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Discussion Starter #1
Bear with me guys. My 9's got 4200 miles on it, and has been pretty reliable so far. Last month, it started getting a bit resistant on upshifts, especially the 1-2. Checked the clutch freeplay, and it was a bit wide, so I adjusted it back down to 2mm. After that, the upshifts were flawless and perfectly smooth in every gear. However, this last week or so, my downshifts seem to have gotten a little hitchier. The 3-2 downshift seems to have the most resistance, and occasionally (this is totally new as of Tuesday) it won't always completely engage 1st from neutral. Now, it seems if I give it a swift, solid step when downshifting, it's okay, and it's never locked me out of any gear, but I wonder if this might not be some symptom of a progressively worsening problem. However, I put like 80 miles on my wife's new Shadow the other day, so I'm not sure if I just got used to her (honestly) much smoother transmission operation.

Also, I've noticed that when I engage 1st from neutral when the bike's at fast idle, there's a slight drop in engine RPM, even with the clutch all the way in, and sometimes the bike even gives a little hitch, but VERY little.

Basically, I'm trying to find out whether this stuff is normal, rather than drop it off at the dealership (for a week :p) and be informed that nothing is out of the ordinary.

Thanks for any input.
 

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I get the same kind of hard shifting, but I really only notice it when the engine has not yet warmed up.

How many miles do you have on the oil?

Speaking of strange. I have 9500 on mine now and yesterday was the first time I have ever noticed that the bike does not want to move when in gear, with the engine off with the clutch pulled in. You ever noticed such a thing? I'm thinking it should roll freely rather the engine is running or not when the clutch is engaged.

Hope my question ties in with yours....Don't mean to steal your thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How many miles do you have on the oil?

Speaking of strange. I have 9500 on mine now and yesterday was the first time I have ever noticed that the bike does not want to move when in gear, with the engine off with the clutch pulled in. You ever noticed such a thing? I'm thinking it should roll freely rather the engine is running or not when the clutch is engaged.
Hijack away, brother. I do it all the time lol. I have about 1600~ miles on the oil, which is Mobil 1 10w40 4T. Changed it in March. Talked to a Honda/Yamaha mechanic today (share the story behind that in a sec), he said a drop in RPM at high idle when clutched in and in gear is normal, because of gear drag. He couldn't speak to the downshifting since he never works on Kawis, but he said I could bring it by and he'd test ride it to see for free.

I've never tried to move mine while it was clutched in and in gear but not running. I think my VN700 wouldn't roll at all, even clutched in, so I've never tried with the 9...I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning and let you know XD

As for why I called the dealer where we got my wife's Shadow, well...I haven't been treated well at the Kawi dealer here. And today when I called, all I wanted was to make an appointment before our trip next month to have the bike checked out. Between the shifting and the fact that it hiccupped on me today TWICE (not under load, just bumping the throttle in neutral), I'm really wanting to get this thing just a good once-over. So when I call, I'm told that I need to call back in the morning because their service manager isn't there and he handles all of that.

A mechanic or tech can't take a damn appointment, or at least tell me how long it might be till they'll have an opening? That's ridiculous, by my estimation. I'm honestly thinking I'll probably stay well away from Kawasaki and Suzuki for my next bike, regardless of the quality, just because I've been treated with such indifference every time I deal with these guys.

Anyway, done ranting.
 

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First thing I would do is lubricate the external shift linkage. That includes removing the shift pedal and cleaning the internals, then lube. The shift rod has swivel joints at either end that should be shot with a spray lube. You can use WD40 to clean the heim joints then a spray lube chaser. With a wet clutch there's always a little drag even with the clutch lever pulled all the way in. The bike will jump and the engine speed will drop ever so slightly when put in gear.

oquirrhvulcan, are you referring to moving the bike when it's cold or after the bike is warmed up? If it's while the bike is cold then the most likely answer is the clutch plates are sticking. This is normal.
 

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oquirrhvulcan, are you referring to moving the bike when it's cold or after the bike is warmed up? If it's while the bike is cold then the most likely answer is the clutch plates are sticking. This is normal.
After I wrote yesterday I got thinking about it and figured it has something to do with the wet clutch.

To answer your question, I first noticed it after riding 25 miles to work so it was warm, however I tried it cold with the same results.

My habit of shutting down after a ride is to pull in the clutch, back into position then kill the engine by putting down the kickstand, that way I always know the stand is down before hopping off. The other day I put down the kickstand and killed the engine before backing into position. Thats when I noticed it doesn't like to move with the engine off, in gear, with clutch engaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for responding, Sojourner, you always seem to have the most comprehensive knowledge on troubleshooting. Now, would you recommend actually getting into the side case of the transmission? I'd really rather not give the dealer any extra reasons to void my warranty (they're gonna try to stick it in my ear anyway because I try to never take anything to them), so I'd have to take it to them. And like I said, it's stiff, there's usually a little resistance, but it always goes into gear. Just feels like I have to stab at the shifter sometimes. I'll definitely lube the pedal linkage first and see how that does. And I'll let you guys know what the Honda mechanic thinks when he looks at it.
 

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My bike always has the slight hitch when putting her into first, especially when she is cold. She has done this regardless of the oil in the case or the adjustment of the clutch.

