Author Topic: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14  (Read 10323 times)

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Offline Wingman

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Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« on: October 29, 2013, 09:00:38 pm »
I've had the new mount for a little over a month now.  I'm still under warranty and have made plans with my local Kawasaki dealer to take the machine in for a "checkup".  Before I do that I want to be a little more intelligent in describing my main complaint.

  • sometimes the gear shift lever does not "rebound" properly.  If I am upshifting, even though it does not seem that I have any residual pressure on the lever, it seems that it has not been returned adequately to allow the next upshift.  This is frustrating when you attempt to upshift and it is blocked. 
  • neutral is often difficult to find – I compare this to my 08 gold wing and it is much harder
  • I don't seem to have a good system for making rapid and smooth upshifts.  Engage the clutch – shift the gear – roll on the throttle but by the time I roll on the throttle engine RPMs have dropped off and the upshift is not smooth

It's not like I don't know how to shift – I can get on my wing and make very nice, smooth shifts.  On the Concours it's sometimes okay but it just seems that it's real easy to make a shift that is less than smooth.  I wonder if there is a gear shift adjustment that will fix the first problems and maybe it even has something to do with my last problem above.

Offline gPink

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 09:11:06 pm »
Some of what you're describing sounds like a bit of lag time with throttle inputs. Have you considered adjusting most of the freeplay out of the throttle cables?

Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 10:09:43 pm »
  Just to toss this out there. Is it possible that the lever is resting on your toe and not fully retracting to grab the next gear when you want? Just a thought but if this is possible, maybe adjusting the shift lever up just a little. I have had this happen when using different boots where it would do just like I described. It makes you concentrate on lowering my toe when it happens.

Offline mattchewn

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 10:16:42 pm »
  Just to toss this out there. Is it possible that the lever is resting on your toe and not fully retracting to grab the next gear when you want? Just a thought but if this is possible, maybe adjusting the shift lever up just a little. I have had this happen when using different boots where it would do just like I described. It makes you concentrate on lowering my toe when it happens.
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Offline x9rider

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 10:26:42 pm »
I've had the new mount for a little over a month now.  I'm still under warranty and have made plans with my local Kawasaki dealer to take the machine in for a "checkup".  Before I do that I want to be a little more intelligent in describing my main complaint.

  • sometimes the gear shift lever does not "rebound" properly.  If I am upshifting, even though it does not seem that I have any residual pressure on the lever, it seems that it has not been returned adequately to allow the next upshift.  This is frustrating when you attempt to upshift and it is blocked. 
  • neutral is often difficult to find – I compare this to my 08 gold wing and it is much harder
  • I don't seem to have a good system for making rapid and smooth upshifts.  Engage the clutch – shift the gear – roll on the throttle but by the time I roll on the throttle engine RPMs have dropped off and the upshift is not smooth


It's not like I don't know how to shift – I can get on my wing and make very nice, smooth shifts.  On the Concours it's sometimes okay but it just seems that it's real easy to make a shift that is less than smooth.  I wonder if there is a gear shift adjustment that will fix the first problems and maybe it even has something to do with my last problem above.

I have some thoughts:
1) get your clutch system checked. There could be air in the lines, or it could not have been bled properly, etc.
2) different bike, different shifting. The Wing is made for guys who have one foot in the grave already, so it HAS to be easy. :)

3) Shift like you mean it. Sounds like you are taking too long, not aggressive enough on the shift.

In summary, the wing is made for "old" people.  :-\ It should be different than the C14. Time to get more aggressive with your shifts.....and definitely get your clutch system checked, sounds like something is not right there.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 10:31:18 pm by x9rider »
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Offline LakeTrax

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 10:29:35 pm »
When my C14 was new, it had a bunch of slack in the throttle cables and the shifter was too high. Especially for downshifts-

Start by adjusting those components would be my suggestion, then see how it feels(shifts).

