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Total Newbie
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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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If only it had 6th gear..
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1,100 Posts
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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Total Newbie
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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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Old Truck Junkie
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4,133 Posts
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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Registered
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3,353 Posts
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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Total Newbie
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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: http://www.vn750.com/forum/archive/index.php/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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Total Newbie
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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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Total Newbie
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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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gun slinger
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1,110 Posts
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 :beerchug:
 

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Total Newbie
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Discussion Starter #10
the bike comes alive above 6K rpms, tho your fuel miliage will suffer

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

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If only it had 6th gear..
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1,100 Posts
I have found that 1st to 2nd is a little harder than the rest of the up shifts, and can be more noticeable in colder weather. "mc trannies" means motorcycle transmissions, sorry for the confusion. The transmission shares oil with the engine unlike in cars which, depending on the make/model, the tranny usually uses gear oil if it's a stick. You definitley want to shift a bit higher than 10 mph as these bikes don't like to rev low or chug. They can rev up to 9 grand before the "red line" and as already stated they sing from 6 to 9. Impressive little engines. Let us know if shifting higher helps out. Also for your oil, make sure the level is almost to the top of the window to keep the stator cooled, and when you change it or have it changed, try running 10-40 weight in it. It may have 20-50 in now it which is a little thicker. Last thing is your clutch lever. When you're not squeezing it, there should be a little bit of play before it starts to pull the cable when you do squeeze it, but if theres too much play, your clutch may not disengage the engine enough and this will definitely cause hard shifting.
 

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Total Newbie
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Discussion Starter #12
DavesVulster is the man!

I have found that 1st to 2nd is a little harder than the rest of the up shifts, and can be more noticeable in colder weather.
Alright, so then I'm not a total idiot. Maybe still a big one, but not total. :doh: But I live in Orlando, Florida, so cold will probably never be an issue.

"mc trannies" means motorcycle transmissions, sorry for the confusion.
Confusion? There was no confusion. I'm a big idiot. But, remember, not a total idiot. :confused:

The transmission shares oil with the engine unlike in cars which, depending on the make/model, the tranny usually uses gear oil if it's a stick.
That's interesting. Very much unlike a car. So to answer my own question, changing the engine oil, as well as using seafom in the engine oil, will solve the transmission oil problems too. Cool! I can do that! :smiley_th

You definitley want to shift a bit higher than 10 mph as these bikes don't like to rev low or chug. They can rev up to 9 grand before the "red line" and as already stated they sing from 6 to 9. Impressive little engines. Let us know if shifting higher helps out.
I never got out riding yesterday, so I couldn't test this new "high revving" thing. I will today for sure. I'll let you how how it goes. I have noticed that running low rpms doesn't seem to make her happy. She seems to almost get angry with me. :boxing:

Also for your oil, make sure the level is almost to the top of the window to keep the stator cooled, and when you change it or have it changed, try running 10-40 weight in it. It may have 20-50 in now it which is a little thicker.
Oil level to the top...got it. But in Florida, wouldn't I want 20-50?

Last thing is your clutch lever. When you're not squeezing it, there should be a little bit of play before it starts to pull the cable when you do squeeze it, but if theres too much play, your clutch may not disengage the engine enough and this will definitely cause hard shifting.
I'm not sure about the play. I'll try to remember to pay attention to it. I do know this though, if I squeeze the clutch all the way back and then begin to release it, I have to go about halfway out to reach the friction zone. Is that normal?

DavesVulster, you could not be more helpful without actually being here and fixing my bike for me. Thank you very much. I owe you a beer. :beerchug:
 

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Total Newbie
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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, so maybe I am a total idiot.

The problem with the positive neutral finder? Operator error. (Again.) It turns out that I wasn't revving high enough before shifting. The problem didn't happen even once today. There's always tomorrow, but I don't think it will happen. I'm just a tool. :doh:

DavesVulster, does it still makes sense to use the seafoam before my next oil change, since I just recently bought the bike and I don't know what the last guy did or did not do?

And yes, DavesVulster, niterider, and centurynick, I tried your higher revving idea and holy moly! You just opened me up to a whole new world on my bike. Now I know why people were passing me and coming off the line faster than me. I wasn't riding right! I now have to relearn my shifting habits, but that's a small price to pay for seeing the light. Thank you all!

kc2dgq, I checked my foot position. I'm about as inside as I can be. Thanks.

DavesVulster, there is a little bit of play in my clutch before I start too squeeze it, but not a lot. Using my novice senses, it feels pretty good to me.

Thanks again to everyone. I think we can call this "problem" fixed. Next time, your first answers should all be "operator error." :doh: :smiley_th
 

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If only it had 6th gear..
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1,100 Posts
Hey glad to help for sure. Each bike is different and you have to kind of learn what it "likes". Ya definitely got me smiling with your self deprication but don't feel stupid. There's always a learning curve. The seafoam won't hurt but only use a little in the crank case. A couple of ounces and then change it shortly after. Maybe 100 miles or so. I use it every few tankfuls of gas and it keeps the carburetors happy. They are a bitch when they get dirty and will make you miserable. There's a oil screen in there that you might want to take out and inspect. Search the forums to find a pic of it. Your clutch lever sounds like it's where it should be, and 20-50 may be the way to go for you in Fla. I would probably do the same if I was down that way. Best of luck! :smiley_th
 
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