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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I looked all over but I couldn't find this issue anywhere else on the site so here it is:

Recently I have had trouble shifting gears on my 98' Vulcan. It generally happens when I am downshifting pretty fast when I hit a red light- most of the time it's in between 2nd and 3rd gear. I will pull in the clutch and press down and the gear shift pedal but won't go down immediately like it used to. I have to press down on it sometimes 2 or 3 times to get down to first gear at a red light.

I barely have any issues shifting up and down at higher speeds on the highway. I thought it might just needed some maintenance, so I just cleaned and applied some chain wax to the chain but the issue still persists in the lower gears. Do I need to get a new chain? Or does it just need to be adjusted?

Also it is an O-ring chain if that could be some type of factor. The rear sprocket still looks like it has a decent amount of life left. Thanks in advance.
 

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Hey everyone,

I looked all over but I couldn't find this issue anywhere else on the site so here it is:

Recently I have had trouble shifting gears on my 98' Vulcan. It generally happens when I am downshifting pretty fast when I hit a red light- most of the time it's in between 2nd and 3rd gear. I will pull in the clutch and press down and the gear shift pedal but won't go down immediately like it used to. I have to press down on it sometimes 2 or 3 times to get down to first gear at a red light.

I barely have any issues shifting up and down at higher speeds on the highway. I thought it might just needed some maintenance, so I just cleaned and applied some chain wax to the chain but the issue still persists in the lower gears. Do I need to get a new chain? Or does it just need to be adjusted?

Also it is an O-ring chain if that could be some type of factor. The rear sprocket still looks like it has a decent amount of life left. Thanks in advance.
I doubt the chain is to blame. I would first suspect clutch lever adjustment is off.
 

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Shifting.

Be sure you are completely moving your foot / boot off the shifter after every shift, up or down. If you are: What Jack said.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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I know that on my Virago I had that problem. Only, in order for the first gear to engage, I had to roll my bike forward about 3 inches and then I would feel the gears mesh. I would advise the same that Jack did as well. I can't think that there would be much more you could do with it.
 

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I would check a few things. Make sure its not past due for an oil change, and check oil level. Make sure that the chain is not overly tight as well. It wouldn't be a bad idea to inspect the chain and sprockets to make sure they are not too worn. Both sprockets. If you replace the chain or a sprocket, change the chain and both sprockets.

My bike did some weird things when shifting when I first got it. No one believed me when I told them that something wasn't right even when I made them ride it. I had someone who had the same bike ride it and found the problem. Bad chain and sprockets!!! I'm not sure if that's the cause of your problem tho.

I always engage the clutch a little bit between gears when downshifting even if i'm stopped.

No one knows the feel of your bike better than you do. If It doesn't feel right, don't let anyone tell you that its nothing. I had 4 or more people tell me that what I was feeling was just part of the normal mechanical process of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the responses!

I readjusted the the middle of the 3 areas you could adjust the clutch, and I turned the bolt upwards. It seems to switch gears a lot smoother now, but it's still not perfect (might want to turn it that bolt up even more) so I think that was the main problem.

I had the oil changed earlier in November and have put only about 1000 miles on it, so I don't think the oil is a factor. The sprockets also looks in good condition.

The chain does feel a little tight though, I am going to look into seeing in that could be a factor as well.
 

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My XV1000 does that for a little while after I first get it back out after Winter. It will shift up fine but doesn't want to downshift, especially between 1st and 3rd (my 2nd gear has always been blown). It always goes away after awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Sigma,

Is there anything you do to try and make the chain run smoother, or just let it do its thing? I have noticed that my chain has more difficulty shift gears when I first start riding, and they switch easier once I have been riding for around 15 to 20 minutes
 

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Lots of good advice here already, so just one additional comment on my part.........you didn't mention if you checked the condition of the FRONT sprocket. I'd do that as well.

Otherwise, the cable adjustment is right to check, and chain tension.

-soupy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Soupy! I didn't even think to check out the front sprocket. I'm going to look into that today:71baldboy:
 

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Just on principle, if I was going to change out one sprocket, I change them both as a set. Last year I changed both, AND the chain, together.

-Soupy
 
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