By: Anonymous: Brown ()  Thursday, 22 September 2011 @ 05:46 PM ICT (Read 3330 times)  

I have an Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic with a good amount of kilometers on the clock. I bought it new and love it early but I'm worried that it might have a long-term health problem. The transmission makes a really loud clunk on the 1-2 shift. It has done this from the get-go. I've tried lots of stuff-shift fast shift slow, shift at low rpm, shift at higher rpm, preload the shifter before pulling the clutch – but alas, the same results: a really big clunk. I commute in city traffic, so I spend a lot of time shifting. Is this normal or am I need to start looking for a transmission surgeon?

The Kawasaki Thailand doesn't sell this model and doesn't want to service the bike.

By: Anonymous: SD ()  Thursday, 22 September 2011 @ 08:30 PM ICT  

Quote by: Brown

I have an Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic with a good amount of kilometers on the clock. I bought it new and love it early but I'm worried that it might have a long-term health problem. The transmission makes a really loud clunk on the 1-2 shift. It has done this from the get-go. I've tried lots of stuff-shift fast shift slow, shift at low rpm, shift at higher rpm, preload the shifter before pulling the clutch – but alas, the same results: a really big clunk. I commute in city traffic, so I spend a lot of time shifting. Is this normal or am I need to start looking for a transmission surgeon?

The Kawasaki Thailand doesn't sell this model and doesn't want to service the bike.




I believe you have answer your own question

A lot of city traffic commuting = A lot of gear changing

I believe you basically have used up the life span of the syncro rings and 1st to 2nd are generally the first to go

You don't say how many kms she has done but if more the 60,000 then my bet is on new syncro rings

+ maybe a new 1st and 2nd gear (if the hardfacing edges are worn off already)

The parts are cheap enough but the labour is a killer (full transmission pull down and rebuild

I do not know about the Vulcans models but has the 1600 got a different transmission than the Thai 900 models???

You could try looking for a low km used transmission (dropped bike etc) or post a parts wanted note on the Vulcan Forum

http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15

Cheers

SD

By: Flying Squirrel (offline)  Friday, 23 September 2011 @ 03:14 PM ICT  

It's warm here so go up one viscosity level on the transmission oil and at 1600 it should have lots of torque so avoid the problem by starting in second!

   

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By: ThaiDesign (offline)  Friday, 23 September 2011 @ 03:42 PM ICT  

It's hard to say anything without actually hearing the sound, but in all likelihood, there is nothing wrong with your Kawasaki Vulcan 1600's gearbox. All of Kawasaki's big cruisers tend to make a clunking noise during the first-to-second shift, as do the gearboxes on many other large-displacement V-twin cruisers.

These bikes generally have a large ratio gap between first and second, so there is a considerable difference in the speeds of the engaging gears as they come in contact with each other. What's more, big V-twins produce large torque pulses, as Flying Squirrel said, that are delivered only twice every 720 crankshaft degrees and at uneven intervals. So for durability their transmission gears tend to be rather large and heavy – much more so than those in, say, a typical 1000cc sportsbike inline-four, which makes more horsepower but a lot less torque delivered four times ever 720 degrees at even intervals.

When two gears spinning at considerably different speeds engage, one of them has to match the speed of the other almost instantly; if those gears are heavy, as they are in the aforementioned big V-Twins, that engagement result in a distinct 'clunk.' Many of these some motorcycle also emit similar sounds during shifts between other gears; but those gears are smaller, lighter and not subject to such large speed differentials, so the clunks are not as loud.

   

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