Shifting clunk - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Shifting clunk

Another newbie question,

08, with 10K miles.

When I shift from neutral to 1st, there is a real clunk (this tends to be more pronounced when the engine is warm).

It also clunks from 1st to 2nd, not so much thereafter.

Is this normal or should I be adjusting something? clutch feels normal (not that I really know what normal feels like).

Oil is new and level is good.

TIA, Glen
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:29 AM
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normal - due to the positive neutral lockout
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:33 AM
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Welcome to dog gears. There's 4 big lobes licking into place with each shift. Square peg square hole sorta thing. Try blipping your throttle between shifts

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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many thanks guys,
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 09:57 AM
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The lower your RPM when you shift, the less clunk. The sooner you shift after pulling in the clutch will clunk less as well. I am virtually pulling in the clutch as I am lifting the shift lever. Dog locks require a different technique than synchromesh.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 10:10 AM
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I try to roll the bike forward a little bit, which seems to help with that big clunk, but it's normal. When shifting in between gears, I preload the shift lever with enough pressure that when I roll off the throttle quickly for a shift, it just pops right in effortlessly, with no clunking.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 07:54 PM
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Don't like the clunk, start in 1st
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millarg View Post
Another newbie question,

08, with 10K miles.

When I shift from neutral to 1st, there is a real clunk (this tends to be more pronounced when the engine is warm).

It also clunks from 1st to 2nd, not so much thereafter.

Is this normal or should I be adjusting something? clutch feels normal (not that I really know what normal feels like).

Oil is new and level is good.

TIA, Glen
Using good quality synthetic motorcycle 10W-40 vs 5W-40 diesel oil will help smooth shifting somewhat. This will be most noticeable in the smoothness of the shift lever, but there will always be somewhat of a clunk there. Make sure the clutch is fully pulled as well when you shift from neutral into first. With a motorcycle synthetic you can run the bike 8000 miles/12000km/annually between changes no problem, in fact Kawasaki says so in the owners manual, so the extra initial cost of the oil turns into a savings in the long term. The clunk is due to the fact even a pulled wet clutch transmits some rotational energy to the drive train.

Last edited by twowheels; 08-09-2015 at 11:36 PM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 06:41 AM
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I really have no clunk at all when shifting, but when stopped getting out of neutral you will always have a clunk. it has nothing to do with the dogs and everything to do with the neutral finder/lockout that makes you shift into neutral when stopped and skip over neutral when moving.

you will probably only get a clunk going from 1st to 2nd when you are at low rpm because the neutral lockout is doing its job getting you into 2nd instead of dropping into neutral again. should not have a clunk at higher rpm more aggressive shifting.

its completely normal, no amount of oil will change that.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:04 AM
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It has everything to do with a multiplate wet clutch and doglock gears. Other brands I have owned without a positive neutral finder clunk going into 1st as well. My friends Honda Superhawk is really loud. Most Harleys are right up there too.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:06 AM
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When going from neutral to first, you can greatly reduce the clunk by pulling the clutch fully in - for several seconds before you shift into first.

It takes patience. So I usually don't bother to do it.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:15 AM
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If you're getting a clunk when shifting from 1st to 2nd trying letting off the throttle a little bit more.

I find that shifting into 2nd requires very different techniques depending on what speed/rpm you're performing the shift. Often times i'll either short shift (get into 2nd gear at very low speeds) or shift at high rpms 7k+. Shifting from 1st-2nd between 5-6k rpms always seems clunky on my bike.

Shifting from N - 1st is almost always a nice clunk...

(Oh and actually check your idle speed, if it's above 1,100rpm that will make both 1st and 2nd shifts clunkier; i just discovered this...)

2008 Versys 650

Been riding 8 or 9 years, and have owned 8 or 9 bikes; its an addiction I can't quit...
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:38 AM
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When shifting from 1st to 2nd, I've found that it helps to accelerate very quickly in 1st (twist the right wrist farther than usual), then quickly, in one swift motion, briefly close the throttle while pulling in the clutch and lifting the shift lever to 2nd and let out the clutch. The faster you do this, with larger than normal throttle opening, the less clunk there is.

I have had over 7 years to practice this on my V. It works great!
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:54 AM
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I agree with the above; the problem is that you're not always trying to accelerate quickly, like in city traffic.

So as I mentioned you either have to short shift, or fast shift like described above.

2008 Versys 650

Been riding 8 or 9 years, and have owned 8 or 9 bikes; its an addiction I can't quit...
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantAntCowboy View Post
I agree with the above; the problem is that you're not always trying to accelerate quickly, like in city traffic.

So as I mentioned you either have to short shift, or fast shift like described above.
+ 1 Yep, that too.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 11:12 AM
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I love the positive clunk when it goes into first gear. My 93 Nighthawk 750 had backcut gears for speed shifting (like drag racers) and it activated just like that too. The Vs. 650 may have the gears ground down too on one side. Jap trans boxes are the best!

Enjoy it and then just get used to it. It's hard to believe you get all the features that you get with the Vs. 650. When people say, "Whut is that (looking at your bike)?", just tell them it's the best there is and ever was, and leave it at that.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys as long as it is normal, (I'm using Mobile 1 Racing 4T 10W40 oil).

I tend to notice it most at traffic lights, when I've gone into neutral, then shift into 1st (it's like someone is trying to get out of the engine case using a 2lb lump hammer).

Concerning neutral lock out shifting 1st to 2nd, I would say that I end up in neutral about 5% of the time - was putting this down to user error.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:43 PM
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Just to restate: If your idle RPM is higher then recommended this will cause a larger clunk when shifting from N -> 1st gear and that's a super easy fix/adjustment.

2008 Versys 650

Been riding 8 or 9 years, and have owned 8 or 9 bikes; its an addiction I can't quit...
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millarg View Post
Thanks guys as long as it is normal, (I'm using Mobile 1 Racing 4T 10W40 oil).

I tend to notice it most at traffic lights, when I've gone into neutral, then shift into 1st (it's like someone is trying to get out of the engine case using a 2lb lump hammer).
Bit hard to accelerate out of trouble in neutral when you hear that dreaded lock up screech from behind you
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickAus View Post
Bit hard to accelerate out of trouble in neutral when you hear that dreaded lock up screech from behind you
A good reason you shouldn't be in the middle of the lane or centered behind a car. Learned the hard way

yes im a guy.
Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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