Nasty clutch noise - failing bearing? - 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 6 Old 08-05-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Posts: 24
Nasty clutch noise - failing bearing?

My 1990 very high mileage Tengai has today just started to make a very nasty clutch noise. I would like the collective wisdom of the group as to the possible cause and prognosis (especially, will it last another 850km - I'll explain why in a minute).

During the last 100 km I felt the clutch was getting more grabby when I pulled away from lights. I also felt the clutch feel through the lever was changing - getting less precise.I tried adjusting the cable but no improvement.

Now I have stopped for the night and listen to the bike I hear the following:
- engine in neutral, clutch engaged, normal engine noises, nothing special from the clutch.
- engine in neutral, clutch disengaged (that is lever pulled in) strong rubbing noise and strong bearing noise.
- as soon as I put the engine in gear, clutch still disengaged, all the rubbing and bearing noise dissappear and all sounds good again.
- when I ride the bike all seems good, except for the clutch action.

The reason I ask as to whether it will last 850km (500 miles) is I am that distance from the end of a 28,000km journey which started in Panama, came through Central America and the USA and is due to finish in two days in Ottawa. I am currently in the small town of Saint Fabian (250 km north of Quebec City) and would ideally like to get from there to Ottawa under my own power. And I am also booked on an non-refundable plane ticket to the UK in exactly one weeks time, adding to my pressures to make a fast decision.

I see I have three options:
1. Close my ears and just ride, with fingers crossed - and if the worst happens move to option 3.
2. Pull the clutch cover here in the campground I'm at, and see if I can identify the problem - but if I cannot do anything about it, this doesn't seem to progress things much.
3. Hire a car and trailer and get it to Ottawa that way.

So would any one like to give me an educated guess as to what might be failing and the consequences of keeping riding? All thoughts will be appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation.

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-05-2019, 09:41 PM
OverDrive
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 5,323
The clutch pressure plate with release bearing #92045-1235 is directly connected to the inner clutch hub, which is directly connected to the transmission input shaft.
https://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/o...cc068f1/clutch

The clutch release bearing and transmission Input shaft STOP rotating when the transmission is shifted into gear, when stationary.

As you release the lever to apply forward drive, the bearing probably starts to rumble again, until the lever is fully released (then no pressure against the bearing to make it rumble).

I think that I could ride 850 km of mostly highway mileage being gentle with clutch less shifting and only using the clutch at full stops. KILL the engine & reset kill switch at stop, touch the starter button when the light turns green. I've done the same with a broken clutch cable, start in gear & push off with feet.

GOOD LUCK!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-06-2019, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Posts: 24
Thank you for this. Yes, what you write in the first few paragraphs makes sense. The only question is why the noise in neutral, clutch disengaged? Is it because the clutch inner continues to turn due to oil drag until you put the bike in gear?

Anyway, assuming it is the pressure plate bearing I've decided to change my options around a bit, they are now:

Option 1 - given the bearing is an industry standard 6001 see if the local NAPA store has one/can get one on a day. If so I'll do a swap here at the camping site (I think I have enough tools with me).

Option 2 - follow your advice and ride with minimal clutch use. Thinking every thing through it seems reasonable risk - unlikely the bearing will completely breakup in the near term.

Many thanks for responding so quickly (and also for your very detailed "superdoo" clutch write up - which confirmed for me the bearing size).

I'll keep you updated as to how it goes.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-06-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Posts: 24
Well I got lucky, I was able to get the bearing. But that is where the luck ran out. I've opened the engine and found the problem is not the thrust bearing, it is the main input shaft bearing behind the clutch. I can wiggle the whole clutch assembly up and down several millimetres. Also when I look at the oil filter a lot of metal shavings are visible.

Plan B required. I think it involves a U-Haul truck.

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-06-2019, 09:49 AM
OverDrive
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 5,323
Well THAT just sucks!

Drive safe.

And Tom Schmitz is Souperdoo, not I.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-06-2019, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Posts: 24
Thanks again for the support. Apologies to both you and Tom for confusing the source of "Superdoo".

I really appreciate all the both of you contribute to the forum

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