Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post Reply
User avatar
fixxervi6
Ride Leader
Ride Leader
Posts:13821
Joined:Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:41 pm
Achievement count:36
Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by fixxervi6 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:38 pm

Kawasaki positive neutral finder - when the bike is stationary and you shift up from first gear, it will NOT shift into second, instead it shifts only into neutral so you don't have to "fish" to find neutral, it just goes right in like magic, how the hell do they do that?

Well, here is how.

The transmission has two axles, 3 forks, on the side that contains 1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd gear, and 4th gear, the 2nd and 4th gears slide together when worked by the drum, see video to understand what I mean:



The fact that 2nd and 4th gear slide together is a clue on how the transmission "locks" to make shifting into neutral easy.

Inside of 4th gear, it contains grooves and bearings.
1.jpg
Inside the gear itself are 3 holes, these bearings will fit up inside these holes, but they can not exit the other side, it's more like a cup to hold the bearing out of the groove.
2.jpg
When the bike is stationary, there is no centrifugal forces acting on the bearings so the fall into the groves, when they do, they prevent 4th gear from sliding, which in turns locks out second gear - remember they slide together. When the bike is running, like say going down the street in 1st gear doing 15 mph, the centrifugal forces sling the bearings into their little pockets, allowing the 4th gear to slide, unlocking second gear.

The tiny bearings are strong enough to lock out the gear that it can withstand several hammer blows quite easily (don't worry I have a spare transmission). Then frustration sets in and you spasm while shaking the axle saying bad words trying to get the gear to unlock and magic happens, it just, unlocks!

Then you get mad that it just magicly started working and you start shaking it around more because your pissed that you split an engine case and bearings fall out, and then the lightbulb goes on.

So you run out to the garage and you hook up a drill to the transmission to get it spinning, and magicly the transmission shifts through all of it's gears.....

Yay, right?

Now I'm not totally stupid, when I couldn't get this bike to shift into second, I did try moving the bike, spinning up the tire, all kinds of stuff, so it legitimately didn't want to shift into second gear, I beleive one of the tiny bearings was pinched in the pocket in the gear so it wasn't wanting to let go.

However, I'm 99% certain that if I would have taken the bike out on the street and maxed out first gear it would have been enough force to unstick the tiny bearing and things would have been happy again.

So, this is a public service announcment, if you wreck a kawasaki and it won't shift into second after the crash, go thrash the hell out of first gear before you crack the engine cases open like a dumb ass.

That is all.
K1600

Bewst
Posts:800
Joined:Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:05 pm
Achievement count:9

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by Bewst » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:50 pm

Breakker

User avatar
fixxervi6
Ride Leader
Ride Leader
Posts:13821
Joined:Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:41 pm
Achievement count:36

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by fixxervi6 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:53 pm

Well after closer inspection one of the bearings was dimpled, I'm guessing where it was mashed between the gear and the slot, so it was probably "stuck".
K1600

User avatar
shilka99
Honorary Club Member
Honorary Club Member
Posts:1769
Joined:Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:19 am
Riding Style:Track Instructor
Achievement count:42
Location:Irving

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by shilka99 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:54 pm

Great write up - thanks for sharing. Info like this can be invaluable.
Shaun in McKinney
RGV250|520SX/SMR|RSV4 Factory

User avatar
Stardog82
Club Member
Club Member
Posts:1907
Joined:Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:17 am
Achievement count:14
Location:Arlington

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by Stardog82 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:04 pm

Quite informative!
I'm a Stardog, baby.
The Fresh Prince of Ft. Worth

User avatar
Rhino
Posts:7793
Joined:Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:30 am
Riding Style:Intermediate Track Rider
Achievement count:35
Location:Edge of Arlington

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by Rhino » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:18 am

Nice.

I wonder if just pushing it back and forth while in gear so it applies torque in both directions would have fixed it too.

I certainly wouldn't have figured it out without tearing the damn thing apart either.

You did replace the smooshed bearing so it won't get stuck again, right?

