Clutch confusion - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch confusion

So this bike ('09) is new to me.

I'm noticing something weird with the clutch.

Sometimes, on a cold start, with the clutch lever in all the way, when I hit the start button the bike jumps forward a bit, like the clutch is still partly engaged.

Yet when warm, the clutch engages what feels to me to be longer out than I might expect... I've got to let the lever out about 2/3 out I'd say, and there's a very short engagement zone, at that.

What's the deal?

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post #2 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 07:49 PM
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clutch issuses

Hey Geolemon, Imho I would adjust free play in clutch lever, I like a hare over 1/8 of inch. I don't measure I go by feel with my middle finger. takes just a couple minutes with the adjuster at the lever. You didn't mention weather the bike was warmed up or cold. Sometimes clutch plates are a little sticky when cold. Ill let the big dogs take it from there!
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 07:51 PM
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I reread your post you did say hot and cold Ibad
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Right, that's why it's weird...

By the behavior only occasionally on starting, the clutch seems like it's adjusted so that even when the lever is fully squeezed, the clutch is still engaged.

By the behavior once warm though, it feels like if anything it's adjusted to engage too far out.

It can't be both ways at once!
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 08:18 PM
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I just checked my owners manual correct free play .31 to .47 of an inch, I don't think its un common for a bike to lurch a bit when its cold. I start mine and put my gear on while its warming up. I think engagement points will vary a bit with temp ie. tight woods, city traffic. versus a long steady cruise. How many miles on the bike
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 08:27 PM
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Some clutch disk adhesion upon startup remains a typical characteristic of "wet" clutches, in my experience.

Holding brake when initially putting bike in gear minimizes lurch from this condition.

Fundamental clutch adjustment considerations remain: FULL engagement when lever out; FULL disengagement when lever is "pulled." My opinion only; contrary ones welcomed with respect.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 09:22 PM
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Damocles is correct "clutch plate adhesion" is a question that has come up several times of late. The plates kind of suction together, especially when the bike sits for a period of time. It is normal. I have experienced it on many different bikes over the years with no ill effects.
As to the freeplay adjustment....Clutch must be fully disengaged before the lever contacts the grip and fully engaged with some slack on the cable. 1/8" minimum is good. There is far more disengagement travel on the KLR than is needed.
I wish the KLR had an adjustable lever to allow the lever angle to adjust for my teeny tiny hands! (Be careful! They may be small but they are made of Iron!!)
Regards....justjeff

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post #8 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe time to pull the shrink wrap off the Clymer manual I bought to see about adjusting the clutch.
My clutch is only engaging with the lever, I don't know, 3/4" out I'd say.

Which is why it was especially puzzling that it was slightly engaged on start with the lever fully squeezed - I feel better knowing that it's just inherent in the type of clutch - keeping my foot on the brake is a good idea.
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justjeff View Post
Damocles is correct "clutch plate adhesion" is a question that has come up several times of late. The plates kind of suction together, especially when the bike sits for a period of time. It is normal. I have experienced it on many different bikes over the years with no ill effects.
As to the freeplay adjustment....Clutch must be fully disengaged before the lever contacts the grip and fully engaged with some slack on the cable. 1/8" minimum is good. There is far more disengagement travel on the KLR than is needed.
I wish the KLR had an adjustable lever to allow the lever angle to adjust for my teeny tiny hands! (Be careful! They may be small but they are made of Iron!!)
Regards....justjeff
+1 with Jeff and Damocles on plates sticking after it sits for awhile. Try engaging the clutch several times before you put it in gear or blip the throttle a few times with clutch engaged.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-21-2013, 02:39 AM
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I give my bikes a couple shoves with the clutch open (lever pulled) and the trans in a gear to free up the plates prior to start up if the bike has been sitting for a while. I prefer this vs clashing the trans into gear from neutral with the engine running when the clutch might be stuck.
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