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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Clutch question

First of all, is a clutch on a bike like that on a car? I assume it, eventually, needs replacing? How long does one last?

I've always had a problem adjusting my clutch cable. I don't know what it's "supposed" to feel like i.e. grabbing quickly or with a lot of travel. I'm guessing this is rider preference and the style of your riding?

I don't like it when I have the clutch engaged, put it in first and the bike jumps a little. That's when I usually wind up adjusting it.

Can any of the tech gurus chime in on some details?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 08:57 AM
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My clutch cable snapped on my 83 Yamaha early last summer..I was at a gas station, and I put out of the pump and SNAP :shock: !! The guy I bought it off from said he had replaced it 2 years earlier, wasnt showing any signs of wear, just a clean tear... ..really weird, it must have been defective..although I dont know how long they are supposed to last.

when i get a new one put on, since itwas inspection time anyways, i just had the shop put it on, I picked up the bike, and OMG, I let off the clutch and you'd think somebody was drunk when they adjusted it...I tried taking off,and the bike barely moved..so I stopped, adjusted alot tighter, and then it was ok. but ever since then I have never seemed to get it quite exactly the way it was before. I mean it works fine, just doesnt have quite the same feel when shifting from first gear to neutral, etc... and also when the bike warms up, it shift alittle heavy and I have to adjust it from time to time.


I'll be watching for the response that you get in this thread too.




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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 12:15 AM
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Most bikes are different. My Honda has a hydraulic clutch. My old Suzuki has a cable clutch that has two adjustment points. A coarse adjustment at the pivot on the clutch housing, and a fine adjustment at the clutch lever. Keep it well oiled. The free play at the clutch lever for my Suzuki should be 2-3mm. That is the distance the clutch lever moves at the pivot until resistance is felt. But start there, and adjust it for your shifting pleasure. 4-5mm will move the release point of the clutch. Try that and see if it is better or worse. Tighten the locknut when you find a good freeplay.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 12:33 AM
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Don't hold me to this. But I believe they are quite different than cars. Here's a few (maybe obvious) differences. One, your bike clutch is a wet clutch, being that it operates in your motor oil(with the exception of some dry clutch bikes such as Duc's). Two, your car uses a single friction plate, where your bike uses many plates assembled in your clutch basket. That's all I can tell you...hope it helps or steers you in some way...




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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Mine is a cable with two adjustment points. I'll just keep testing.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 09:40 AM
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How long are the cables for the clutch supposed to normally last ?




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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Speed750
How long are the cables for the clutch supposed to normally last ?

Good question, I sure don't know. I'd hate to be out on a ride and have the thing snap. :ack:
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanMan14
Good question, I sure don't know. I'd hate to be out on a ride and have the thing snap. :ack:
trust me, from personal experience as referenced above..it sux.. :ack: , weird thing was , there was no appearance of wear right up until it snapped...ugh!!




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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 06:46 PM
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If you have oiled the cable real good, and it still feels sticky, the cable may break soon. Had two of them break, right next to the clutch pivot. It never breaks in the garage, always far away, and always on a Sunday or holiday when the shops are closed. They break when you are holding in the clutch at a light waiting for cross traffic to clear, or when you are doing an important upshift or downshift. If it bothers you, change it now.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanMan14
First of all, is a clutch on a bike like that on a car? I assume it, eventually, needs replacing? How long does one last?

I've always had a problem adjusting my clutch cable. I don't know what it's "supposed" to feel like i.e. grabbing quickly or with a lot of travel. I'm guessing this is rider preference and the style of your riding?

I don't like it when I have the clutch engaged, put it in first and the bike jumps a little. That's when I usually wind up adjusting it.

Can any of the tech gurus chime in on some details?
The clutch on your bike is similar to one on your car in that it is a wearable item and will eventually need replacing. Beyond that, they are pretty different in design and execution. Gas Man is right about them being multi-plate wet clutches (usually) versus cars that are single plate (usually). As with anything wearable, the life of the clutch depends on how it is used.

Depending on the kind of bike you have, there are sometimes two kinds of adjustments available. First is the cable length, which usually has adjustment at each end of the cable (obviously this doesn't count for hydraulic actuated clutches). The idea is to make the main adjustment at the end by the motor and then the fine adjustment is done at the handlebar end. A properly adjusted cable will give the lever a few milimeters of free play before you start pulling against the clutch. The second adjustment is not always available but on some bikes with a ball & ramp release mechanism you can adjust freeplay against the pushrod.

