Audible gear changes - Kawasaki Forum :: KawasakiWorld.com
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post #1 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Audible gear changes

Hi All

So I thought to myself the other day, I have always liked the 12R and if I don't get one soon they will all go extinct in the near future and I would have missed this engineering excercise by Kawasaki. So of course I hunted around for a while and found a Titanium Silver "2003" model (which I suspect is actually an A1) that is still in very good nick considering its age, stock standard apart from the double bubble MRA screen and Pyramid plastics hugger (which looks like it's seen better days) with only 45k kms on the clock. In fact it was so standard I had to vacuum what I believe to be the original air filter out of the air box and I'm sure the chain was also the original still (had to be replaced also). So apart from the above and of course the complimentary slightly warped front discs (which I'll replace in the next week or two along with braided lines and a caliper rebuild) it still runs really well. It even shook it's head at me yesterday when I got a bit excited with the throttle getting onto the highway, just like my old ZX10R (2008) used to do.

Anyway, long story short , the gear shift is quite easy, not Honda easy, but it's not like a BMW boxer gearbox either. It is quite audible though, as if you are shifting the gears from side to side with a small sledge hammer. Would that be considered normal?

I've ridden a fair few motorcycles over the last 20 years and I never recall being able to hear a gear change like this. It all seems to work as it should so I'm not really concerned, more intrigued really.

Thanks,
R

PS. This is a repost from another forum so sorry if you read it there already, there just seem to be more activity this side.
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post #2 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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So I pulled the clutch apart to have a look see and well I don't know much about motorcycle clutches 😅

There are definitely some metal plates with discoloration and I suspect very slight warping (didn't really have a flat surface to test on so put the plate on the clutch spring "cover" and simply tapped my finger on the friction surface all the way round, lets you hear/feel when there is a little movement) and some of the friction plates, although all in spec, have groves in them.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtWiS9_p6YMWgdB6...AEazQ?e=8nWwR6

Also, why is the very first friction plate in a different groove than the others?
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post #3 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 12:23 PM
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You should have probably adjusted the clutch cable before jumping into that. It would be very hard to guess without hearing it. I will say, it shouldn't be that loud. First gear clunk always is loud, but not subsequent gear changes. Has the oil been changed and what type are you using?
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post #4 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 02:31 PM
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Mine seems quite loud (only in the lower gears), but I'd check your chain adjustment carefully as on mine that makes a big difference
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post #5 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 04:31 PM
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Beautiful 12. Love the silver.
Have a look at the ecu plugs. If the ecu has 2 large plugs it’s a A1. If it has one large and one small, it’s a A2. Ive not noticed that my gear boxes are “loud”.

cmg
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post #6 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rules View Post
So I pulled the clutch apart to have a look see and well I don't know much about motorcycle clutches 😅

There are definitely some metal plates with discoloration and I suspect very slight warping (didn't really have a flat surface to test on so put the plate on the clutch spring "cover" and simply tapped my finger on the friction surface all the way round, lets you hear/feel when there is a little movement) and some of the friction plates, although all in spec, have groves in them.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtWiS9_p6YMWgdB6...AEazQ?e=8nWwR6

Also, why is the very first friction plate in a different groove than the others?
No reason in particular. The billet basket replacement does not have the one off-set fiber feature.

The factory service manual is a must have. Really good.

cmg
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post #7 of 21 Unread 12-14-2019, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpowell490 View Post
You should have probably adjusted the clutch cable before jumping into that. It would be very hard to guess without hearing it. I will say, it shouldn't be that loud. First gear clunk always is loud, but not subsequent gear changes. Has the oil been changed and what type are you using?
Oops, should probably have mentioned this, I did fiddle with the cable adjustments a bit as well. Tried soft, medium and very tight and all was the same (very tight might have alleviated it ever so slightly). Apparently it was serviced not too long ago and I'm not sure with what oil. I recon I'll service it myself rather just to be safe and also not a 100% sure, but there seemed to be a slight whiff of fuel coming from inside the motor when I pulled the clutch cover. I like Castrol Power1 4T 10W50 so will probably use that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim2019 View Post
Mine seems quite loud (only in the lower gears), but I'd check your chain adjustment carefully as on mine that makes a big difference
I replaced, what I believe to be the original DID chain, last week and at first erred on the looser side of the manual spec but have since tightened it up to the tighter side (on side stand, 25mm play just behind foot peg).

Quote:
Originally Posted by color me gone View Post
Beautiful 12. Love the silver.
Have a look at the ecu plugs. If the ecu has 2 large plugs itís a A1. If it has one large and one small, itís a A2. Ive not noticed that my gear boxes are ďloudĒ.

cmg
These 12s were made to be silver ... they have engines strong enough to fly a small plane, they have canards and being silver they only need the wings still 😉

Confirmed, it's an A1, thanks cmg, been trying to find ways to figure it out but the VIN search didn't pan out.