Transmissions on new bikes always feel stiffer than used bikes as well... Once the oil has been changed a time or two & all of the moving parts have "bedded in", I think you will notice a big difference in the shifting action. :great:

Offline Nomadicfireman

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 10:33:58 pm »
Best way to tell if yours is acting up is ride someone elses. It's helped me several times with questions i've had.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 12:20:32 pm by TimR »
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Offline TimR

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 10:34:40 pm »
Neutral is almost too easy to find on my 14. I know shifting the 14 is not as smooth as it is on my old Z1 and is something I work on when the wife complains. Changing to synthetic oil helped smooth shifting a bunch.

Shift lever rebound has not been a problem either. First I would check to see if it's something like Bob suggested. If not, I would let the service writer know about the shifting/rebound problem and maybe a tech can figure it out. HTHs TimR
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Offline BDF

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 10:50:25 pm »
It sounds like 1) you are not completing the shift, hence the shifter mechanism is not returned for the next shift and 2) you have [not smooth] shifting overall.

As others have already said, first of all adjust the throttle cables. New bikes come through with a lot of slack in the throttle cables because they cannot take the chance on them binding but it makes it almost impossible to roll the throttle on at the correct time when shifting. I prefer my throttle cables with absolutely no slack in them but that is not the recommended method but at least taking what most of us seem to think is excessive slack out of the cables will help.

And as others have said as well, try adjusting the shifter lever. Loosen both nuts (easy boys!) on the turnbuckle (the long hex thingy between the two nuts on the shifter linkage) and turn the turnbuckle to adjust the height of the lever. Tighten both nuts when done. Please note that one thread is right hand and the other is left hand so 'righty tighty, lefty loosey' does not work on both nuts; the nut with the notches in it is a left hand nut and will loosen the 'wrong' way. Most people seem to need the shifter lever moved down but try it in different positions until you find what works for you- it is easy enough to carry a 10 mm wrench in a pocket to make a couple of quick adjustments when out riding.

I think an OldWing shifts easier than most motorcycles and so is probably a tough comparison; a C-14 may never shift as easily as that Honda.

Brian

I've had the new mount for a little over a month now.  I'm still under warranty and have made plans with my local Kawasaki dealer to take the machine in for a "checkup".  Before I do that I want to be a little more intelligent in describing my main complaint.

  • sometimes the gear shift lever does not "rebound" properly.  If I am upshifting, even though it does not seem that I have any residual pressure on the lever, it seems that it has not been returned adequately to allow the next upshift.  This is frustrating when you attempt to upshift and it is blocked. 
  • neutral is often difficult to find – I compare this to my 08 gold wing and it is much harder
  • I don't seem to have a good system for making rapid and smooth upshifts.  Engage the clutch – shift the gear – roll on the throttle but by the time I roll on the throttle engine RPMs have dropped off and the upshift is not smooth

It's not like I don't know how to shift – I can get on my wing and make very nice, smooth shifts.  On the Concours it's sometimes okay but it just seems that it's real easy to make a shift that is less than smooth.  I wonder if there is a gear shift adjustment that will fix the first problems and maybe it even has something to do with my last problem above.
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Offline xDaveManx

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 11:11:38 pm »
I had the exact same clunky shifting problem.

Know how I solved it?  Adjusted out ALL slack from the throttle and stopped shifting like I was on a grocery run.  You cannot, absolutely cannot, roll all the way off the throttle between shifts.  My usual shift procedure was to open my palm a bit and let the throttle snap back, then roll the throttle back on.  Now I just rotate the grip forward a bit but not all the way and "speed shift."

