Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Went to get my 600 mile checkup on Saturday. Before that the last time I rode it was the previous Sunday. That time I was noticing something when I was downshifting from 2nd to 1st while coming to a stop (or nearly complete stop). Before letting up on the clutch, When I was applying the gear shift pedal while in 2nd it would either go straight down to 1st and start rattling, even before I let up on the clutch (the gear shift pedal would start rattling and shaking like giving noise feedback). Or it would go to neutral, which I've never had happen, and then when I tried applying the gear shift pedal down to 1st the same rattling type vibration would occur (again even before letting up on the clutch). The odometer was around 650 last week, and like I said, I've never had it where I'm trying to shift to first but it goes to neutral. Usually, to get to neutral from 2nd, I have to first shift to 1st. Is it normal to sometimes instead of it going down to first, it might only go down to neutral?

Anyway I asked about it when I took it in on Sat. The mechanic took it out and didn't find anything wrong with it. Now though, I'm having an additional problem (with going to neutral, not the shaking), when I'm going from 1st to second. Sometimes, despite my efforts, it "sticks" at neutral when I'm trying to shift up from 1st (Usually when I'm taking off from stop).

The mechanic said possibly I was trying to down shift in too high of a gear. I mentioned that it was happening even before letting up on the clutch, but he maintained his position. I tend to wory about pretty minor and insignifigant issues with my bike, and tend to bother the mechanic with these worries so I'm not sure if he was being honest or perhaps saying something to just get me off the phone.

I spoke with a guy at work, and he says he doesn't think that's the issue. At least he's never noticed anything similar with his 3 bikes. So I'm not sure who to believe.

-Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I've only had the problem on upshifts once in a while when I don't pull hard enough from 1st to 2nd. But also, when I got a new pair of boots, they were a little stiff and I kept going into neutral for a few days until the boots softened up. I haven't ever had a problem going down through the gears though. Maybe you're not putting enough ooomph into shifting?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Downshifting
You are still in the break-in period, so that "could" have something to do with it. BUT I've only experienced that when I downshifted too soon (by that I mean the bike speed was too high to downshift). Because of the positive neutral finder, the shift between 1st and 2nd is a hard one so make sure you use enough force.
Upshifting
Again, because of the positive neutral finder you will need to shift with greater force to get from 1st to 2nd. From 2nd gear all the way up to 5th gear, these bikes shift as smoothly as you'll ever feel on a motorcycle. Everyone who has ridden my bike comments on the smooth shifting.
Neutral From 2nd
Yes, this is normal. It can happen if you don't (you guessed it) shift with enough force. Happens to me every now and again if I'm distracted or something. You will get it with time I assure you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Hmmmmmmm

That does not sound normal to me in fact if I understand you correctly, the lever vibrates and makes a rattling/grinding noise? I would suspect the shift mechanism and in particular the indexer attached to the shifting drum. It doesn't sound like its going all the way into gear (Shifting dogs not completely meshed) There is a little star shaped part (13145) at the end of the shifting drum which is controlled by a ratcheting device and it also has in most cases a plunger with a spring under it. I've fixed bikes with similar issues to what you are describing and 2 things can happen, the screws holding the star to the drum may be loose or there is an issue with the spring plunger or ratcheting mechanism. I personally would not go riding it around until you found the cause. Rounding of shifting dogs due to incomplete engagement can lead to costly repairs and jumping out of gear under a load. Take a look on Bikebandit parts diagram for your bike. Item #13145 is suspect. A new bike should not shift extrodinarily hard or grind/rattle. Best of luck....and I'd find another mechanic.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Not sure what yo mean by this.

Hmmmmmmm

...and jumping out of gear under a load. .
I only get the rattling when shifting down to 1st. I tend to notice it when trying to move into 1st while say going 40 or above (but leaving the clutch engaged).

But you're ruling out this or anything similar to what rpgpgmr said?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Woodmath

No not ruling out anything. It's hard to diagnose problems over the internet because one persons rattling may be anothers grinding etc. With that said, Going into first gear at 40 is really not a good idea. Are you feeling any grinding type vibration and noise at the shift lever? My 900 shifts very smooth but I usually wait until I'm almost stopped before shifting down into 1st. It may very well be just your technique needs adjusting but if your in doubt I'd have another mechanic test ride it.....preferably not one at the dealer where you bought it. They tend to deny any issues with new bikes they sell. In general, I find most (not all)dealer mechanics to be somewhat lacking (I'm being kind). I'd like to know how you make out with this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
WoodMath, PLEASE don't shift that bike into even 3rd gear at 40 mph! Shift into 3rd at 30 or below, 2nd at 20 or below, and 1st just before you roll to a stop. Suggested speeds are in your owner's manual so don't just take my word for it.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
WoodMath, PLEASE don't shift that bike into even 3rd gear at 40 mph!
I won't. I suppose its a habit that you easily fall into, and you have to watch otherwise you do it without thinking.

