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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've got a stiff clutch lever. Not incredibly stiff to make it unusable but stiffer than it should be.

It used be be perfectly light but I was stuck in traffic trying to find a hotel on a road trip in Europe and the bike got very hot and literally changed from being light as a feather to being stiff straight after.

After this I could still select gears and shift normally but pulling the leaver was a bit of a pain. Would this be a symptom of knackered clutch plates and springs or could a get away with just changing the springs maybe?
 

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It does not make sense.

First, I'd start by either inspecting, checking adjustment, and lubricating the clutch cable, (until comes out the other end), or changing it altogether.

If that does not do it, I'd inspect the inside of the wet clutch, which in a motorcycle with a transversal engine, is a breeze. Easy, very easy. Changing the cable is actually the most difficult part.

On shifting. The clutch is not necessary for shifting and does not prevent shifting, even if engaged. You can shift by simply closing the throttle. Some riders don't use the clutch, except for taking off. Not recomended though. The clutch is more like a safety device from ever shifting w/out closing the throttle. The so called 'quick shifter' they sell, is basically a fuel injector interrupter when detecting a jab on the shifter. All that without disengaging the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've taken the bike for an MOT this week and the technician suggested the same thing. Start at the clutch cable and go from there. (no advisory for clutch) he did say it seemed maybe a bit stiff but not to bad.

Although the symptoms i mentioned "does not make sense" its still exactly what happened. Clutch lever was light then the bike got hot and the clutch lever became a lot stiffer to operate. Could the the heat from the engine damaged the clutch cable or cable outer?

If i disconnect the clutch cable from the clutch arm then test how freely the cable moves. If it moves freely with no restriction anywhere then it must be something inside the clutch?
 

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Yes, but first, first, ..start with the easiest. They have this tool to seal and spray lubricant inside the cable on one end, until comes out the other end. To do this properly you have to disconnect the cable any way. . Of course inspect visually what you can, like fraying. Once disconnected you can slide the cable in the sleeve see if it moves freely. Also check on the leve that is also free.

.....don't know how well you know a wet multiplate clutch inside, but there is only a pack of discs, metal and friction, pressed together by the springs. When you depress the clutch lever, you are pulling on these springs. ...and if no (significant) friction on the cable or lever...that should only be the force you are up against. There is also a stem inside the clutch cover, and that usually connectsto the clutch center pin by a pawl, or ratchet mechanism.

..........................but overall it is very, very simple, and unless something has broken (like a spring)...nothing should be obstructing the action. If you have to open the clutch and see.... it is very easy. Nothing at all like the in-line dry clutches on automobiles, or Guzzies, and BMWs, which requires dropping trasnmission, shaft, and swingarm. This is easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've just disconnected the cable and it moves completely free is seems and also the lever is free. I've sprayed some lube down it till it comes out the other end near the engine casing (only wd40 though, is that bad for the cable?). This didn't help with the stiffness of the lever.

Right so the next thing is the springs/clutch inspection. How would i go about that? drain the oil and remove the clutch plate? Do I need to remove the stem that connects to the clutch cable inside the clutch plate first? or just disconnect the cable from the stem?

Ha, dry clutches inside an audi a4. I've changed the clutch and dual mass flywheel in one of those before! And with the car just on jack stands lying on the floor looking up at a giant gearbox. Something i've done but never do again lol.
 

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Watch how the cable is routed. I've had cable do this because they were near an exhaust pipe. When the housing got hot, the cable was stiff to pull.
 

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Watch how the cable is routed. I've had cable do this because they were near an exhaust pipe. When the housing got hot, the cable was stiff to pull.
Or has fallen down and riding on top of the engine. All depends on how it's been routed. So very good suggestion on suggesting to look at how it's routed. (y)
 

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I've just disconnected the cable and it moves completely free is seems and also the lever is free. I've sprayed some lube down it till it comes out the other end near the engine casing (only wd40 though, is that bad for the cable?).
Contrary to popular misconception WD40 is NOT a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement spray - thus the WD. There are specific cable lubricant sprays, but for the last 50 years I have been using Sewing Machine oil to lubricate my cables. It's easy and cheap and works. You may have even washed out any remaining lube in the cable by using WD40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Contrary to popular misconception WD40 is NOT a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement spray - thus the WD. There are specific cable lubricant sprays, but for the last 50 years I have been using Sewing Machine oil to lubricate my cables. It's easy and cheap and works. You may have even washed out any remaining lube in the cable by using WD40.
That thought did pop into my head after i did it! i'll have to do it properly once i've had a look inside the engine casing.

As for the routing, the cable (and casing) does move freely if you give it wiggle from one end so i don't think it's snagged in any way but i could't quite see if it was resting on top of the engine block, i'll have to check.

Watch how the cable is routed. I've had cable do this because they were near an exhaust pipe. When the housing got hot, the cable was stiff to pull.
It also seems to be a lot higher and out of the way from the down pipes that stick out from the front of the engine. To far away to be affected by heat i would of thought, also no heat damage in that area i could see.
 
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