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re

as far as i know they all do that going down to first-mine does it and always has,and so do a couple of others i ride with-never seem to hurt anything
it don't really grind but its a pretty good clunk!
 

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My '03 has always done that. The best way I've found to minimize it is to be forceful, don't baby it. When shifting gears be crisp with the foot. The grind goes away and you get a good clunk. Like bike said, hasn't seemed to hurt anything.


R.B.
 

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Make sure you are not at high revs when you down shift also. And you might try going to synthetic oil if your past 3 or 4 thousand miles.

Mine used to make a little noise but it did not grind. It would not go into 1st though if I came to a stop before downshifting.
 

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BK,Mine has some grind going from 1st to 2nd,but from 2nd thru 5th it is pretty smooth! This is a 03 1500 Classic I'm talking about. This is up shifting,but it down shifts real easy. There are no adjustments to make(i don't think)so i guess I'll just live with it! So maybe they all have their own little grinding or clunky places at different gear changes!!! See ya,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I received several replies to my question of downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear on the vulcan 800 classic that there was a slight grind. Many thanks but what are the thoughts on possible clutch adjustments, and or cable adjustments.

Black Knight
 

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VN800 Gear changing

I've had my VN800 classic for 6 weeks now and I must admit that the only thing that spoils the bike is the CLUNKY gear change. I mentioned this to the dealer when I took it in for service and he said it will get better in time. Changing up or down presents me with a LOUD CLUNK except sometimes if I change up very early it is not too bad. Time will tell. How does the VN 800 gearchange compare to other bikes in the range?
 

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i think you'll find its really the nature of the beast
alot like the fact that the kawis have a noisey valvetrain also
these things you will get used to
i don't know of any adjustment that will remove the clunk into 1st other than
a firm foot on the downshift,H/D's do the same thing
now if its just not engaging 1st and grinding then you got a problem,but it will grind a little if your foot is too light on the shifter-shift with authority and
see what happens
 

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The clunk your hearing is pretty much normal. The HD's are alot worse. It's just the nature of the beast. After you get a few mile's on it you can switch to synthedic oil an it will definitely make it shift smoother. Don't ask what type of syn. oil though ,you'll get 20 different opinion's an won't know anymore about which brand to chose.<LOL>
 

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Here's the fix get yourself a good set of aftermarket pipes then you will never hear it again. :)
 

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Mangler said:
Here's the fix get yourself a good set of aftermarket pipes then you will never hear it again. :)
there you go, why didn't i think of that one !!!!
 

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first gear and choppy shifts

I own a vulcan classic 800b. You really shouldnt be downshifting to first unless your going to stop either at a light or stop sign or other reason and then you put it in first just before the bike comes to a stop or to neutral and put it in first before you take off. the input shaft of the transmission is spinning too fast at 30 MPH to engage such a small gear without grinding or clunking. I never go to first till the bike is at least down to 5 miles per hour. Theres no reason to go to first at 10 mph, stay in second.
As far as choppy shifts on a vulcan 800, the front sprocket is a 17 tooth. The gearing is just a little too low. Remember this bike is a sport/cruiser. Ever hear how the engine screams when going 60mph? change the front sprocket to an 18 tooth. What a difference in shifting. No more getting seasick. And 60 MPH sounds more like a crusier. It brings the rpms down by about 400 and it dosnt change the takeoff from a light or dead stop. It brings the bike from a sport/crusier to a CRUISER. Like a new bike. Go to www.sprocketspecialists.com
 

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Knightrider....I agree with you about shifting into first when nearly stopped. Just seems to make sense and will keep things working correctly longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Knightrider said:
I own a vulcan classic 800b. You really shouldnt be downshifting to first unless your going to stop either at a light or stop sign or other reason and then you put it in first just before the bike comes to a stop or to neutral and put it in first before you take off. the input shaft of the transmission is spinning too fast at 30 MPH to engage such a small gear without grinding or clunking. I never go to first till the bike is at least down to 5 miles per hour. Theres no reason to go to first at 10 mph, stay in second.
As far as choppy shifts on a vulcan 800, the front sprocket is a 17 tooth. The gearing is just a little too low. Remember this bike is a sport/cruiser. Ever hear how the engine screams when going 60mph? change the front sprocket to an 18 tooth. What a difference in shifting. No more getting seasick. And 60 MPH sounds more like a crusier. It brings the rpms down by about 400 and it dosnt change the takeoff from a light or dead stop. It brings the bike from a sport/crusier to a CRUISER. Like a new bike. Go to www.sprocketspecialists.com
Knightrider
Thank you for the advice information about the downshift problem. I did adjust the clutch cable which corrected the problem. My next sevice will be at 3k mi and will have my mechanics adjust to specificatons.
The information about the front sprocket is much appreciated also.

Many Thanks aka Black Knight
 

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I've never had problems shifting down, but then again i don't get into first until I've come to a stop or just rolling to the line. I have noticed tho that my first to second shift sometimes requires a harder jolt than 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 4th....anyway it isn't every time just sometimes it takes a second kick....I just make sure I'm heavy on my heal for the 1st-2nd shift now.
 

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Spok
i have the same problem occassionally. if i don't have a heavy foot for the upshift to 2nd, it will sometimes not fully engage. easy fix, like you said, just heavy foot that shift. all the others are fine. i will also jump on board with not shifting into first unless i come to a complete stop. there really isn't a need for it. even if i come to a stop sign and do a slow roll, i will sometimes just leave it in second.
 

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Shifting Gripes

The one thing I noticed about Kawasaki bikes after I first purchased mine is the ease of shifting compared to the older bikes I have owned. They do shift very smooth. Sometimes we get too relaxed and forget we are on a motorcycle and get lazy when shifting. I have felt first to second pop out once in a while. Its not the bikes fault, its mine. I just get too used to the rest of the shifts being so easy. First to second in a car or truck is the most difficult gear out of all the others. I guess its just that first is so low and second takes a bigger bite. I ride with front pegs. If you have floor boards, we get even lazyer. LOL
 
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