Euro Gears

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.

Euro gears
Inside transmission gasket
Outside transmission gasket

My bike is a 2006 Classic LT so I started by removing the right saddlebag.

Remove the right saddlebag

Next I removed the right footboard.

Remove the right foot board

Next, the two muffers and the exhaust headers.

Lower muffler mounting bracket
Heat shields removed
Mufflers removed

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.

The left side cover is held on by one screw
Electrical connectors connected
Electrical connectors disconnected

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.

Fuel line coupling to tank
Fuel line uncoupled from the tank

Then I disconnected the two fuel tank vent hoses.

Fuel tank vent hoses (one on each side)

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.

Removing the tank

I put the cover bolt back in the bracket so that I wouldn’t lose it.

A safe place to keep the cover bolt!

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http://focusontheride.com/euro-gears/

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A Goldwing rider from Jacksonville, FL.

17 thoughts on “Euro Gears

  1. Is it absolutely necessary to remove the tank?

    Did you not have to use a “Gear Lock” since using an impact?

    Thanks

    1. Yes, you need to remove the gas tank becuase you need to get at the radiator cap in order to refill the coolant. I did not use a gear lock. I left the bike in gear and with the rear wheel on the ground there is enough resistance to keep the gears from turning when using the impact wrench to loosen the nuts holding the transfer gears.

  2. All this time later how do you feel about Euro Gears?
    Is the acceleration/grunt still decent from 3rd on compared
    to before?
    Great site, pics and travels.
    Well done.

    1. Sorry for taking so long to reply. I still love the Euro gears. They definitely bring the RPMs down when you are cruising on the highway. But I still occasionally reach for that non-existent 6th gear! And first gear is still too steep. I don’t know why Kawaski did that becuase the motor has PLENTY of torque. The roll-on in third or fourth is still tremendous. Lots of grunt, you still have to hold on! It’s never a problem leaving others behind! Thanks for the complement on the site.

  3. I just installed euro gears on my vn 2000 Ltd this week and instead of dismanteling all the plastic I cut down a small allen wrench so It could fit under the plastic box , finished remouving the allen bolt with pliers and got the small sim out from under the speed sensor with no trouble . THanks for all the pictures and information it made my job easyier

  4. Thank you for the detail on the gear change.
    I just installed my Euro Gears on my ’08 2K after waiting almost a month for them to come in. Using your directions and photos were mucho helpful, thanks!.
    I followed Guerin’s advice and instead of remove the battery box, I too cut down and bent a cheap 5mm Hex wrench. You only get a quarter turn at a time but it beats disassembling the battery box. The whole process took me the better part of a day, but I took my time and cleaned all the gasket surfaces and assembled it carefully. I left the bike on the ground and also used an impact wrench on the gear nuts. Yeah, they were tight!
    Haven’t rode a long distance yet but I can feel the difference already. The shifts are a little more crisp and a bit less “clunky” so all in all I think it’s worth it.

    Thanks!

  5. I have read on other another website that both shafts are the same diameter and that the transfer gears can also be reversed giving a total of four different drive ratios 42:50, 44:48, 48:44, and 50:42. I am wondering if anyone knows how to address the correcting the gap on the speedo pickup if going smaller than the 48 tooth gear on the rear shaft. With Arizona speed limits going as high as 75mph and traffic speed sometimes approaching 90mph, I think I would like the advantage of running 48:44 on the transfer gears. Thanks for any info.

    1. http://www.powersportswarehouse.com/p/parts#%2fKawasaki%2fVN2000A6F_Vulcan_2000_%28European%29_%282006%29%2fTRANSMISSION%2fVN2000A6F|~EU-2006%2fI13I1313E1361

      Part # 16085 GEAR,TRANSFER,44T
      Part # 16085A GEAR,TRANSFER,48T
      These are the Euro gears

      You will also need the 2 gaskets for Inner and Outer transmission.
      http://www.powersportswarehouse.com/p/parts#/Kawasaki/VN2000A6F_Vulcan_2000_%28European%29_%282006%29/RIGHT_ENGINE_COVER%28S%29/VN2000A6F|~EU-2006/I13I1313E1436

      Part # 11061
      Part # 11061A

  6. Thank you so much for the great pics,and information, I need to do this ASAP! What Rpm are you spinine at around 80mph,my stock gearing is driving me crazy, I have a cobra 2 into one exaust,the noise and the vibration are crazy at that speed, other than that, I love this bike.

  7. Hi folks,
    I reversed the euro gears on my Euro VN2000, still having plenty of torque. I love that gear ratio a lot, feels like cuising at idle at 100 km/h.
    Another advantage: the speedo is now 100% accurat.
    Thanks for that nice tutorial!
    Regards from Germany
    Frank

    1. One more thing: no need to take the exhaust apart.
      Just loosen the 4 bolts at the cylinders, then the bolts at the frame and take the whole eshaust assembly off the bike.
      Saves you a lot of time.
      Cheers
      Frank

      1. Frank” How did you get the speed sensor close enough to the rear gear to work right? Is the Euro bike sensor longer? Thanks” Wayne. AuGres Michigan.

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