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I got my 2013 as new in 2015. By about 2018 I was having problems downshifting. As in coming to a stop where I did several shifts at a time. This forum recommended lubing the linkage because it wouldn't return to the center position fast enough to keep up with my shifting. Problem solved.
The other issue I have seen here is that the lever is not in the correct position on the motor spline shaft. It didn't allow the shaft to turn far enough during shifts.
When you buy a used bike you don't know what the PO did to it. The dealer might not know either. Check the position of the linkages and make sure they move freely. Replace any excessively worn or damaged parts and you will end up with a great bike.
I know it sucks to have to work on a new bike to you but even a used bike from a dealer is still a used bike.
 

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...But shifting is the first thing you got to do to get moving, and it is not fun to come back home with a bruised toe from all the hard shifting during the ride. Not fun....
I have ridden aprox.193,000 miles among the THREE V650s I've had (still have the '08 and '15 - the '09 was "written-off", making way for the '15).

I have NEVER had 'hard-shifting' on any of them. I do my own maintenance which includes adjusting things like shifters, and MANY of us have mentioned that the 'shifting' becomes MUCH easier/smoother once you change to synthetic oil (I use Mobil1 15w-50).

Good luck!

(y)(y)
 

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I got my 2013 as new in 2015. By about 2018 I was having problems downshifting. As in coming to a stop where I did several shifts at a time. This forum recommended lubing the linkage because it wouldn't return to the center position fast enough to keep up with my shifting. Problem solved.
The other issue I have seen here is that the lever is not in the correct position on the motor spline shaft. It didn't allow the shaft to turn far enough during shifts.
When you buy a used bike you don't know what the PO did to it. The dealer might not know either. Check the position of the linkages and make sure they move freely. Replace any excessively worn or damaged parts and you will end up with a great bike.
I know it sucks to have to work on a new bike to you but even a used bike from a dealer is still a used bike.
I posted some photos and maybe we will look at combining the thread.

 
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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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I'll take the clunk rather than not have the neutral finder.
I got me a new bike and started experiencing difficulties shifting up and down, so I decided to join this forum to see if it was just my luck or if other people were also experiencing such a stiff gear box.

To my surprise, someone else in this particular thread had described exactly the same stiff shifting I am experiencing.

It is not just the first gear clunk must bike exhibit, but heavy stiffness going up and down all the gears.

Based on the amount of threads I found on this same subject, I am get the feeling this is not an isolated issue, this is something plenty of people complaining about or at least acknowledge experiencing to certain degree.

But how anyone dare to even suggest that there could be something wrong with the gear box on any Versys ever built.

The favorite culprit is said to be, not the gear box, but the foot peg mechanism.

Some swear that there is nothing wrong with the gear box, but if you put synthetic oil, the same gear box will shift much nicer.

The fact there are all the different suggestions to make the issue better, acknowledges there is an issue to begin with.

So, post like the one I quoted here are just a denial, someone who is closed minded and won’t consider no possibility that there might actually be something wrong with the gear box.

The the fanboy in denial about the Versys, it is either a none issue, it has to be a rider error who doesn’t know how to shift, or if there is an issue, then you just have to man-up and stop complaining.

The first gear clunk is not an excuse for an abnormal stiff gear box, most bikes do have that first gear clunk but the rest of the gears are smooth.

I always joke that Yamaha wanted to copy Harley to the point of incorporating the same Harley clunk of first gear, but once you get past the first gear, the rest of the gears are smooth.

But anyways, trying to talk sense into a fan boy of any bike is missing impossible.

The important thing here is, to any new owner of a Versys that might stumble here, if you found this message, you are not imagining things, some Versys have real stiff gear boxes , plenty of other riders have experienced difficulties shifting the Versys and have commented on the issue, and my best advice, have your bike checked.
 

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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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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.
You started with man up to the first gear clunk which was not the issue, and look where we are now…

Yeah take me on a goose hunt tour around the world to ultimately arrive home, it could potentially be a faulty gear box, the dreaded conclusion.

But lucky for me, I have a friend who s a better mechanic than I am and he actually owns a first generation Versys and a 650R that he did rebuilt, so he is familiar with these creatures. I will ask him to ride my bike and go through the extensive laundry list you gave us here. He should be in town next week.

Mean while I will continue to enjoy the KLR which Kawasaki did managed to fit a good gear box with no shift linkage design flaw to speak of.

