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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there forum, Just took the KLR for a nice evening ride only to run into major issues with shifting. I'm hoping to get some feedback and see if anyone else has had this experience. Bike is a 2022 KLR Adventure ABS, bought it new about four months ago (0 miles), has just under 4K miles on it now. I installed an IMS extended shift lever about a month or two ago. Below is the description of the problem:

About a week ago while riding around town I noticed that occasionally the bike would 'refuse' to shift into second, with it staying in neutral instead of shifting into second. This initially only occurred in one off occasions at first sporadically then becoming more frequent about once a ride every other ride or so. This continued gradually over the last week until tonight I go to ride to the grocery store and about four blocks from home the bike starts to refuse to go into second, and continues to refuse. So, I go back into first let the clutch out speed back up and try again and continued neutral, no second. I let clutch out while in neutral then pull it back in and go to try for second and it grinds a little then back into neutral. The bike kept wanting to stay in neutral rather than going into second, occasionally it would shift into second like usual, but this was the very occasional minority occurrence. Occasionally I could force into second by holding the shifter up until I could hear it engage, but it acted like it didn't like it lol. I'm concerned that it seems to be consistently getting worse.

At first I chalked it up to poor form, then as it kept happening began paying attention to how I shift into second attempting to be consistent as possible, the problem still progressed.

So, anybody else with a 2022 have this issue? Any speculation that might point me in a direction?
 

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You have a few options.

1. Shift harder with passion and make sure you're fully clutching.

2. Take to the dealer and have them address it since it's still under warranty

3. Tinker with the clutch cable and disks to see what's going on. May not hurt to check and change the oil.

I would go with number 2 just because it's such a new bike. A dog may be broken, better for the dealership to find that problem than you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You have a few options.

1. Shift harder with passion and make sure you're fully clutching.

2. Take to the dealer and have them address it since it's still under warranty

3. Tinker with the clutch cable and disks to see what's going on. May not hurt to check and change the oil.

I would go with number 2 just because it's such a new bike. A dog may be broken, better for the dealership to find that problem than you.
Thanks for the suggestions, I have tried #1, (I have a Ural with Russian gearing, so I'm familiar with the need for shifting with passion lol) unfortunately - same results.
I did check all fluids, everything was in order, oil looks good.
And yea, I'll probably go with #2, but just want to try and avoid it as much as possible. I'm not all that thrilled with our dealership here so the idea of dropping her off with them for an undetermined amount of time is :sick:.

I'm also curious if anyone else has had any shifting trouble with the new model.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Is there a chance that your newly installed shift lever has skipped some teeth over time due to it being just a little loose? I'd check there first - be sure to line the lever up with the small dot on the engine case.
I'm planning to take a look tomorrow. If that was the culprit wouldn't it effect shifting in other gears as well?

I'll be taking an up close look at the shift lever tomorrow, and maybe throwing the stock one back on to see if it produces any changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To add to the mystery... one of first times it refused to go into second and got stuck in neutral I pulled into a parking lot and the bike smelt quite hot. Ran into the vet clinic to get my pets supplies and a few minutes later came back out and loaded the bike, and checked the oil. Oil was fine, bike didn't smell hot anymore, so rode home and it shifted like normal that time. That was one week ago. Of course the 2022's don't have a temp gauge so not sure what the temp actually was, may of been coincidence - or even another vehicle nearby, but seemed fishy.
 

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I see your bike has 4,000mi on it.
When was the last time you changed the engine oil?

As previously mentioned, make sure your IMS shift lever is properly installed & tight. A loose shifter can cause all sorts of wonky crap.
If all that checks out, time to bring it to your local dealership for potential warranty work…
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I see your bike has 4,000mi on it.
When was the last time you changed the engine oil?

As previously mentioned, make sure your IMS shift lever is properly installed & tight. A loose shifter can cause all sorts of wonky crap.
If all that checks out, time to bring it to your local dealership for potential warranty work…
Exact current mileage is 3677. Previous oil/filter changes were at 1565, and 489.

I know oil degradation can impact shifting, I've experienced that in my Honda, but this seems to be a different experience in that it seems to struggle specifically with 2nd, it did better shifting into 3rd and 4th.

I will check the shifter to ensure goodness-of-fit in the morning. Its supposed to be rainy/snowy mix here tomorrow - so that should be a fun time to test out not having second gear! But hey, it is an 'adventure' bike right? lol
 

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this isn't that uncommon of a problem with people who have had a drop on that side or who have replaced or messed around with the shift levers position.

make sure the new shifter you installed is not hitting the engine case preventing it from being able to rise high enough to complete the shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
this isn't that uncommon of a problem with people who have had a drop on that side or who have replaced or messed around with the shift levers position.

make sure the new shifter you installed is not hitting the engine case preventing it from being able to rise high enough to complete the shift.

Thanks for the response, I checked to make sure the shift lever isn't hitting the case, it has clearance and has no interference for making the shift. I will be checking the shift lever to see if its changed position or loose, but wouldn't that effect all shifts and not just one gear? It seems like this trouble has been localized to shifting from 1st to 2nd only.
 

