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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
yes, 25mm is the minimum. I just adjusted the chain. Usually, I tighten it to minimum so don't have to worry for a while. According to the manual 35mm is the maximum slack. Is your chain not making noise with 50mm? Too much slack can also cause the sprocket wear. Doesn't it worry you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Smiley, thank you for asking. I was on a trip with Versys 1000, and just came back. I checked again the chain, and it has 30mm slack. Is it still too little? I mean the shifting is acceptable but not amazing, especially if compared with 1000, where clutch-less shifting is effortless even from 1st to 2nd. Just for fun, I am going to install tomorrow a not-so-sophisticated quick shifter made in Thailand. It has good reviews and is cheap, like 120 usd.
 

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Be sure to measure chain slack at the tightest part of the chain. I think 30mm is too little slack, I shoot for 45-50mm. Better a chain a bit too loose than too tight.

As I said before, my Gen1 V is very slick-shifting and I don't use the clutch upshifting beyond 3rd gear, in fact, it's effortless.
I've even had it jump into the next gear when applying a bit too much preload on the lever- usually when I change from warm weather boots to cold weather footwear.
 

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On the topic of chains and tension, since I changed to the EK chain and more on the looser end of the tension spec. range I cant remember the last time I had to adjust the tension. I believe the EK is pre-stretched, nice chain. No use scrimping on the chain, stretching chews up the front sprocket for added hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I should not complain. Now the gears shift quite good, once I improved my technique. As far as clutchless shifting is concerned, it is a bit clunky up to 3rd gear. But this is also quite normal. Even those who have quick shifter often use it only at higher rpms.

I just changed the chain to EK, and it did stretch after my first trip; and I got the highest tensile strength chain. It could be that I set it too tight, I don't remember. I ordered motion pro tool now for measuring the chain sag. It is not that I really need it, but it makes the measurement easier.

 

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Clutchless shifting works best for me from 3rd gear up. I don't recommend it shifting from 1st- 2nd or 2nd- 3rd. Also, it's not necessary to pull the clutch lever all the way when shifting in the lower gears. Pre-loading the lever is the key to better shifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
thank you all for the feedbacks. I have much improved in clutchless shifting. it feels now much more natural than regular shifting. I noticed that it is a matter of timing and right pressure on the gear lever; in the throttle just a tiny movement is sufficient. I personally, have no issue with shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. for sure, from 2nd to 3rd is already very smooth.

my V1000 is much more forgiving for even if the timing is not perfect, it will still shift smoothly; with 650 timing seems to more important.

the thing that i was wondering is that in quickshifters they have two tuning options, pull and push, tension or compression. if i am not mistaken it refers to the rod action when you press the lever. In Versys 1000 it is push, in 650 it is pull. I would think that pull and push requires slightly different sensitivity when one is upshifting. I am just speculating here, but if that principle applies to quickshifters, it should also apply to clutchless shifting. any thoughts on this?
 

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This has been discussed before, constant mesh gear box, all gears are rotating, they are hardened to a rockwell hardness, If you have wear, you are in trouble, as you have removed the hardness of the gear. Running synthetic oil may help in polishing and like Ed , I found changing to synthetic oil made a difference. Also what helps is lubing the shifter points of friction.
What specific synthetic oil are you referring to if you don't mind sharing?
 

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I do not see much information about breaking in the gearbox. My 650 had really hard gear shifting, something that I would not expect from a Japanese bike. Also it was difficult to put it into neutral. I know that in Kawasaki bikes one can get into neutral by upshifting when the bike is not moving, but I like to move into neutral already before the bike fully stops. Anyway, I got used to it, but recently I noticed a significant improvement. The gears are much more smooth and I can get into neutral without problem. But this happened only after 13k km. So I assume that the transmission needs significant amount of time to break in. I also expect that in time the gear shifting will improve even more.
All I can tell you is that you got to be careful with all the fabula that goes around with regard engine oil.

It seems that when someone doesn't have an answer to an issue, automatically they find the easiest scape goat, what type of engine oil are you using, or the whole break in myth. But people will never even consider, the fact that every model year is a new design adventure for the manufacturer, let's try this new design, and sometimes that new design sucks and you end up with a lemon.

I have owned many different motorcycles throughout the years, and I have always used Rotella Diesel Engine oil with no issues or complaints. If anything, using the wrong oil should make your gears slip, not get hard and clunky.

