New bike seems to shift rough - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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New bike seems to shift rough

Just picked up this new bike with only 1 mile on it and find that the down shifting seems to be rough and sticky. After putting 147 miles on it I returned to the dealer to let them ride it and see if it is normal. They weren't interested in riding it but rather checked the linkage and then told me to wait 500 miles and see if it breaks in and not to worry. Has anyone else had trouble downshifting? Very clunky. Upshifting is smooth.

Appreciate your response. Thanks

Regards,

Alex from Abingdon

"4 wheels might move the body but 2 wheels moves the soul"
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:10 PM
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I don't recall any strange shifting on my 2011 when it was new... I may have been overlooking it if it were there. If it was there, it must have been slight. I started running Mobil1 synthetic after my break in period... Which may have helped... Mine now @16,000 miles is good both ways...

Although, now that I think of it... I found that my knurled clutch adjustment at the clutch lever seemed to back itself off... even though I had tightened its locking wheel as tight as I could get it. It effectively "lengthened" my clutch cable slightly and I found my downshifting becoming more difficult apparently because pulling the clutch lever all the way didn't completely disengage it. That made the downshifting a bit clunky... and getting her to go into neutral more difficult. The fix was to readjust the knurled adjust and lock her down again but after five or six weeks it had misadjusted itself again. This time I readjusted it all and used some blue Locktite to secure the adjustment. No such problems since.

I'd suggest make sure your clutch cable is adjusted so that when you pull it all the way in it completely disengages the clutch.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:18 PM
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Oil will make a difference. I would suggest using 10W-40 motorcycle oil. Auto oil will cause rougher shifting, particularly if it is 5W-40.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:20 PM
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I just traded in my 12' ZX6R, and to my suprise, the Versys is just as smooth. No issues at all. Though, to be honest, 6 months ago I was on a sportster for 3 years. Spend some time on a sportster and any transmission will shift like butter.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:23 PM
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Mine was clunky until break in was over and i had switched to synthetic.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Mine was clunky until break in was over and i had switched to synthetic.
+1 THIS.

Downshifting to first will always be extra-clunky too. That is a known known.

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:59 PM
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Once you're done with break in and get some full-synthetic in there it'll be better.

Also...every new bike I've ever owned had a fairly chunky transmission until it had at least a few hundred miles on it. Now I just expect it.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 10:05 PM
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The V has a clunky transmission to begin with. I find it shifts much smoother when I shift with meaning. When I casually shift it clunks around. When I shift it with some force, it smooths out.
Better oil definitely made a difference as well.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I guess I am more of a casual shifter which is a good way to describe it. I will look into the clutch adjustment right away and look into synthetic oil at 500 miles. Thanks

Regards,

Alex from Abingdon

"4 wheels might move the body but 2 wheels moves the soul"
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 11:13 PM
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Yes, the V is a clunky shifter! When you shift.....try pre loading the shift lever with toe pressure......roll half off the throttle, and barely pull the clutch in........ ( of course in 2ND thru 6th...lol) You should find a much smoother shift. Heck, don't even need to use the clutch if you shift like that!!

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 11:19 PM
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I'd be good to ride it like you stole it now to seat in the rings, etc, before it's too late, and do your first oil and filter change ASAP. Put in new non-synthetic motorcycle 10W-40 oil now, then change it to synthetic 5/10W-40 motorcycle oil by 1000 miles.

Make sure you don't have excess clutch cable slack, and that your drive chain slack is properly adjusted as it also breaks in... You'll want to clean and grease your shifter's main pivot before long, by removing footpeg mount for access. Shifting smoothness will gradually improve.

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 12:46 AM
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My shifting got smoother after about 2000 kms, especially after I switched to synthetic. I have almost 8000kms now and shifting is always very good.

I rode it like I stole it when I got mine, did the early oil change and changed again until at 2000kms when I switched to synthetic.

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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Mine was clunky until break in was over and i had switched to synthetic.

^ This.


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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 09:52 AM
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It should be shifting fine by the time you get her up to 30K miles.

(Mine shifts better on Mobil 1 15-50 than anything else, per JDRocks' advice-)
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Mine was clunky until break in was over and i had switched to synthetic.
Yup, I found this as well. I've broken in many bikes over the years and was initially very disappointed with the way the V shifted. Never had this on any other bike. But by 500-600 miles it was fine, even prior to putting in synthetic at 600 miles. I think the synthetic helped even more.
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yup, I found this as well. I've broken in many bikes over the years and was initially very disappointed with the way the V shifted. Never had this on any other bike. But by 500-600 miles it was fine, even prior to putting in synthetic at 600 miles.
Very comforting words....I just came off a K1200RS that shifted very smooth therefore although I find the Versys a HOOT to ride but the shifting is a little puzzling.

Can someone please enlighten me and tell me about the 'Ride like you Stole it' from day 1 theory???

Regards,

Alex from Abingdon

"4 wheels might move the body but 2 wheels moves the soul"
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 08:50 PM
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Very comforting words....I just came off a K1200RS that shifted very smooth therefore although I find the Versys a HOOT to ride but the shifting is a little puzzling.

Can someone please enlighten me and tell me about the 'Ride like you Stole it' from day 1 theory???
read

do

have a blast on your new bike!

The Old DustyOne
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Mine was clunky until break in was over and i had switched to synthetic.
Go to syn and wait until broke in!


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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 11:36 PM
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 03:30 PM
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My '09 with 14,000 miles on it takes a bit of an effort to shift, but bearable. It's not a Honda, ya know.


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