The KLR still being broken in, and doesn’t require any special shifting techniques or expensive synthetic oil.

KLR runs happy on cheap Rotella Diesel engine oil like all of my other previous bikes have and still manages to provide smooth like butter shifting experience.

So far the KLR has not required any mechanical intervention on my part, and to me that’s what you call a good customer experience.

Keeping my finger crossed about the Versys.
 

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Try to put yourself on those other people shoes.

It is all about the experience. Some of us pay a lot of money for these bikes, we save up to be able to afford these toys, and we do it with the hope to be able to enjoy the freaking thing, only to find out that every time you ride you get a bruised toe from the hard shift. That is dangerous to be out in the middle of traffic having such difficulties trying to shift and get moving.

To be honest with you, I have owned so many bikes throughout the years and this is the very first time that I have to worry about this issue. Is my shift linkage is properly adjusted? Is the oil I that I have always used causing the hard shifting. Is the slack on the chain causing the hard shifting?

I just sold an SV650 with 20K miles that had butter smooth shifting, I could bring that bike from 6th gear down to first in the blink of an eye, I used to be able to slice through traffic effortlessly without having to think about shifting.

With the money I got from the SV650 I went and got a 2022 KLR, again butter smooth shifting from the time I first rode it. I just did the first oil change on the KLR with Rotella Diesel engine oil, it has not caused any issue with the KLR, it continues to shift effortlessly, I don't even think about shifting unless I am riding the Versys, then I have to be aware and think every step of the way to make sure I don't find myself in the wrong gear and not been able to shift quickly.

These are things that I never had to worry about, even when I own Harley Davidsons in the past, they all shifted smoother than the Versys. So, it is an issue, one that is hard to overlook.

So, understand that it is a shock when you get a bike, and you have to deal with an issue that really has no clear solution. You should do this do that, try this try that, but there is really no definitive answer as to where to go to stop the madness.

As soon as it warms up a bit, I will do the foot peg assembly cleaning and lubing, hopefully that will take care of the issue, but I have a feeling it is more than that.
I take offense when someone comes and joins a forum looking for a solution, then digs up every thread they can find that says other people are having a problem-must be something defective with Kawasaki and the Versy. I have owned two, a 2007 and now a 2015. I did a post about not being able to get above 3rd gear, nothing wrong with the gearbox, it was a linkage and footpeg problem.

I have been on this forum for going on 14 years-- I have never told anyone it is their imagination, a really simple solution is to disconnect the linkage and try manual shifting with the bike on a pit stand-yes it is dangerous- I do it all the time now, if the bike takes off, my front lawn and tree should stop it.

If you asked about electrical defects, every 650 Kawasaki made since 2006 has one, the headlight relay is to come on when producing power, the collapsing field of the start solenoid will give 3 out of 5 tries the same result- even with the stator disconnected.

I have seen firsthand issues when a new bike was purchased from a dealer and it was never set up, correctly. I am talking a 2015 650ABS Versys-my buddy had an identical bike to my bike, he complained about the herky-jerky POS . We stopped for coffee and I had a look, I have no idea how he even got the bike home, let alone put 6000 KM on it. The throttle cable had about 20' of rotation before anything happened, the push cable also wasn't set right. His clutch was set wrong, almost 3./8 inch of travel before the clutch actuator started moving, he complained he had to use the brake when putting it into gear. It took me 5 minutes at the coffee shop to set it correctly.

If every new member did a post and told me it isn't working, my time and effort didn't solve anything, that obviously I am mistaken,Kawasaki is a POS-I would have stopped posting about 11 years ago, and I wouldn't own a 2015 -and speaking of the 2015 the fuel map is a POS -fortunately, the flash by shoodaben make it something beyond your imagination.
Be aware we all take time and effort trying to help others, negative posts help no one.



This reminds me-a week ago my friendly neighbor across the street-walks everywhere doesn't own a car but has a double-wide concrete driveway ( he bought the house from a previous owner that had trailers and trucks and added the concrete drive)-bought an electric snow shovel in October and carried it home from 2 KM away.

