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Bike is 2006 Ninja EX-650R all stock. 16,900 miles currently.

Hey bought this ninja back at the end of March, and have put 1500 miles on it. Changed the oil and oil filter, had it looked over by a mechanic when I bought it. He said it was in good condition and should last quite a while as it'd been kept in good shape and maintenance. Put new PP2 Michelins on about 550 miles ago.

Recently when up shifting usually any where from 4th to 6th the bike will either drop into the gear below or drop out of gear for a moment until i let of the throttle then drop back into gear. Usually happens when just starting out on a ride and doesn't happen except once when warmed up. My guess is that one of the shifting forks is bent slightly, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what it may be.

I need to do the 15,000 mile regular maintenance and checks still.

Any ideas as to what the cause of this could be. I've been using less and less engine braking to slow any effects or further deterioration of the problem.

Thanks!
 

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i would attempt to adjust to clutch lever/cable and see if that helps any. however this seems like a transmission issue, if the bike seem to fall into and out of gear its going to be some sort of gear-dog/shiftfork/shift star issue. without being able to look at the transmission its really have to diagnose as it could be any of these causing the bike to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah that's what I'm thinking it is. I had an old Exciter 185 that had a bent fork and it acted similar, however it was much worse due to a much more bent fork. Thanks though!
 

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Is it possible to drop out of gear (e.g. 5th gear drops to neutral -- or neutral-like thingy)? I thought our bikes have sequential gearboxes. Maybe the (gear) dogs ran away to catch the cat -- which would explain the cat hair in Zandit's oil pan. :)
 

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Have you changed footwear lately ? New or different boots ?
Maybe the external shifter just needs a little adjustment.......hope.

Something similar to what you describe can be caused by not releasing the shifter back down far enough on the previous shift.
 

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Have you changed footwear lately ? New or different boots ?
Maybe the external shifter just needs a little adjustment.......hope.

Something similar to what you describe can be caused by not releasing the shifter back down far enough on the previous shift.
+1
there is a difference ( at least personally ) depending on what I have on my feet... riding boots, work boots or sneakers ( flame away ). Every Kawi I have had also preferred to be deliberately shifted VS being lazy.
Hopefully something as simple as that
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It doesn't seem to matter what footgear I wear. Does it when wearing my boots, and even when just vans. The deliberate shifting might help it a bit, I'll give that a try. At the very least if there is a problem it'll reduce wear of the bike. Nice bike BTW RS117, looks pretty sleek.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is it possible to drop out of gear (e.g. 5th gear drops to neutral -- or neutral-like thingy)? I thought our bikes have sequential gearboxes. Maybe the (gear) dogs ran away to catch the cat -- which would explain the cat hair in Zandit's oil pan. :)
It doesn't drop to neutral, usually just out of gear temporarily then comes back in, sometimes to the correct gear but usually the one I was coming from. This causes already higher RPMs to inch closer to peaking, which isn't fun coming into a corner. Thankfully hasn't dropped gears yet in a corner, but would prefer to fix it before that does happen.
 

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This causes already higher RPMs to inch closer to peaking, which isn't fun coming into a corner.
Let me get this straight:
You are approaching a corner, have the engine rev'ing up near the red line and are trying to shift UP a gear ????
Something about that just doesn't sound right.

But it is especially important to shift firmly if you are riding at high RPMs.
A little pre-load pressure on the shifter might help too.
 

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It doesn't drop to neutral, usually just out of gear temporarily then comes back in, sometimes to the correct gear but usually the one I was coming from. This causes already higher RPMs to inch closer to peaking, which isn't fun coming into a corner. Thankfully hasn't dropped gears yet in a corner, but would prefer to fix it before that does happen.
THAT is dangerous. Our bikes don't have slipper clutches. Your rear tire could slip when gear accidentally drops (RPM spikes), and could throw you high side. Yep, do get that shifter fixed asap. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Let me get this straight:
You are approaching a corner, have the engine rev'ing up near the red line and are trying to shift UP a gear ????
Something about that just doesn't sound right.