As for hard downshifting, I've found this only when the oil is really shot. I have a very short commute (1.1 miles each way) and the bike never really gets up to tempurature; this is hard on any oil. When I had this issue (bike would clunk 3 to 2 instead of click and I would have false neutrals all over the place up and down), I changed the oil and the problem went away (old oil had 4500 miles on it; new has 1700 miles on it); she clicks 3 to 2 and no false neutrals. At about 2500 miles is when she started acting like this; I guess we'll see this time around. I've not yet had to adjust or lube the heel/toe shifter or its linkage.

I move my bike around all the time with the clutch in and in gear, hot or cold. Never had a problem of any kind; she always rolls freely.
 

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I had the same problem , as i had said before it has nothing to do with hot or cold oil, it is simply needs calabration , my mechanic adjusted it and now the toe shifting s smother than when it was band new, i am upset that i was talking to a friend when it was done :( i would be very happy to guide you throught it , but i remmember he opened the left side case and i ???????? Thats all what ican remmember .

But i think it would be helpful to say it didnt take more than 5 min's
 

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Thanks for responding, Sojourner, you always seem to have the most comprehensive knowledge on troubleshooting. Now, would you recommend actually getting into the side case of the transmission? I'd really rather not give the dealer any extra reasons to void my warranty (they're gonna try to stick it in my ear anyway because I try to never take anything to them), so I'd have to take it to them. And like I said, it's stiff, there's usually a little resistance, but it always goes into gear. Just feels like I have to stab at the shifter sometimes. I'll definitely lube the pedal linkage first and see how that does. And I'll let you guys know what the Honda mechanic thinks when he looks at it.
I can't see any reason to get into the side case for the condition you have. As far as I can see there's no adjustments other than the external shift rod. Unfortunately there's a lot that can get bent internally and that would require a teardown to replace the damaged parts.

fysl, if your mechanic took the external shift mechanism cover off he would have had to drain the engine oil and remove a lot from the left side of the bike before he could get to the cover. Is that what happened before the 5 minute clock started ticking?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, the honda guy went for a ride on my bike, said it felt and sounded normal to him based on his experience with metric V-twins in general, in fact, he complimented me on how it ran, and said it was hard to believe it was only a 900. And the wife and I rode all over this afternoon on Mission: Break in the Shadow, and once the bike was good and warmed up, the shifting felt totally smooth both up and down.

King, I take a lot of short trips too, but at least once a week (often more) I make sure to get out on the highway and ride the hell outta her. It just seems like a good practice.
 

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The down shifting issue is the when going through the gears back to first? I have learned that when downshifting i have to let out the clutch between gears when downshifting. I have 25k on my bike and have had similer issues but think it is more me then the bike.
 

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My guess is that the 'side cover' that came off was actually the chrome/plastic cover. Taking this off would make accessing the clamp on the splined shaft easier and he may have been concerned about a slipped wrench damaging the plastic. I know any time I'm working down in that corner I like to pull the plastic cover off, set it safely aside and then clean it up good before I re-install it.
 

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On thinking about your shifting issue, this comes to mind: You may have a slightly bent shifter fork. This could be from kicking the shifter, as you said, or it could just have come from the factory that way, as a defective part from the beginning. A bent shifter fork could result in the dogs not engaging the gears completely causing a hangup between gears, creating an incomplete shift. Or, worse yet, cause the transmission to jump out of gear. Bad news if you're in the middle of a tight curve or turn with the throttle on. Not saying this is what it is, but just a possibility.

As for the stickiness or resistance to rolling when in gear with the clutch lever pulled in, consider that the clutch adjustment may need to be at the clutch itself rather than at the clutch lever end. That only adjusts the slack in the clutch cable. The actual adjustment has to occur at the clutch end of things. So when you try to roll the bike with the engine off and in gear but with the clutch lever pulled in, you may be experiencing the clutch dragging if it's not completely disengaging. It's normal for it to give a slight lurch when engaging 1st gear from neutral. I find my wife's 900LT to be a buttery smooth shifter. I wish my Gold Wing were that smooth and easy to shift. Oh, and if you find you have to give the shift lever a stout kick to get it to shift, you run the risk of bending the shift shaft down at the engine.

I'm no mechanic, by any means, and especially so regarding the 900, but my wife owns an '09 900LT and I'm learning about it. Most of what I know is about Gold Wings, but I try to keep myself informed where I can. Don't know if this helps, but it's food for thought.
 

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Before I spent any money or went nuts looking elsewhere for the problem I would check that the locknuts on the shifter rod are at the right place. The manual (9-26 Crankshaft/Transmission) states that the outside length of locknut to locknut should be 149 +/- 1 mm (5.87 +/- 0.04 inches) for the Classic and the Custom is spec'd at 177 +/- 1 mm (6.97 +/- 0.04 inches).
FYI...the rear locknut is reverse threaded so they turn opposite ways. I found that out the hard way:(.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the responses guys. Near as I can figure, I may be playing this up to be more than it is. Like I said, it always goes into gear, the problem seems to be intermittent, and seems to go away ENTIRELY if the bike is completely warmed up.

But it looks like I'm gonna have it in the shop for a tire pretty soon anyway, so maybe I can get them to take a look at it then. With our big trip coming up, I'm kinda being a worry wart.
 
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