Shifting Gears - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Shifting Gears

So are you guys ready for my weird issue I have?

Yesterday I was riding into work and turned in the parking lot in first gear and then went to go into second gear and the clutch just sort of said no...Go into neutral! It allowed me to go back into first so I could safely make it to a parking spot. I then started checking out the bike, seeing if there were any visible issues. Nothing. Well I had a friend that was close by come check it out and basically the bike will only let me shift gears when I'm at a higher rpm. Example: If I am trying to shift to second gear and I am going less that 10 mph then I canNOT shift up but if I am going over 10 there is no issue with going into second gear and so on.

I don't know if this is a transmission issue or clutch. Help!
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 12:56 PM
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I believe that is called the positive nuetral find feture that this bike has.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 01:03 PM
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I don't think you have a problem at all---in either area. I believe you've had your first known encounter with Kawasaki's exclusive "positive neutral finder". While stopped, or even at extremely low engine/road speeds, neutral will be engaged automatically when attempting to upshift or downshift between first and second gears. At such low speeds, the bike cannot differentiate between being stopped or moving very slowly, so neutral is selected. Travel just a LITTLE faster in either scenario and the so-called problem is resolved

'02 VN 750
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forks rebuilt @ 58,900 miles
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 01:07 PM
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Ball bearing in neutral finder could be jammed up

The Kawasaki neutral finder consists of three small steel balls that fit in recesses in the side of a gear in the transmission. When the bike is not moving you can only shift back and forth between neutral and first gear. When in motion the spinning gear throws the balls towards the outer edge, disengaging the neutral finder and allows normal shifting.

Your description of the symptoms, where you noticed a difference in shifting behavior and can now only shift above 10 mph, leads me to believe one or more of the little ball bearings is caught in a sticky spot until centrifugal force is great enough to spin it to the outside edge of the recepticle it rides in. Could be a small piece of grit in the oil, or gummed up oil jamming the balls.

(Edit: As mentioned above, it could also be just normal Positive Neutral Finder operation. But IMHO since you noticed a difference in functioning, something changed.)

What year in the bike?
How many miles on the clock?

How long since the last oil change?
Do you know if the bike has had regular oil changes at 3k miles?
If the oil has been changed within the past year and/or 3,000 miles, and is relatively clean looking now, add 4 oz of Seafoam to the oil and ride for several miles to see if it will flush the dirt out and allow the tranny to shift properly. Then change the oil and filter.

If the oil is really dirty now or due for a change anyway, drop it and check the screen behind the drain plug and spring for metal or rubber particles. These could indicate balancer dampers disintigrating, and be the source of the trouble. If there is no excess crud on the screen, change the oil and try riding with fresh oil to see if the problem corrects itself. If it persists, add the Seafoam to the fresh oil and try riding to circulate the oil and flush the PNF again.

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 03-01-2011 at 01:24 PM.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:27 PM
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this makes our bike a pleasure (NOT) to push start on a level surface if ever needed. its a serious pain to get the bike into second with the bike off!
and first will make you eat the handlebars or just skid the back tire if trying!

1986 vn 750 aka "Huck Farley"
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Rick's stator and rr
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dampers replaced
agm m/f battery
Harley sportster exhaust, degoated
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custom "vn750.com" grill cover
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acct to mcct mod https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17917

rekeying locks, https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7309

stator replacement walkthrough, https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11369
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 02:13 AM
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I must have the opposite problem with my 700. I can spin the rear tire with my hand, and I can put it in 2nd gear w/o the bike running. I can also shift mine from 1st to 2nd while rolling at idle down the street.
I have noticed lately however, that when I'm riding around town, it seems harder to both upshift and downshift no matter what the RPM's are, but I think that would be cured with an oil change.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wib714 View Post
this makes our bike a pleasure (NOT) to push start on a level surface if ever needed. its a serious pain to get the bike into second with the bike off!
and first will make you eat the handlebars or just skid the back tire if trying!
As I found out when the old battery was on the way out. Only thing that saved my butt (and teeth) was the parking garage had a nice downhill slope and I got enough speed to get it out of nuetral. But if it ever happened on flat ground, uggh!

Global warming? So what if my kids never see a polar bear. I never saw a dinosaur and I'm ok.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RakerBill View Post
I must have the opposite problem with my 700. I can spin the rear tire with my hand, and I can put it in 2nd gear w/o the bike running. I can also shift mine from 1st to 2nd while rolling at idle down the street.
I have noticed lately however, that when I'm riding around town, it seems harder to both upshift and downshift no matter what the RPM's are, but I think that would be cured with an oil change.
My bike used a little oil and when it would get a bit low, it would get hard to shift.

02 honda sabre 1100
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 11:48 AM
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This is not an RPM issue. Regardless of what speed the engine is spinning if the bike is standing still you cannot shift beyond neutral. It's a bike speed issue (rear wheel).

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wib714 View Post
this makes our bike a pleasure (NOT) to push start on a level surface if ever needed. its a serious pain to get the bike into second with the bike off!
and first will make you eat the handlebars or just skid the back tire if trying!
I was talking like Sylvester for 30 minutes after trying that one day.

~~C8> Ratt
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