Motorbike CLUTCH question

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  • Motorbike CLUTCH question
  • TandemJeremy
    Member

    I recently changed the clutch cable and oil, and have played with the adjustment on the cable.

    Cable adjustment. Did you use the right oil? Sounds like its not quite disengaging properly

    Premier Icon AndyRT
    Subscriber

    That would seem to me to need adjustment on the cable. It’s engaging the gear, so back off the cable. Obviously be wary of making it too slack, and then getting slippage.

    Seems like you might need to take those fairings off again.

    5thElefant
    Member

    My bet will be the clutch basket is worn.

    Where the plates engage inside the basket they wear a grove. The plates hook up on the grooves and drag. When you stick the bike in gear they plates jump free with a clunk.

    Looks like this:

    Aus
    Member

    Yep, have played with cable adjustment – think it’s right (and is fine when warm). Andy – you’re suggesting maybe the cables too taut? I’ll try backing off a tad.

    5th – thanks for the pic – there is a clunk going into 1st and always imagined it could cause a tad of grief somewhere. I did take the clutch cover off to have a nose around … is the basket easy to replace?

    Aus
    Member

    I’ve a ZZR600, 1997, 22K miles. The clutch is notorious for a being a ‘clunk’ into 1st gear.

    I’ve noticed recently that when I start from cold and pop into 1st gear with clutch in, the rear wheel spins quite vigorously (so I need the front brake on). Once warm, the rear wheel doesn’t spin when in 1st gear and clutch pulled in.

    I recently changed the clutch cable and oil, and have played with the adjustment on the cable.

    Any clues as to what to look at?

    Thanks

    Baskets easy enough to replace but don’t expect the centre clutch nut to come off easily … you’ll need a clutch holding tool and an air gun will make your life easier.

    Could also be warped clutch (plain / drive) plates. Worn cush drive rubbers (rear wheel) will also make the problem feel much worse. Kawasaki gearboxes have always been a little ‘clunky’ right back to 1972 it’s more annoying than an actual problem.

    Slackening your clutch cable means the clutch will disengage less rather than more. Not enough freeplay in the cable will result in the clutch slipping rather than dragging.

    What oil did you use and (sorry about this) did you put the right amount in? Don’t assume just because it says 3.6l or whatever on the side you will have to put this much in … check you haven’t overfilled it slightly, it wouldn’t take much to make a difference when the things still cold.

    Aus
    Member

    thanks still … don’t fancy the basket change! I packed out the cush drive with inner tube which made a good difference. I put in Halfords 10 40 motorcycle oil, filling so the sight glass is half full (and that’s after it’s been run).

    And thanks for the thought on cable adjustment … I did suspect that backing off would mean more drag rather than less

    Aus
    Member

    oh, and semi synthetic oil. It was dragging a tad when cold pre the oil change, but I hoped fresh oil might help

    5thElefant
    Member

    Basket change is easy enough with a holding tool (which are easy to make). Won’t be cheap though. You can file them down. Not approved of I’m sure but common practice on MX bikes.

    Easy enough to rule out by having a look of course.

    Talking of the nut that holds the clutch basket in place… if that’s lose you get some odd behaviour as the entire basket moves when you engage the clutch. Worth checking for play if you do have a look.

    While you’re there you could whip the plates out and check for stuff between them, or just change them.

    wolvesdug
    Member

    Agree with 5thElefant i would say a basket change. not worth filing down as the problem soon comes back. Had the same issues on my enduro bike. Pretty easy to change but then i could just drop the bike on it’s side!!!

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    I had a bike that wouldn’t go into neutral and thought it was a clutch problem but it was just 400ml too much oil in the engine…

    After cable adjustment I’d start with oil for clutch drag and work my round to replacing the clutch basket :mrgreen:

    Aus
    Member

    thanks all. This morning, bit of drag (not overly severe) first thing, none after 3-4 mins of riding? Engages 1st fine (bit of a clunk as usual) and changing into other gears fine. When warm, all fine

    5thElefant
    Member

    You could just warm it up… My bandit is exactly the same. But that has a HD clutch and HD springs so I know why it does it.

    Yes, warm it up, if you’re setting off with the choke still on that’ll always make it clunk, as the thing will be ticking over a few hundred rpm higher than it ought to be.

    shedbrewed
    Member

    Another tip; before you go to put it in gear bring the clutch in, blip the throttle, clutch out, then back in and into first. Makes all the difference on my Tenere.
    On my Speed Triple I just rock the bike forward gently and I snick first and that helps too.

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    unstick the clutch before you start the motor, especially if it has been sat for a while.

    put it in first, pull in the clutch and rock the bike backwards and forwards until the clutch unsticks. if you have a centre stand, then use this and turn the rear wheel by hand whilst holding in the clutch.

    i always do this, avoids the hideous bang into first.

    Aus
    Member

    to continue! This morning, before starting, popped into 1st gear, turned the rear wheel by hand (turned quite easily with only a little drag). Started, into 1st gear, no drag until I got to the first junction (3 mins away), lots of drag. At next junction (another 3-4 mins), no drag, all well.

    Slightly odd?

    ChrisA
    Member

    Your not leaving the choke on when engaging 1st gear are you? Thus would explain the clunk and the jerk forward.

    Just warm the bike up to about 50 degrees before you set off.

    triop
    Member

    Got a ZZr600 myself, what you describe is normal, leave the bike to warm up on the centre stand in neutral till the rear wheel stops turning, which is good practice anyway allows the oil to circulate.
    Mine takes about 3 or 4 minutes, It’s caused by the viscosity of the cold oil causing the clutch plates to drag – also the kawi gearboxes are notoriously clunky especially 1st to 2nd.
    If you haven’t already done so check out zzrinternational forum it’s a gold mine of information on these bikes including it’s bigger brother

    How’s you idle speed – should be @ 1100rpm

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