Stuck in neutral or will not shift to first gear - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Stuck in neutral or will not shift to first gear

I recently acquired a 2004 VN750 with 16000 miles from a local bike shop. There was doubt if the title was available. It had been involved in a tip over I was told the bike would not shift. I planed for it to be a parts bike.
Then the title showed up and I realized the bike shifted, so I got it running. Thinking maybe the shop it came from did not know the bike was not supposed to shift to second gear wile sitting still. The carburetors were dirty. I noticed it was leaking water out of the right side cover because it was put together with no cover gasket just silicone so water was in the oil. At least I knew the charging system and ignition worked. I cleaned carburetors ordered a new right cover gasket water pipe o rings and changed the oil three times. All seemed good.
Test ride time, went for a ride around my driveway it's a big driveway. Bike seemed to go threw all gears fine initially. Then I noticed it was hard to get into first gear actually it seemed the warmer it got the more difficult it was to find first gear. It would be easy to think it was stuck in neutral but with a little push or roll it shifts right into second gear but way harder to do if you stop on a hill. I rode bike about 8 miles.
Back to the garage. Reading this forum I have noticed many post regarding left to right play in the shift shaft with a cir clip issues. I have very little play there and the shift shaft turns freely. I then pulled off the gear change cover to inspect the shift pawl and spring, detent assembly and cam change drum. I also manually shifted the bike wile it was on the center stand not running. I spun the rear wheel to fake out the positive neutral finder All gears shifted. It's still harder or inconsistent to go into 1ST gear.

I noticed two things #1 very minimal wear on the inside fingers of shift pawl #2 the location of the pawl in relation to the cam change drum shift pins is slightly lower in all shift positions and in neutral position which is set the with the detent assembly the gap is even greater. Then I placed a very thin flat screw driver tip against the cam change drum shift pin and shifted to 1st gear it Went right in gear.

My next step was to remove everything I could. I shifted the transmission to 5th gear which turns the shift drum counter clockwise then heated the cam change drum with a propane torch in order to break it's factory lock tight and loosened the Phillips screw with a hand held impact screw driver. Then shifted it back to neutral. removed Phillips screw, cam change drum and washer that's behind drum. Then removed the pawl spring which was easy then pawl a little tricky. I did this just to get a better view of the shift pins ex specially the pin that shifts it to 1ST gear. There is maybe a tiny bit more wear there it's, hard to tell. Put everything back together for next test ride.
Rode another 8 miles everything is the same. Still is hard to or wont go in 1st gear back to garage took the shift cover back off again.

I am convinced now that since it was in a tip over something has moved or the adjustable internal shift rod was set not quite center to the the shift pins on the shift drum which is limiting the throw of the shift. The pawl is hitting the shift pin to late which makes or causes a incomplete shift.

I read that some body said they replaced the internal shift rod with out taking the engine apart. If I could just get the rod to adjust or turn this problem would be cured. I give up. I am thinking my next step is to pull the motor to see if I can get to the adjuster nuts of the rod. Any ideas?

Everything HAS NOW CHANGED.
The internal shift rod has now become disconnected from the gear change pedal. It disconnected wile I was hand shifting with the gear change cover off hard to believe! I am including these three photos to show the location of the gear change assembly. photo A wile internal rod is connected in neutral Photo B is rod connected 2nd gear. Photo C is after it disconnected. The shift drum is now where I said it should be to begin with. Time to remove the engine.
A

B

C

Last edited by W2SS; 09-17-2013 at 09:28 PM. Reason: pic not working
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2013, 07:59 AM
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It sounds like something in the shift linkage may have been bent in the tipover. If you have to replace the internal rod, there is an "oversize"option that's stronger. There are a number of posts on the subject. I'm afraid that you're right though, you are going to have to pull the motor and split the case.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply. The 2004 model already has the thicker rod update. The rod broke at the threads on the forward end, which is the thinner 6mm section. Also yes the push part of the shaft bent as well. The strange thing is the bend was in the direction of a 1st gear shift. Which means to me somebody with a big foot used the bike or someone almost might have tried to stand on the gear change pedal. I was able to get the heim joint mount of the shaft straight. I and putting engine together as I type now. Note there are two alignment marks on the inside of the case when you set the internal rod adjustment. Videos were helpful but that fact was omitted.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 01:51 PM
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roaches video mentions the alignment marks -they were very helpful to me...Some you have to watch a few times to hear everything he talks about cause they are very FULL of information and I wouldn't catch everything with just one hearing...but maybe thats just me...

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 03:46 PM
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I watched the video several times when I did mine. Plus I followed the Clymers book at the same time.

"Show me a man who makes no mistakes, and I'll show you a man who doesn't do things." Theodore Roosevelt."

