

The bike has ~850 miles on it. I've had it since new.

Any suggestions? The dealer as usual was totally clueless on what may be the issue

Thanks,
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well it happened to me again today :-( I guess this will have to go to the dealer for them to take a look at it. Would not shift down into 1st or Neutral, without me stopping the bike and moving the bike back and forth and going up/down the gears several times then it went into 1st and Neutral, works for a while then when changing down you think you are in 1st but nope you are in 2nd!
 

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Zymo. please keep us posted!
Regards-Silent.
 

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I have had a different issue but I think it is the same problem. My bike on occasion will shift from 1st to nuetral on take-off. This is a good way to be rear-ended if the car behind you is in a hurry. I think the "easy neutral" finder that Kawasaki brags about has some issues. Someone explained to me that the shifting mechanism is set up so that when the transmission is stopped, the bike will only shift up into neutral from 1st. But as you take off, there is some type of centrifugal switch that releases and allows it to shift into 2nd. My problem is that this switch doesn't always release like it should and causes it to go into neutral. I am betting something has happend with your switch that is messing up the down shift also.

By the way, did no one at Kawasaki think about the need to push start a bike if the battery dies. As a nooby rider I left the key in at work one day. This means the headlight won't cut off and the battery was a rock when I came out. Normally you shift up to 4th or 5th to push start a vehicle. But with the "easy neutral" feature, you can't shift out of 1st. A buddy helped push me and we finally got it started, but it warnt easy! I think I would rather have a few less features and therefore less stuff to break.
 

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The "positive neutral finder" is great, but quirkey at times. I used to have a problem with missing 2nd. I'd take off in first, shift, but I would miss second and rev the $hit out of it in Neutral. once or twice it popped out of second and back into N. What a PITA.

I stopped using the toe for up-shifting and heel up-shift exclusively and it's never happened since. I think with the heel I just work it a smidge harder and it's fine.

Downshifting to 1st at a stop is a nightmare on the 900. It's as if theres a lockout so you dont do it accidentally. It has to be moving. Even if the movement is you rocking it a bit, that'll help.

Either way, you must get it looked at.
 

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Hard downshift

You might try:
1. Make sure the idle is not too low
2. Clutch adjustment--use a Quarter to measure the right "free play / gap" at the clutch lever
3.When downshifting close to 1st, while still rolling,with clutch in ,rev it up a little and try downshifting again
4. Have you changed oil recently?(600 mile service) Use proper oil? Is the level good? Have you put any oil additives in?

I am at 38,994 miles--my 07 classic may act like that sometimes, usually a minor clutch cable adjust at the lever helps
 

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I have a similar problem but it mostly occurs in the 5th to 4th shift. The shifter doesn't ratchet back up. It is usually at slower speeds and when I release the clutch it usually pops back up. One time I noticed it had popped back up but I still couldn't down shift until I released the clutch and squeezed it again. I have had this problem since the 1st week but it is so intermittent.
 

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Cycledude is on to something.....I find I must use the heel/toe shifter for clean shifts. Also, be carefull you don't"perch" your foot on the floorboard waiting to press for the next shift. Any inadvertant pressure on the heel shifter seems to pop it back in neutral. I remember another poster had indvertantly been popping it back in neutral....and I must confess, I've been doing it myself on occation. It gives the illusion of the bike missing a shift. It's hard to actually be cognizant of your heal touching the shifter unless your totally aware that your actually doing it.......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I finally got the bike into a dealer (local dealer shutdown). They adjusted the clutch cable and the shifter linkage. Took it out this morning for a small ride around the neighborhood, everything worked fine. This afternoon went to put the bike in the garage, and wouldn't you know it, would not shift into Neutral or 1st again! So with the bike stopped and turned on, I shifted the bike up through the gears (which I didn't think you could usually do!) and then it popped into Neutral. I have them coming back for the bike this week, but at this point I don't think they know what is wrong with it. This is really frustrating as it really makes you nervous about going out when you can't reliably shift into 1st or Neutral.
 

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this happened to me this past weekend. came to a stop downshifted to what i thought was first. when the light turned green i stalled it cuz it was actually in second andwouldnt downshift. took off in 2nd and it wouldnt shift up or down.pulled over and after a few minutes of rocking the bike it finally shifted into 1st and ws fine the rest of the trip.
 

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So I finally got the bike into a dealer (local dealer shutdown). They adjusted the clutch cable and the shifter linkage. Took it out this morning for a small ride around the neighborhood, everything worked fine. This afternoon went to put the bike in the garage, and wouldn't you know it, would not shift into Neutral or 1st again! So with the bike stopped and turned on, I shifted the bike up through the gears (which I didn't think you could usually do!) and then it popped into Neutral. I have them coming back for the bike this week, but at this point I don't think they know what is wrong with it. This is really frustrating as it really makes you nervous about going out when you can't reliably shift into 1st or Neutral.
I had the same problem , i toke the bike to the dealer the mechanic said that this problem is kind of common for the vulcan but it s not a big deal it toke five minutes to adjust , some kind of calaberation ? then i went for test drive and man it is much smother than before the inuetral is much smother and easier than before , but do not ride your bike any longer until you fix it . it might seem that it is fixed by it self some times but trust me it needs adjusting.
 

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Sometimes I have a hang-up going into first, but have found that if I leave the clutch leaver just a little till I hear it click, the put it back in and downshift, it allows me to complete the down shift. Just feather the clutch lever just a little and you will feel/hear it click like it is just one or two teeth off from synchronizing....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, took me a while to get here to post an update. It turns out it was me after all, for some reason I was always upshifting (don't ask me how!) so the bike would be in 2nd gear when I came to a stop..DOH!!! I think with my big feet I was catching the heel shifter and not realizing this. Why this suddenly started I don't know, but now everything is working great. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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Well, took me a while to get here to post an update. It turns out it was me after all, for some reason I was always upshifting (don't ask me how!) so the bike would be in 2nd gear when I came to a stop..DOH!!! I think with my big feet I was catching the heel shifter and not realizing this. Why this suddenly started I don't know, but now everything is working great. Thanks for all the suggestions.
I believe my big feet are the culprit too. It's funny I never hear of shifting problems on the Custom and I am hear to say every Custom I have ridden shifts buttery smooth.

I think out big feet and the heel shifter are the issue. I wish I could remove mine.
 

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Zymo, I had the same problem when I first got my Classic. You my want to adjust the shifter lever so that the space between the front of your foot and the peg is a tad wider, doing so will cause the heal portion of the shifter to drop a little. This will probably prevent you from hitting to heal when you slide to foot out at a stop. Eventually it will become second nature and you won't even know the shifter heal is there.

To make the adjustment, unscrew the shifter enough to rotate it up just a little, get on the bike and test the feel and adjust more as needed. What I did, I put my boot on the floor board and used it for reference to determine how much space was gained and slid the boot back to see if it hits the heal. Just a little adjustment will drop the heal enough so that hitting it by accident becomes a non issue. Good Luck.
 

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Great discussion as my '07 900 has the same situation. This past weekend the gf and I went for a ride and while taking off from a stop, in what I thought was 1st, the engine stalled and we did a gentle tip over without injury to either of us or the scooter.
 
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