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Discussion Starter #1
Help! I'm really hoping this is just a "thing" I have to get used to, but it seems like there's always some crunchiness going into second. I have tried both clutched and clutchless upshifting/downshifting, and I think part of it is the way these transmissions are, but I usually get a few clacks shifting 1-2, unless I shift very gingerly. Are these bikes known to have any trans issues? I can't recall if there's a term for it but also during more rapid upchanges with less definitive let-up on upward pressure on the gearshift, I have noticed I'll have to let the trans slacken again before I can upshift or I get a "dead lever' (not a false neutral, it's going into gear). I never had this happen on the N1K or previous bikes including SVs. This is not based on a specific shifting "style". I can shift gingerly pulling the clutch in the whole way and deliberately moving my foot in two distinct movements, OR I can rapid clutchless upshift, or normal partial-clutch/decent pressure upshift and get the same result. It's not a really *BAD* feeling, but it's something that worries me long-term.

Does that make any sense? I can try uploading some video if we need a demonstration of my problem.
 

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EVERY DL 1000 I have ridden crunches the 1-2 shift. Some are better, some are worse. Condition of clutch slave cylinder and master cylinder can make a bit of difference if it isn't fully disengaging the clutch. I practiced upshifting into second asap as the lower the rpm the smoother the shift.
 

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ADM, I have zero notchiness in my '14 DL1K. I say that because my other main bike, a 2000 Kawasaki ZRX1100 has been a little notchy in the 1-2 upshift since DAY ONE. It isnt bad, doesnt happen all the time, and hasnt gotten any worse in the 18+ years Ive owned it, but I can feel it. I'd prefer it not being there, but I dont worry about it.
When I got my Vstrom, it was a welcome revelation to have a bike that that shifts butter-smooth in all up and downshifts.
I have noticed that shift quality in many bikes can sometimes be improved by: 1) Changing/flushing brake fluid and bleeding at both master and slave cylinder banjo bolts in addition to the clutch slave cylinder bleeder screw. 2) Adjusting the clutch lever pivot point to the furthest setting from the handlebar you can safely use the lever. 3) Making sure your drivechain slack isnt excessive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, two conflicting opinions right off the bat! @realshelby - Thanks, that does make me feel a bit better, and I will definitely flush the system and fill'er back up. @MAZ4ME - I recently adjusted the chain (which WAS very slack, to be fair) to within spec, but it didn't change the crunchiness. The clutch engages right near the top so I'm not thinking it's an engagement problem but I will definitely look into that. I may upload a video to the FB group and/or here in case anyone wants to see what I'm talking about.
 

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ASM, I dont see the conflict between RS and me. To be fair, I have no riding experience with the pre '14 DL1000. I can only report on what I have personally ridden.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MAZ, just meant "0 notchiness" compared to "all of them do this" - Not to say either is wrong, or inaccurate. Just interesting that the two first responses would be different. I'm uploading a video to FB now... You do need to be a member of the group to see it, but if you wanna see it I can always YT upload it if needed.

facebook.com/groups/2487630994/permalink/10156612130440995/
 

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ADM, there is no conflict between us 3 at all. I'm real sensitive to notchy transmissions, and have repaired more than my fair share of them through the years. Perhaps the 1st gen DL1000s had trans issues, my 2nd gen does not, and Ive talked to quite a few i my area with the Gen 2 and none of them are reporting shifting problems. Maybe they are out there and the owners dont view it as an issue. But after years with a butter-smooth-shifting '81 Honda CB750, and a smooth 900r Ninja, my ZRX isnt the smoothest 1-2 upshift at times. So my '14 DL1K is SLICK, zero notchiness whatsoever. Any response to my oil question?
Also...V-Tom had an excellent post about chain slack, and I am now running mine 5mm over spec. With my weight(6'1"/123 lb) The chain felt too tight, so I increased the chain slack. No issues with on/off/on throttle transitions at that increased slack setting.
 

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How many miles are on the V2?

Did you do any maintenance to the clutch activating system?

The V2's are not known for transmission issues. The topic does not come up here. So you are either unlucky or it's the new bike syndrome to get used to. However there are issues with the slave cylinder (corrosion, leaks).

Some reading links:
https://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,7571.0.html
https://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom-modifications-performance/318194-diy-dl1000-clutch-push-rod-boot.html
https://www.stromtrooper.com/dl1000a-2014-2016/309722-clutch-seal-saver.html
https://www.stromtrooper.com/dl1000a-2014-2016/390754-clutch-issues.html?nocache=1531872000000
 

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On my 2015 1000, if I want a smooth shift from first to second, I usually shift at around 2500 rpm.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@blaustrom - About 23k miles.
I haven't done any major maintenance as I've had the bike 3 weeks.
The master reservoirs for both brakes and clutch are full, no obvious signs of leaking on those or slaves, but of course that isn't a definitive way of knowing.
Good links with good info. I will investigate. Thank you all!
 

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My V2 has a firm engagement from 1/2 as well. If I try, I can make it less pronounced by gently nudging the shifter to second instead of the normal firm tick up. I quit doing that though because often I don’t quite make the second gear jump and end up with an audience when i twist the trottle as the bike goes to neutral. I wouldn’t worry about it. Just ride and enjoy.
 

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I don't think it's been explicitly explained but the fundamental reason is that the clutch can drag a bit causing the harsh engagement of 2nd if you don't perfectly match revs on the shift. Since the RPM difference is the highest from 1st to 2nd anything less than perfection on the shift is magnified by a dragging clutch.

My slave cylinder packed it in 60 km/ 40 mile from home this past Monday. I rode home with no clutch. Most of the shifts were fine (including from and to 1st) but then I often shift without using the clutch.

..Tom
 

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At that mileage, unless you know the required maintenance items have been performed by the PO then a bunch is needed.

All fluids change. Oil change may also improve shifting, if it's real overdue.

Check chain and sprockets, they may be due if they have not been replaced. The fact that the chain was very loose may indicate it's on the way out.

Valve check/ adjustment. Best combined with a coolant change. Remove the radiator, makes access to the front cylinder much easier.

Whilst all is off, check all electrical connectors for oxidation, clean if necessary and re-assemble with dielectric grease.

Check tank and fuel pump pre-filter. Any crud accumulated in the sump, any rust?

… Get the service and repair manual and check to see what I missed.
 

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Adjust the shift lever linkage up a bit and see what happens, ensure the pivots under the boots are also lubed, I also regularly lube the lever shaft as well with a bit of moly paste. Oil can most certainly make a difference as well, but I won’t get into that here.
 

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I too have a '14 DL1K. I'd say generally most shifts are pretty decent with this transmission, although I shank a gear change every so often. That's more on me than the bike. One thing worth looking at, and it's an easy one, already mentioned- quality of oil and how long in your sump. If it's on its last legs or due for a change (some oils go south faster than others), then that should help.

Ultimately, you'll need to decide if the issue is you, something mechanical (an adjustment, a failing part), or decide everything is nominal and you'll get a 'less than a good' shift every now and then.
 
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