Second, the whole brake in myth, I admit that when something is new it tends to be tight, but not hard or clunky. I currently own two bikes, a 2018 Versys that I got for road use, with only 2000 miles and the shifting is sticky, hard and clunky, just the nature of the beast.

I also just got a new 2022 KLR for exploring off road, the bike just turned 1130 miles, the shifting on the KLR is butter smooth from the moment I rode it off the dealer's lot, I already did its first oil change at 600 miles with Rotella Diesel Engine Truck oil and no shifting issues were introduced with the oil change on the KLR.

So that disproof all this fabula going around about break in period, what kind of engine oil you are using, did you overfill the oil and all that.

Truth is that some bikes transmission and shifting linkage are well designed and will work well from day one no matter what engine oil you choose to use. Other bikes come with a factory design flaw, and they will shift hard and clunk no matter what you do, just the nature of the beast.

Buy some steal toe boots for the Versys so your toe doesn't bruise while you shift.
 

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What specific synthetic oil are you referring to if you don't mind sharing?
Mobil 1 15/50 for 8 years or more now. I am switching to Motul 15/50 this year.
 

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I do not see much information about breaking in the gearbox. My 650 had really hard gear shifting, something that I would not expect from a Japanese bike. Also it was difficult to put it into neutral. I know that in Kawasaki bikes one can get into neutral by upshifting when the bike is not moving, but I like to move into neutral already before the bike fully stops. Anyway, I got used to it, but recently I noticed a significant improvement. The gears are much more smooth and I can get into neutral without problem. But this happened only after 13k km. So I assume that the transmission needs significant amount of time to break in. I also expect that in time the gear shifting will improve even more.

Bought the 2021 Versus 650. Love everything about the bike EXCEPT the shifter! I made mention to the dealership on day one that it was hard to downshift and constantly going into first gear and not neutral.

Not my first rodeo with Kawasaki. I traded in my 2020 Ninja 650 for this Versys and my Ninja was butter smooth. I told them I'd see if it would break in, but after adjusting my chain and clutch lever (they did this at the dealership) it was not any better. Even the mechanic, after test riding it post-adjustment, said that there's an issue.

This is my only mode of transportation. I brought the bike in, and a few hours later I was called. They informed me that the shift mechanism is fine and that there is a transmission issue. There going to take out the transmission, inspect and replace anything out of spec. They have to take out the clutch basket to get to the tranny, so they'll be inspecting that as well. Thank GOD it's a cassette style tranny. They don't have to take the engine off frame. I'm suspecting bad shift forks or spacers. I doubt it's any of the actual gears. Those are hard forged. The shift forks are not.

I'm 61 years old. Riding since I was 18. I've bought numerous bikes from this dealerships. They take my whining seriously. Yours should have as well. Kudos out to my shop for standing behind the product and the customer.

There no way in hell that a slipper-assist clutch should be this rough. I told them that honestly, in my lifetime, this was the shittiest shift I've ever experienced in a motorcycle. And I've owned some real dogs!

I have full faith in my shop. I'm certain the issue will be resolved. If not, I'll claim under the lemon law here and they'll have to buy the bike back. I've got 4,000 miles on it but I'm not so attached to it that I won't look elsewhere.

I've heard online that Kawasaki is having transmission issues. This sounds like one of them.
 

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I have two thoughts on this:
1) Check that clutch is adjusted properly, it almost sounds as if you aren't getting complete disengagement.
2) for safety sake you shouldn't be shifting into neutral in traffic. Someone texting and driving or just not generally paying attention could be coming up on you in traffic and you want to be able to move quickly. Bike in first, clutch in.
Sorry Bill, but point number 2 is crap. I was rear-ended at a dead stop. In stopped traffic just where are you going to go? Into the intersection and get T-boned? In a rural seeing are you going to go to the right where there is either a curb or no shoulder at all? Being in neutral at a stop is not going to increase your chances of injury anymore than keeping it in gear. Most of you don't look behind you when you are stopped. What kind of reaction time do you think you have when the car behind you is only a half second from hitting you?

So yeah, bullcrap.
 

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You really need to reconsider your strategy.

And no, it's not bullcrap to stay in first gear, properly position your bike before you stop, being aware of vehicles behind you as well as in front and to the sides. And, yes, if necessary escape from a dangerous situation. Selecting neutral at a stop is giving up all forward control. Riding school 101.
 
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