View Full Version : help with motorcycle
08-04-2004, 01:24 PM
I know this is pushing the limits of content but I have no place else to go. I hope you will allow this diversion.
My clutch is slipping very badly. When you accelerate the motor will rev high and the transmission cathes up slowly. I am assumming the clutch is slipping. I plan to disassemble this weekend and start the trouble shooting process. Can anyone give some tidbits of advice before I begin the process.
08-04-2004, 01:27 PM
Might help to define the type of motorcycle??
08-04-2004, 01:37 PM
Yamaha Roadstar (1600 cc).
08-04-2004, 01:37 PM
First question, Have you tried adjusting it out?
Most clutch throw-out linkages adjust in, then back out 1/4 turn.
The newer evo harley is a squirrel to adjust, it has a diaphram pressure plate and is a bear to adjust.
Cable? adjust it so you have a minimal of 1/8" free cable play.
What kind of motorcycle?
The old panhead harley with a mousetrap type cable/spring assist was quite a terror. it had If I remember seven or eight places to adjust. Mine the mousetrap would hang and you'd have to bump it with your foot.
[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 08-04-2004).]
08-04-2004, 01:39 PM
I have adjusted the cable play so that the linkage retracts till it stops.
08-04-2004, 01:40 PM
Normally there is an adjustment on the clutch cable that will make the clutch engage properly if you haven't glazed it to badly or worn it out completely. You shouldn't have to take anything apart tp make the adjustment.
What kind of motorcycle do you have?
08-04-2004, 01:41 PM
I fear the friction plates are shot. This is a wet clutch if that makes a difference.
08-04-2004, 01:42 PM
This bike only has 17,000 mi on it and I don't ride it like I stole it.
08-04-2004, 01:43 PM
On most the Jap bikes I have adjusted, the snail type pivot where the cable connects at the motor end, loosen your cable, Loosen the locknut, turn set screw in till resistance is felt, then back out 1/4 turn. Then adjust cable till you have 1/8" play in lever before it pulls on throw-out snail type linkage..
OF course, this is just general. I have never worked on a Roadstar, but it is the same on all the bikes from the old hondas to the newer kawa's I have had to tinker with for people.
08-04-2004, 01:45 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by C. Tate:
I have adjusted the cable play so that the linkage retracts till it stops. </font>
too tight, need some free play. hopefully you have not yet glazed it all.
yamaha's used to be different than most bikes in that the clutch lever gets tighter with wear rather than looser. Still the case?
anyway, just adgust it for a little free play in the hand lever.
08-04-2004, 01:46 PM
At 17k your clutch should not be gone.
I bet it is a adjustment thing...
Has the motorcycle sat for a while. If oil is not circulated through the clutch it can stick or slip. The plates swell a little when oil soaked.
08-04-2004, 03:14 PM
This is a modern Japanese bike, so the likelyhood is that is't a multi-plate clutch with hydraulic actuation. If this is true, working on them is a bit more of a pain.
Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.
08-04-2004, 03:46 PM
Not sure if this is still relevant on todays bikes but you might want to check your oil and make sure it is not over filled.
New bike with only 1700 miles, I can't see the clutch being fried. Unless you let a "friend" borrow it. Huuhhhh? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
If this is an old style wet clutch too much oil in the case will make it slip. Really it will http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Harley's won't do that but the early Japanese bikes would.
Have a look first before you take apart. If overfilled, drain to proper level let it sit an hour and give it a try.
08-04-2004, 04:47 PM
A long shot but still good info. I've been told that adding a friction reducing additive to the oil can make the wet clutch slip, even if adjustments are done properly. Been there, done that. I lived with it till the next oil change.
08-04-2004, 04:57 PM
17k is not very many miles to be having clutch problems.
WARRANTY? Or might search Internet to see if other owners are having similar problems.
I have been running Castrol Synetec in my Goldwing since new and it has 43k on it now with absolutely no problems.
08-06-2004, 04:49 AM
I never had a problem like that with my old Triumphs, mind you mostly the only time I used the clutch was when engaging 1st, and that was because I got sick of pulled cables until I learnt to solder properly. CT you didn`t say whether you are the 1st owner, I have always found it served me well to do a complete oil change on all machines I purchase. You can determine a lot by the condition of that oil. Remember, simple things first. adjust that cable, making sure it isnt crimped or unsupported. If that doesnt work check the plate condition and adjust. I don`t know much about jappas, I have never owned one, although my FXST was full of o.e Jap stuff.
