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Old 12-18-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
shaykai
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Bike is stuck on 2nd and 3rd gear. HELP!

Hey all you mechanically minded bikers out there! So I have a problem...

First of all my bike is a 2001 Kawasaki ZX6R with 40,XXX miles on it.

Yesterday I was at a stop light in neutral waiting for it to turn green. When I saw I was next in the rotation for green lights I shifted down into 1st. Being a bit OCD I often times will 'check' to make sure I am in first by trying to shift down again. This time instead of being met with solid resistance the bike 'clicked' and the lever pressed down. I kept pressing down and it kept a'clickin even though I was obviously in first (unless I have 20 other gears I don't know about..).

Long story short that happened at 3 other lights during my commute, and in general the clutch just felt mushy. I figured this was because I haven't changed my oil in 5,000 miles when I normally change it every 3,000.

After work I get home, change my oil, and take the bike for a test ride. Now the bike will only shift into 2nd and 3rd! It won't shift up to 4th, 5th, or 6th, and it won't shift down to 1st or neutral. This means if I stop, I have to get going from 2nd gear (a pain in the ass!), and it also limits my top speed.

Does anyone have any idea what is wrong? I don't know much about the inner workings, the most I do to my own bike is change the oil, take off the tires, and other minor things. I'm pretty sure it's either the clutch, or the transmission, but if you asked me to explain the difference between the two I couldn't.

All of that being said, does anyone know a fairly cheap mechanic? Does anyone know how much the replacement parts will cost? Is it possible to do the work myself? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Ben

Oh yeah, would it 'hurt' the bike any more than it is now if I were to ride it to work in 2nd and 3rd gear taking surface streets? Right now I am bicycling to work which is just a bit too far when I have to be there at 6am and it is 9 miles away...

Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
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First off, I doubt it has anything to do with your clutch. I'd say your shift mechanism is buggered. Often, they're located behind the clutch, so you'll likely have to pull the clutch to get at it. (Check your shop manual.) The good news is that those components are usually pretty easy to replace once you access them. And check to see if there are good aftermarket upgrades rather than using stock components.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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To give you schematics of what you're wrestling with:
http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmot...j2l-ca/o/m4182

- select transmission on the left side
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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The problem could also maybe be related to a simple external adjustment, like having the proper slack in the clutch lever pull. If you have a cable type clutch maybe the cable has stretched or ready to snap.

If there were tranny troubles you typically see lots of extra shiny metal bits in the oil changes.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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I doubt it is a clutch problem. Put the bike on a rearstand and shift it by hand WITH THE MOTOR OFF while turning the rear wheel. If you can go through all six gears doing this, you have a clutch issue. if it is stuck in two gears, you probably have a trans issue. With that much mileage it is highly possible. There is a very slight chance there is a problem with the shifting mechanism, but probably it is in the trans.

Get it up on a rear stand. But typically you can easily shift all six gears while riding WITHOUT a clutch, so I doubt it is the clutch.

I'd bet on a bad gear cluster, shift forks, drum or combination of the three.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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Thank you very much guys

AFM199 - I've tried shifting it at a standstill and it doesn't seem to work. The one thing I didn't mention is the shifter seems to be lower than normal. It's like an inch or so lower than it usually is when it is in first. Does that point more towards a shifter problem? Is there a way to test if it is a problem with a shifter or a problem with the tranny?

Mototireguy - I do have a cable type clutch I believe. I will check it tonight when I get home to see if it is slack or not. When I changed the oil I didn't see any metal bits at all.

Hayabusafiend - Thanks for the link!

ST Guy - If it is a shift mechanism I will take your advice and try to upgrade to something a bit beefier than stock.

Anyone have an hour or two to spare this sunday to help me look at my bike assuming I can't fix it tonight? I can provide beer, scotch, or martini's depending on your taste. If I can at least know what is wrong for sure that gets me pointed in the right direction to get it fixed.

Ben
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:48 PM   #7
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I also have the same kind of problem and need help.

My bike is a 2007 kawasaki zzr600 same kind of bike as the op with 34,000 miles

when I slow to a stop and try to downshift, it will do a gp shift up a gear instead of down a gear sometimes.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
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edit: started my own thread

good luck shaykai!
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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sounds like a broken shift detent spring...a pretty cheap and simple fix.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:01 PM   #10
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dude, It might be just that the hinge point where the shifter rotates on the rearset by the peg is seizing up cause lack of grease lube.

I took my rearset off, removed my tie-rod (shifter pedal), re-lubed it where it rotates on the peg, put it back together and back on the bike. problem solved.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:08 PM   #11
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Do not ride the bike until it is fixed. You do not want it to take a complete dump and lock up on you even if you are only on surface streets.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #12
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Check the Kawasaki forums in the ZX-6 section and search for transmission. You will find lot's of information and sad stories about the weak transmissions of ZX-6's.

If it is the shifting dogs or gears they are $100 for each part and there are two per gear.

A used engine can be bought for about $1,300 from a salvage place in Sac. That is less than taking the engine apart and replacing parts unless you do all the work or use used transmission parts.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:42 PM   #13
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I bet it's a shift fork or a shifter spring.

Cool thing is about those motors is if you flip it upside down you can get to the gear box easily enough to replace the shifter forks. And there's a fix from factory pro for the shifter spring thingy..
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ironbutt View Post
I bet it's a shift fork or a shifter spring.

Cool thing is about those motors is if you flip it upside down you can get to the gear box easily enough to replace the shifter forks. And there's a fix from factory pro for the shifter spring thingy..
Actually you do not need to take the motor out at all. You can take the oil pan off from the bottom after removing the bodywork, exhaust and clutch.

If you do this, you can take out the shift forks and see what they look like. Every experienced motor person has told me that even if you replace the shift forks it is likely the dogs are worn too or will go soon and that requires splitting the cases.

I was using the factory pro shift star and spring kit - it made shifting easier and more positive.

My bike popped out of 2nd gear and I did all of the above and replaced the shift forks ($225 parts cost) to no avail. As a result, I can sell you new shift forks for $150. I ended up replacing the engine.

If it is the shift spring, you can order those cheap.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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Well.. there you go.. but it's kinda tough to work on something upside down.. or from the bottom up. You could just lay the bike on it's side..

Kawasaki are easy to work on though.. They beg to be tinkered with.. If that were my bike and I had a spare bike to ride, I'd tear the engine apart and buy the forks from you..

Give it a valve job and some new rings while your in there.. it'll be good as new.. until something else breaks.. It'll be something stupid too.. like a speedo cable.. It really never ends.



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Originally Posted by NorCal Factory View Post
Actually you do not need to take the motor out at all. You can take the oil pan off from the bottom after removing the bodywork, exhaust and clutch.

If you do this, you can take out the shift forks and see what they look like. Every experienced motor person has told me that even if you replace the shift forks it is likely the dogs are worn too or will go soon and that requires splitting the cases.

I was using the factory pro shift star and spring kit - it made shifting easier and more positive.

My bike popped out of 2nd gear and I did all of the above and replaced the shift forks ($225 parts cost) to no avail. As a result, I can sell you new shift forks for $150. I ended up replacing the engine.

If it is the shift spring, you can order those cheap.
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