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Discussion Starter #1
I did my first periodic maintenance yesterday on the bike (3,000 miles).

Everything went great except for the clutch adjustment which has me wondering.

With the bike on the center stand, the engine idling at 1100 rpm's, the clutch lever all the way in and the transmission in first gear, the rear wheel turns. There is enough force that dragging my foot on the sidewall will slow it, but won't stop it. My question is whether I should adjust it so the wheel stops when the clutch is in and if I do, will it be able to fully engage when released?

Has anyone else noticed this?

Craig
 

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Yes.
You want just a touch of free play in the lever. The book says 2-3mm (0.08-0.12 in.) of free play.
 

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Hi Craig,

Were you doing this test with it on the side stand or center stand. :)

Just kidding.

I just went out and checked mine. I have no problem stopping the rear wheel with my foot, and once stopped it remains stopped.

Yes adjust the clutch so it will stop. But make sure the cable still has a little freeplay at the lever.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, I adjusted the cable so that it has just a little freeplay (in that 2 - 3 mm range). But when the bike is on centerstand, the clutch lever is in and in first gear, the rear wheel still spins. I can put my toe on the sidewall and stop it, but as soon as I move my foot away, the tire starts back up.

When I adjusted it so that the rear wheel rolls to a stop when the clutch lever is in, it took ALL of the freeplay out of the cable. I was concerned that with the cable under constant tension, it would stretch and I would be back where I started or that the clutch wouldn't engage fully and might slip under a load.

Although I had ridden about 20 miles right before I checked this again (so the bike was warm), could it be the surface tension of the oil (I'm using 20W50) turning the wheel? Or do you think I still have the clutch plates dragging?

If anyone has any thoughts as to what to try next or if this is even an issue, I'd appreciate them.

Thanks for your help.

Craig
 

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Wheelie for Safety
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Craig,

There is a little knob on the clutch lever with numbers 1 to 5. What do you have yours set on?

Andy
 

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I just tested mine again. It doesn't matter what number the lever position is on. I can still stop the wheel from turning and it stays stopped. It will start spinning again when I let the clutch lever out about an inch.

When I do this test the engine is cold (choke still on).

What type of oil did you use?

Andy
 

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kuc45, the rear wheel spinning while it's on the stand in 1st with the clutch in is NOT a problem! these bikes have a wet clutch, that means the clutch is submerged in oil. even with the plates disengaged by pulling the lever they are not very far apart and there is enough drag created by the oil between them to start the wheel spinning. you were right on target :) this could be different on different bikes, and your using heavier oil could exaggerate this.

your bike is fine, andy's bike is fine.

adjust the cable so that there is 2-3mm of freeplay in the cable (measure just forward of the lever pivot). lock the lock nut. then adjust the little knob (1-5) so that it's comfortable for you to use the lever.

this should all be detailed in your owner's manual.

smile, there's nothing wrong :)

scott
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Andy & Scott,

Thanks so much for your help and your patience with me.

FWIW, I used Castrol Syntec Blend (20W50) and a Per-form J501 filter on this oil change. At 6,000 miles, I'm thinking I will probably switch to a full synthetic but, of course, that's subject to change. The filter change wasn't specified in the manual, but I just can't stand to run clean oil through a dirty filter.

Anyway, thanks again.

Craig
 

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glad things are back on track. i'm with you and so is my mechanic, no sense in running clean oil through a dirty filter. i change it every time.

i'm not sure what your mileage is but folks here have had trouble by changing to full synthetic too soon. make sure you let the tranny break in for a few thousand miles first.

scott :)
 

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Craig,

Scott is correct regarding to switching to a synthetic too soon. It is best to wait till 7,000 according to most people.

However, I'm againts using synthethic at all. I suggest you try replacing the oil and filter. Try Kawasaki 10-40. It will be interesting to see if it fixes your clutch drag problem.

Andy
 

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another good type of oil to use that's not synthetic is diesel engine oil. it's designed for high heat, high stress applications. that describes diesels and air cooled motorcycles perfectly.

scott
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Clutch Adjustment - Resolution

On the way out of work today, I was talking to one of my co-workers that rides his bike to work and mentioned the clutch deal. He says, "Well, let's take a look". When we got to the bikes, I put mine up on the centerstand and before I even started it, he points to it and says, "Here's your problem." I have to tell you, there's nothing like having someone figure it out in two seconds to make you feel good.:rolleyes:

The problem was...... the oil level. When I did my oil change, I put 3 quarts in, ran the bike for about 3 - 4 minutes to fill the filter, then let it set for about 5 minutes. Then I filled the oil to the High mark on the window. So basically, I was setting the level with oil that wasn't hot and hadn't expanded fully.

When my friend looked at the bike, he noticed that the oil was at the High mark while it was still cold. He suggested that when I got home, I check the oil level while the bike is hot and drain it down to the High mark if it is over. Sure enough, when I checked the oil in my garage, it was about 1/8th of an inch above the line. I drained a few ounces of oil out to bring the level back down to the High mark and Voila! the rear wheel behaved as I had expected.

So the lesson for me was that from now on, I check the oil level to make sure its between the marks before or after a ride, but only set the oil level based on where its at when its hot.

If I keep this up, my guardian angel is going to ask for hazard pay.

Craig
 

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kuc45 - Strange. The oil level on my bike is right on the high mark when cold. When I put it in gear, and pull the clutch in, the back wheel doesn't move an inch. After a long ride, the oil level drops below the high mark. It takes a while to return to the high mark.

My observation has been the direct opposite of what you have seen.
 

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It's also going to depends on if you check your oil on the center stand (not recommended) or holding it straight up. The method I use is putting a 1" thick board under the side stand, walk around to the right side of the bike and then pull the bike up to verticle. (A 2" thick board is just a little too thick and gets the bike over verticle and if you let go of the bike, it will fall over). The reading on the centerstand is not a correct reading. The bike has to be level and verticle.
 

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Hi Craig,

Great you found the problem. We all learned something from this. Too much oil and the clutch drags.

I always change my oil when the engine is warm. It flows out quicker when its warm. I change my oil on the center stand without any problems.

Perhaps when you did your topping off you didn't wait long enough for the oil to settle after running the engine for a minute, and ended up over-filling it. I don't think it has anything to do with the oil expanding.

Andy
 

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With a 20-50 weight oil, I am not surprized that you have a bit of drag in the clutch. Save 20-50 for summer. I concur with Andy, switch to a 10-40 to see if it helps. Make sure that it has the appropriate ratings for motorcycle usage.

Using the centerstand will introduce a little forward tilt to bike. Since the window sets toward the rear of the engine, the TILT will cause the window to indicate a lower oil level than what is actually in there; thus over-filling (or high filling) may result. Martin's method is a good one, just make sure your bike won't tip off the wood.
 

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I theory I agree with you Danno, however, when I just checked the oil level there is no difference between side-stand (holding bike perpendicular) and center-stand readings.

Andy
 

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See page 5-6 of the Service Manual (Part No.99924-1248-01).
 
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