08-06-2004, 06:26 AM
What kind of oil did you put in it? Is the gearbox separate from the engine or do they share oil? With only 17k that sounds very wierd unless you are a clutch dragger.
08-06-2004, 08:59 AM
Yes the engine and clutch share oil. I have been using standard motor oil. I have been told the anti friction additives and the detergents found in these oils can damage the clutch. I suspect this is what has happened. I have changed the oil and put in the Yamaha oil. Do you think it is possible that it will clean itself out?
08-06-2004, 09:04 AM
If the friction plates are screwed then you need new ones. They will not clean out. I have ran normal 10W30 in my motocross bike for a long time without any problems. I am hard on the clutch in that thing to. I would say that if you have free play in the linkage/cable or whatever it has and it is slipping then the plates are bad. You want to run oil that has a JASO A lable on it. This oil has no friction additives. JASO B does.
08-06-2004, 01:49 PM
In my motorcycle repair shop I have had several machines in the last year suffering from clutch slipping. All of them could be traced to the owners using or adding 5W30 motor oil. This product has only been on the market for a couple of years. all the bike mags have issued warnings not to use it in wet clutch applications. I just drained the oil, flushed the engine with varsol, and replace with 10W40 or whatever is called for.I agree that it sounds like you have the cable adjusted too tight. Slack it off to 1/4in. free play. by the way, I believe a Gold wing has a dry clutch. My BMW has one and its slipping like crasy, Rear engine seal is leaking bad.Why is it that a mmechanics own vehicles are the last to be worked on/ Doug
"All of them could be traced to the owners using or adding 5W30 motor oil. This product has only been on the market for a couple of years."
5W-30 has been around since 1945.
08-06-2004, 02:29 PM
I read in one of my motorcycle mags that the 5W-30 or any multi-visosity oil is labled like this to show the rage of viscosity. I can't remember the numbers but it was somehting like, at -15C 5W-30 acts like a 30 weight and at +25C acts like a 5 weight. Like I said not sure on the temperature range. I can't see how a different range of oil would damage a clutch unless you got the clutch very very hot. In that case 5W-30 or 10W-30 would not make much difference. If you run a clutch that does not share the oil with the engine you can run an oil with friction modifiers to help the clutch grab better. This way you do not effect the piston rings and cylinder scraping action. That is why I think there are so many differnt types of oils for bikes. They are all trying to find the middle ground for the wet clutch without hurting the "slippery parts" like bearings, piston rings and cylinder walls. Car oil is made for bearings and such, not wet clutches.
08-06-2004, 04:33 PM
I understood that using teflon engine treatment or the Castrol Synlube types of oils will cause a clutch to slip.
Harleys have thier own brand of oil they run in the sealed chain cases on the newer bikes.. A long way from the old panhead I had so many years, it went in, then it went onto the ground or you, or the person behind you.. I put a o-ring chain and a belt drive on it and sealed the oiler with a set screw inside the block.. It was amazed how clean the bike stayed then.
I saw a old harley at a show once, guy was riding it around, it had a pump you stroked. The oil went to the bearings, then onto the ground. SO I guess that is where that plan came from.
David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia
08-06-2004, 06:07 PM
Yeah Dave, I believe that oiler you mentioned may go by the name of the "Scottoiler" or some such thing. they extend the life of that rear chain by miles. I used to run Dexron 3 trans oil in the primary and never once had a prob with the clutch or the chain. Although the rubbish hub bearing went south at 35000km. Never held much stock in the H.D blurb about how special their overpriced oils were or their Harley underpants etc, just so much promo.
08-06-2004, 10:41 PM
I have let the linkage retract to the furthest point where the clutch would be fully engaged. Then adjusted the cable so that it has .125 play as reccomended. Does this sound correct? I am thinking that having cable too tight will pull on the linkage and not allow the clutch to fully engage. Does this also sound correct?
P.S. Thanks for all of the responses. You guys are great. Come over for a beer and we can tear it apart. I feel certin that is where I'm headed.
08-06-2004, 10:59 PM
Speedy, it was the motor oil pump on the "silent grey fellow" a fancy motorized bicycle made by harley, had a leather belt turning the rear wheel.
I missed out buying one from a man I knew as a child.. he called my mom's house, told her he had a motorcycle with a belt drive for sale and he wanted me to have it. I was thinking Sturgis Harley *(first belt drive bike) and it was one of the early 1900 bikes..
