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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning everyone. I would like your advice.
I own a DL1000 L8. The problem that Im having (if it is a problem) is that some times especially when the bike is warm after a ride when I go from 1st gear to 2nd gear I have some grinding and a few times I?ve found my self in neutral. And those time the grinding was longer.
I?ve tried various things to see if I can prevent it. Such preloading of gears. Lowering the gear lever. Higher rpm. In higher it actually happens more often.
Pulling the lever faster. Pulling it slower till I get to neutral and then to second.
I don?t know. I just can?t seem to get rid of it. Any advice will be appreciated.
I?ve told my dealer and mechanic about this and he says no problem.
My bike has 7500km.
Thank you.
 

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DL 1000's have acted like that since 2002. If finding nuetral, I suspect you could help yourself by being more firm with the shift. Preloading is important, but when you shift do it with positive effort. The lower the rpm the smoother this shift will be.

That said, there can be some issues with the clutch slave cylinder on these bikes. Some don't release the clutch enough and that can effect gear changes. Even though new, I would bleed the clutch system and see if that helps at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
DL 1000's have acted like that since 2002. If finding nuetral, I suspect you could help yourself by being more firm with the shift. Preloading is important, but when you shift do it with positive effort. The lower the rpm the smoother this shift will be.

That said, there can be some issues with the clutch slave cylinder on these bikes. Some don't release the clutch enough and that can effect gear changes. Even though new, I would bleed the clutch system and see if that helps at all.
Thanks for the reply. I?ve already bleed the clutch and even used better quality dot fluid. I?ll probabl upgrade the clutch cylinder with an aftermarket one.
 

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My Vee2 used to have a similar problem with the first to second change, when fairly new. I found not pulling the clutch lever all the way in and changing gear quickly helped. Now it's done 36,000 kms, it never misses second gear and the gearbox feels smoother than ever. I think the cure is probably a combination of me learning how to change gear more smoothly and the gearbox loosening up.
 

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This is the one characteristic of my Vee2 that bugs me. I and others have mentioned it a few times in posts on this site. The advice I was given by others was to shift early, ~ before 3250 rpm. That helps a lot, but certainly is restrictive.

Clearly this characteristic is due to the design of the transmission. It seems first and second are not synchronized. Second through sixth are, but first to second is not.

Get used to shifting early and the grinding should stop most of the time. Enough that you will only be occasionally reminded of the behavior when you forget to shift early.

But I'm going to try what Stu53 said. I've never heard that suggestion and it certainly seems to be worth trying.
 

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even used better quality dot fluid
Hang on. What?

The DL1000 is spec'd to use DOT 4. Use that and only that. Most other hydraulic fluids, and especially DOT 5, are NOT compatible with DOT 4 and may in fact cause serious trouble.

Only DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 are interchangeable, and the only real difference is in their boiling point. If you're not racing, you should never reach the boiling point of DOT 4 so it doesn't make sense to upgrade to DOT 5.1.

What is the Difference between DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid? | Epic Bleed Solutions

As far as the clutch slave cylinder is concerned. Yes, there are basically two issues with this.

The first is the slave cylinder itself. It sits in a rather hostile environment and many people report pitted pistons, pitted cylinders and leaking seals after a number of years. Remove the slave cylinder from the bike, disconnect the hydraulic line, pull the thing apart and inspect. Change the seal while you're at it, and if you see any pitting, replace the whole assembly. (I have never heard of aftermarket clutch slave cylinders that are better or cheaper than OEM.)

Second, the pushrod that transfers the force from the slave cylinder to the clutch plates runs through the area of the front sprocket. Depending on how, and how often, you oil the chain, a lot of road crud mixed with chain lube collects here. You need to make sure that this area is cleaned out regularly to have the clutch operating smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
even used better quality dot fluid
Hang on. What?

The DL1000 is spec'd to use DOT 4. Use that and only that. Most other hydraulic fluids, and especially DOT 5, are NOT compatible with DOT 4 and may in fact cause serious trouble.

Only DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 are interchangeable, and the only real difference is in their boiling point. If you're not racing, you should never reach the boiling point of DOT 4 so it doesn't make sense to upgrade to DOT 5.1.

What is the Difference between DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid? | Epic Bleed Solutions

As far as the clutch slave cylinder is concerned. Yes, there are basically two issues with this.

The first is the slave cylinder itself. It sits in a rather hostile environment and many people report pitted pistons, pitted cylinders and leaking seals after a number of years. Remove the slave cylinder from the bike, disconnect the hydraulic line, pull the thing apart and inspect. Change the seal while you're at it, and if you see any pitting, replace the whole assembly. (I have never heard of aftermarket clutch slave cylinders that are better or cheaper than OEM.)

Second, the pushrod that transfers the force from the slave cylinder to the clutch plates runs through the area of the front sprocket. Depending on how, and how often, you oil the chain, a lot of road crud mixed with chain lube collects here. You need to make sure that this area is cleaned out regularly to have the clutch operating smoothly.
Thanks for the reply. Used DOT 4 again but other brand.
I might get it to the dealer to inspect the whole clutch cylinder assembly.
I oil and clean the chain regularly. The bike is to new to have assembled any kind of dirt there and this is happening for quite some time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My Vee2 used to have a similar problem with the first to second change, when fairly new. I found not pulling the clutch lever all the way in and changing gear quickly helped. Now it's done 36,000 kms, it never misses second gear and the gearbox feels smoother than ever. I think the cure is probably a combination of me learning how to change gear more smoothly and the gearbox loosening up.
Thanks bro. I will try that and as mentioned above I will try to shift early.
As long as it won?t cause any real problems I don?t really mind. It?s annoying but I don?t mind. Love my V
 