So a week ago, we had a heavy snow fall, I was out blowing snow for several hours, the very first hour I saw him in his garage, it looked like he was kicking his gas-powered 8HP snowblower, pulling on the rope start for a good 15 minutes- next thing I see him with this electric snow shovel, he looks like a snowman and is going like crazy, I am concerned he is going to have a heart attack :eek: I stop blowing snow and go across- he had the gas blower serviced in 2021-it has less than 10 hours on it, but 2-year-old gas. So he admits to cursing and kicking it -I had a hard time not laughing and rolling on the floor because I could see some of this about 200 feet away.
Anyway, he is very good-natured, I asked him why he isn't using the electric start-it has a male plug as part of the assembly-he kind of looks at me and like a light just came on. I told him I have a cord on my Ariens and it is 20 feet long, with two 5 inch 5/16 stainless bolts acting as a means of wrapping the cord around, I then have a old female cord cap wire tied to the handle, I plug the male cord cap of the extension into it, which protects it from icing over.

It took about 3 minutes of electric start to get it going, I then brought fresh gas I keep on hand and filled the blower, and also gave him about 8 liters in his small gas can.
Neighbors helping neighbors.
 
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>>>>> I take offense

First sign of a fanboy that has lost its ability to be objective and realistic about anything to do with what he dearly loves… If you love it, it must be perfect, so how dear anyone complain about anything that you love.

I love the vehicles that brings me joy without any issues and I take no offense if others are not having the same good experiences I am unfortunately for them.

>>>>> when someone comes and joins a forum looking for a solution, then digs up every thread they can find that says other people are having a problem-must be something defective with Kawasaki and the Versy.
1. Again, I didn’t have to do any vicious digging, I posted a question, the forum algorithm did all the digging for me, and at the bottom of my question it listed all the threads related to my question automatically. A Very convenient feature if you ask me.

2. When you first join a forum that is what you supposed to do, in most forums they will tell you, before you ask, do a search and go digging for your answer. It is encouraged to do, except for you when the digging actually reveals I am not the only one, others have described the exact issue better than I could.

>>>> other people are having a problem-must be something defective with Kawasaki and the Versy.

How dear anyone even suggest such a thing about your must beloved Versys and its brand.

>>> I have owned two, a 2007 and now a 2015. I did a post about not being able to get above 3rd gear, nothing wrong with the gearbox, it was a linkage and footpeg problem.
Still not a good look on the model or the brand if I buy a brand new $10K bike, the whole shifting the gear experience sucks, and the first thing I got to do when I get home is to take the whole shift link apart because Kawasaki forgot to grease it up. Assuming that is the issue per your claim here.

>>> I have been on this forum for going on 14 years-- I have never told anyone it is their imagination
I was told there was nothing wrong with my bike, it was me that just didn’t have the correct shifting technique 🙄

>>>> really simple solution is to disconnect the linkage and try manual shifting with the bike on a pit stand-yes it is dangerous- I do it all the time now, if the bike takes off, my front lawn and tree should stop it.
Very encouraging solution and method👍

The rest of the post is just blah blah blah you the super hero helping others as long as no one dear to identify a problem with something you hold dearly, that is of no use to anyone here or elsewhere.

By the way those who do the good for the common good, do not argue or get offended by stuff like this, done claim their years of service any where like an authority that everyone has to bow to, and doesn’t tap themselves in the back for how good they are.

The real heros are like a ghost, they show up, fix the problem and disappears without making any noise about themselves how great they are and how much they know.

Next time just let the good actions do the speaking.

Just because you got the mechanics skills to fix stuff and got lucky with two perfect Versys doesn’t mean everyone has the same luck.

I just spent $7K on a Versys with a clunker gear box, that is my reality no matter what you think of me or how good your Versys can shift.

And from the looks of it, I am not the first one or the last one experiencing the same dilemma and coming here to confirm this is an issue with this particular bike.
 

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>>>>> I take offense
So do I.



In all of your searching have you found anyone who has not been able to fix the shifting problems they were having with their bike? Because you bought an nearly new (used bike ) from a dealership doesn't mean that something wasn't put together wrong. Even dealers make mistakes. And Yes needing to lube the shift linkage should not need to be done, but it is an easy fix. A little bit of lube on any moving part can be necessary at some point. Adding the grease fitting might even be seen as over kill but if someone wants to do that to make it easier to service, Thanks for the suggestion.

I just spent $7K on a Versys with a clunker gear box, that is my reality no matter what you think of me or how good your Versys can shift.
What most of us are saying is that real problems in the actual gearbox are rare and until you or someone you pay looks at it further you are beating a dead horse. ( this forum is all about helping and encouraging you to do things yourself.)

