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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a Vulcan 1500, I was told about a shifting problem ( it grinds when shift from 1st to 2nd ), I took apart the engine, checked the gears , drum, etc. The only thing I found was the Return Spring bolt bended.
I replace the bolt, put everything back, and adjusted the shift linkage rod.
But still doing it, when I shift from 1st to 2nd it will grind, if I shift at 17 miles like Kawa. specified it will not grind but it is not enough speed for the 2nd gear, the higher shifting speed the worst it gets, to the point that it will jump to neutral.
If anybody has any info. please let me know.

Thanks.
 

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"Rode hard put away wet"
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same here....... doesnt jump out of gear.. but grinds like heck at higher speeds..
 

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I have the same problem. Change the oil and see if that helps. I can get it to stop shifting, or grinding if I shift it slow into second gear.
Hope this helps
 

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"Rode hard put away wet"
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I have the same problem. Change the oil and see if that helps. I can get it to stop shifting, or grinding if I shift it slow into second gear.
Hope this helps
Same,,,,, short shift it and it all well..... as long as I am not hauling a trailer with a big load.. sometime you need more revs...........
 

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Same bike, same problem. Two sided issue, clutch and trans.
Pulled mine down and after ONLY 19000 miles had to replace 1st and 2nd gear (updated now) shift fork. Have yet to ride so only hope it's fixed.
 

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Are these transmissions "synchronized"? If they are it almost sounds like the 1-2 gear synchro is bad.
 

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All of them do that. when i first got mine i was used to having to put my foot underneath the shifter and pulling it up to shift up. when i did that to shift to 2nd it always grinded. when i got used to using the shifter at the back of the floorboard (the part you stomp on to shift up. i dont know if theres a name for it) I noticed it still grinded a little but not as much. the trick is to stomp it real hard when shifting from 1st to 2nd. it will make a heavy "ka-thunk!" sound but shouldnt grind. Changing the oil doesn't change things. with this particular bike its just the nature of the beast.
 

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I have a 98 vn 1500 a and you discribed my concern exactly!

It has a stroke over bore engine making it very torquy. So I shift to 2nd early, and let it lug. If I run it up in first sometimes it doesnt make it to 2nd at all and find im in neutral.

Really like the ride of the vulcan esp. the torque and sound.
 

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I just went out and played around with shifting at different speeds. Mine shifts pretty nice at 20 mph. It grinds more as speed goes up in first gear.
 

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Thx, will try that, next change. Using Valvoline MC oil for wet sump clutch now.
I drained the carbs and added some seafoam to the gas, Running a little better under full throttle, but still sputters a little. Plenty fast for a cruiser any way. Not sure about spending a 100 + on carbs.
 

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I have the same problem with my 1998 of the same make and model. I did some research and there is actually a safety recall for the 1997 year of this bike for the transmission. I am extremely ****ed that Kawasaki doesn't extend that out to other years having the same effing problem. To take this thing in to have it fixed is well over $1500.
 

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I still short shift and lug it out. The wobble I had was steering head bearings, replaced them and all is fine. Also jetted. It runs great at climbing speeds and is now too rich at top end, Had it good at top end but too lean at the bottom. Went with the richer 116 jets, like the low rpm torque and shift sooner in the power curve. Don't need to be revving it so high.
 
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