Picked up a 2003 XB9S a couple weeks ago and really like the bike aside from a few small issues.


The transmission shifts smoothly at low speeds, but at high RPM (specifically at the 1-2 shift) it's very noticeable how much the transmission does not want to change gears. I can feel and hear the teeth of the dog clutches bouncing off each other several times before it goes into gear.

On top of that, the engine doesn't seem to slow very quickly. It rev hangs, so re-engaging the clutch after a spirited gear change requires a delicate hand to avoid upsetting the balance of the bike.

For a motorcycle otherwise setup for serious performance, these seem to be glaring issues. They don't just make the shifts slower, they have made me reluctant to actually rev the bike out. Which is no fun.

Does anyone else experience this? Does it just come with the territory?

I feel like the engine's rev-hang is the root cause. Add in a little clutch drag preventing the input shaft from slowing down, and it's no wonder the transmission doesn't want to shift. Maybe if I could find an ECM tune to increase the engine braking at high RPM it would make things work more smoothly, but that seems like a stretch.