2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

Model:
2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

What I did:
Parked the bike behind my car, and then promptly backed into it the next day, knocking it over onto it's left side (go ahead and laugh, yes, it was stupid, and I even knew it was a bad idea to park it behind my car when I did it). I didn't see any visible damage at first.

What's wrong:
The bike no longer shifts into second gear. It'll shift into first, and then back into neutral. I noticed that the clutch cable was a little loose, so I tightened it up using the locknut near the handlebar. That doesn't appear to have anything to do with the shifting problem. The clutch appears to work, in that I can shift into first and then drive the motorcycle.

My suspicion:
I've read elsewhere that it's possible that I broke the shift lever shaft (runs from the external shift mechanism into the crankcase. However, when inspecting the external shift mechanism, nothing appears to be amiss.

My question:
If you had this problem, where would you look first? Is there any thing I should check visually or mechanically? Should I even bother checking the clutch, or does this sound like a transmission problem?

Thanks for any and all advice!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 01:16 PM
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

Gonna ask a somewhat obvious question, but is the bike running or moving while you try to shift? Kawasaki has the positive neutral lock that prevents you from shifting to second unless the bike is running and/or moving.

Are there any noticeable bends, kinks or anything else in the outside shift linkage? Possibly something obstructing the shifter from moving up far enough to engage second?

Other than that I am thinking maybe a bent shift fork or something inside the tranny. Weird that this would happen from a drop on the right side with the shifter being on the left and all. I could see a left side impact messing all sorts of stuff up.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

Yes, it was running. When I first noticed the problem I had pulled out of my driveway, so at that point it was moving. I will try it again after having adjusted the cable and see if it makes any difference.

(Thanks for the reply!)
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 01:21 PM
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

Sorry, I edited the above as you posted: Are there any noticeable bends, kinks or anything else in the outside shift linkage? Possibly something obstructing the shifter from moving up far enough to engage second? Try removing the shift linkage from the shaft going into the crankcase and make sure that your linkage moves freely and doesn't bind up anywhere. It could be that the linkage isn't able to move far enough to engage second.

Other than that I am thinking maybe a bent shift fork or something inside the tranny. Weird that this would happen from a drop on the right side with the shifter being on the left and all. I could see a left side impact messing all sorts of stuff up.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

My mistake, it WAS the left side (edited post to correct).

I don't see any visible bends in the shift linkage (I'm not particularly mechanically inclined, but I assume that you're referring to the external shift mechanism: ie, the pedal and the connected shift level shaft). I removed the shift pedal and moved it down a bit since at first I suspected that it was bent (lifting it up was pushing it against the roll bar). That didn't appear to help.

Does removing the shift linkage involve removing the engine and splitting the crankcase? If so that may more involved than I capable of handling; I might have to seek out a mechanic to do that. :/
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 01:56 PM
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

Looking at the parts diagram, the shift lever should attach to a splined shaft. On the other end of that shaft there should be a mechanism with a rod that goes towards the back of the bike. That will have some springs and such on it. These parts may be underneath the engine. It is possible that this rod is bent or that part of the mechanism is binding up and not allowing it to upshift properly. All of this should be on the outside of the bike though. If you can find the point where it does go into the crankcase and disconnect it from there (mark where it was positioned so you can position it in the same place) and then check to make sure it moves freely, you might find something in there that is either bent or binding up. That would be the best case. If all that is working fine, then you will likely have a problem inside the crankcase.

Vulcan 750 Shifter Lever Parts Diagram

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

stickboy, you, sir, are a genius. I just got back from trying to shift while moving (after having moved the pedal down a bit to compensate for it being bent) and it works fine. I guess the reason I couldn't shift when I drove was due to it being bent... and then after shifting it down I didn't try to shift into 2nd while it was moving. Now it appears to work fine.

Hopefully (*fingers crossed*) it won't give me any further problems. The gear shifting 'clunk' sounded normal, so I assume everything is a-ok. I'll take it for a longer test run later.

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 03:29 PM
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Re: 2004 Vulcan 750: Can't shift into 2nd gear

Excellent! Glad to hear you got it going again.

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