Crappy downshifting, shifter not returning - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Crappy downshifting, shifter not returning

You know, I like it when things slowly deteriorate, because they suddenly are so much better when you fix them!

For a little while I had problems shifting; when I tried to downshift a few gears at once, I couldn't, because the lever would not come back up in the middle position.
At first I thought it was the linkage, so I lubed the ball-and-socket joints of the linkage and made sure that those were not binding. But that wasn't it, the problem turned out to be the actual pivot point of the shift lever, it had gotten really dirty and not lubed at all.

I removed the foot peg and then the foot peg bracket, which is the shaft part of the pivot of the shift lever. There is a groove in that shaft, probably to hold grease and keep that pivot lubricated.
In my case there was only stiff black gunk and some pitting on those pivot surfaces, nothing that resembled any lubrication.

After cleaning the pivot surfaces[edit], lubing the surfaces[/edit] and reassembling everything, I was happy that the downshifting problem was resolved, but also that shifting was now much slicker and smoother.
I had not noticed that I had gotten used to a pretty stiff and poor shifting action. Suddenly my shift movements felt exaggerated, the lever didn't need those "forceful" movements anymore.

If you also have 29k miles or more on the clock, check out those pivot surfaces. Perhaps your shifting could be much slicker too!

Last edited by Pretbek; 04-25-2012 at 10:39 AM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 10:55 PM
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::::
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It might need lubing. Left footpeg has to be removed from mounting plate to properly clean and grease the shifter lever's sealed main pivot. You can also grease the two small rod-end links.
Squirting some chain lube on the main link sides may help for now as a quick fix.
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Remove your left footpeg to clean out and grease pack the shifter's main pivot. You can also spray some chain lube on the links under the rubber boots at both ends of the adjuster rod.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:11 AM
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Good ideas. Dank u wel, Dennis!



Ride. Good.


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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::::
Yeah, what invader said.
I completely missed that thread in January.
Must be because I don't visit this forum enough, because it is not Tapatalk enabled.


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Good ideas. Dank u wel, Dennis!
Graag gedaan, Bones.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, what invader said.
I completely missed that thread in January.
Must be because I don't visit this forum enough, because it is not Tapatalk enabled.




Graag gedaan, Bones.


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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 05:15 AM
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I, for one, am greatful this subject came back up. I've been experiencing the same thing but I blamed operator error, I thought I had gotten in the habit of leaving my toe resting on the shifter but now that I know this is a common issue, Ive got something else to look at. My 09 doesnt have any miles on it but it has done alot of sitting in its short life.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 05:23 AM
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The foot shift lever is a mechanical pivot and subject to friction, dirt and grime. Periodical cleaning and lubing seems a reasonable thing to do.

Having said this, I will do this later today, lubing with hi-temp grease.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofer View Post
The foot shift lever is a mechanical pivot and subject to friction, dirt and grime. Periodical cleaning and lubing seems a reasonable thing to do.

Having said this, I will do this later today, lubing with hi-temp grease.
I understand grease should be used, with that center groove and all, but I used a thin layer of moly paste. We will see how that goes.

Still enjoying how light and smooth the shifting is now.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:55 AM
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32,000 miles and mine just started doing that today. Glad I found this post. Perhaps a pic or two for us visually inclined mechanics?
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:01 AM
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Here's a tip regarding positive shifting and dealing with linkages. This is something I apply that comes from my racebike setup. I Hate Linkage Slop. Missing a shift will literally cost you positions. When assembling my rearsets I always clean and lube any and all pivots. To eliminate as much slop and free play, I use a chain lube like Pro Honda Red Can or Maxima Chain Wax on the ball joints. If you've used these types of chain lubes, you know they go on wet but then dry. Excessive build up comes off similar to a soft wax. I fill the ball joints with as much of the chain wax as I can. When it dries in there it takes up some of the slop. Then I take a slip of aluminum foil and wrap 1.5 - 2 times around the shift shaft. You'll be pleased at how shimming that shaft eliminates huge slop.

Lastly, do something that probably over 50% of bike owners don't do. Adjust the pedal up or down to fit your foot for christ's sake. It surprises me to see how few people adjust their controls. Almost as bad as people being afraid of their suspension.

There you go. Don't go sharing this with the enemy.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 12:13 PM
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I reckon that the gearbox on the (my) Versys is one of the worst I've used in any of my bikes for a long time. OK, it's not disastrous, but it's just not as slick as others. I've also just lubed the pivot and linkages with 3 in 1 oil and that has helped it immensely.

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:49 PM
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Lastly, do something that probably over 50% of bike owners don't do. Adjust the pedal up or down to fit your foot for christ's sake. It surprises me to see how few people adjust their controls....
Yes - and how many times have you seen someone riding with the clutch lever pointing UP, the front brake lever pointing DOWN?

UNBELIEVABLE

Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvoelsch View Post
32,000 miles and mine just started doing that today. Glad I found this post. Perhaps a pic or two for us visually inclined mechanics?
The green circle indicates the pivot that you want to clean and lube in the end.

