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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to motorcycles and picked up a 2012 650 Vstrom with 10K on it. It has a noticeable 'clunk' noise going from neutral to 1st. Is there an adjustment I can make to correct this or should I take it to a mechanic?

If it matters, I noticed this when it was stationary, but not when riding. But, I was completely focused on learning to ride this bike, so it's possible it was doing it then and I just didn't notice it. I can check that out in my next ride if that matters.

I tried searching the forums here, but couldn't find anything.

All help appreciated!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

"They all do this" … but in this case it's true!

When you pull in the clutch there is still drag between the plates so the tranny input shaft is not stationary. Thus shifting it into 1st gear (that is stationary) there will be a noise when the two meet. Most pronounced when you start cold in the morning (more drag of the clutch). You can avoid that first loud clunk by starting the engine in gear with the clutch pulled in. The bike will want to inch forward a little under those conditions.

Best is to wear earplugs and not worry about this but focus on ATGATT and defensive driving watching the cars, they are out to get you.
 

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Normal. At a stop light I'll pull the clutch in a little early to reduce the engagement when I finally put it in gear.

Drive it, love it, and it will love you back!
 

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Once the engine is warm do all your starts in gear with the clutch in, the warm oil will mean the clutch plates are quite free and there is no creep when you hit the starter button.
Funny thing is my bike will often go into first from neutral on a cold start without the slightest clunk but mostly it clunks on a cold start.
 

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Check your chain to make sure it's not too tight.

Too tight a chain will cause more of a clunk.

Chain on the loose side is better.
 

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Yes, it's normal. But make sure the engine has the correct weight oil in it and the clutch cable lever has the correct amount of free play via the cable adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks! I will check those out as well. I need to get an owner's manual, but somewhere on here it said correct chain slack was .8-1" and correct freeplay at the clutch lever was 10-15mm (on the outside). Anyone know if those are correct for a 2012 650?

thanks again to everyone for the help!
 

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Mine clunked like that, but when I switched over to Amsoil, that changed a ton. Shifting is a lot smoother now.
 

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Yuup, my Strom did it and my Tenere does to. I do not like it and avoid doing it.

Clunk means impact in the gear box pure and simple.

To avoid it, you can do a few things. Double pump the clutch right before the shift from N to 1. Leave in gear as much as possible and use the clutch while waiting at lights (it is much safer anyway). And when my bike is warm, I stick it in first before I start it, then pull the clutch in before I thumb the starter.

Yes, some OCD people avoid doing it. Sorry, it is a disease. Therapy has not helped me.
 

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It’s a once per ride startup reminder that you are operating powerful machinery.

Seriously I guess it’s a wet clutch thing, not releasing completely. You should have heard my old Sportster, CLUNCK! Did it for 20 years no problem. You can avoid by starting in first gear but then it’s hard to back up, for the same reason.
 

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If you blip the throttle after pulling in the clutch lever, that can help break the clutch plates free from each other.

Often that isn't necessary, and if you wait long enough after pulling in the lever, the transmission input shaft will have stopped turning completely. At that point you may find it difficult to get the bike to shift into first, as (generally speaking) you can only shift when at least one of the shafts is spinning).

Usually, even with the clutch lever pulled in for a while, there is still enough drag to keep the input shaft spinning slowly, enough that you can shift, but not enough to produce a big clunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks all! I did add some freeplay to the clutch lever, it had very little. I'll check the chain this weekend too. Thanks for all the help!
 
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