Shifter problem - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-12-2014, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Shifter problem

Hi all,
I'm a newbie to both this site and motorcycle riding itself. I just finished a two-week trip around "The Loop" of Washington's Olympic Mountains on a 2003 KLR 650. I ran into an intermittent problem: After the motor had anywhere from two hours to ten to cool down, I would start a ride unable to shift from first to second. I'd hammer back down into first and try again, and by the third or fourth try it was shifting normally. Shorter breaks didn't seem to be a problem. I'd appreciate any thoughts. Bike ran great otherwise.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-12-2014, 11:16 PM
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Sounds like a bent shifter fork from someone beating it into gear (not you necessarily). As the tranny heats up a shifter fork that is bend to begin with could warp far enough to not properly engage the gear dogs. Frankly, you shouldn't need to "hammer" a shifter that is a last gasp to get home with damage, tranny or clutch. I'd change the oil, filter, and drive it like a little old lady and see if it shifts nice when being babied. If that turns out OK, you and minimal tranny damage, but will still require open surgery, but less broken/bent bits.

John

Farkled probably WAY too much, but good 20' footer for sure. '96 KLR, '06 HD VROD, (girl friend hauler), '05 HD Electra-Glide, heh it's a HD and I'm old now ;-) and I'm proud of riding a 800+ pound bike at my age :-)
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2014, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. On the advice of a seasoned rider I changed the oil/filter when the problem turned up. I replaced the clutch cable recently. It snapped overnight, not on the road. Could it be involved? It feels fine to me. I was also carrying a fair load of gear on this trip. You can see the bike on my blog: nomadsam46.wordpress.com

Last edited by SuddenSam; 08-13-2014 at 01:43 AM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2014, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuddenSam View Post
I replaced the clutch cable recently. It snapped overnight, not on the road. Could it be involved?
Motorcycles have trouble shifting when the clutch drags. They can also have trouble shifting when the oil is cool -- that cool oil is around the plates of the clutch.

When you replaced the clutch cable, it will likely stretch a little during the first day or so of use.

Make sure the clutch is disengaging fully. With the transmission in gear and the oil cold, pull in the clutch and see if you can push the bike. Often it takes a pretty good shove to free the clutch plates. Try this with the engine in gear but warm oil and you should be able to freely push the bike around. There should be no more effort than pushing the bike in neutral.

It COULD be a shift fork, but since you changed the clutch cable recently I'd look at that first.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-16-2014, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Grinnin, thanks for the reply. I tried your tests and was able to push the bike cold -- it did take a bit of effort, as you suggested it would -- and with oil warm as well. It only happened once yesterday, after a five-minute warm up.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-16-2014, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Grinnin, R_Fr_US,
I think I've got the problem whipped. I went back and inspected my clutch cable right at the clutch lever and discovered it had vibrated out of position. I retightened the adjustment nut and the keeper and it worked perfectly. Thanks again for your help.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-17-2014, 07:30 PM
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Glad you got it worked out.
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