You won't believe how much it changes the shifting.  The Connie likes it, it really does.  I thought something was wrong with my bike, but you just have to be aggressive and shift higher in the RPM range as well.
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Offline Nomadicfireman

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 01:28:24 am »
Haha. My post accidentally got deleted by someone else. No worries. I agree with all the above and would just add that what helped me with a lot of questions I had is to ride another C14. Made me feel a lot better about problems I thought I was having but wasn't. Now I just ride the snot out of it. 54000 miles in 3 years all over the US. I love this bike.
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Offline SkyWalker

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 02:12:41 am »
I've had the new mount for a little over a month now.  I'm still under warranty and have made plans with my local Kawasaki dealer to take the machine in for a "checkup".  Before I do that I want to be a little more intelligent in describing my main complaint.

  • sometimes the gear shift lever does not "rebound" properly.  If I am upshifting, even though it does not seem that I have any residual pressure on the lever, it seems that it has not been returned adequately to allow the next upshift.  This is frustrating when you attempt to upshift and it is blocked. 
  • neutral is often difficult to find – I compare this to my 08 gold wing and it is much harder
  • I don't seem to have a good system for making rapid and smooth upshifts.  Engage the clutch – shift the gear – roll on the throttle but by the time I roll on the throttle engine RPMs have dropped off and the upshift is not smooth

It's not like I don't know how to shift – I can get on my wing and make very nice, smooth shifts.  On the Concours it's sometimes okay but it just seems that it's real easy to make a shift that is less than smooth.  I wonder if there is a gear shift adjustment that will fix the first problems and maybe it even has something to do with my last problem above.


Go  _ _ _less! :cheer:

Seriously, I mean go clutchless! see http://forum.cog-online.org/index.php/topic,47079.0.html

C14 is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a ZX-14 with touring amenities. If the Wing can be shifted like low RPM machine (ie like a car) the C14 demands a more committed method that still leads to smooth power transition between gears, shift it like you stole it. Try to baby it too much and the shift drum may end up between two gear positions with possible gear jumping out, flase neutrals and/or shifter ratchet not resetting for the next gear.

Oh also, proper ergo adjustments is a must; I'm 6'1" and both of my foot controls had to be adjusted down so I could use them properly and with dexterity.

Neutral Finder: do you search for neutral once stopped? C14 has positive neutral finder; once stopped shift to 1st then one up and voilà , neutral. C14 will not shift from 1st to 2nd once stopped, it will only shift from 1st to neutral.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 02:45:16 am by SkyWalker »

Offline uhoh

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 04:42:31 am »
Changing to synthetic oil helped smooth shifting a bunch.

after 5 months of ownership I put in Kawa full synthetic 10W-40 and the bike just loved shifting thru this stuff.   

Just $.02  -  also a 2011 model, btw.
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Offline RoadRocket

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 09:34:58 am »
+1 on changing to Synthetic and adjusting shift level. BIG DIFFERENCE!!  :beerchug:
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Offline Wingman

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 12:18:29 pm »
I have some thoughts:
1) get your clutch system checked. There could be air in the lines, or it could not have been bled properly, etc.
2) different bike, different shifting. The Wing is made for guys who have one foot in the grave already, so it HAS to be easy. :)

3) Shift like you mean it. Sounds like you are taking too long, not aggressive enough on the shift.

In summary, the wing is made for "old" people.  :-\ It should be different than the C14. Time to get more aggressive with your shifts.....and definitely get your clutch system checked, sounds like something is not right there.


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Offline Wingman

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2013, 12:35:21 pm »
Lots of really good input here.  I'm already there with the synthetic oil - recently changed out for the Mobil 1 racing motorcycle oil.  I'm going to do that dealer service and ask them to adjust the clutch, throttle and gear shift as per observations above (I'll print out all the suggestions and give to them).

Finally, I do take the point about "shift like you mean it".  I have a light foot on the accelerator in my minivan (I can see all the eyes rolling and equivalences made between Wing and minivan as I write this).  I ride the Connie to the gym and around town and am probably guilty of low rpm non aggressive riding habits in this environment.  I'll just have to pound some espresso and get a little more edgy.  I have noticed that when I hammer a little harder and speed shift things are more satisfying.  Probably babying things too much and it sounds like I'm being assured that it really wants to be spanked a little.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2013, 03:43:27 pm »
I had the exact same clunky shifting problem.