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first to second has to pass neutral and has a larger throw than the rest of the gears.

maybe sit on the bike and do a couple of shifts while a friend watches for contact. could be the lever hitting or even your boot hitting something, extended lever likely means you got big feet / boots.

do you know about preloading the shifter?

maybe not relevant as it sounds like you don't have the throw to complete the shift. some people have a hard time getting their upshifts smooth, especially first to second. applying a little up pressure to the shifter before you clutch will result in smoother shifts and no more accidental neutrals.
 

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When checking, are you on the side pushing up on the lever and making sure it goes full range of motion on the lever?
Also as a4twenty says, get that clutch right, some bikes have a tricky clutch that needs adjusting to get the gears spot on.
Have you tried taking off the extended shifter and putting on the original? same fault?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
do you know about preloading the shifter?

maybe not relevant as it sounds like you don't have the throw to complete the shift.
Yes, it doesn't seem to make a difference - I'm hoping its the throw and that adjusting the lever will do the trick.

Have you tried taking off the extended shifter and putting on the original? same fault?
I will be doing this today, seems like the best place to start diagnosing.

Change the oil and lube the chain.
Ride it and quit worrying it’s a KLR.
Oil only has 2k miles on it, but yes I will be changing it after I assess the shift lever to see what effect that might have. Chain is clean and lubed. And I would love to ride it, but kind of a shitty experience not having second gear. Riding 1st to 3rd on a KLR is a pain in the f*ckin ass. It doesn't even make it fun or interesting when it rejects the gear - the Ural rejects gears and misses shifts any time your not kicking the shit out of it (Russian gears work best when abused) but at least its fun, keeps you guessing and when it misses you get to kick it harder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I was able to take a closer look at the shift lever, and sure enough the little bugger had moved a tooth or two upward. It was enough movement to cause it to hit on the sprocket cover, but only when shifting from 1 to 2, other gears cleared just fine. I moved it back to stock position using the dot on the case as reference and it is able to shift into 2nd. It didn't appear to be a clearance issue at first as it had clearance from the case, where it was hitting the sprocket cover was further in after the first bend in the lever. I'm surprised that it was able to move like that in just a months worth of daily use.

I don't think I have owned a bike with less clearance for adjusting the shift lever than this one, there is almost no ability to reposition the shift lever, and my boot simply doesn't fit under the stock one. Even with the extended lever I am still mostly shifting with the side of my toe. Weird design.

Anyway thanks for the responses, it helped me not get to far ahead of myself.
 

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I gained some additional throw after installing lowering footpegs, and moved my shifter down 1 tooth, IIRC. My 6’4” frame and size 13 boots appreciated the extra room in riding position and shift lever position.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I gained some additional throw after installing lowering footpegs, and moved my shifter down 1 tooth, IIRC. My 6’4” frame and size 13 boots appreciated the extra room in riding position and shift lever position.
Yea it sounds like that is really the only way to create room to adjust the shift lever throw up or down, much more complicated than all my other bikes.
 

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Well I guess that I don't really need to suggest that your gear pedal was mounted to high or was possibly loose on the splines, allowing contact with the aluminum speedo sensor mount during the attempted upshift. You found that.

I will say three other things though,
#1, A gear pedal can't skip splines on its own, unless extremely loose. And if it does skip it will skip both directions.

#2, One can NOT shift 99% of motorcycle transmissions from 1st to 3rd. They have to go into & out of second gear to get to the gear above or below. Maybe on some old hand-shift models one could skip gears?

#3, To @a4twenty,
All pedal throws are identical. The Neutral detent is perfectly centered between 1st & 2nd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Well I guess that I don't really need to suggest that your gear pedal was mounted to high or was possibly loose on the splines, allowing contact with the aluminum speedo sensor mount during the attempted upshift. You found that.

I will say three other things though,
#1, A gear pedal can't skip splines on its own, unless extremely loose. And if it does skip it will skip both directions.

#2, One can NOT shift 99% of motorcycle transmissions from 1st to 3rd. They have to go into & out of second gear to get to the gear above or below. Maybe on some old hand-shift models one could skip gears?

#3, To @a4twenty,
All pedal throws are identical. The Neutral detent is perfectly centered between 1st & 2nd.
#1 was the mystery of the entire thing, as I was able to shift into second just fine for a month, then it gradually got worse over a week or two. Doesn't make sense to me, upon investigation I found that the second bend of the shift lever (closest in to the bike) was hitting the cover of the front sprocket (that's a speedo sensor mount?) but only when going from 1st to 2nd, and even then just barely. The only thing I could think of that would produce those symptoms is gradual slippage over time, which doesn't make sense for this component.

#2, sounds like you've never ridden a Ural lol. Referring to going from 1st to 3rd on a standard motorcycle (not a Ural) the process I'm referring to is upshift from 1 to 2, rejected into N, clutch, rev, hold shifter up to force bike into 2 (takes time), then shift into 3, 4, 5. When I could force it into 2nd and shift up, it shifted into 3rd and 4th just fine. Producing the odd experience of refusing 2nd but seeming to have no trouble shifting into 3rd and 4th.

#3, makes #1 even weirder - as other gears cleared but it would barely hit attempting to go to second.

So in conclusion, I don't exactly know how I produced that experience. I'm sure it was user error combined with the idiotic layout Kawasaki created for this shift lever. It was probably mounted to high to begin with, as I was trying to make clearance for my boot to be able to actually get under the pedal, but who knows why it presented gradually over time the way it did. I'm just glad it doesn't have to go in for warranty work... yet.
 
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