David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia
08-06-2004, 11:17 PM
To. C. Tate, having the clutch cable adjusted too tight does NOT allow the clutch to fully release, thereby leaving it partially engaged all the time. This allows the motor to not transmit it's full power potential through to the rear wheels.
Do you have a Dealer Service Manual for your bike? If not, I suggest you spend the $70-80 dollars and get one...it will be worth it.
This would be a good time to put a plug in for a website called Chopper Underground...if you have motorcycle questions or problems or want to customize your bikes (jap and others, even HD's) this is the website for you.
Hope this helped. C YA!
08-07-2004, 12:36 AM
Isn`t that right Dave, I`m sure there are a lot of regrets out there. Here`s one of mine; when I was about 25 and not that long been married (I had swapped my 1966 Triumph Thunderbird, ex English cop bike that could pull 110mph two up on a good day,for a 1964 Chrysler Valient to cart the family about in ) I was looking about for a farm house to rent, anyway I came across this old house out the back of a suburb called East Tamaki and I ventured down the drive. The house looked to be abandoned so a mate and I had a looksee about, well lying against the wall was an old Norton Dommie (500 or 650, I`m not sure now). It was siezed, with rusty chromework and oxidized cases but totally complete. I went home with the thought of returning to collect that bike but I never did -- bugger! . being a bit concerned about ownership, the possibility of theft etc ). I went back some time later and both the bike and house were gone, I hope someone else had the good fortune and sense to rescue that bike and give it back life. I`ve gotta go the tears are coming , now where is that beer? see ya all
Ken from NZ
P.S CT, I just remembered I sometimes had probs with the clutch outer compressing under load (crappy wound steel reinforced outers) till I started useing cables with axial run outers. Oh! hang on that gave me probs with dissengagement, sorry mate, maybe I need more beer.
[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 08-07-2004).]
08-08-2004, 09:18 AM
Maybe it's just the pressure plate (clutch) springs.
On my Honda the old plates were nearly the same thickness as the new ones. It was just weak springs.
08-08-2004, 10:04 AM
"I can't remember the numbers but it was somehting like, at -15C 5W-30 acts like a 30 weight and at +25C acts like a 5 weight."
Speedy.....at least your "right" about not remembering the numbers...(BTW.......not trying to insult you......just trying to "not confuse" the other readers) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif
With 5W-30..... at "low" temps, the oil acts like a 5 weight and at "high" temps it acts like a 30 weight.
In reality, that isn't "precisely" accurate, but it works for a general definition. The technical definition is too time consuming for this reply.
Want to know more? Do a Google search for "multi-viscosity oil"...
Little realized fact. Why does hot water clean better than cold? Water at boiling is four times less viscous than water near freezing. Much lower surface tension.
08-08-2004, 07:02 PM
I'm not sure if your bike has this, but many bikes actually have two adjustments for the clutch. One is the cable that some have already spoken about and the other is a screw that is located in the center of the clutch hub. Sometimes you have to remove a cover to get to it or in other cases it may be accessible from outside the clutch housing. Usually it consists of a screw with a lock nut. If that has somehow vibrated the lock nut loose it could allow the screw to turn inward and prevent the clutch from engaging completely. The adjustment for this usually involves turning the screw inward until it becomes snug (at this point it is just beginning to separate the cluch plates) and then backing it off the number of turns recommended my the manufacturer, then tightening the lock nut without allowing the adjustment screw to turn.
I'm sorry if my description isn't easy to understand, but as an analogy, it is something like adjusting a gib with a lock nut; and the adjustment screw/lock nut assembly looks similar to that on a gib adjustment.
The cable adjustment is made after the screw/lock nut adjustment.
I hope this helps.
08-08-2004, 08:55 PM
In the center of the wet clutch 'basket' is an adjuster for free play.
1- slacken the cable,
2- using an appropriate sized deep socket,
loosen the lock nut, remove the ratchet from
the socket, stick a screwdriver down through
the center of the socket and 'back' out the
screw, then turn it in until you feel it
touch the throwout bearing and then back it
out again so there is freeplay and pull the screwdriver out, put the ratchet back into the socket and tighten the nut.
3- re-adjust the cable at either end for the required freeplay.
08-10-2004, 08:10 AM
Thanks for all the great help. It is the friction plates. I have been running the wrong oil (against mfg's recomendation)and gummed up the friction plates.