Know how I solved it?  Adjusted out ALL slack from the throttle and stopped shifting like I was on a grocery run.  You cannot, absolutely cannot, roll all the way off the throttle between shifts.  My usual shift procedure was to open my palm a bit and let the throttle snap back, then roll the throttle back on.  Now I just rotate the grip forward a bit but not all the way and "speed shift."

You won't believe how much it changes the shifting.  The Connie likes it, it really does.  I thought something was wrong with my bike, but you just have to be aggressive and shift higher in the RPM range as well.

IMO, there's the key, right there above. I never roll off the throttle completely between shifts.  :motonoises:

Offline Andrew

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2013, 04:48:13 pm »


Go  _ _ _less! :cheer:

Seriously, I mean go clutchless! see http://forum.cog-online.org/index.php/topic,47079.0.html

C14 is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a ZX-14 with touring amenities. If the Wing can be shifted like low RPM machine (ie like a car) the C14 demands a more committed method that still leads to smooth power transition between gears, shift it like you stole it. Try to baby it too much and the shift drum may end up between two gear positions with possible gear jumping out, flase neutrals and/or shifter ratchet not resetting for the next gear.

Oh also, proper ergo adjustments is a must; I'm 6'1" and both of my foot controls had to be adjusted down so I could use them properly and with dexterity.

Neutral Finder: do you search for neutral once stopped? C14 has positive neutral finder; once stopped shift to 1st then one up and voilà , neutral. C14 will not shift from 1st to 2nd once stopped, it will only shift from 1st to neutral.


I have seen this said before many times.  I know mine will shift into second from first while stopped.  I also have seen it said that you can't shift from second into neutral, but mine does that as well.  Not that it is an issue, but it makes me wonder if something is messed up in my transmission.

Offline TimR

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2013, 05:18:56 pm »
Quote
I ride the Connie to the gym and around town and am probably guilty of low rpm non aggressive riding habits in this environment.

I ride my 14 around town which has a top speed limit of 25 and in some places down to 20 mph. I don't seem to have trouble shifting it since going to synthetic.

I also changed brake fluid all around using a MityVac. I can't say for sure if it helped the clutch, but it sure made a huge difference on the brake lever which I didn't think was all that bad to start with.   
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Offline Gumby

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2013, 06:57:14 pm »
Best way to tell if yours is acting up is ride someone elses. It's helped me several times with questions i've had.
Every time I do this it just makes me want to go buy a set of Ohlins.  :truce:


Offline mattchewn

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2013, 07:03:01 pm »
Andrew,
There is a centrifugal lockout mechanism built into the Connie transmission that is designed to block shifting into 2nd gear when stopped. If yours is not working it could / DOES mean there is something wrong in the trans.  They are ALL built this way.
Matt
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Offline Gumby

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2013, 07:19:28 pm »
Andrew,
There is a centrifugal lockout mechanism built into the Connie transmission that is designed to block shifting into 2nd gear when stopped. If yours is not working it could / DOES mean there is something wrong in the trans.  They are ALL built this way.
Matt
I had to go downstairs and try this on my Connie, because I know I've pulled away from a stop sign in second gear. It appears I must of already been in second, because you are correct Matt sitting at a stop I am unable to shift it into second. :allhail:

Learn something everyday.  :beerchug:

Offline mattchewn

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2013, 07:24:28 pm »
Gumby,
FINALLY! a little respect around here!!! :)) :)) :)) :))

Matt
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Offline Racerboy

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2013, 01:42:34 am »
There is another thread about clutchless shifting right now. I do that, and my C14 shifts great.

Offline mattchewn

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Re: Shifting difficulties with my 2011 C 14
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2013, 03:35:03 am »
There is another thread about clutchless shifting right now. I do that, and my C14 shifts great.
+1
Matt
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