Despite the massive amounts of torque available on the VN2000, the engineers at Kawasaki chose to put some steep gearing in the bike. The net result is that you need to shift out of first gear almost immediately after starting up. Heck, there isn’t even a need for first gear. You can easily start in second. Additionally, this means that at highway speeds, you are often tempted to shift into the non-existent 6th gear because the engine is turning so fast. The gearing on the models sold in Europe however have gearing that is not quite as steep as the ones sold in the US.
So… some folks in the Rogue community have purchased the European gears and installed them on their US bikes. The good news is that this does not involve changing the gears inside the transmission. Instead, this involves swapping out the transfer gears that connect the transmission output shaft to the shaft that drives the front belt pulley. The stock US transfer gears in the transmission have 42 teeth (front) and 50 teeth (rear). The Euro transfer gears have 44 teeth (front) and 48 teeth (rear). This change in gearing creates a noticeable difference. From what I have read in other posts, with the stock configuration, the final drive ratio is 2.7439. and with the euro gears it’s 2.4545.
After my first long trip on my bike back in July, I decided to do the same. There is a great article by Ron Holthaus on the Rogue Owners Group site that describes the process and I strongly recommend that you read that article as well if you are going to make this change. I’ve documented my efforts here and hopefully it will benefit someone else. The Euro gears are not available through US dealerships but you can obtain them from dealers in Canada. I bought mine from St. Onge Recreation in Barrie, Ontario. Each gear was $151.68, so with tax and shipping it came out to a tad over $345. But check out some online forums. Others seem to have purchased the gears for less than that. From my local dealership I bought two new gaskets. The outer transmission cover gasket was $11.64 and the inner transmission cover gasket was $19.40. Oh, and I bought two new crush gaskets for the exhaust pipes. I borrowed a motorcycle lift from my friend and riding partner Scott for the project. I’ve got to get myself one of those…
Here are the two gears as I received them and the two gaskets.
My bike is a 2006 Classic LT so I started by removing the right saddlebag.
Next I removed the right footboard.
Next, the two muffers and the exhaust headers.
The next step is to remove the gas tank. I removed the cover on the left side of the engine and disconnected the 4 electrical plugs.
Next I disconnect the fuel line from the pump. There is an orange coupling that make this an easy task. Simply slide the orange couple back and the hose comes right off. Have a rag handy to catch the bit of gas that drips out.
Then I disconnected the two fuel tank vent hoses.
The tank is secured with one bolt. After removing the bolt, I slid the tank backwards so that it would clear the front mounts and lifted it off and set it in a safe place.
I put the cover bolt back in the bracket so that I wouldn’t lose it.