clutch slippage? help a newbie - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 8 Old 03-13-2008, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 12
clutch slippage? help a newbie

Hi everyone - new here and need some help. Over the winter i bought an 01 klr and i've put about 300 miles on it. Now under heavy acceleration the clutch seems to be slipping, it didn't do this before and it doesn't seem to slip otherwise. Anyone have any ideas, the bike has about 5500 miles on it. Thanks in advance...
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-14-2008, 09:40 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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How much freeplay do you have at the clutch lever on the handlebars? You should have 1-2mm freeplay. In other words, you should be able to put your pinkie finger on the lever and with almost no resistance, pull the lever back and see the opening above the pivot open up 1-2mm before you feel any real resistance.

There's two clutch adjustment locations, with the freeplay being set at the bar, and the clutch arm adjustment down on the engine.

I'd be concerned about your freeplay first just to make sure you have some at the lever.

This is a simple adjustment, but one that's sort of difficult to explain without photos, and since my bike's in IL and I'm sitting in MS, I can't take pics of my bike from here.

Anyway, see what you have for freeplay at the handlbar and let us know what you find.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-14-2008, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I loosened it at the bar to give it some freeplay first thing when i noticed the slipping, no luck. I will however adjust it to the correct amount on the bar (thanks Paper), the previous owner had it adjusted up too about zilch. Also the pull is pretty firm on the clutch lever, don't know if they're all like that - i lubed the cable when i first got it and it helped. Thanks for the info Paper - i will try and find some info on the clutch adjustment, i'll keep you posted.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-14-2008, 11:04 AM
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Sounds like you're in need of adjustment at the engine. If I remember correctly, you loosen up your freeplay at the handbars and then use a 10mm wrench to loosen up the adjuster on top of the engine case. You want that to be able to come all the way back to a touch of freeplay, and then adjust at the handlebars again..

Again, I don't have the bike with me, but it's a pretty easy adjustment, once you put your hands on it.

Good luck and let us know what you find out. Adjustment is pretty normal as the fiber clutch plates wear with time and require different clutch engagement position on the lever. I had to adjust mine at 5 and 10K miles.

Good news is that typical cluch plate replacement isn't expensive or difficult. I did one on my old Honda XL600L years ago and it was a snap. A Clymer manual will pay for itself quickly, also.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-14-2008, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Paper i owe you one! I picked up a clymer this morning, lubed the cable adjusted it at the bars and engine, adjusted it a second time at the engine in the right direction and took it out for a short ride - no more slipping under full throttle... Thanks again Paper for putting me on the right track.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-14-2008, 10:56 PM
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That's why we're here!!

Glad to hear it's working as it should. They're pretty simple bikes to work on, and just hearing you got it right is all the payment I need!!
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-15-2008, 10:48 AM
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Paper?, is that procedure posted anywhere that could be printed out with pics? Imma visual type of guy...LOL

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-15-2008, 10:59 AM
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Not that I know of. I have done this before on a buddy's BMW Oilhead and it's basically the same procedure on most motorcycles.
I noticed my freeplay was less on my KLR and decided to give it a proper adjustment, rather than just the freeplay at the bars.
Next time I do one I'll record it.
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