I'm starting to think the noise when shifting is due to the clutch not fully disengaging when pulling in the clutch lever as when I do clutchless up shifts its not noisy at all. The friction plates all seem to be within spec 3.2mm and look ok to me but some of the metal plates have some discoloration and I suspect are ever so slightly warped. I don't really want to fork out for an entire clutch kit at this point, can you get only the steel plates and would it be advisable to only change them?

Thanks,
R

PS. Already sorted that darn regulator plug as it was just starting to give problems (looks like someone tried welding in there 😅). I chopped it off and soldered the cables directly onto the regulator. Hope it was soon enough to let them live long and happy lives.
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post #8 of 21 Unread 12-15-2019, 07:32 AM
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Have tried going up the box without useing the clutch?

I have a A1 . 2000 model ZX12R with an extra wheel.
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post #9 of 21 Unread 12-15-2019, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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I have and then it shift nice and quiet.

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

2000 ZX12R Silver - 46 000Kms - MRA Double Bubble Screen - Braided hoses Back & Front - Arashi Discs Back & Front
Stock standard otherwise
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post #10 of 21 Unread 12-15-2019, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rules View Post
I have and then it shift nice and quiet.

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk
Got to be the clutch then. Weather its just a simple adjustment or to pull it apart & start a fresh?
Good luck.

I have a A1 . 2000 model ZX12R with an extra wheel.
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post #11 of 21 Unread 12-15-2019, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Having a look at clutches on Ebay and it seems my options are EBC, TRW and Barnett. The latter looks quite good but is also the most expensive. How do the others compare?

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2000 ZX12R Silver - 46 000Kms - MRA Double Bubble Screen - Braided hoses Back & Front - Arashi Discs Back & Front
Stock standard otherwise
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post #12 of 21 Unread 12-16-2019, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rules View Post
Having a look at clutches on Ebay and it seems my options are EBC, TRW and Barnett. The latter looks quite good but is also the most expensive. How do the others compare?

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

Many swear by the OEM clutch plates ans steels. You can not go wrong with those.... BUT that said. I went with the Barnett clutch kit, bought it off Ebay. Then I "googled" Barnett clutch kits and read a couple of horror stories about them. But since I had already bought the kit, I thought might as well try it out (I did order the OEM plates and steels just in case the Barnett kit did not work out). Long story short... The Barnett kit is still in my bike, have ran it some 12 thousand kilometers of spirited riding over two seasons with out any kind of issues. The new OEM plates and steels are still in the box they came in unused... What I've figured out from many threads/posts about the ZX12R clutch is that the stack hight has to be right for it to work, what plates and steels one uses in it is probably of less importance (-Gonna get flamed for that statement though)..

Here is the set up.

Barnett Part #
Clutch Friction Plate- Kevlar Part# 301-35-10018 (x11)
Clutch Friction Plate- Kevlar Part# 301-35-10019 (x1)
Steel Clutch Drive Plate Part# 401-35-063002 (x11, Steels are 1,6mm thick)
Clutch Spring Kit Part# 501-59-06098 (x6 springs - 45lbs2")

I used 4 of the Barnett springs and 2 OEM springs, clutch pull is a bit heavier than stock, but I like it.

Im using 10W/40 Motul 5100 Semisynthetic oil

I can not comment on the EBC or TRW sets because I have not used them, but if the stack hight is correct with them, then I don't see any reason why using EBC/TRW plates and steels would not work just as good...

/Tom
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Last edited by Mefirst; 12-16-2019 at 12:48 AM.
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post #13 of 21 Unread 01-09-2020, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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So after reading Ivan's post about the soft clutch when hot, I thought it a good idea to change the clutch actuator to one of the new beefier types and so far so good. I can definitely feel a difference, maybe not 100% but I reckon it's at least an 80% improvement in gear changes. I'll still do the clutch sometime this year and looking at the OEM cost I'll probably go with that (round about the same as a Barnett set) but for now it's plenty good. I think the very light flywheel also has quite a bit to do with the feel of the gear changes (revs drop real quick) so I might also just need to fine tune the way I shift...or maybe just get a quick shifter

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2000 ZX12R Silver - 46 000Kms - MRA Double Bubble Screen - Braided hoses Back & Front - Arashi Discs Back & Front
Stock standard otherwise
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post #14 of 21 Unread 01-15-2020, 04:21 PM
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That's great info, good to hear that it worked out. Was the different actuator very expensive?
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post #15 of 21 Unread 01-17-2020, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think it was that bad ... ZAR750 ($52) from the dealer.

2000 ZX12R Silver - 46 000Kms - MRA Double Bubble Screen - Braided hoses Back & Front - Arashi Discs Back & Front
Stock standard otherwise
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