Assuming your clutch is adjusted properly, the bike should not "jump" when you put it into gear. Many bikes (especially Kawasakis) will go into first gear with a very heavy and deliberate "clunk" but the bike should not move forward. If the bike does move, it is usually a sign the the clutch is dragging and not completely releasing the transmission main shaft from the engine. Again, if the clutch is properly adjusted, this could be a sign of component wear on the clutch basket (or an aftermarket clutch).

Larry

Rarely is the question stupid, but sometimes the answer is you need to run everything you read online through your own personal BS meter to determine if it makes sense to you.

Last edited by larryg; 08-08-2004 at 12:34 AM.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryg
Depending on the kind of bike you have, there are sometimes two kinds of adjustments available. First is the cable length, which usually has adjustment at each end of the cable (obviously this doesn't count for hydraulic actuated clutches). The idea is to make the main adjustment at the end by the motor and then the fine adjustment is done at the handlebar end. A properly adjusted cable will give the lever a few milimeters of free play before you start pulling against the clutch. The second adjustment is not always available but on some bikes with a ball & ramp release mechanism you can adjust freeplay against the pushrod.

Assuming your clutch is adjusted properly, the bike should not "jump" when you put it into gear. Many bikes (especially Kawasakis) will go into first gear with a very heavy and deliberate "clunk" but the bike should not move forward. If the bike does move, it is usually a sign the the clutch is dragging and not completely releasing the transmission main shaft from the engine. Again, if the clutch is properly adjusted, this could be a sign of component wear on the clutch basket (or an aftermarket clutch).

Larry
So is there always an adjustment at the other end near the engine on cable clutches? My 83 Yamaha, I just cant seem to get it quite right, adjustment wise, when you put it into first, the bike will move just alittle bit, and there is a deliberate sounding "clunk".. ( I dont know when/if the clutch assembly has been replaced on this bike I will have to find out). So its not necessarily an adjustment issue with this, but rather could be the entire mechanism is not releasing the main shaft completely, right?




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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 08:06 AM
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On the right side of the bike you will see a piviting arm on the top of the side cover of your motor. If you give your clutch lever a pull that should move. Your adjustment should be right therein front of your eyes. I believe you need to tighten up the adjustment. You clutch lever is "loose" and not pulling the clutch far enough to dis-engage it.

I've been looking at a few of the new bikes. Honda seems to be using alot of hydrolic clutchs. There new Super Hawk, and CBR 1000RR both have hydrolic clutchs on them. Not a big surprise on the super hawk, because most companies use them on their twins to help with the torque. But it's a newer thing on a inline 4. I'm pretty happy to see it because it does away with all this c**p. No ajusting needed, no cable snapping with bad timing, no nuttin. Just replace the fluid when you change out your brake fluid and done!

Technology is great!




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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the info chris, I'll check it out!!




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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Speed750
So is there always an adjustment at the other end near the engine on cable clutches? My 83 Yamaha, I just cant seem to get it quite right, adjustment wise, when you put it into first, the bike will move just alittle bit, and there is a deliberate sounding "clunk".. ( I dont know when/if the clutch assembly has been replaced on this bike I will have to find out). So its not necessarily an adjustment issue with this, but rather could be the entire mechanism is not releasing the main shaft completely, right?
I can't think of any cable that doesn't have two adjusters. Follow the cable down and you will find the other adjuster, either right at the end of the cable or somewhere in the middle.

Does the bike want to creep forward when it is in gear with the clutch lever pulled? If so, it may need adjusting. If not, it may just be the way it is.

Larry

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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I know mine has two, thankfully the one near the case is easy to access.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryg
I can't think of any cable that doesn't have two adjusters. Follow the cable down and you will find the other adjuster, either right at the end of the cable or somewhere in the middle.

Does the bike want to creep forward when it is in gear with the clutch lever pulled? If so, it may need adjusting. If not, it may just be the way it is.

Larry
Yep, thats what it does..when I shift into 1st, from nuetral, she'll want too creep forward..and also, if Im at a complete stop, in first gear, its extremely hard to shift into neutral from first gear, at a stop..its no problem if Im down/up shifting while the bike is moving. THink the two are related?




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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Speed750
Yep, thats what it does..when I shift into 1st, from nuetral, she'll want too creep forward..and also, if Im at a complete stop, in first gear, its extremely hard to shift into neutral from first gear, at a stop..its no problem if Im down/up shifting while the bike is moving. THink the two are related?
The clutch is dragging, now you need to figure out why. Besides the adjustment or damage to the basket, having aftermarket clutch plates can do the same thing.

Larry


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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 10:27 PM
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PS - I have turned my 6 year old daughter into a total Kiss fan too [/QUOTE]


O-NO not another KISS fan. LOL Just kidding. I like them too.
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