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I've got just under 5,000 miles on my Versys now and it runs like hell. I put new Dunlop Roadsmart Sport Touring tires on it at 4,500 miles. The stock back tire was shot but the front still had some tread on it. I put about 200 miles on it today mostly highway at 75 to 80 mph. My only gripe about the bike is the ruff shifting in 1st and 2nd gear. I've had Yamahas all my life and this is my first Kawasaki. It is by far the worst shifting motorcycle I've ever owned. In 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th no problem, but 1st and 2nd drive me nuts. Are all the Versys like this or just mine. I've adjusted the clutch play on the handlebars a couple of times now but it doesn't make any difference. The bike has been like this since I bought it. I'm use to smooth shifting motorcycles.
 

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This is why I love forums.......I was being paranoid about the 1-2 notchyness as well. Thanks guys.
After a couple of oil changes (now using synthetic) mine seems to have smoothed out. But, when I'm sitting still and go from neutral to first, there's still a 'clunk'.

meh.
 

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I have had to get use to paying attention that I have went from 1st to 2nd. Several times I have shifted up into nuetral, catching it, reving it, then into second almost throwing myself off the bike. I am sure that comedy has ensued on several occasions within the cages around me.
 

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New member here. I don't own one yet, but it is in my future. Currently I own a Honda ST1100 and it too has had a problem with the "clunk" on shifting into first. I've heard one explanation that the oil friction between the clutch plates causes it. I've noticed that when I hold the clutch in for a longer period of time prior to shifting into first, that the problem was mostly eliminated.

Have you noticed that the clunking gets better once the clutch is held in longer?

Red
 

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I've only noticed any trouble downshifting to first if you go from a sixth-gear speed to a stop without dropping through the gears as the bike decelerates. As the bike slows, if I notch down, even without using the clutch, I never have a problem.

On the other hand, if I don't downshift as the bike is decelerating, and wait for it to come to a complete stop in sixth or fifth gear, it is difficult to get back down into first without letting the clutch grab a bit between gears (or other tricks like rocking the bike forward and back, etc...).

I think the only reason I noticed this was when practicing emergency braking, otherwise it's not noticeable.
 

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When I downshift without clutching each gear seems clunky. I wonder if a slipper clutch would make a difference or if they are actually worth the money. I am not too familiar with those. So I would definitely like some input.
 

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I think the trick for downshifting is the bike has to be in motion (drive train). I think with the engine in motion the gearbox can move through the gears. I've had the same problem of downshifting sitting still missing gears. But if I downshift while in motion I don't have problems changing gears.
 

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After putting up with the Rotax motor in my F650Cs and the rough transmission, this transmission seems fine on my bike. The F650Cs had a horrible clunk going into first and finding neutral was a hit or miss affair, sometimes I just gave up and turned the bike off instead.
 

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My Tranny.

I get that clunck from N to 1st and 1st to 2nd sometimes as well. It is not really bad though, nothing I would worry about, and yes holding the clutch in for a bit longer seems to help with those transitions. The other things I've noticed are... if I just give it a little baby pop up going up from 1st then it will slip into neutral (even in motion). This is not so much an issue, because I know the bike and defenitly do know how much pressure I need to put on the shifter for that to happen. Lastly, Like previous posters had said, If I don't down shift coming into a stop... for example if I stop but am still in 6th gear, then it is tricky downshifting it again. Sometimes I have to let the clutch out a bit to catch... though not always.
 

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Also

a bit off topic but... shifting without clutching! I can run up and down all the gears this way on the V, however... what is this really for? I've heard a lot of riders speak of it, but is there any point to it? I mean I guess it would save the clutch a bit... but is this the only reasoning?:confused:
 

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I just wish it would stay in 2nd no matter what once engaged. I had it pop out yet AGAIN yesterday, and this time I wasn't on the throttle hard and it happened after being in gear for several seconds and making it quite a ways in 2nd gear before popping into N. Weird. I admit, I probably didn't kick it up fully and or hard enough, but having owned several Yamahas, a Husky and ridden some Hondas I've never had any issues with their gear boxes. It's the one sore spot of the V. Not that it's THAT bad, but it could certainly be better. I find it easier to shift other bikes w/o the clutch compared to the V, but it's no big deal and I'm learning how to sync the revs just so with the throttle.
 

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Kaw, BMW and Harley all need to take a lesson from Triumph on gearboxes!! My new Scrambler is very smooth!!!
 

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I just wish it would stay in 2nd no matter what once engaged. I had it pop out yet AGAIN yesterday, and this time I wasn't on the throttle hard and it happened after being in gear for several seconds and making it quite a ways in 2nd gear before popping into N. Weird. I admit, I probably didn't kick it up fully and or hard enough, but having owned several Yamahas, a Husky and ridden some Hondas I've never had any issues with their gear boxes. It's the one sore spot of the V. Not that it's THAT bad, but it could certainly be better. I find it easier to shift other bikes w/o the clutch compared to the V, but it's no big deal and I'm learning how to sync the revs just so with the throttle.
It shouldn't do that and something is buggered up - make Kawasaki fix it.
 

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It shouldn't do that and something is buggered up - make Kawasaki fix it.
I don't think so. I've got 1700 miles and it's only happened 4 or 5 times, but this time was strange. I think if you half get it in gear by not pushing up all the way or firm enough, the bike will go, but it could pop back into N if you ease off the throttle, or nudge the lever ever so slightly. I'm fairly certain that a firmer shift into 2nd would have fully engaged the gear and I would have been OK. 2nd gear seems to have a long throw. I'm comfortable with the linkage setup, but maybe playing with the adjustment will cure the issue for me.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Versys, we're just discussing some of the little things that could be better. IMHO Yamaha's gearbox is smoother, syncs better for clutchless shifting etc, but it's such a small almost non-issue. Once I got used to the Kawasaki tranny, it's been 99% smooth sailing.

Luke
 
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