Just wonderinng, but after shifting to these gears at these high speeds, what do you think the long term effects on the bike would be (just worrying again needlessly I suppose). Wortst case scenario?
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Suggested speeds are in your owner's manual so don't just take my word for it.
I do see some charts, specifying the gears, but from what I could tell, these are the maximum speed at each gear, during the break-in period. Not that I've gone above these very often. I've done it 95% of the time when I'm doneshifting and then when keeping the clutch engaged. And then only letting up off the clutch when it was in the right speed range for that gear.

THe other 5% of the time was upshifting. The only reason I went above these speeds was due to inopportune moments to shift. In these cases I doube I would have gone 2 or 3 mph above the designated speed in a gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Well as far as long-term effects, you'd have to talk to some of the members with more of a mechanical background than myself. I do my own maintenance and a little modding, but I have to take it to the shop if something major is wrong. What I do know is that the motor is not engineered to handle such a low gear at such a high speed. If you do this often, I'd guesstimate that the long-term effects would be many ... and costly.

Again, there are very experienced mechanics on this forum who can tell you precisely what this does to an engine if done repeatedly. For me, I've been told by enough gear-heads to do my best never to do it again. Also I've been distracted and shifted the wrong direction (down instead of up, or visa-versa) and the bike told me quite clearly that it did not like it! ha ha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Well, 2 areas most likely affected would be the engagement dogs (Little protrusions on the gear faces that slide into mating protrusions on other gears) will round off (Eventually) and possible bent shifting forks due to excessive force required to kick it into lower gears at to high a speed. There will be no mistaken when these items are damaged as it will often refuse to shift or only partially engage and jump back out of gear. So if you try not to do it anymore you should be ok.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
it will often refuse to shift or only partially engage and jump back out of gear.
that seems to be whats going on now. thas when it starts vibrating, when trying to engae.

but wouldnt you say the only way those dogs could become rounded after not even being driven 700 miles if i really abused it, like not using the clutch to shift? th only other thing i could imagine is a factory defect. plus wouldnt what you are describing occur at all gears? not just 1st?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I told ya we've got some serious engine folks on here. Going by what he says about the bent shifting forks, and by the symptoms you've described, that would be my number 1 suspect. Just because it usually takes several times of hard-shifting, doesn't mean that is always the case. You could have bent them the first time you did that.

Surely you have friends that ride as well. Let one or two of them ride it and see how it feels to them. It's sounding more and more like a trip to the service center is in your future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Surely you have friends that ride as well. Let one or two of them ride it and see how it feels to them. It's sounding more and more like a trip to the service center is in your future.[/QUOTE]


Couldn't agree more or find a reputable mechanic locally to test ride it. Could be a factory defect and like I said in an earlier post it could be as simple as the ratcheting mechanism loose or the spring plunger defective. I haven't really looked closely at the shifting linkage of my vulcan but maybe yours is binding or hitting on something...... I'll look at my service manual and see if it says something about adjustments and get back to you. At least it must still be under warranty?
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Surely you have friends that ride as well. Let one or two of them ride it and see how it feels to them. It's sounding more and more like a trip to the service center is in your future.
I took it into a different mechanic. "Biker's Bay" (www.mybikersbay.com) a franchise and the mechanic there took it for a drive. He couldn't see anything wrong with it. The only reason I tried this one is it is about half way between my work and house. I'll probably check out one of the other mechanics as well, and if I get 3 for 3. I may just leave it at that.

I did speak with another person at work, and he said he has something very similar. He said if he's downshifting into 1st from 2nd and doesn't put enough force into it, it might stop half way into neutral. Then when he tries to go from neutral into 1st, that's when the his shift pedal shakes too. But he drives a 2003 harley. So I'm not sure how much faith to put into that.

But it might seem logical considering that until recently before the problem popped up, I would periodically (once a week) fail to downshift all the way to 1st when coming to a stop. It might stop at second or neutral. Now I try downshifting until it can't downsift anymore.

One thing though. I seem to notice it alot when I'm going down hill and downshifting to make a turn. It might be that it goes back to that going to fast in a particular gear thing. Particulary given that unlike a car, theres no way to tell which gear you are in other than going all the way up or all the way down, and then counting as you change.

How do other people overcome this obstacle?

The only other way I can think of, instead of "counting up" from 1st to 2nd (the normal gear I would expect given the speed at which you make a 90 degree turn), is to "count down" from 5th to 2nd.
But either way I would like to be certain.

I will try to drive it into work one of these days and let the hardcore bikers see if they can't find anything wrong with it.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top