Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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! :doh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
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
 

·
Linkmeister Supreme
Joined
·
7,960 Posts
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.
 

·
Concert connoisseur
Joined
·
2,231 Posts
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!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
448 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
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!
 

·
Old Truck Junkie
Joined
·
4,133 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
812 Posts
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).
 

·
Member? ... check.
Joined
·
515 Posts
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. :doh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Someone please tell me that this would also give it a limp shifter. I bought a 1992 or 94 vn750 and put on less than 10 miles and it got stuck in 2nd gear and the shifter went to about the 7 oclock position. If I lay the bike down on the right side and flick the shifter I can get tension back but I still have to remove the oil sight cover and manually put it in neutral. Please Please Pretty please tell me the motor doesn't have to be split to be fixed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,054 Posts
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.
I think OlHoss got this one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
448 Posts
Not wanting to start an argument Gemguy, I can fire my bike up, let it warm up, and sit on it, and pull in the clutch, and put it in 2nd gear from neutral w/o it even moving.
If it's not running, it won't go in 2nd gear from neutral, but if I spin the rear tire with my hand it will.
And the last couple times I have ridden it, I have a hard time getting it into neutral at a stop from 1st. It will go right past neutral from 1st right into 2nd, and it's frustrating especially if I go to the store or get gas.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,054 Posts
Not wanting to start an argument Gemguy, I can fire my bike up, let it warm up, and sit on it, and pull in the clutch, and put it in 2nd gear from neutral w/o it even moving.
If it's not running, it won't go in 2nd gear from neutral, but if I spin the rear tire with my hand it will.
And the last couple times I have ridden it, I have a hard time getting it into neutral at a stop from 1st. It will go right past neutral from 1st right into 2nd, and it's frustrating especially if I go to the store or get gas.
Gemguy meant that "if" the positive neutral finder is working properly, it won't shift into 2nd from 1st or neutral when the bike is sitting still. I've owned 4 Kawasaki's and all 4 of them worked exactly the same, not allowing you to shift into 2nd from either 1st or neutral from a dead stop. If these parts get worn, I'm sure there will be varying effects, and it sounds like yours is not working quite right.

I've also noticed that if I have to make an emergency stop and don't get shifted down to first while still rolling, it is quite an ordeal to get the bike (1500) shifted down to first while sitting still. At least it was the time it happened to me, with cars sitting on my tail waiting for me to get going... Might have just been me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just got a 2003 VN750 this February for my birthday. It's my first bike that I personally own, and the first bike I've been able to ride in 18 years. And yes, for those who are thinking that I laid it down the first time on it, I did lay it down. Fortunately in grass, as no damage was done to me or the bike, and I haven't had any problems since. I just forgot how touchy the clutch and throttle can be on bikes and let my excitement get the best of me. As far as the shifting issues, with the system Kawasaki uses it's best to be in either neutral or first by the time you hit idle speed on slow downs. If you have to do a quick stop try to remember to downshift as your stopping because getting back to neutral or first at a stop is a huge pita.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
So does anyone have a fix for disabling the PNF?

I have to go about 25MPH with fresh oil to be able to shift into second. I can't say what the previous owner did with oil changes, but i can tell you that i've changed the oil twice in the last 500 miles to run seafoam through it, and i still can't read the oil level after the bike has been sitting. I can when i change the oil, but after the first run the sight glass stays dirty and i can't read the level anymore. Maybe an engine flush with an oil change? Might i have gunk in the oil? the screen is clean, so no big chunks...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
if the bike is on the side stand, the sight glass is covered with oil.. needs to be on center stand to get accurate level

on a side note: the oil in mine was 'clear' only for a few hundred miles at most. by that time it had accumulated enough dirt/crude to be quite dark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
if the bike is on the side stand, the sight glass is covered with oil.. needs to be on center stand to get accurate level

on a side note: the oil in mine was 'clear' only for a few hundred miles at most. by that time it had accumulated enough dirt/crude to be quite dark.
yeah, i put it on the center stand and let it sit for an hr or two. still clouded over. it just makes it hard to determine if the shifting problems i'm experienced are related to oil level, and adding a little oil makes me nervous. I dont want to over fill it. I hardly ever use neutral. I'd rather not be able to find neutral than have trouble finding second gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,899 Posts
yeah, i put it on the center stand and let it sit for an hr or two. still clouded over. it just makes it hard to determine if the shifting problems i'm experienced are related to oil level, and adding a little oil makes me nervous. I dont want to over fill it. I hardly ever use neutral. I'd rather not be able to find neutral than have trouble finding second gear.
What color is your oil?

If you can't see an air bubble at the top of the sight glass, it's too full. Too full means aerated oil and that can cause a sticky shifter, as will gasoline or water in the oil, more so when hot.

But I've not seen a PNF fail to work. Huge job to disable, a case split.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
What color is your oil?

If you can't see an air bubble at the top of the sight glass, it's too full. Too full means aerated oil and that can cause a sticky shifter, as will gasoline or water in the oil, more so when hot.

But I've not seen a PNF fail to work. Huge job to disable, a case split.
When i changed the oil last, i put in only 3qts (which i thought wasn't enough) and it was halfway through the sight glass. when i ran it the first time, the oil level would drop, and then when parked on the center stand would reach the halfway mark on the sight glass. after continued running, the sight glass would be too cloudy to see anything.

anytime i drained the oil i never saw any indication of gas in it, and i'm familiar with what water/oil looks like, so i don't suspect that either.

It would shift ok for awhile, but then it was overly stupid. I figured 3qts of oil wasn't enough, so i put probably 1/2 a pint in, and things got a bit better, but still can't see anything through the sight glass.

shifting tends to suck the most when everything is cold, but gets better when warmed up. i know i'm burning a bit of oil in the rear cylinder (exhaust valve seal). It's frustrating that i can't read the oil level to see if low oil is my problem, but anytime i changed the oil it would run great for awhile. It's always black as death when i drain it though, but no chunks or anything solid in the screen.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top