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Mine got huge slack in chain tension on first 1000 miles. It made big difference in shifting but after adjusting the clutch as per owners manuals, all is good again.
One thing I noticed when I owned '14 model was that at the dealer, the mechanic adjusted the chain slack with me sitting on the bike. It deteriorated the quality of shifting. But after adjusting it as owner's manuals says, 20-30mm with the bike on the side stand, it was as smooth as butter.
One more thing. On first few oil changes I trusted the dealer on type of oil. I've observed what the mechanics were doing. It was the oil from huge barrel and I had no idea of the quality of it. It was good for 1000-1500 miles and then the shifting problems would start. Then, two years ago, I decided to bring my own oil, recommended by Suzuki, fully synthetic and demanded to use that oil. The dealer used it, no problems. With that oil and always correct chain slack, all my shifting problems were gone for good.
Now I own '18 model and the story with the oil is the same. But now my dealer has that exact type of oil on the shelf so I don't have to bring mine anymore. Other owners of DL1000 heard of what I was doing and now they all ask for that oil. I know it's big hit on dealer's pocket, as the oil in huge barrels cost him almost nothing but I don't care, I prefer smooth shifting.
 

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Mine got huge slack in chain tension on first 1000 miles. It made big difference in shifting but after adjusting the clutch as per owners manuals, all is good again.
One thing I noticed when I owned '14 model was that at the dealer, the mechanic adjusted the chain slack with me sitting on the bike. It deteriorated the quality of shifting. But after adjusting it as owner's manuals says, 20-30mm with the bike on the side stand, it was as smooth as butter.
One more thing. On first few oil changes I trusted the dealer on type of oil. I've observed what the mechanics were doing. It was the oil from huge barrel and I had no idea of the quality of it. It was good for 1000-1500 miles and then the shifting problems would start. Then, two years ago, I decided to bring my own oil, recommended by Suzuki, fully synthetic and demanded to use that oil. The dealer used it, no problems. With that oil and always correct chain slack, all my shifting problems were gone for good.
Now I own '18 model and the story with the oil is the same. But now my dealer has that exact type of oil on the shelf so I don't have to bring mine anymore. Other owners of DL1000 heard of what I was doing and now they all ask for that oil. I know it's big hit on dealer's pocket, as the oil in huge barrels cost him almost nothing but I don't care, I prefer smooth shifting.
Everything is as supposed to. Oil info removed. See previous post. GW Tensioned to spec chain. Clean and lubricated. All other gears are smooth. The 1st to 2nd is smooth when bike is fairly cold. But after a while it starts with the gear grinding.
 

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Hopefully this is really just a technique issue.
Sometimes I run into this problem on my 2014 (and also did on my 2007). Every time I have had this issue I have been relaxed and taking it smooth and easy. I was being too easy and slow with the shift lever. The best analogy I can think of is a weak, limp hand shake.
I have also experienced this when I had my shift lever adjusted a little high.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hopefully this is really just a technique issue.
Sometimes I run into this problem on my 2014 (and also did on my 2007). Every time I have had this issue I have been relaxed and taking it smooth and easy. I was being too easy and slow with the shift lever. The best analogy I can think of is a weak, limp hand shake.
I have also experienced this when I had my shift lever adjusted a little high.
I personally don’t think is a technique issue. I think is an issue.
I’ve tried too many different techniques.
It mostly occurs when bike is running at least 30 mins.
 

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I personally don’t think is a technique issue. I think is an issue.
I’ve tried too many different techniques.
It mostly occurs when bike is running at least 30 mins.
I hope you find that it is something simple. Definitely strange that it is after running for a while.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I personally don’t think is a technique issue. I think is an issue.
I’ve tried too many different techniques.
It mostly occurs when bike is running at least 30 mins.
I hope you find that it is something simple. Definitely strange that it is after running for a while.
Good luck.
Yes I know is strange. While it’s cold is super smooth. Will see. Will try some more things and if I find something will let know.
Thanks bro.
 

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Can you go back to your dealer and demand to try the other bike, so you can compare and prove if there was something wrong with yours?
 

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Can you go back to your dealer and demand to try the other bike, so you can compare and prove if there was something wrong with yours?
It’s not easy bro. I live 7 hours away. And don’t know if he has another bike to compare to.
I’ll be a little patient till summer. Then I can go more easily. Probably will demand I thoroug check on transmission and clutch system.
Will see.
 

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Just to echo OP's experience - I've noticed a tendency to occasionally hit N for 2nd in my first 750 miles as well. I also recalled doing it on the demo ride once or twice and put it down to familiarization on that occasion.

Never experienced this on my SV1K/GSXR and I put it down to ergonomics. Not sure if the following is factually true, but foot position 'feels' closer to the horizontal on my L8 vs slightly downward on the others. The diametrical distance of full stroke lever rotation also 'feels' longer.

I found by moving foot slightly forward for the 1st gear change meant a full purchase under the pedal, allowing a more purposeful 'stroke' to give max extension smoothly into 2nd.

That said I have fairly large 'plates of meat' so to speak (UK12.5/US13/EU47) and always wear fullt boots.. I'd guess for riders with smaller 'clodhoppers', the ergonomics are less optimum?
 

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additional

I hadn't noticed a grinding noise per se when failing 2nd engagement, just a kinda sound which suggested gears not fully engaged as per any bike - before the inevitable N over rev.
 
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