Neutral On A Bike

 Finding neutral on my BMWs and KZ bikes were beautiful. Some of my Harleys on the other hand. Luckily those are earlier to work on.

For all you guys that have been raving about neutral on the bottom- for street bike riding it was indeed super convenient.

For road racing- not so much. Kawasaki seems to have spent the most time engineering different shift arrangements including the novel “rotary” shift pattern where you could go into neutral from top gear ( the shift drum was allowed to rotate 360 in either direction with no “stop” at the bottom or the top of the shift pattern).

Kawasaki also had a good “2nd gear lockout” feature on many of their bikes (the first generation Ninja 250 and many of the “KZ” models) that would not allow you to shift up from neutral to second gear unless the transmission shafts were spinning/rotating. Made finding neutral up from first a snap when sitting at a traffic light.

I will never own another K bike again. Full day of work to get the whole bike apart to pull the trans to change the clutch and slave cylinder. The bike only has 30k miles. Obviously, the previous owner destroyed the friction disc. longest trans pull I’ve ever done. To Change a clutch on my Harleys only takes about and hour and a half.

Gear Sprockets

One major comment, they are transmission gears-not sprockets. Sprockets are used with chains. Also , the particular transmission you used was an “ indirect drive“ where the power comes in on one shaft or axis and then exits on another shaft or axis.

Our friends at Harley Davidson still use direct drive transmissions where the power comes in on the same relative shaft or axis as it leaves on. Lastly, I do believe that the neutral but between first and second is also a legislative feature. ATVs which do not have to conform to the on road regulations still have funky shift patterns with neutral at either the bottom or the top and can be all down or all up from there.