Here is how you get to it:

1. (can be skipped, with some risk, see Invader's post below and fasteddie's post below that!!) Remove the E-clip from the footpeg-pin.
2. (can be skipped, with some risk, see Invader's post below and fasteddie's post below that!!) Remove the footpeg-pin. The footpeg now drops out.
3. Remove the footpeg bracket by removing an allen screw, accessible from the inside; You have to pull the chain up to put your allen wrench in the screw. A bit of a PIA, but what can you do...
4. After removing this allen screw, the footpeg bracket and attached shift linkage comes free.
5. Slide the footpeg bracket out of the shifter "socket".
6. Clean and lube the inside of the shifter "socket" and the mating surface of the footpeg bracket.
7. Put it all back together.
8. Go for a ride and rejoice in how smooth the shift action is.


Last edited by Bear on a bicycle; 05-07-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 09:25 AM
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 09:44 AM
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Steps 1 and 2 can be skipped, which also gives you more leverage while you loosen or tighten the allen bolt. You can hold the allen key while rotating the footpeg off or onto the allen bolt.

Last edited by invader; 04-30-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:08 PM
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Don't do it this way!

Quote:
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Steps 1 and 2 can be skipped, which also gives you more leverage while you loosen or tighten the allen bolt. You can hold the allen key while rotating the footpeg off or onto the allen bolt.
DON'T DO IT THIS WAY! You WILL damage the aluminum foot-peg-stay.

Quote:
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The green circle indicates the pivot that you want to clean and lube in the end.

Here is how you get to it:

1. (can be skipped, see Invader's post below) Remove the E-clip from the footpeg-pin.
2. (can be skipped, see Invader's post below) Remove the footpeg-pin. The footpeg now drops out.
3. Remove the footpeg bracket by removing an allen screw, accessible from the inside; You have to pull the chain up to put your allen wrench in the screw. A bit of a PIA, but what can you do...
4. After removing this allen screw, the footpeg bracket and attached shift linkage comes free.
5. Slide the footpeg bracket out of the shifter "socket".
6. Clean and lube the inside of the shifter "socket" and the mating surface of the footpeg bracket.
7. Put it all back together.
8. Go for a ride and rejoice in how smooth the shift action is.

Now go to the service manual and check what IT says to do: in my 2011 manual, on page "CRANKSHAFT/TRANSMISSION 9-31" under "Shift Pedal Removal", it details to REMOVE the aluminum "left front footpeg stay" complete with footpeg and shifter pedal, and then you will have access to the allen-head capscrew, now EASY to remove with the steel "footpeg holder" held in your vice, rather than trying to work the allen wrench through your chain. (Just checked the 2007 manual .pdf, and it's page 321 - SAME page header as I gave.)

The reason to do it this way, is because your "footpeg holder" is kept from turning by a 'flat' machined on its end, which goes into an aluminum 'tit' cast into the aluminum "left front footpeg stay". Additionally, the allen-head screw has LOTS of red-Loctite on its threads, so, while... "You can hold the allen key while rotating the footpeg off or onto the allen bolt...." you WILL break that aluminum 'tit', and now you MIGHT end up having to replace the aluminum "left front footpeg stay" (probably rather pricey ) IF your footpeg begins to turn while you are riding! Look at my two pictures: the pen points to where the 'tit' USED to be; and you can easily see the 'flat' on the steel piece.
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Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034

Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 05-07-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 07:35 PM
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Somewhat confused at this.

I have no workbench vice. What problem is there with just removing the allen screw from the backside next to the chain? What damage will that cause? More specifically, what damage will be prevented by removing the entire assembly as mentioned in the manual?

KISS should apply. The simple way for me is simply get the allen bolt to unscrew from the backside, locktite or no locktite. Feedback is encouraged.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 12:25 PM
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Somewhat confused at this.

I have no workbench vice. What problem is there with just removing the allen screw from the backside next to the chain? What damage will that cause? More specifically, what damage will be prevented by removing the entire assembly as mentioned in the manual?

KISS should apply. The simple way for me is simply get the allen bolt to unscrew from the backside, locktite or no locktite. Feedback is encouraged.
If you don't have a vice, you can just hold the footpeg piece in vice grips or a crescent wrench. The allen-head capscrew is a REAL BEAR to remove if you try it with the parts in place on your bike: the red-Loctite is VERY hard to 'break', especially as you are limited to about 30 degrees of movement on your allen wrench, and UNLESS it's about a foot long you won't have sufficient leverage to even budge it.

Once the aluminum piece has been removed you can use a 3/8 drive allen socket to get REAL "OOMPH" onto the allen-screw!

BTW, if it's NOT clear - I did it as per the advice to "...turn the footpeg bracket while holding the allen wrench from the rear...", even though I'd wondered about removing that whole bracket, and damaged mine as a result! THEN I read the manual.... (In the airforce we had a saying - "If in doubt, read the manual."), and I SHOULD have!

With it removed, the allen-screw will be a simple removal, AND you'll be able to torque it properly, as per the service manual.

Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 08:15 PM
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Appreciate the clarification...

One more question - is red loctite needed when reassembling?
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 11:30 AM
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Appreciate the clarification...

One more question - is red loctite needed when reassembling?
It MIGHT be, but I used LOTS of blue Loctite on mine (AFTER cleaning off the red with a wire brush!), and I'll inspect it regularly to be sure.

Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034
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