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Discussion Starter #1
I ride a legendary Kawasaki Drifter 1500 :) . If if stop in second or third gear at a traffic light or stop sign, I will have a difficult time shifting to first. I have to try shifting gear several times to get it to the first. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong:confused: ? I have been riding for three years and about 15,000 miles.
 

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Ed Scott - Old-Time Biker
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No Drifter in my garage, unfortunately. I always downshift before stopping, though, so no real info for ya. I've accidentally left it in second at lights a few times and it has no problem going from there. I'd just say get it going in 3rd and downshift soon as you're stable... but maybe get it looked at. On my little dual sport I can't downshift at a stop sometimes and if I just bump the clutch, then it will downshift fine.
 

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My 1500 Nomad is pretty much the same. Don't stop in second or third; bring it all the way down to first, then slip it into neutral and let the clutch out right before you stop. This is not alway possible, so if you have to stop in a higher gear, try to get it into first. If it doesn't seem to want to shift, let the clutch out slightly and tap the shifter. Experiment with it. It takes a "touch", you'll find it with experience.
 

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Line rider
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Motorcycle transmissions don't like shifting if the bike isn't moving or the motor isn't under a load. Next time you're stopped and trying to get down to first try letting the clutch out a little, do not apply throttle. As you let the clutch out try pressing down a gear, it should click. Just don't let the clutch out all the way. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My 1500 Nomad is pretty much the same. Don't stop in second or third; bring it all the way down to first, then slip it into neutral and let the clutch out right before you stop. This is not alway possible, so if you have to stop in a higher gear, try to get it into first. If it doesn't seem to want to shift, let the clutch out slightly and tap the shifter. Experiment with it. It takes a "touch", you'll find it with experience.
I am careful not to stop in any gear except the first, but you know it sometime happens and it is embarssing after the light has turn green but you are still standing there in front of everybody trying to get the bike moving again. I kinda figured that this must be a common thing with Vulcan 1500 transmission or something. Thanks for you comment.
 

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2x the bike for 1/2 the $
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I believe this can be common with most bike transmissions. I'm not at all very familiar with motorcycle trannys, but from what i'm aware, order for the shift plate or whatever to move through each gear, that gears dog teeth have to line up with the slots on the shift plate. Normally the gears are spinning when you're moving, so that allows them connect easily. If you're stopped with the clutch in, the gears are not spinning, and so if the dog teeth are not aligned with the slots on the shift plate, you will not be able to shift. If you let the clutch out a little bit (or just roll the bike forward or backward), as mentioned by others, it starts turning the gears so the dogs n' slots can align, at which point you're able to shift.

I might be completely wrong, but i think it works something like that. :lol:
 

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I believe this can be common with most bike transmissions. I'm not at all very familiar with motorcycle trannys, but from what i'm aware, order for the shift plate or whatever to move through each gear, that gears dog teeth have to line up with the slots on the shift plate. Normally the gears are spinning when you're moving, so that allows them connect easily. If you're stopped with the clutch in, the gears are not spinning, and so if the dog teeth are not aligned with the slots on the shift plate, you will not be able to shift. If you let the clutch out a little bit (or just roll the bike forward or backward), as mentioned by others, it starts turning the gears so the dogs n' slots can align, at which point you're able to shift.

I might be completely wrong, but i think it works something like that. :lol:
Every bike I've owned is just like this. Just ease the clutch out a little until you feel the engine pull a little bit, pull the clutch back in and shift. Repeating for each gear shifted makes it a lot easier.
 

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What reason would anyone have for stopping in 2nd or 3rd gear?
If someone forgets to downshift completely, or if they had to stop abruptley trying to avoid an accident, they will find themselves in 4th or 5th gear cuz they were probably to focused on getting to safe place.

Just my guesses
 

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I have an '06 1500 Classic. I've always had to drop mine into 1st before the bike has stopped. I learned when it was new that if I waited until it was stopped to put it in 1st it would pop into neutral. Just the nature of the beast.

windman
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, as suggested here, playing with the clutch a little worked for me. I stopped in second or third and pulled the clutch half way and then all the way helped shifting to the first gear without generating any ugly noise.
 

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just cruzin by!
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why would you not downshift all the way??? Anyway when Im going to stop I pull the clutch in and downshift all the way to first then brake.Only going maybe 5 mph.I have never stopped while the bike is in 2nd or 3rd gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
why would you not downshift all the way??? Anyway when Im going to stop I pull the clutch in and downshift all the way to first then brake.Only going maybe 5 mph.I have never stopped while the bike is in 2nd or 3rd gear.
I do not habitually stop in second or third gears. On rare occasions, maybe 1% of the stops, due to say quick stop, or for forgetfulness, I have found myself in a gear other than the first at a stop. The question was asked to find out whether there was a problem with my bike, or this is a common occurance, and secondly how to shift back to the first gear.
 

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Nobody Home
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The question was asked to find out whether there was a problem with my bike, or this is a common occurance, and secondly how to shift back to the first gear.
No problem with the bike, it's a characteristic of the type transmission bikes have. GreenDragon had it pretty right, it's a "dog type" transmission. One or both of the transmission shafts have to be turning so the gear dogs can align and allow the gears to slide, engaging the dogs. Easing out the clutch enough that it drags and turns the input shaft does the trick when you're stopped. FWIW the Nascar Sprint cup cars have gone to this type transmission because it's more compact, simpler, and allows clutchless shifts.
 
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