Where is my torque? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 19 Old 10-03-2017, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Where is my torque?

I don't know what happened. I was riding to work, I was late so I was doing like 75mph. Then she, all on her own, downshifted. We lurched forward and I went back into 5th.
Then, after work, I wanted to practice doing wheelies. I don't use the clutch to wheelie. I just, at about 10-15mph I, in one motion, compress the front suspension, then quickly blip the throttle. This time, the engine revved but the bike didn't go up.
On the way home I notice that the same effect was making the bike lag. I took it to the shop. He checked it out and said, "you need a new clutch". I figure, OK. I mean, if you release the clutch lever whilst motionless and the engine don't stall.....
So, I picked up the bike and it was great for a day. Now it's the same thing. I need me daily power wheelies. Help a KLRer if you have and suggesting (I'm thinking chain to slack)?
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-03-2017, 10:04 PM
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Sounds a whole lot like your clutch is SLIPPING, to me, from the symptoms described.

Cured by one or more of the following: Replaced clutch plates, stronger/shimmed clutch springs.

The KLR650 clutch is rather robust; generally takes considerable abuse (e.g., willfully slipping ("feathering") the clutch with the clutch lever, starting off in excessively high gear, etc.) to reach that stage. And you may encounter those who tell you that you encountering the feared, dreaded, "friction-modifying," and/or "energy conserving" motor oils resulting in clutch damage (Kawasaki does NOT warn of this fateful pox in its literature; thus, I'm skeptical of the purported malady, myself).

Your fix: Inspect and replace as necessary clutch plates and springs. Quick-and-dirty work-around: Shim up your clutch springs with washers under the clutch spring bolt heads. Might get you a few more wheelies before your clutch is completely toast.
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Last edited by Damocles; 10-03-2017 at 10:06 PM.
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 11:39 AM
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I'll ask how many miles are on what year of bike? How long have you owned it? How many of those miles have you put on it? Exactly what oil is currently in the bike and for how long?

Maybe your clutch Cable is adjusted too Tight? If Less than Zero Slack it may be causing the clutch to slip. Sometimes the simple, cheap and easy thing is the only thing needed.

I have over 80,000 miles on my original 1987 bike, including all clutch parts. And I do ride in the Rocky Mountain rock pile. So the clutch has seen plenty of usage.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

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post #4 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hey pdwestman. I got the bike, its a 2009, in August of 2016. It had about 2,000+ miles and I put 9,000 on it. The oil is synthetic and it has about 3 months in. I feel kinda dumb asking this but where will I see the slack and what position should the clutch arm be in? I've combed the manuals, owner and service and I cannotfind anything.
Also, could Damocles be right about the springs?
Thanks for helping a newb
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 02:42 PM
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Someone better qualified will probably jump in, but I'll do my best...

You should have some free play (wiggle room) on the clutch lever, and the Clymer manual recommends 8 -12 mm (about 1/3 - 1/2 inch). You can adjust the free play with the two adjuster knobs right where the cable enters the front of the clutch lever assembly.

Twist the big knob back a bit to give yourself a little bit of room, and then screw in/out the smaller knob until the free play seems about right. (screwing it in will increase the free play - you'll see how it works). Once that's cool, tighten up the big knob so that it doesn't slip out of adjustment. It's a pretty easy job...

I wonder if your wheelies are putting excessive wear on the clutch...?

Either way - good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salikulhaqq View Post
Hey pdwestman. I got the bike, its a 2009, in August of 2016. It had about 2,000+ miles and I put 9,000 on it. The oil is synthetic and it has about 3 months in. I feel kinda dumb asking this but where will I see the slack and what position should the clutch arm be in? I've combed the manuals, owner and service and I cannot find anything.
Also, could Damocles be right about the springs?
Thanks for helping a newb
Not PDW, but I believe I can answer your question. You won't really see the slack but the clutch lever should have a tiny bit of play when at rest. If the lever is held tight against its stop, then the cable is too tight.
The system can be adjusted via nuts on either end of the cable but it's simpler to just do it at the handlebar.

