Question about 2005 kawasaki EN 500 Vulcan

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Difficult to downshift into lower gears. bike has 4200 miles

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  • Master
  • 1,978 Answers

I only hope you have not damaged a shift drum or bent a shift fork. My 2009 has never downshifted well unless I am moving. If I coast to a stop and down shift at the light , I often have to double clutch to get back to neutral. If you ride in hot weather and that is where you are experiencing the problem, you may just be using the wrong oil. Use only JASO MA certfied motorcycle oil. Do not use car oil or any oil that says Energy Conserving , it will shorten the life of the wet clutch and transmission gears. You may want to try a full synthetic oil , it will help the bike run cooler and shift easier.

Posted on Oct 01, 2010

Testimonial: "thank you. I am using the bike in hot weather, and it is just as you say...must double clutch when slowing down. I will change the oil as suggested."

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  • kawasaki Master
  • 283 Answers

HI,

all the way, it might be harder to get into neutral. Look to the instrument panel for a neutral indicator light, which is usually green in color. If you're overshooting neutral and going into first gear (which is a very common), use the edge of your boot so you don't apply too much pressure to the shifter... with enough practice, you'll get a feel for how to find neutral without even thinking about it!Q: How can I shift more smoothly?
A: The most effective way to shift smoothly is to pay attention to your bike's behavior: if your motorcycle jerks while you're letting out the clutch, you're probably doing too abrupt with your left hand. If you're lurching ahead during shifts, you might be applying too much throttle. And if your motorcycle slows down during shifts, you might not be revving the engine enough between gear changes, which will allow the engine to actually slow down the bike. Smooth shifting is all about paying attention to the way the clutch, the throttle, and the gear selector interact, and orchestrating the three with each other. Q: How do I slow down for a red light or a stop sign?
A: Because each gear operates within a certain range of speeds, you'll need to downshift if you end up going too slow for the gear you've selected. Let's say you're cruising along at 50 mph in 5th gear and need to come to a complete stop: the proper way to slow down is to downshift as you decelerate, selecting a lower gear and letting out the clutch while feathering the throttle to match revs. Doing so will not only allow you to use engine braking to help slow down, it will enable you to accelerate again if a light changes or if traffic conditions change and a stop is no longer necessary. If you come to a complete stop, it's best to shift into neutral, hold the brake, and only shift into 1st gear just before you're ready to go.
Q: What happens if I stall?
A: Don't worry if you stall out your motorcycle, but take immediate steps to start your bike up and get moving; staying stationary when traffic accelerates around you is dangerous, so you'll want to pull the clutch, start up the bike, shift into first, and get moving as soon as possible.
Q: Is it OK to skip gears?
A: If you wish to rev higher but skip a gear, doing so will result in roughly the same rate of acceleration (though each gear change will take longer.) Though this may not be the smoothest way to ride, doing so can sometimes save gas if it's done efficiently.
Q: Should I leave the motorcycle in gear when I park it?
A: It's OK to leave your motorcycle in neutral when you're parked on level ground, but if you're parking at an incline, leaving it in gear (preferably 1st) will keep it from rolling off its side stand or center stand.

Posted on Aug 24, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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This sounds like a slightly bent shift fork. The problem will only get worse. I don't advise the home mechanic attempt this repair. Please rate my answer. tombones49_194.gif

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yes drain the oil down to the correct level,
if he could not tell what the specs where how did he now they where within spec?,
if they are too loose then the would be a noise,...
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The motor comes out of the bike then turned upside down for removal of the bottom case. The clutch, shift shaft, flywheel, electrics, gears and gear shafts gotta come out so you can get to the bad fork. There's much more but the idea is that you are better off having the shop do the repair unless you have experience, are extremely mechanically inclined, and have the tools. The bad news is that a shop is going to charge around $1200 to $1500 for the repair. Some shop mechanics also repair bikes at home. If you find one, you can save $200 to $400 or so. Sorry to be the one to give you the bad news. The diagram below shows how a shift fork moves a slider gear left and right to engage different gears. A bent fork will not fully engage a gear.

A “very helpful” rating on this answer? Thanks!

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