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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Discussion Starter #11
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!!
The dealer in Lincoln looked at the bike and does all the service. I pointed out to them the crashing noise that the tranny made a few weeks ago. The service manager drove it around the parking lot and said it sounded fine. My buddies that all have Harleys rode it and said it sounded alright compared to their bikes. But I ride every day and I could feel something in the shifter going from second to first and then back down especially when she was hot. I could almost feel the ratcheting of the gear set on my foot. It never bounced out but if you tapped the throttle while shifting it would go in alot smoother. In defense of the guys that work on my bike I'll bet they drive a hundred plus bikes a week so to expect them to have the same connection as i do is unrealistic but they listened to me and noted everything on a work order. Now my big worry is this: the tranny and engine share the same oil. Metal and shavings from the tranny undoubtedly went into the bearings of the crank cam etc... If Kawasaki doesn't go through everything and or replace all bad parts I am going to be very nervous about riding across the US and into Canada. I can't imagine having this happen on vacation.

On another note this really didn't scare my wife as bad as it scared the guys riding behind me. She cracked one of my ribs when she grabbed me.

One of the guys came out with the quote that I will never forget "That was some EVEL KNEIVEL riding on a bagger"

So far all is good and I can't wait to get my bike back.

Someone has a video but I haven't seen it yet.

Thanks
 

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Someone has a video but I haven't seen it yet.

Thanks
If you can get your hands on that video, let's see it... on second thought, I don't know if I really do want to see that. It has to be most scary to see and visualize it happening.

I don't even like watching bike crash videos on YouTube, unless they are the one's where guys are doing the REAL stupid stuff and deserve what they get.
 

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I'm not at all sure of the workings of motorcycles so I'm asking would have it made any difference in the tire lock up if you would have pulled in the clutch before the whole tranny fortunately let go and let the wheel roll again? Or was it so bad of a failure the clutch was innoperable. I assume it happened so fast that wasn't your first concern. Glad you came through it ok.
 

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The dealer in Lincoln looked at the bike and does all the service. I pointed out to them the crashing noise that the tranny made a few weeks ago. The service manager drove it around the parking lot and said it sounded fine. My buddies that all have Harleys rode it and said it sounded alright compared to their bikes. But I ride every day and I could feel something in the shifter going from second to first and then back down especially when she was hot. I could almost feel the ratcheting of the gear set on my foot. It never bounced out but if you tapped the throttle while shifting it would go in alot smoother. In defense of the guys that work on my bike I'll bet they drive a hundred plus bikes a week so to expect them to have the same connection as i do is unrealistic but they listened to me and noted everything on a work order. Now my big worry is this: the tranny and engine share the same oil. Metal and shavings from the tranny undoubtedly went into the bearings of the crank cam etc... If Kawasaki doesn't go through everything and or replace all bad parts I am going to be very nervous about riding across the US and into Canada. I can't imagine having this happen on vacation.

On another note this really didn't scare my wife as bad as it scared the guys riding behind me. She cracked one of my ribs when she grabbed me.

One of the guys came out with the quote that I will never forget "That was some EVEL KNEIVEL riding on a bagger"

So far all is good and I can't wait to get my bike back.

Someone has a video but I haven't seen it yet.

Thanks

You made a good point here that cannot go overlooked.

I'm still learning about the Voyager I'm about to buy and you said that there is only one oil supply. I understand that many newer designs (unlike my Ultra Classic) use a shared oil system for the engine and the transmission.

After 20 years of working on aircraft in the military, this does not leave me with a good feeling about your experience. I would recommend cutting the oil filter open and examining it closely. If the mechanic threw it away already, well then you're screwed. The filter will more than likely have chips or metallic dust in it but that alone does not negate the fact that there are likely particulates stuck in the tiny passages of your engine, such as the valve train.

I don't know your recourse in this scenario, but a shared oil supply only means one thing in a catastropic failure: Every shared component is also contaminated with chips and if not replaced may cause a failure in the future.

Once again, I'm glad you're safe and sound but I believe some things need to be discussed at greater length here so that your bike stays in working order and you keep your money in your pocket.
 

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I'm not at all sure of the workings of motorcycles so I'm asking would have it made any difference in the tire lock up if you would have pulled in the clutch before the whole tranny fortunately let go and let the wheel roll again? Or was it so bad of a failure the clutch was innoperable. I assume it happened so fast that wasn't your first concern. Glad you came through it ok.
The clutch separates the engine from the transmission, except in some cases, the primary gears. If the failure occurred within the gearbox itself, pulling in the clutch won' t save you. If the engine was to seize up, then disengaging the clutch will keep the drive wheel from locking up,
 

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Wonder if the cam chain broke? That is some scary time for that to happen. Why did it happen at that speed?

Really glad you and wife came thru okay!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.
Thanks for the info. The Kawasaki rep is flying in to look at my bike with the techs next week. I plan on being there as well when they crack the case. I'll keep you up to date. thanks.
 

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Glad your ok , that had to raise the pucker factor to the power of 10 !!
Be interesting to see what they find , having a rep come and look shows a bit of concern from Kawi on this failure.

I have to ask , did you end up seeing Joe Walsh and was it a good show, I missed him when he was in my area.
 

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The friend of mine with the 09 Nomad just got his bike back from the dealer. He said the repair cost was 4200.00 dollars. He has the GTPP so no expense for him. He also said it shifts better now than it ever did before it broke.
 
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