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I have a 2006 Mean Streak 1600 with 5,000 miles and now I am having problems getting it into 1st gear, I have no problems shifting up or down just going from neutral to 1st. any ideas?
 

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Nobody Home
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I would bet this is after sitting wih the clutch pulled in. You have to let the clutch out enough that it drags a bit and starts the transmission input shaft spinning so the gear dogs can align and engage.
 

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2x the bike for 1/2 the $
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You just have to be smarter than the transmission. ;)

..what good ol' BillyBobby said is pretty much correct. Just start letting the clutch out a little bit and you'll be able to get first.
 

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VN 900 Classtom
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if the two first post above don't work then it could be as simple as adjusting the clutch cable (took me about 2 minutes on my 900). Also it may still need more time to complete the engine breakdown. 5000 miles on a nearly four yr old bike is nothing so putting some miles may help too.
 

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I have a 2006 Mean Streak 1600 with 5,000 miles and now I am having problems getting it into 1st gear, I have no problems shifting up or down just going from neutral to 1st. any ideas?
Never had that problem with mine thankfully. If I find myself stopped and idling for a while in neutral...I just pull the clutch and kick it into 1st gear. I don't have to kick it hard but I don't baby it either.
 

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I know this is a very old thread but I was having the same problems and this is the only thread I could find about my issue. I found the problem so in case someone else has the same issue I thought I'd post what I found. The rod that goes from the shifter lever to the transmission was bent. It's almost impossible to see unless you take the left cover off the engine. I ordered a new one and am gong to weld a strip or 2 of steel along it to stiffen it up so it doesn't happen again.
 

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Nobody Home
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Xaxxas;2668801 The rod that goes from the shifter lever to the transmission was bent. It's almost impossible to see unless you take the left cover off the engine. I ordered a new one and am gong to weld a strip or 2 of steel along it to stiffen it up....[/QUOTE said:
Just an observation. That doesn't happen in "normal" use. Someone crashed on the lever or likes to "stomp" on the lever thinking that will get it into gear.

Either way I'd much prefer the external rod bend than a shift fork...
 

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Oh, I agree, external is much better and cheaper than internal. I'm the second owner and haven't had the bike long. It almost looks like the previous owner adjusted the rod out for some reason. I'll take this as an easy fix and move on.
 

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Nobody Home
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I'm the second owner and haven't had the bike long. It almost looks like the previous owner adjusted the rod out for some reason.
People do weird things. Install the rod so you have good thread engagement then adjust the lever on its' splined shaft so you're as close as possible to the position you like and then "fine tune" with the rod. The dots on the shaft and shift lever are just a "suggestion" to get you about in the right place... Enjoy your Mean Streak. I bought mine new in April '02 and still enjoy riding it...
 

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I know this is a very old thread but I was having the same problems and this is the only thread I could find about my issue. I found the problem so in case someone else has the same issue I thought I'd post what I found. The rod that goes from the shifter lever to the transmission was bent. It's almost impossible to see unless you take the left cover off the engine. I ordered a new one and am gong to weld a strip or 2 of steel along it to stiffen it up so it doesn't happen again.
Hello! I just acquired a 2006 vulcan 1600 and most of the time it will not go into 1st gear? Sometimes, if I heel shift up from neutral to 2nd while I'm rolling it will grab 1st but if I am sitting forget it almost never will it grab 1st. That being said I am a novice, at best, motorcycle mechanic. I can turn a wrench but have never, besides changing plugs and oil have I really worked on a bike so I was hoping maybe you could give me some advice and pointers about that rod you said that you replaced. I realize that this is 5 years old and hope that someone sees this I called the shop and they are out almost 3mos and I am in a small town in the middle of Montana so my options are extremely limited, thank you. Jeremy
 

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Have you tried the suggestion as made by BillyBobby?

"You have to let the clutch out enough that it drags a bit and starts the transmission input shaft spinning so the gear dogs can align and engage"

The tricky part is learning exactly how far to let out the clutch. You don't want a wild crashing of gears, but like BillyBobby says, you need to get the transmission shaft spinning. You could trip blipping the throttle and quickly letting the clutch out (while in neutral) and then as you pull the clutch in quickly, shift down into first. If you do this quickly the transmission shaft will still be spinning, but not under power so the engagement should be smoother and you don't have to learn to feather the clutch to an exact position.
 

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Oh yeah I was riding yesterday and was trying everything with the clutch. I am about to go back out and will try your suggestion. I thought if something was wrong with the linkage that it would give me problems with every gear not just 1st but like I said I don't know much about wrenching on bikes.
 
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