First, loosen the locknut. That's there so that the bike's vibrations don't loosen the cable during operation. Next, you'll turn the adjustment knob in or out (counterclockwise tightens the cable, clockwise loosens). You'll want to tighten it to the point where there's a tiny bit of play in the lever, but not so much that the lever is held to the perch. After you're done adjusting, remember to tighten the locknut back up. And that's it!




Also, Damocles is probably right about the springs. Back on one of my old EX250s the clutch started to slip all the time and eventually wouldn't even engage. The plates looked good, so I grabbed a set of springs off amazon, and swapped them out the day I got them. You can also do the washer method, but you really should get new springs if you're in there anyway.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salikulhaqq View Post
Hey pdwestman. I got the bike, its a 2009, in August of 2016. It had about 2,000+ miles and I put 9,000 on it. The oil is synthetic and it has about 3 months in. I feel kinda dumb asking this but where will I see the slack and what position should the clutch arm be in? I've combed the manuals, owner and service and I cannotfind anything.
Also, could Damocles be right about the springs?
Thanks for helping a newb
No, Damocles is NOT RIGHT about the clutch springs! In fact, he is DEAD WRONG.

He just posted this information to FOUL YOU UP, Salikulhaqq! Just for a bit of fun. He does this sort of thing, all the time.

He has NO personal experience with clutches; he has never WITNESSED anything approaching his comments about clutches; he hasn't even READ ON THE INTERNET anything about clutches.

Damocles' words to you (and to anyone reading them) are only to convey some misery to you, the innocent. Damocles is a fount of misinformation and ignorance (he should be BANNED).

Now, just one question: Where do you get off posting that SPAM about Pneumococci stuff in your posts, Salikulhaqq? I think that's against forum rules, but I ain't no moderator. And, maybe the moderators don't care.

Anybody want to notify 'em? Would that be, TATTLING?
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 07:06 PM
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Well, personally I really wonder about the Brand and grading of the Synthetic Oil. Was that synthetic oil JASO MA, MA2 or MA3 approved for use with a WET Clutch?

And I really think that adding pre-load washers or shims to the clutch springs is a catastrophe looking for a person and place to foul up!
They may cause coil bind and then the clutch may Not Release!
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pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Well, personally I really wonder about the Brand and grading of the Synthetic Oil. Was that synthetic oil JASO MA, MA2 or MA3 approved for use with a WET Clutch?

And I really think that adding pre-load washers or shims to the clutch springs is a catastrophe looking for a person and place to foul up!
They may cause coil bind and then the clutch may Not Release!
wHAT catastrophes do you predict (or, have personally witnessed) from shimming clutch springs, pdwestman?

I consider the procedure an expedient, when adequate-strength clutch springs are unavailable.

While my experience with clutch tuning doubtless falls short of your own, I have trophies on my wall I won racing with washer-shimmed clutch springs; my alternative--losing a hole-shot with a slipping clutch. I certainly replaced the springs and washers with "racing" springs when I got my hands on them. Shimmed clutches never failed to release when so commanded by the clutch lever.

Spark plug washers were the perfect size to shim the clutch spring bolts in my clutch basket.

I somehow escaped the catastrophe you mention; what are the operational mechanics of such catastrophes?

Now, as to oil, you are quite correct. If a KLR owner only uses the API service code oils recommended by the Kawasaki manuals, his clutch will be ruined forever . . . won't it?

Last edited by Damocles; 10-04-2017 at 08:21 PM.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-04-2017, 08:50 PM
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With less than 12,000 miles on the entire unit, I have my doubts about the possibility of overly worn clutch friction plates or driven plates or sacked out springs.

I'll stand by my suggestion / probability of incompatible engine oil contaminating the friction plates or Too Tight of cable adjustment or both.

I've read Way Too Many threads about 'leaking oil or coolant' from the water pump weep hole after good intentioned owners have removed and reinstalled their clutch covers, to un-necessarily encourage any of them to go there. (My 100% oil filtration mod is Only for those that understand it and have proven their ability, previously.)

What was the comment about pneumococci about? I'm still an internet illiterate. I checked his 3 postings, I'm stumped.
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pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

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