‘11 Vision Tour-intermittent to constant downshift issue
1st, thank you Rylan, for finding a way (a year ago?) to monetize the asking of questions! I’ve dealt with this issue for 4 years now, not wanting to call or email you like you’ve mentioned in YouTube videos. I agree-your expertise shouldn’t be given away for free, nor should you have to repeat yourself, ad nauseam. I have looked at all your YouTube videos on Vision, & more general-Cross bikes, & same era 106” powered bikes, at least once. I’d have pulled the trigger on a lifetime support membership, but I’m feeling my age, & am also disappointed at how many ppl behind the wheel are blatantly texting while driving, in the much less populated area to which I moved. I am encouraged that your daily is a (multiple?) Vision(s), reinforcing that there’s nowhere to go from a Vision, even if one spent 4x what I paid. Let me attempt to construct a timeline, to give all pertinent info.
I bought the bike from a reputable dealer in the Denver metro area, Feb. ‘19. with 17,6xx miles. According to my records, about 6 mos. after purchase, I changed the oil, @ <1700 miles, partially because it was seeping from the oil filter, & I wanted to see if the sealing surface was gouged, or the gasket may have been bunched up or damaged from not lubricating, prior to spin-on. Embarrassingly, at the time I didn’t realize that “V-Twin” motor oil= H-D oil, & anything else with a shared crankcase & transmission shouldn’t use this oil. I also noted in my records not to use the stubby FRAM filter (that was the last FRAM I ever bought). This is when I 1st encountered difficulty downshifting. A couple months later, @<600 miles, I finally figured it must be the oil, which was also the wrong viscosity: 20w50. I replaced it (filter too-now WIX 51356XP) with Maxima Pro Plus full synthetic, but still 20w50. After that didn’t seem to help, I bought a case of Polaris-Victory Semi-synthetic 20w40. Changed it again at >1000 miles, 7/13/21. I’m sure I changed it last late-spring, but must’ve forgotten to record it-this’d be the 2nd short oil change, using the correct semi-synthetic 20w40. If not, then I currently have 1350 miles on the correct oil.
The intermittent nature mostly refers to how it shifts normally the 1st 5-10 minutes of riding, but once there’s heat in the engine & trans., the difficulty in downshifting arises. However, sometimes I can downshift while moving, sometimes I have to stop, & roll backwards. After doing that (like today-my 1st ride of the 5th riding season dealing with this issue), it shifted normally the rest of the way home, even at operating temp., though it was a cool day (h60s/lo70s). That’s not always the case though. Last year, I adjusted the shift linkage to be a little longer, because sometimes it only snicks down after pressure is kept on the shift lever for 1-2 Mississippi, but sometimes not. The dealer flushed the clutch & brake systems. I flushed the rear brakes (& did the fork oil svc. @ 20k, cussing out Marzocchi for no drain plugs, a la 70s-early 80s Showa forks 😡) after figuring out how to push the air out that’s drawn in when using only the rear brakes-1st time, I bled the front caliper middle piston bleeder screw-didn’t work the 2nd time. I don’t see how the clutch can be adjusted. Plus, sometimes in the heat of last summer it often shifted best without using the clutch, just getting off the throttle between shifts. I’ve had the side cover off, & couldn’t see anything obvious. I neglected to stack a copper washer behind the cover on the shaft, as some have recommended on other forums. I assume the theory is that the selector is skipping over the cam (1333630, a superseded part#, but it’s on nat’l back order-had an order in for 3 mos. ‘til the dealer cancelled my order), but I don’t see how that’s possible. I got the original side cover gasket to seal, but I have a James primary gasket set, for next time (& if/when I find the Lloydz adjustable cam gear-already have the secondary air filter you mentioned, & it already had “Stage 1” Victory slip-one, which Freedom Performance said cost 1hp on their dyno). I saw & heard you mention in videos that the shift lever fulcrum is designed to be “sloppy”, but it still seems to have a lot of slop/wobble, even after replacing the nylon bushing with a Chinese/eBay brass bushing.
Thanks in advance for mulling through this. Clearly this issue has been frustrating, thus the “energy” likely bleeding through these paragraphs. It’s been a great bike! The only other issue was that I put the cheapest lithium battery on eBay in it, & spent 8-9 mos. diagnosing everything from a “faulty” starter solenoid (wasn’t), & took the bad advice from another forum to replace the main relay with that balkamp part (it still makes that strange clicking noise after shutting it off), before seeing your video about that being nonsense. Oh, & some time during the lithium battery pain, the green ‘N’ now illuminates between shifts, & doesn’t go off immediately after selecting 1st & moving away from a stop. I sure hope that doesn’t point to internal transmission issues. The switch plug facing up, in the middle at the center line of the clutch doesn’t appear corroded. The dealer put new elite4 radials on it (1st radials on a bike-love ‘em), a radio from a NESS Signature Series (‘off’ screen tells the tale), & that triangular body piece between the seat & radio (painted white, not Pearl white, & not very secure). They already had it priced the cheapest of all on Craigslist, & I got ‘em down another $800! An extra cold & snowy Feb. likely tanked their sales goals, & it looked HUGE sitting amongst the Japanese & euro stuff that’s their main inventory-I could tell the techs didn’t like it. As I just mentioned, It’s also white, which I’ve found much more practical than dark colors, & while it might anger drivers who think I’m a cop, at least they see me.
Thank You Rylan,
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