Hard pulling clutch - 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 05-06-2010, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hard pulling clutch

So, aside from the obvious (cable kink, handle too tight etc.), what could make a clutch cable hard to pull? Paulo actually noticed it and ever since then it seems that it's getting harder to pull. The cable is free of kinks and all relevent points are well oiled. I have a 99 and the clutch on that is easy peasy. Any ideas? It's a 2000 with about 35,000 on the clock.
Thanks
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-06-2010, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john37 View Post
So, aside from the obvious (cable kink, handle too tight etc.), what could make a clutch cable hard to pull? Paulo actually noticed it and ever since then it seems that it's getting harder to pull. The cable is free of kinks and all relevent points are well oiled. I have a 99 and the clutch on that is easy peasy. Any ideas? It's a 2000 with about 35,000 on the clock.
Thanks

Have you lubed the cable? Checked it for frays?
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-06-2010, 02:20 PM
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Like batteries, tires and chains, clutch cables are dispensable items. With use, exposure to the elements and just plain old time, they run their course and need to be replaced, 10 years and 35K miles is an honorable service record, worthy of a decent burial. You can take action on it now, and install a replacement, while you have the luxury of home, help and options, or wait till it snaps out in the hinter land where you will have none of the above. OEM parts run about 10 bucks from vendors like bikebandit.com. If that does not clear up the issue, I would look into the condition of the five springs in the clutch pac. They may be "tired". A few may be "retired". I tend to go for simple, cheap and obvious over expensive, complicated and questionable when it comes to diagnoses on bikes I can't touch, hear or feel. Or lick. Sometimes licking helps.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-06-2010, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
Like batteries, tires and chains, clutch cables are dispensable items. With use, exposure to the elements and just plain old time, they run their course and need to be replaced, 10 years and 35K miles is an honorable service record, worthy of a decent burial.
I couldn't agree more!! Mine was getting tough to pull at around 15K miles and the replacement took minutes. The result was night and day!!

I did a serious lube with Chain Wax before installing, too.. I'd be happy to get another 15k out of this one!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 10:44 AM
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Trying pushing in the lever on top of the clutch without using the cable. See how hard it is to push. If it is easy, you know you have some kind of restriction from there up. If it is hard to push in, then you know it has something to do with the clutch itself internally.

2009 KLR 650
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-07-2010, 10:49 AM
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Also, another stupid thing you probably already know about. If the bolt that holds the hand lever is tightened too much, it pinches it and will be hard to pull.

2009 KLR 650
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-14-2010, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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I've been using it this way now for two years and got used to it. I replaced the cable as suggested and the difference is night and day. It now feels like my 99 and 01. I didn't get a chance to ride it yet but I can't wait to feel it while on the bike.
Thanks for all the input.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-09-2017, 07:34 PM
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Really guys? I would hope you can figure out a bad cable before asking for help. Didn't the OP mention that his problem was NOT the cable but below the pivoting arm? Anyway, my pivoting clutch arm that exits the engine cover is way too stiff! What do I do next?


How do you know what needs to be replaced when the clutch is gone? Mine was slipping then I spent some hard time in the woods and it's spent. I'd rather not spend the money on a kit with plates, discs and springs if I can just buy one or the other. I'm poor.
Do you have a manual? There will be specifications for the friction plate thickness, steel plate warpage, and spring free length.

It's reasonable to expect the friction plates will be shot, at minimum. When you get it apart, check for visible signs of wear on the steel plates, such as discoloration, gouging, and etc. Check flatness by laying the plates out on a surface block or glass sheet and see how thick of (if any) feeler gauge you can slide under it. If they meet the specification and don't look cooked, you're good to go.

Measure the spring free length with a dial caliper. If they are in spec, you could reuse them, but it's been my experience that you're better off replacing them unless they are very close to the standard length. The springs are instrumental to good clutch performance, and are relatively cheap in the aftermarket.

One last thing to look at is where the friction plates ride in the clutch basket. If there are grooves worn in the basket that would keep the plates from moving in and out freely, it would have to be replaced. I've only seen this once on a very high mileage and abused bike, but it is something to look out for.
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