RiderForums.com - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This past weekend I finally completed my install of the stiffer BRP clutch springs and a new set of clutch discs. The issue I'm having is that the clutch engagement zone has shrunk to an uncontrollable level and I'm trying to determine why that has happened. I began this project about 3 weeks ago, however due to a terribly out of spec torque wrench ended up snapping a couple of the bolts and having to order new ones. So 3 weeks ago I soaked the new clutch discs in oil as instructed for a few hours, then put them in the bike, however after snapping the bolts, I closed the bike up since it would be sitting until the bolts came in. Fast forward to this weekend, I didn't resoak the clutch plates as I figured with them sandwiched so tight together and with me putting the clutch cover back on, they wouldn't dry out much, if at all. Installed the BRP clutch springs and new bolts, replaced the oil filter, added the required amount of oil, and adjusted the clutch cable.

Bike starts fine, idles fine, sits in neutral fine. With the bike running, in gear, with the clutch pulled in, the bike doesn't try to walk forward and acts completely normal. However, when I slowly let the clutch out, the bike hardly pulls forward then stalls out like I've dropped the clutch without any gas. The clutch engagement point seems to have gone from being 80-90% of the clutch levers range, to a measly 3mm from disengaged to fully engaged. I double checked the clutch cable adjustment and everything looks fine and according to spec from what I can tell. I even tried adjusting the clutch cable to both extremes and it did not seem to effect the engagement point, it was still from nothing to nearly instant on in a matter of millimeters. I took it out for a short little test run to see if maybe it just needed to toss some oil around in the clutch area or to see if it happened in other gears as well. The same thing occurs in every gear whether up-shifting or down-shifting, which makes it very difficult to shift down slowing just before a curve as it causes the bike to lurch hard forward due to not being able to smoothly let it out into gear.

Is this a byproduct of the BRP springs or am I missing something here? I read that they make the lever more difficult to pull in and that they take a bit to get used to, but this seems abnormal and not like something I will ever be able to get used to. The thing that baffles me even more is that there is still spring resistance all the way through letting the lever out the rest of the way even once fully engaged. So it's not like I've let the springs all the way out by the time the clutch is fully engaged and I don't get any slipping which makes me think it isn't anything related to my clutch cable adjustment.

Could this be related to the new clutch discs I put in? Could they have dried back out even in the enclosed space? If this is the case, will they soak adequately with the bike properly filled with oil now, or will I need to tear the clutch apart again and resoak the discs?

TL : DR - Installed BRP Clutch Springs and the clutch engagement zone went from 80-90% of the possible clutch lever movement down to about 3mm of movement before fully engaged.

I'm at a complete loss at this point, any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

(In case this is necessary, I'm on a 2006)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
i have installed the brp springs also but i didn't do discs and everything works fine.
did you get new steel plates with the disks?
i would check all of those with a caliper and compare to the service manual specs.
and if i remember correctly there is a pattern to follow as far as which direction the grooves on the each padded disc are facing and notches in the outer area of the discs as well
if one of those grooves is off i would think it could be catching and compressing a few of the discs prematurely.
if it were me i would open it up and double check everything what your describing doesn't sound normal as far as the springs.

just my 2 cents good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
i have installed the brp springs also but i didn't do discs and everything works fine.
did you get new steel plates with the disks?
i would check all of those with a caliper and compare to the service manual specs.
and if i remember correctly there is a pattern to follow as far as which direction the grooves on the each padded disc are facing and notches in the outer area of the discs as well
if one of those grooves is off i would think it could be catching and compressing a few of the discs prematurely.
if it were me i would open it up and double check everything what your describing doesn't sound normal as far as the springs.

just my 2 cents good luck
I only replaced the fabric/cork (not sure what material honestly) ones, not the steels as the steels were still in spec. I'll reread the repair manual about installing the other discs, and I know they alternated steel/cork/steel/cork etc. but maybe I did get those out of order. Both sides of the cork plates are identical so I'm pretty sure I'm safe there as far as not being able to put them in backwards.

Thanks for the info about your experience with the springs too. When you did just the springs was the only thing that felt different, the lever being a bit stiffer/harder to pull in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Yeah the resistance in clutch pull got a little tougher but you won't notice after a few weeks.
I'm a pretty large guy 6'2" 230# so when I really hit it on take off
It would slip but after the springs I can pull the front wheel off the ground in first and second
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,696 Posts
The engagement zone is 100% based on your clutch stack height.

If you look at the arm for the clutch, as it enters the case, it moves very few degrees of rotation to open these plates up. They barely separate.

If the height is wrong, or slightly off, the plates stay in solid contact until the last few degrees of arm rotation. This makes the clutch have an on/off feel.

Especially common with Barnett or ebc plates. Oem only on clutch plates, or be ready to measure and order different thicknesses of steel plates to be able to set this for yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The engagement zone is 100% based on your clutch stack height.

If you look at the arm for the clutch, as it enters the case, it moves very few degrees of rotation to open these plates up. They barely separate.

If the height is wrong, or slightly off, the plates stay in solid contact until the last few degrees of arm rotation. This makes the clutch have an on/off feel.

