Shift Lever Practically Falls Off - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Shift Lever Practically Falls Off

Experienced a new issue on my V, actually one I've never experienced on a bike. Forgive my length, but I couldn't find this on the forums, so I want to describe my situaltion in full. DISCLAIMER - my pre-ride checks consist of tires, chain, and electronics (including lights). I am mechanically UNinclined.

I'm riding to my tennis league (yeah, I'm one of those dudes with a backpack with a racquet sticking out of it), and my shifts are weird. I kept hitting neutral on my 1st to 2nd shifts. Not uncommon, but a little strange.

Then on my way home, I can't shift above 3rd gear. I'm thinking I may have to ride home in 3rd, cause I don't know what the freak is going on. My lever was loose, but I don't have the foot proprioception of a monkey (like Harley riders - JUST KIDDING), so I'm not sure what's happening. I pull up to a stop light at a busy intersection, AND I HAVE NO FREAKING SHIFT LEVER! I'm trying to gear down and nothing's there.

Thankfully, there was no one in the right turn lane, so I push my bike up the sidewalk and into a parking lot under the closest light. My shift lever is hanging there. It had come undone as the screws separated and was literally hanging by a thread.

I contemplated calling the wife to come pick me up and just put the bike in the back of the truck the tomorrow. THEN, I invoked all I've learned from this forum, and thought, "Dude, you're in tennis duds, on a cool bike, getting down and greasy. DO NOT have your lady pick you up!"

Anyway, I realized the thinga-ma-jiggy that connects the shift lever to the other thinga-ma-jiggy had come unscrewed. (You dudes mechanically inclined will know what I'm talking about.) It's a long metal piece that screws in to your footing/boot on one side and connects to the mechanism that actually changes your gears (If I get requests, I'll try to take a picture of it.)

Bottomline, I was able to get it back together and ride home. Safe to ride another day.

**My question: Are those threads set with Loctite or is that something that you need to check regularly? I can see how they would come unscrewed with vibration, but I don't recall that being something you should check regularly in the manual. [For those that don't know, it's a bolt that has threads and screws on both ends connecting the frame-end of the shift lever to that other thing. I'll be giving classes on it next week.]

It was a great learning experience, but I think it could have been worse. Plus, my wife thought the grease on my hands was from sneaking around with that amazonion mechanic instead of playing tennis. If y'all can verify my problem and tell me how to fix it or if I need to check it regularly, that would be much appreciated.

I'm a bad tennis player, but I don't usually come home with dark brown fingers! My wife actually just used it as another reason why I shouldn't ride motorcycles. Danged women!

"The Shift Lever Affair" saga!

Last edited by kawdawg; 09-05-2014 at 12:55 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 01:57 AM
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there should be lockout nuts on the rod (thats what that thinga ma jig is called is a shift rod) you screw it in and tighten those nuts to create tension on it so it doesnt back out as easy, a drop of lock tight never hurt tho
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 09:29 AM
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The rod is threaded at both ends (one is Right thread and the other is Left thread).
When you adjust the gear lever you undo both the lock nuts and twist the rod. Twisting the rod one way pushes out the Rose Joints (Ball and socket knuckles under the black rubber booties) or twist the other way will bring them closer in. This raises and lowers the gear lever.

If both the lock nuts have become loose, and the rod twists from vibrations, then the rod can fall out of the Knuckles and you are left with a limp lever

The locknuts work on friction and you should not need to put locktite on them. You just have to tighten them against the Knuckle firmly and they will hold.

Did you lose the rod? or was it still barely attatched on one of the knuckles?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. It was still attached to the front knuckle barely. I did adjust and tighten it as best I could, and I did add Loctite to secure the nuts ('cause I certainly don't want a limp lever with no nuts!) Thanks for that lead in Gigitt.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 01:06 AM
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Blue Loctite... Not red for this. Blue it the right choice, as you might want to adjust it in future without grief.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Forgive my ignorance, but what's the difference? And if they're counter-balanced, how do they come off? Is it a vibration issue?

I'm just trying to be sure it doesn't happen again. I don't plan on additional adjustments, so I want the most sure way to hold them.

Thanks for the help.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 12:56 AM
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If the shaft is "barely attached" it does not seem to be adjusted correctly. The shifter is a 2 shaft device with connecting rod. The rear shaft is just a pivot point, No adjustments, just lube it. Then the shaft connects to 2 threaded rods with 2 locking nuts. The front shaft attachment is very adjustable. It's a spline joint. So if the rods are barely attached, the spline joint is in the wrong location.

The bolt that is on the spline shaft has to be removed completely. There is a grove in the shaft that will not allow the front shift lever to be removed or adjusted while in. So mark where the center shaft and outer shift lever meet. (anyplace is fine, it's for your reference). Remove the bolt. Gently pull off the front shift lever. Turn it one or two notches counter clockwise. (This moves bottom shifter rod backward toward foot peg) It causes the foot shift lever to rise. Now loosen the locking nuts on the shift rod, and adjust foot lever to original position. Verify you can move shifter up/down without hitting rod. When happy with results, apply drop of BLUE loctite, and tighten locking nuts.

What that did was provide more threads to be used by connecting rod. Ensuring better connection. Instructions are on page 322 section 9-32 of service manual. Hope this helps

Mike
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2014, 03:32 AM
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strange. that part of screw is almost impossible to come undone on its own. either it wasnt torqued properly before, or someone had deliberately undo it.

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