3rd gear problem - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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3rd gear problem

I have been having an issue with shifting into 3rd gear under a moderate to heavy load. Slow driving is fine, but when I get on the gas it has a shift problem. I can feel it click moving from 2nd to 3rd but when I let the clutch out it is still in 2nd. Has anyone else had a similar problem?

I have also taken it to my dealership and the tech said that it shifts fine for him. 2012 with 2800 miles, frustrating.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 11:23 PM
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How's the shift lever height adjustment? is it set low enough to allow you to upshift properly? Also, how freely does the shift lever operate? It may need to be removed from the footpeg to clean and grease its main pivot point.
Clutch cable adjustment and chain slack may affect shifting quality as well. Are you still on original engine oil?

Last edited by invader; 05-07-2012 at 11:26 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 02:29 AM
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It could be old oil, sticky pivots on the shifter linkages, and a stiff riding boots. My 11" tall riding boots tends to get the upshifts falsely. Need to kick it higher up. When I am wearing my shorty riding boots, it shifts like I intend it to shift.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I will check these things in a few minutes as I am about to change the oil anyway. This will be the second oil change, the first was at 1,000 miles and its pretty dark now. Im switching from the Kawasaki oil to Lucas semi senthetic for motorcycles. I didn't have this problem until about 1,500 miles and it started happening around the same time as the surging sensation between 3500 and 4500 rpm.
I have also adjusted the TPS (thanks for that tutorial Invader) and that did not solve any of my issues. However it did clean up my throttle delivery and it does run stronger.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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So I changed the oil and adjusted the shift linkage. I moved it down so I can get more leverage while shifting up and it seems to have helped some, but it still refuses to go into third under hard acceleration. Love my bike, hate the transmission.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2012, 12:16 AM
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Hi there... I had th same problem and found that the clutch cable was getting very stretched and average (mileage 18,000ks) changed that (cost about $15) and a HUGE!!! massive difference... and then recently I've gone to Penrite semi- synthetic motorbike oil and the best thing I ever did!!!! again a totally new bike to ride - the gearbox doesn't clank loudly when going in first gear and shifts very nicely now..... (I change my Oil @ 3,000ks... recent drama I had was the Stator died on me on the road - some 2 1/2 hours from home (country ride) - managed to ride the bike (after getting a jump start from a passing 4X4) and rode home on the battery - found the Stator burnt out but realised that I was riding on the battery for 2 weeks to work and back (some 48km round trip) and I have now fitted a voltage light in the dash and now it tells me what the voltage is at - I now feel alot happier on a long ride now..... good luck where your at.... thanks regards Andreas
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 06:27 PM
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I had this problem. I tried a number of things, none of which worked:
  • Changed the oil
  • Adjusted the clutch cable
  • Raised and lowered the shifter
  • And probably some other adjustments that I don't remember.

I had another problem, which I thought was unrelated: a loose right-hand control housing assembly. That's the black plastic item on the right handlebar that the start button is on. To call the assembly "loose" is overstating things. There was some freeplay, a few millimeters, whenever I twisted it back and forth.

More to the point, the freeplay in the control housing assembly meant that the throttle tube had freeplay, too. So the throttle had freeplay that it shouldn't have had. (The throttle tube is supposed to have a couple of millimeters of freeplay, which you adjust by loosening and tightening the throttle cables; the problem that I'm describing is separate, and in addition to, that.)

So I replaced the control housing assembly, part 46091-0217, which I bought from Ron Ayers. And after I replaced it, I no longer had a problem shifting from second to third under hard acceleration.

The control housing assembly had become loose when I manhandled a new grip onto the throttle tube, with a grip warmer between the throttle tube and grip. There's a round plastic tab sticking out of the control housing assembly that fits into a hole in the handlebar. When I manhandled the grip onto the throttle tube, that round plastic tab got deformed, thus allowing freeplay.

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Last edited by Holden; 08-16-2013 at 06:29 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:50 PM
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Totally agree with Penrite oil. I used it in my transmission shop. The synthetic Auto trans fluid is excellent. Plenty of positive feedback with smooth shifting. Autos are filled with multiple wet clutch packs,
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