User avatar
dufremle
Club Staff/Treasurer
Club Staff/Treasurer
Posts:12542
Joined:Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:57 am
Riding Style:Novice Track Rider
Achievement count:0
Location:NW Fort Worth
Contact:

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by dufremle » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:32 am

Well, it sucks that you had to pull it all apart to learn that. But now you know about it for the next time she crashes.
Jim

2017 Toyota 4Runner

User avatar
fixxervi6
Ride Leader
Ride Leader
Posts:13821
Joined:Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:41 pm
Achievement count:36

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by fixxervi6 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:42 am

Rhino wrote:Nice.

I wonder if just pushing it back and forth while in gear so it applies torque in both directions would have fixed it too.

I certainly wouldn't have figured it out without tearing the damn thing apart either.

You did replace the smooshed bearing so it won't get stuck again, right?
Tried that, still wouldn't shift into second. Normally spinning the rear wheel by hand is enough to unlock the transmission to shift - I know this because we've spun the rear tire to test shift on countless occastions - but it wasn't working after her crash, even putting it in first gear and moving wasn't getting the trick done, but I didn't try moving very fast. I goolged around and it appeared bent shift forks are a common thing after a crash on the left side so I figured it was time to split the cases.

We replaced the entire transmission (only $20) so the rusted one in the picutre was just an extra, it's rusted becasue we soaked it to remove all of the oil.
K1600

User avatar
DarcShadow
Club Staff/Web Master
Club Staff/Web Master
Posts:15110
Joined:Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:20 pm
Riding Style:Advanced Track Rider
Achievement count:45
Location:Azle, TX
Contact:

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by DarcShadow » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:58 am

Is this a 250 thing, or is it done on other sport bikes as well? Never heard of it before.
I Refuse to Tiptoe Through Life...Only to Arrive Safely at Death.
Image
Attack Life! It's gonna kill you anyway.

http://www.facebook.com/DSDecals

User avatar
fixxervi6
Ride Leader
Ride Leader
Posts:13821
Joined:Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:41 pm
Achievement count:36

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by fixxervi6 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:59 am

DarcShadow wrote:Is this a 250 thing, or is it done on other sport bikes as well? Never heard of it before.
It's a Kawasaki thing

I don't know if honda/suzuki/yami has anything like it. I know my suzuki goes right into second when your not moving so you have to gently find neutral.
K1600

User avatar
Rhino
Posts:7793
Joined:Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:30 am
Riding Style:Intermediate Track Rider
Achievement count:35
Location:Edge of Arlington

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by Rhino » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:24 am

Yep, it's a feature on every Kawi I've ever owned or ridden.

User avatar
DarcShadow
Club Staff/Web Master
Club Staff/Web Master
Posts:15110
Joined:Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:20 pm
Riding Style:Advanced Track Rider
Achievement count:45
Location:Azle, TX
Contact:

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by DarcShadow » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:37 am

Hmmm, don't recal noticing it on my 9R.
I Refuse to Tiptoe Through Life...Only to Arrive Safely at Death.
Image
Attack Life! It's gonna kill you anyway.

http://www.facebook.com/DSDecals

User avatar
Rhino
Posts:7793
Joined:Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:30 am
Riding Style:Intermediate Track Rider
Achievement count:35
Location:Edge of Arlington

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by Rhino » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:05 am

It doesn't feel any different, it's just really easy to kick up to neutral at a stop.

You can test it out by lifting the lever fully while stopped in 1st--you won't go to 2nd, the lever will top out and you'll still be in neutral. But if you're used to doing a light lift to get to neutral on a regular bike, you'll probably never really notice it working unless you notice that you never accidentally kick to 2nd.

It's like a good slipper clutch--you don't really realize it's working if you're in the habit of blipping on downshifts.

User avatar
NickS
Posts:659
Joined:Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:50 pm
Achievement count:0
Location:Burleson

Re: Kawasaki positive neutral finder - how does it work?

Post by NickS » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:56 am

Both my Kawi's have this feature, it's very nice when shifting to neutral at a stoplight.
'08 Kawasaki Concours 14
'10 Kawasaki Z1000