Shifting hard (and sometimes not at all) into second - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Shifting hard (and sometimes not at all) into second

I'm not sure what else to add to the title of my post - it explains it all - but I guess I'll elaborate.

I roll out into first and try to shift up into second and it's totally stuck. I drive a little in first with a line of traffic up my ass (I don't blame them) and I try again. Sometimes it goes on the second attempt; other times it takes a third or fourth or fifth. Sometimes it slips easily into second once it finally goes; other times I fight with it. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. Second to third? Fine! Third to fourth? No problemo! Fourth to fifth? Like butter. And downshifting? Smoother than a baby's bottom. And then it happens all over again. But, not every time - just enough to keep me guessing. I'd say maybe 25% of the time.

So? Any ideas?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 09:31 PM
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When it acts up do you end up in neutral? or it won't come out of first gear till you stop again? there's a check ball that is proprietary to Kaw which is part of the positive neutral finder and it causes the bike to only go from neutral into 1st gear when not moving (or very slow I'd guess). You might have some crap in there causing the ball to stick sometimes. Maybe pour some seafoam in the crank case and run it for a bit then change the oil. MC trannies definitley have noticeable behavior changes with different oils, new oil, old etc. It's the only thing I can think of but I'm sure others will help too. You might want to search for positive neutral finder in the forums. Hope you get it resolved

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavesVulster View Post
When it acts up do you end up in neutral? or it won't come out of first gear till you stop again? there's a check ball that is proprietary to Kaw which is part of the positive neutral finder and it causes the bike to only go from neutral into 1st gear when not moving (or very slow I'd guess). You might have some crap in there causing the ball to stick sometimes. Maybe pour some seafoam in the crank case and run it for a bit then change the oil. MC trannies definitley have noticeable behavior changes with different oils, new oil, old etc. It's the only thing I can think of but I'm sure others will help too. You might want to search for positive neutral finder in the forums. Hope you get it resolved
Neither - I don't end up in neutral and I don't have to stop for it to come out of first gear. But let me ask you this: Should it be any harder to shift from first into second than it is to shift from second into third, or should it be just as smooth?

As for the rest of what you wrote, I appreciate all the information, but I just don't know enough about what you've written to make much sense of it. I am new to bikes. However, I researched "positive neutral finder" and what you're saying makes sense, but it seems that it's due to a different reason than what you mentioned:

"The transmission is equipped with a positive neutral finder. When the motorcycle is standing still, the transmission cannot be shifted past neutral from 1st gear. To use the positive neutral finder, shift down to 1st gear, then lift up on the shift pedal while standing still. The transmission will shift only into neutral."

Is it possible that I'm going too slow when trying to shift into second? I usually shift around 10 mph. But may be you're right when you say "You might have some crap in there causing the ball to stick sometimes." Your solution is beyond my abilities. I don't know what you mean by "MC trannies." Master Cylinder transmission? If so, is that the same oil as the normal oil change I do? Or am I supposed to be changing some other oil(s) too?

You've been very informative. Thank you, DavesVulster.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 10:51 AM
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There are 3 balls that are flong out when the main trans shaft turns. You will need a bit of speed to get it to turn fast enough for the centrifucal force to sling them out to the end of thier travel. Don't be afraid to reve your engine up into 4 or 5k rpm. It wont hurt it. Hope this helps you.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 11:08 AM
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just a thought here......
I experienced a similar issue after installing the fire and steel engine guard. It was a lot harder to get it to shift into gears hot or cold...felt like I was really pressing hard on the lever.

It turns out that the guard was crowding my feet a bit and causing my foot to actually press or lift the lever further out towards the end of the shifter. Once I forced myself to get pressure on the peg as close to the engine case as possible, I found that it shifts smooth as butter.

I am still not sure how to "fix" it other than foot position, but maybe you can just see if your issue is a similar and let me know if I am going crazy....lol
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavesVulster View Post
When it acts up do you end up in neutral? or it won't come out of first gear till you stop again? there's a check ball that is proprietary to Kaw which is part of the positive neutral finder and it causes the bike to only go from neutral into 1st gear when not moving (or very slow I'd guess). You might have some crap in there causing the ball to stick sometimes. Maybe pour some seafoam in the crank case and run it for a bit then change the oil. MC trannies definitley have noticeable behavior changes with different oils, new oil, old etc. It's the only thing I can think of but I'm sure others will help too. You might want to search for positive neutral finder in the forums. Hope you get it resolved
I found this thread: https://www.vn750.com/forum/archive/i...p/t-15116.html

You, sir, know from what you speak.

It seems then that I can clean it with the seafoam, as you suggested, or I can just get used to it. But will the bearings break if I have to "shift with authority"? Will I not be able to shift at all if they do?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by niterider View Post
There are 3 balls that are flong out when the main trans shaft turns. You will need a bit of speed to get it to turn fast enough for the centrifucal force to sling them out to the end of thier travel. Don't be afraid to reve your engine up into 4 or 5k rpm. It wont hurt it. Hope this helps you.
Really? You can rev the bike that hard and then shift into second without jerking?

Thanks, niterider.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc2dgq View Post
just a thought here......
I experienced a similar issue after installing the fire and steel engine guard. It was a lot harder to get it to shift into gears hot or cold...felt like I was really pressing hard on the lever.

It turns out that the guard was crowding my feet a bit and causing my foot to actually press or lift the lever further out towards the end of the shifter. Once I forced myself to get pressure on the peg as close to the engine case as possible, I found that it shifts smooth as butter.

I am still not sure how to "fix" it other than foot position, but maybe you can just see if your issue is a similar and let me know if I am going crazy....lol
I hear you. I'll try that too. Remember, this is all new for me, so every little bit helps.

Thanks, kc2dgq.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottstein1 View Post
Really? You can rev the bike that hard and then shift into second without jerking?

Thanks, niterider.
the bike comes alive above 6K rpms, tho your fuel miliage will suffer

but its a lot of fun buzzing the little motor

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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the bike comes alive above 6K rpms, tho your fuel miliage will suffer

but its a lot of fun buzzing the little motor
Fuel mileage be damned! Fun is where it's at! You can bet your sweet ass I'll be trying this today!
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