Calling people names ( on both sides) will not help. But when someone gives you a help suggestion and you refuse to go try it that is your $7K loss.
 

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...Perhaps you should sell your V and move on to another ride.
that would solve his bike problem, although the rest of his problems appear to be beyond immediate remedy.

personally, i hope this inmate doesn't sell his Versys and continues to hang out in this forum. his posts are excellent for forum participation by other inmates, then there's always the entertainment value too...so Senor Blue, please keep pounding away on them keys, i'm enjoying every bit of what ya have to say. the content of your posts is so factual, other inmates can take it all right to the freakin' bank, well, someplace anyway.

however, if the day ever comes when you've worn yourself completely the heck out, please seek professional help. you would be doing a big favor for the bike riding community in general, and by extension, humanity as a whole.
 

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I can say I have never walked off a job in 38 years fixing large inverters, I have called to the states many times during my career and asked for help. I had people training under me, and all it took was a misfire, moving a 8 foot fluorescent fixture on jack chain above the cabinet where a current limiting reactor was housed-this was a 550 KW 480 VAC inverter-ever see anyone in a state of shock-another apprentice gone. I was introduced by many foundry maintenance personnel as the induction expert, I always corrected them and said I was a specialist. A expert implies you know everything about the subject and have very little to learn. A specialists is specialist - Google Search

There are no stupid questions, and as long as I can help I do so.
 

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>>>>> I take offense

First sign of a fanboy that has lost its ability to be objective and realistic about anything to do with what he dearly loves… If you love it, it must be perfect, so how dear anyone complain about anything that you love.

I love the vehicles that brings me joy without any issues and I take no offense if others are not having the same good experiences I am unfortunately for them.



1. Again, I didn’t have to do any vicious digging, I posted a question, the forum algorithm did all the digging for me, and at the bottom of my question it listed all the threads related to my question automatically. A Very convenient feature if you ask me.

2. When you first join a forum that is what you supposed to do, in most forums they will tell you, before you ask, do a search and go digging for your answer. It is encouraged to do, except for you when the digging actually reveals I am not the only one, others have described the exact issue better than I could.

>>>> other people are having a problem-must be something defective with Kawasaki and the Versy.

How dear anyone even suggest such a thing about your must beloved Versys and its brand.



Still not a good look on the model or the brand if I buy a brand new $10K bike, the whole shifting the gear experience sucks, and the first thing I got to do when I get home is to take the whole shift link apart because Kawasaki forgot to grease it up. Assuming that is the issue per your claim here.



I was told there was nothing wrong with my bike, it was me that just didn’t have the correct shifting technique 🙄



Very encouraging solution and method👍

The rest of the post is just blah blah blah you the super hero helping others as long as no one dear to identify a problem with something you hold dearly, that is of no use to anyone here or elsewhere.

By the way those who do the good for the common good, do not argue or get offended by stuff like this, done claim their years of service any where like an authority that everyone has to bow to, and doesn’t tap themselves in the back for how good they are.

The real heros are like a ghost, they show up, fix the problem and disappears without making any noise about themselves how great they are and how much they know.

Next time just let the good actions do the speaking.

Just because you got the mechanics skills to fix stuff and got lucky with two perfect Versys doesn’t mean everyone has the same luck.

I just spent $7K on a Versys with a clunker gear box, that is my reality no matter what you think of me or how good your Versys can shift.

And from the looks of it, I am not the first one or the last one experiencing the same dilemma and coming here to confirm this is an issue with this particular bike.
One thing, this is a used bike, if it ever went over, say the kickstand wasn't down properly, and the shifter hit something solid. No amount of lube or adjustment will fix it. It needs to come apart--one question, after spending $7000, usually even used bikes from a dealer have warranty, and a quick check on another ride by you would confirm your bike has a problem. There are posts on this forum where the rider had a minor crash and asked for help.
A old thread where the shift fork was damaged;

One suggestion-it is free Write your best with Grammarly.

Also there is a column called Dear Abby https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwi886Cypeb1AhWRk2oFHTZyARMQFnoECBUQAQ&url=https://www.uexpress.com/life/dearabby&usg=AOvVaw3LWmlTFdY_y7zW2dV0mKJN
Also to dare Dare definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

The time you spent composing this post --well it is enlightening. One thing, I don't give up, but at some point it becomes obvious I am not helping, like others, I know what it is to be frustrated, and have appreciated the help of others.

Well I got some wiring to do-see ya
 
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