But it is especially important to shift firmly if you are riding at high RPMs.
A little pre-load pressure on the shifter might help too.
I'm Approaching a corner at about 7-8,000 (not a very fast bike) which is still a ways away from red line. Then I use my brakes, downshift and use engine braking, then enter the corner around 4-5,000 RPMs, releasing all breaks and opening and increasing throttle as I go around the turn. However, with whats been happening sometimes it drops too a much lower gear, over revving engine unexpectedly, but hasn't happened in a turn yet. Usually this happens with enough distance that I can fix the problem and get back to my desired RPMs before I get to a corner.

However that scenario has only happened twice, usually the bike does this when coming out of a corner while increasing RPMs and up shifting. Usually as I up shift anywhere between 4th and 6th, and usually around 8-10,000 RPMs, which when it drops into a lower gear while accelerating causes is to increase to 11-13,000 RPMs. My concern is that this could expand out to other gears causing a drop in gears while in a turn which would unexpectedly and suddenly cause an increase my RPMs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
THAT is dangerous. Our bikes don't have slipper clutches. Your rear tire could slip when gear accidentally drops (RPM spikes), and could throw you high side. Yep, do get that shifter fixed asap. :)

Exactly my thoughts. That's why I'm not liking it.
 

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THAT is dangerous.
Indeed it is.
But now that he has tried to better explain what is happening, I am more confused.

I've done that a few times over my riding experience and it has NEVER been the bike's fault but always has been a mental error on my part of shifting down when I really wanted UP.

I just don't see any way in hell that it could actually go DOWN a gear when trying to shift UP.......unless it's pilot error.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Indeed it is.
But now that he has tried to better explain what is happening, I am more confused.

I've done that a few times over my riding experience and it has NEVER been the bike's fault but always has been a mental error on my part of shifting down when I really wanted UP.

I just don't see any way in hell that it could actually go DOWN a gear when trying to shift UP.......unless it's pilot error.
It's dropping out of gear and shifting down when it comes back in. My foot isn't on the shift lever, my hand isn't on the clutch. I'm accelerating in a straight line (e.g. 5th gear), increasing RPMs. At that point the the bike drops out of gear, RPMs start to spike, so I let off the throttle. This lowers RPMs, and with out touching the clutch or shifting lever, the bike drops back into a lower gear (e.g. 4th gear) at which point as it's now in a lower gear RPMs increase yet again. The effect is similar to normal engine braking except I'm accelerating and going up in gears as RPMs increase.

e.g. 4th RPMs up, 5th, RPMs up, still accelerating, drops out of gear, reduce throttle, drops back into gear, spike in RPMs due to it being a lower gear. So I guess if you want to get specific it's after having shifted from e.g. 4th to 5th gear, and is in gear RPMs increasing, that it drops out without any rider input other than throttle being open. However it happens usually quite soon after having shifted up, (when the clutch is fully out, and foot is off the lever) leading to the generalized description of "drops out of gear or down a gear when up-shifting".

Hope this helps.

Thanks!
 

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Easy, I think the transmission downshifts on its own (for reasons still unknown) -- and at speed, that's dangerous. :)

On my Sentra (manual transmission), when in 4th gear it downshifted into neutral on its own. Had it serviced under warranty and my service advisor told me the problem was the synchroniser(?) thingy. Never had the problem since. BUT for our bikes with sequential boxes, 4th gear will not downshift into neutral -- instead it will downshift into 3rd gear. Not good. Sorry bro, can't offer you a solution but I do suggest you bring it to the stealership for a checkup.

EDIT: I might be able to help you after all. Things to check: (a) it is possible that the shift mechanism return spring is broken (part no 92145-0703) which a loose gear shift pedal is a telltale sign or; (b) the gear positioning cam (part no 1345-0020) is worn out. See pic below. If so, a bad bump here or there while riding could cause the shift drum to wiggle/rotate and get the gear to downshift. Makes sense?

ac_ShiftDrum.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Easy, I think the transmission downshifts on its own (for reasons still unknown) -- and at speed, that's dangerous. :)

Things to check: (a) it is possible that the shift mechanism return spring is broken (part no 92145-0703) which a loose gear shift pedal is a telltale sign or; (b) the gear positioning cam (part no 1345-0020) is worn out. See pic below. If so, a bad bump here or there while riding could cause the shift drum to wiggle/rotate and get the gear to downshift. Makes sense?