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2SS View Post
I recently acquired a 2004 VN750 with 16000 miles from a local bike shop. There was doubt if the title was available. It had been involved in a tip over I was told the bike would not shift. I planed for it to be a parts bike.
Then the title showed up and I realized the bike shifted, so I got it running. Thinking maybe the shop it came from did not know the bike was not supposed to shift to second gear wile sitting still. The carburetors were dirty. I noticed it was leaking water out of the right side cover because it was put together with no cover gasket just silicone so water was in the oil. At least I knew the charging system and ignition worked. I cleaned carburetors ordered a new right cover gasket water pipe o rings and changed the oil three times. All seemed good.
Test ride time, went for a ride around my driveway it's a big driveway. Bike seemed to go threw all gears fine initially. Then I noticed it was hard to get into first gear actually it seemed the warmer it got the more difficult it was to find first gear. It would be easy to think it was stuck in neutral but with a little push or roll it shifts right into second gear but way harder to do if you stop on a hill. I rode bike about 8 miles.
Back to the garage. Reading this forum I have noticed many post regarding left to right play in the shift shaft with a cir clip issues. I have very little play there and the shift shaft turns freely. I then pulled off the gear change cover to inspect the shift pawl and spring, detent assembly and cam change drum. I also manually shifted the bike wile it was on the center stand not running. I spun the rear wheel to fake out the positive neutral finder All gears shifted. It's still harder or inconsistent to go into 1ST gear.

I noticed two things #1 very minimal wear on the inside fingers of shift pawl #2 the location of the pawl in relation to the cam change drum shift pins is slightly lower in all shift positions and in neutral position which is set the with the detent assembly the gap is even greater. Then I placed a very thin flat screw driver tip against the cam change drum shift pin and shifted to 1st gear it Went right in gear.

My next step was to remove everything I could. I shifted the transmission to 5th gear which turns the shift drum counter clockwise then heated the cam change drum with a propane torch in order to break it's factory lock tight and loosened the Phillips screw with a hand held impact screw driver. Then shifted it back to neutral. removed Phillips screw, cam change drum and washer that's behind drum. Then removed the pawl spring which was easy then pawl a little tricky. I did this just to get a better view of the shift pins ex specially the pin that shifts it to 1ST gear. There is maybe a tiny bit more wear there it's, hard to tell. Put everything back together for next test ride.
Rode another 8 miles everything is the same. Still is hard to or wont go in 1st gear back to garage took the shift cover back off again.

I am convinced now that since it was in a tip over something has moved or the adjustable internal shift rod was set not quite center to the the shift pins on the shift drum which is limiting the throw of the shift. The pawl is hitting the shift pin to late which makes or causes a incomplete shift.

I read that some body said they replaced the internal shift rod with out taking the engine apart. If I could just get the rod to adjust or turn this problem would be cured. I give up. I am thinking my next step is to pull the motor to see if I can get to the adjuster nuts of the rod. Any ideas?

Everything HAS NOW CHANGED.
The internal shift rod has now become disconnected from the gear change pedal. It disconnected wile I was hand shifting with the gear change cover off hard to believe! I am including these three photos to show the location of the gear change assembly. photo A wile internal rod is connected in neutral Photo B is rod connected 2nd gear. Photo C is after it disconnected. The shift drum is now where I said it should be to begin with. Time to remove the engine.
A

B

C
Hello. I am running into an issue where my vulcan is stuck in 2nd. It looks like picture b. We have tried everything and it will not go into any other gear or neutral. The clutch seems to be working, I can still move the bike. I am also hearing a noise in the case. Do you think the rod or shift for broke?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zach9837 View Post
Hello. I am running into an issue where my vulcan is stuck in 2nd. It looks like picture b. We have tried everything and it will not go into any other gear or neutral. The clutch seems to be working, I can still move the bike. I am also hearing a noise in the case. Do you think the rod or shift for broke?
Zach, if your shifter pedal is flopping loose its indicative of internal tie rod being broken. What happens is the thin end bends and the bike gets harder to shift so sometimes people stomp or push harder and eventually it snaps. Even the thicker tie rod can break as its still skinny on the ends.

See video and compare to yours:
M

if it acts like mine you know your problem and theres a long thread on the fix.
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2002 vn750
AGM battery, Shinko 230 tires oversized front
Ear shaved - k&n pods, drilled clutch basket
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If I can split a case and make it work - you can too!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 03:28 PM
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Same issue

So my bike is doing the same thing with the shift pedal. Did you have to split the case to fix or is there an easier way? Any help would be nice. I am new to this bike and got it for free. I do not want to put alot of money into it and I am not a trained mechanic.
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