Especially common with Barnett or ebc plates. Oem only on clutch plates, or be ready to measure and order different thicknesses of steel plates to be able to set this for yourself.
Interesting! Looks like I'll have to take it apart and see what the thickness is on the new plates I put in. I don't remember what my local shop ordered me, and unfortunately I already tossed the original stocks. :smashfrea Lesson learned I need to pay more attention and hold onto stuff until I'm completely finished with a project and everything is working completely.

Thanks so much for the info, hopefully this doesn't end up costing too much more. Any recommendations for online locations to buy the plates from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,696 Posts
Step one is to find out how thick it is supposed to be.

That is int he service manual. As am example, my ninja 1000 clutch needed to be 45.6-46.4mm

Not much to work with....less than 1mm

So, step two is to see how yours are right now. You want to wipe the oil off and smash them together. Take a measurement.

On your bike the stock steel plates are supposed to be 2.3mm thick. I dont see any alternate plates offered. Barnett does not have any, either. They have 2.3 plates, but we need to find something closer to 2.0mm, and I dont see anyone with that.


What brand are your plates?

I wish I had the pieces loose as its difficult to explain the issue without them.

The point is this. Our clutch springs are very stiff, and we have six of them...of 4..or 5..whatever.

Our hands are not very strong. In order for our hands to do this work, we need leverage.

The system is built in such a way we get leverage. However, in doing so , it means our clutch lever gets pulled almost an inch as the rod separating the clutchpack moves a few millimeters.

Unless that stack height positions everything perfectly, we use up some of those millimeters and end up with an on/off switch feel.

If we cant find some 2.0mm thick plates, it may be better to switch back to oem clutch fiber plates. I bought armfulls of them for my ninja on ebay, used. Unless they are a dark black, or show signs of wear, there is no issue getting used parts, and its cheap.
 
  • Like
Reactions: micro1331

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,920 Posts
If I guy was careful, he could possibly take the new plates out and "take a little" fiber off the clutch plates on a flat surface using mild sandpaper and slight pressure on a flat surface. You'd need to clean them off and re-soak them but, might be worth a try to get that tiny bit more clearance you need. They will eventually wear down/smooth out on there own also, but that will take a lot of "slipping the clutch" which is the hard part/issue now...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,696 Posts
Not a bad idea at all. Especially when we're talking .5mm, total, to remove from a bunch of individual plates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: XxGRYMMxX

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Finally got a chance to look at this again last night. I was sold EBC clutch plates, so based on what rcannon409 said, my initial thought is that the fiber plates are likely out of spec, however, I will pull them off the bike this week and measure them to make sure. If they do end up being out of spec and I decide to give the sanding a try, I'm assuming I would want to sand both sides of each plate to get them into spec? Or does it not matter if both sides are even as long as the total thickness of the plate is within spec? Also, does it matter what I clean the plates off with after sanding them, or is just water and a cloth fine since I'm assuming I'm just trying to get any loose pieces off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Tore the bike back apart yesterday to track this down. Pulled out all of the clutch plates and measured each one. They should be between 2.92-3.08mm and the EBC plates were all 3.03mm, so they are well within spec and not the issue. With that said I found the stock springs and compared the two. The springs free length should be between 32.6-33.6mm. My stock ones are 33.49mm and the 'stiffer' BRP springs are measuring in at a whopping 36.86mm, a whole 3mm over spec. Now I don't know much about spring rates so this is where I'm hoping for some help. Are the springs simply longer to give them a stiffer feel as advertised, or did I likely get the wrong, or incorrectly spec'd springs? I assumed the springs should be the same length, just the spiral tighter or something to make them a heavier weighted spring.

After putting the stock springs back in the clutch is behaving again, so it was certainly the springs. I'm still just wondering if they are supposed to be longer or not. The reson I ask this is because I would eventually like to put them back in because I liked the stiffer clutch lever, just not the near non-existent engagement zone. The first time I tried to put the springs on I tightened them by feel and ended up snapping two of the bolts. The second time around I torqued them to spec according to the manual, but I'm wondering if I need to go further than spec because of the heavier spring. I'm just afraid of snapping the bolts again.

Height Difference:


Stock:


BRP:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,696 Posts
In the dirt bike world, it was not uncommon to use every other spring as a heavy model...

I dont like that, here, as the length is probably too much. I suspect this longer spring is coil binding.

The bolts holding these need to be carefully tightened, as you found out. Torque figures are great, but not if bolts and threads have oil on them.

JUST bottom them. They wont go anywhere.

As far as clutches go, oem parts are where its at. Aftermarket often leads to where you are with these springs. Close, but not right.

I would throw the long spring sin the trash and order new oem springs. They are stiff enough to do the job.

As far as plate thickness, you did good, but measuring individually does not account for how they are when stacked. You need the figure with them all added together...then decide if its too tall, or short. Stacking them all also accounts for the steel plates. You may have done that already...

Also, ebc's friction material sucks. It tends to not act consistent when hot. I would run used, oem plates from ebay before using new ebc. In fact, I did, and I am....

If you must use the longer, stiff springs, theres no law saying you cannot dress the ends. A sharpening stone will remove material, emory paper, etc will leave a polished end, and you might be able to remove a millimeter pretty easily.
 
  • Like
Reactions: micro1331

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Just put the brp special 18 percent spring in a few weeks ago, adjusted my clutch cable and lever for the first time, spent some time dialing it in, and it is way better than stock. Feels closer to my c14 clutch, and not mushy like before.

Contact brp, they seem like a class act, could be a wrong batch or something
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top