View attachment 86377
Yeah looking at the parts diagram and from what you've said that actually makes a bit more sense. That's still basically a rebuild because might as well while you're in there replacing things. It does seem likely that there is some wear on the teeth there starting to effect the shifting. Being purposeful on shifting should help, and using break pads instead of engine braking should help too. Time to start saving up and getting ready to have it fixed though in the approaching future for sure.

Thanks BlueSentra!
 

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Yeah looking at the parts diagram and from what you've said that actually makes a bit more sense. That's still basically a rebuild because might as well while you're in there replacing things. It does seem likely that there is some wear on the teeth there starting to effect the shifting. Being purposeful on shifting should help, and using break pads instead of engine braking should help too. Time to start saving up and getting ready to have it fixed though in the approaching future for sure.

Thanks BlueSentra!
I would only ride if you're testing a repair or taking it in for service. Every time it's changing gears you might be damaging trans parts like hellonearth said. If you find it's that spring. Just replace it and give it a test ride. If it fixes it, my recommendation is not to do anything else. If it doesn't fix it and your trans needs rebuilt that's a whole another situation mainly from a financial perspective.

I imagine you have an 06 partly because financial reasons. Does it make sense to put $4k into a bike that not work $3k? Even if there's damaged trans parts, a motor with 15k miles doesn't need rebuilt. Be fine just to disassemble and reassemble to fix the trans. I'd be more inclined to find a used motor/trans to put into it than fix anything.

you could buy something like this for trans parts if you're a DIYer... be a fun project to work on!

2006 06 Kawasaki Ninja EX650A EX650 EX 650 650R Engine Motor Parts Only | eBay
 

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Have you changed footwear lately ? New or different boots ?
l
Steel toed boots do not affect shifting. You can shift in steel toed boots, riding boots, running shoes, flip flops, bare foot, you can superman and shiftusing your hand. You can upshift with or without clutch and it barely affects the transmission (I have two motorcycles with 40k miles each that I never use clutch to upshift to prove it).
I don't have problems with steel toe either. I ride with riding boots but I wear steal toes (military) and when I am too lazy to take my uniform off I ride in steel toes. It definitely feels different (less feel/sensitivity) but has never affected me being able to shift. The first time it felt strange but no I don't notice anything really.
EasyRider this was a good question. But OlympusRacing and Kojiro said that footwear doesn't affect shifting. Maybe I misunderstood but I'm really sure steel toed boots are footwear. So if someone switched from or to steel toed boots, it wouldn't matter according to them. Now, I know there's a difference between my steel toed boots and my TCX boots as far as shifting. It's definitely easier to shift with my TCX boots.
 

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EasyRider this was a good question. But OlympusRacing and Kojiro said that footwear doesn't affect shifting. Maybe I misunderstood but I'm really sure steel toed boots are footwear. So if someone switched from or to steel toed boots, it wouldn't matter according to them. Now, I know there's a difference between my steel toed boots and my TCX boots as far as shifting. It's definitely easier to shift with my TCX boots.
Shifting in steel toes or my Alpinestars requires the same amount of force, the lever moves exactly the same distance. Nothing changes there. The shift doesnt get harder or easier based on the boot I wear. It definitely feels different though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Shifting in steel toes or my Alpinestars requires the same amount of force, the lever moves exactly the same distance. Nothing changes there. The shift doesnt get harder or easier based on the boot I wear. It definitely feels different though.
Vic.Thing wouldn't it be cheaper then just to take apart the trans, replace the worn or broken parts and put it back together? Also this has only started happening in the last week, been fine up until then.

Yes you're right I did buy it because frankly, I'm broke. It was this or a 2001 ZX-6E that wasn't as well cared for.

Something I just thought of is I've been trying a different method of shifting, wondering if that could have affected it by any chance. Before I was pulling in the clutch, shifting, and then letting out the clutch soft and slow. However after getting some advice and researching a bit I decided to try pulling in the clutch, shifting, and then letting it out immediately while using throttle up or down depending on shifting direction. It's allowed for quicker and smoother shifting at critical points, however thats when this problem started appearing.
 
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