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When I am sitting still and shift from neutral to first there is a loud, deep and hollow sounding thud. Same thing from first to second, but sometimes even more pronounced. Doesn't make the same noise going through the rest of the gears. Just wanted to see if this is normal on the 2011 Versys? I just had my first service, and the shop didn't mention anything, but I thought I would double check.

This is my first bike and the only other motorcycle I have ridden is a 2010 Ninja 250, which was much quieter and smoother shifting.
 

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Yep First gear sometimes has a hell of a clunk. Never paid too much attention to second though.
 

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same here with the N to 1st clunk. Clunk gets more silent once the engine is warmed out, and oil temperature is at operating temps. Up shifting is smooth and silent. Engine oil type also plays a role in gear smoothness in the shifts. xW50 weighted oils probably has better gear shifts characteristic but the thick oil will make the engine less happy in the revs. Try a different type of oil the next time.

My current oil is about 1k km of use and is beginning to show signs of viscosity loss. Gears are a little more difficult to downshift when going slow, and sometimes i would hit a Neutral when upshifting.
 

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The gearbox on my wife's '03 Ninja 250 is way smoother than the one in our Versys. *sigh*
 

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It's clutch plates sticking a bit because of the oil. Pull clutch in and blip throttle, then engage first. The blip breaks the plates loose.
 

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I have an 09 Versys and it's the same, first gear sound Klunk, I have seen other bikes doing the same on 1st. gear, no matter the Make or size. I don't worry, seems normal.
 

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Keeping in mind that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing :guilty:.....

I once read an article in one of my motorcycle magazines why there is a "clunk" when shifting from neutral to first. Basically, ALL the gears on a bike are in constant motion. Each gear has "engagement dogs" - pieces of metal that stick out from each side of the gears that "catch" holes in each subsequent gear. First gear from neutral, second gear from first, and so on. The reason the "clunk" is more noticeable from neutral to first, is that in neutral, none of the gears are engaged, and the initial bite to first gear is more violent and shocking than when the bike is already in motion, shifting from first to second, etc....
 

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I've just came back from a ride with a couple of friends, one with a KTM SMT and I can say, I wouldn't complain about the Versys clunk after you've heard the SMT.
 

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How many miles on the 2011 yet? It does get much better as it breaks in more. Synthetic oil (JASO MA) helps as well... Leaving it in 1st gear at red lights is actually recommended, also to be ready to move ahead immediately if required. Make sure your clutch cable slack is minimal, and use the furthest confortable lever to handlebar setting on the numbered wheel. A fully disengaged clutch reduces strain on shift forks+shaft, and gear dogs.
You're actually coasting while clutching in to shift up, no matter how hard you were accelerating or how quickly you shift. No applied torque, no acceleration... Letting the rpm drop just enough to have it matched to selected gear when you engage the clutch (release clutch lever) while reopening throttle, results in a smoother shift and reduced clutch strain and wear.
 
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