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I don't understand complaints about poor shifting. I've always admired Kawasaki transmissions and find that, if the gear shift is properly adjusted to suit the rider's boot and foot position, the chain has adequate slack, and all pivot points are lubed, the bike shifts great. I rarely use the clutch for upshifts and have only missed a gearchange once- it was a sloppy shift on my part. Downshifts are easy at the proper rpm. The neutral finder is perfect- a friend has a Honda that, unless he finds neutral while rolling to a stop, is a bitch to find neutral from a standstill.

Yes, it clunks when 1st gear is selected from a stop. Big deal, lots of bikes do that, and it's not damaging anything, just as many are hard shifting for the first thousand miles or so. If you want to hear a worse clunk, try Concours 1st gen or any BMW shaft drive. Who cares? Rock on.
 

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Bitch all you want about Kawasaki gearboxes but I've owned three. They've all clunked when shifting into first- big deal, get over it, but there's no better neutral-finder on any bike I've owned and ridden.
I've seen many riders struggle to find neutral when stopped. Easy peasy on a V.

Maybe I've been lucky, but I've only once miss-shifted to a false neutral between gears, and that was when I bought new boots. Unless there is a difference between the 1st gen V's and the later models, I suggest that proper servicing of the shifter linkage mechanism, along with a properly adjusted chain, should sort most shifting problems. If that doesn't remedy the situation there may be a more serious problem. That first video posted by Dandan is very thorough and easy to do.

Clunk? As I said before, big deal, get over it. If it bothers you try an old shaft-drive BMW, they sound like a hammer hitting an anvil. Then your V will be much quieter in comparison.
 

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If it's not the shifter mechanism, the chain is properly adjusted, fresh oil in the engine, clutch cable proper slack, and the clutch is in good working order, then internal gearbox should be looked into. Worn shifter dogs, bad bearing, etc.

When I rode Concours, I did notice smoother shifts after an oil change, but I used synthetic oil and ran it for at least 12000 km.

Thanks for the "fanboy" label. Now teach us some sense.
 

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I got over the clunk into 1st whilst owning 2 Concours- much more pronounced with the shaft drive, the bike lurching forward. The ease of finding neutral more than makes up for the clunk. I've owned Hondas that required me to reach down and shift into neutral by hand if I wore work boots and didn't find neutral before stopping.

As for shifting gears, my V is smooth- I rarely ever use the clutch on upshifts once I'm in 2nd gear. I too tend to shift upwards of 5000 rpm. Most bikes I've ridden tend to shift a bit more coarsely below 4500 rpm. Rev that damn engine, it won't break and that's where the fun is! With a redline above 10k there is little grunt below 1/2 engine speed.
 
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