Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the forum. Just bought a 97 1500 vulcan. The shifter lever was broke but i fixed that problem. I got it to shift into 1st and 2nd with the bike off. But now it wont shift out of neutral at all not into 1st or 2nd. Does anyone know what i have to do to fix it? is there anything i can look for to see if it needs a new tranny or not? and how hard would that be to change out? Thanks
 

·
Extreme Gizmologist
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
I'm interested in the problem also. I've got a '99 1500 Drifter, only 12K miles on it, which gets stuck in neutral quite regularly. Sometimes it seems to jump out of 1st or 2nd into neutral or it happens when you intentionally go to neutral. Once this happens, you can't kick it into 1st or 2nd and it feels like the shifter isn't connected to anything. When it does work, you get the classic thunk of the trans dropping into gear. I've noticed that a hot engine (say after 100 miles of riding) seems to make this problem extremely likely to occur, but it often occurs with a cold engine.

I've had one other person mention that it might be a clutch problem, but I don't see how this could seemingly disconnect the shifter from the trans. Problems with the positive neutral finder or the shift dogs I could understand. If I stay in 2-5th gears, there is no problem.
 

·
TV Guru
Joined
·
11,773 Posts
I've had one other person mention that it might be a clutch problem, but I don't see how this could seemingly disconnect the shifter from the trans. Problems with the positive neutral finder or the shift dogs I could understand. If I stay in 2-5th gears, there is no problem.
I'm not an expert, but here's my theory:

First, the job of the clutch is, in fact, to disconnect the transmission from the engine. When it does this, it allows you to match up the gears during the shift since you can't do it while it's spinning under load with the engine. An out of adjustment clutch could be lifting the gear a bit and the natural tendency of a Kawasaki transmission is to want to go from 1st to neutral if there is no load on the shifter (i.e., your toe pushing it up). That's why the positive neutral finder works.

Add to that, 1st is a small gear and they get bigger as they go up. Smaller means little teeth and bigger means bigger teeth. It's easier to jump off a gear with little teeth because they don't mesh as deeply. Plus, that little gear has to turn much faster relative to the larger, higher ones. As a result, you have a lot of ideal conditions for it to "jump the tracks" with a little play in the clutch.

On the opposite extreme (which is what I think the OP is experiencing), is a clutch that doesn't fully engage - or engage at all. When the bike is off and nothing is spinning, you can thunk it into the lower gears. With everything spinning, the gear just bounces unless you really jam it in and potentially grind it.
 

·
don'tknowhowtopostpics
Joined
·
366 Posts
First, The gears in a motorcycle transmission are always in contact with each other. The ratios are changed by sliding dogs that determine which gear combination is connecting the input shaft to the output shaft.

Next, the "positive neutral finder" is a set of three ball bearings that sit in divots on the shaft or in the inside of the gear. At rest, at least one will be halfway between the shaft and gear, blocking its movement. When the gears are turning, centrifugal force pulls the balls out of the way, allowing the gear to move.

If I had to guess, I would say mkelly's problem is a worn dog.

I would guess greenbelaire's problem is related to whatever broke the shift lever. It probably also bent some stuff inside the tranny, causing binding.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top