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Help! When cold, my 2004 KLR 650 will not start off in 1st gear! I usually let my bike warm up for a minute or two but when down-shifting into 1st gear to start off it jumps and cuts off. Every time! I've adjusted the clutch several times but it doesn't seem to help. I can start off in 2nd gear just fine and then down shift and it works. It just doesn't work starting out. Any suggestions, are the plates sticking? What's the fix?
Thanks.
 

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lew,
Mine does this on occasion, too.. I'm not saying this is a fix, but I give the bike a touch of gas before clicking into first and it doesn't do it..

This is when the bike is cold and first ridden after sitting, right?
 

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum. Thanks to everyone, I'm learning a lot about my bike, a 2008.

My bike does the same thing. After sitting a few days, the first time I click it into 1st gear it jumps an stalls. I was wondering if maybe the oil choice has something to do with it?
 

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum. Thanks to everyone, I'm learning a lot about my bike, a 2008.

My bike does the same thing. After sitting a few days, the first time I click it into 1st gear it jumps an stalls. I was wondering if maybe the oil choice has something to do with it?
CraigES -

That issue is the clutch plates sticking together and it's quite normal to see after the bike sits for a couple of days. If it really bothers you, you can push the bike by hand, with the transmission in first gear and the clutch pulled in, to bust it loose before you start. Otherwise, as Paper says, rev it up a bit before you snick it into gear.

Or, as lew has mentioned above, you may not have the lurch and stall if you go into second gear instead of first. Second gear, being a higher gear ratio, has a greater mechanical advantage and may not stall out while breaking the clutch plates loose. Try going into second, then down to first for that initial start-up.

Tom
 

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:28:I simply squeeze the clutch lever several times before droping it into 1'st gear. This has been enough to free up the plates. Works on both my 09's.

Greg
 

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:28:I simply squeeze the clutch lever several times before droping it into 1'st gear. This has been enough to free up the plates. Works on both my 09's.

Greg
Greg -

I tried that, but no joy. Must admit, I gave up and usually just drop into first while rolling down the driveway.

Bang! and I'm off. Sort of like a starter's pistol...


Tom
 

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Rev it to 6 grand and stomp the shifter?

We don't need no stinkin' clutch.


(Disclaimer: Don't ever, ever, EVER do that!!!!!)

PS. Troop is right. Work the cable a few times, and also if needed hit 2nd, then go
down to first. It's a pain in the butt sometimes, but I love the stout factory clutchpack!
It has held up to a tremendous beating and still acts new.
 

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Let it warm up a bit more and it should be fine.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. Nice to know it's normal to the KLR.

Can't wait too get out there and try the 6 grand technique....LOL
 

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Thanks Guys, but I'm looking for something of a permanent fix. This is not normal. The clutch plates must be sticking together. What about a rubber hammer? Would switching to a synthetic oil solve this? Make it worse? Better?
 

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Hey Lew, welcome aboard. Coupla questions...

Bike new to you?

What oil is in it now, and do you know what oil has been used in it over the years?
 

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Thanks Guys, but I'm looking for something of a permanent fix. This is not normal. The clutch plates must be sticking together. What about a rubber hammer? Would switching to a synthetic oil solve this? Make it worse? Better?
Uh, lew, it is normal. For a KLR.

If you ride it everyday, it won't do it.

A permanent fix? Get a velcro strap and put the bike away with the strap holding the clutch lever in a bit, so the plates can't squeeze the oil out and wring themselves together.

It's all I got; vatrader may be on to something.

Tom
 

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Thanks Guys, but I'm looking for something of a permanent fix. This is not normal. The clutch plates must be sticking together. What about a rubber hammer? Would switching to a synthetic oil solve this? Make it worse? Better?
I had synthetic oil in my bike and it did it more than when I put dino oil in it... It was the expensive Amsoil too! I've had two bikes that did this so I think it is not all that unusual. I just blip the throttle before snicking it into first and then have no problems.
 

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Yup. Normal. I usually pick my bike up and jog around the block with it in the AM. Loosens us both up.
 

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Hey Lew, welcome aboard. Coupla questions...

Bike new to you?

What oil is in it now, and do you know what oil has been used in it over the years?[I've been using Castrol GTX, I change the oil and filter regularly, what bothers me is that this is something that just recently started. The bike as 10K miles on it I've put about 3k on it myself]
 

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first gear woes

Help! When cold, my 2004 KLR 650 will not start off in 1st gear! I usually let my bike warm up for a minute or two but when down-shifting into 1st gear to start off it jumps and cuts off. Every time! I've adjusted the clutch several times but it doesn't seem to help. I can start off in 2nd gear just fine and then down shift and it works. It just doesn't work starting out. Any suggestions, are the plates sticking? What's the fix?
Thanks.
My 06 has the same problem from time to time I notice that if I work the kickstand up and down a few times it moves the safety switch free or whatever it does,it starts.So,I decided to take off the black plastic cover that covers the switch arm assy{just behind the fuel petcock valve}And I spray electronic cleaner in the switch assy,and work the kickstand a few times,and it always starts,some bypass the switch totally,I didnt bother,it works just to spray from time to time.
 

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Do you notice it being any better after you change oil? Mine seems (so far) to not do it as bad since I switched to plain old 10W40 dino oil... I think it's that 4 stroke motorcycle oil from Canadian Tire, nothing fancy, I think it's $4 a liter. My bike only has about 5000 km's on it and the first 2500 kms were put on by the PO. It's done it as long as I have had it though.
 

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first gear woes

Sorry,forgot to mention why I spray the cleaner in there.I think it effects the signal from the safety switch to starting system,so when you put it in fist gear,it wont shut off motor,I think thats what it's doing.
 

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Hey Lew, welcome aboard. Coupla questions...

Bike new to you?

What oil is in it now, and do you know what oil has been used in it over the years?[I've been using Castrol GTX, I change the oil and filter regularly, what bothers me is that this is something that just recently started. The bike as 10K miles on it I've put about 3k on it myself]
Castrol GTX is not recommended for use with a wet clutch. This can be confirmed by Castrol, and they will explain the reasons WHY they do not recommend this oil for use with bikes with wet clutches. Call Castrol USA, with motorcycle specific questions @ 1-800-462-0835.

Wet clutches have a tendency to "stick" when cold and have been sitting. I'm not sure there is single cause or sure fire cure for the ailment, as I believe there are a number of contributing factors, and if a few are combined....you may have to tinker a bit to eliminate the issue.

I think oil type is a large contributor to problems. A thick viscosity oil can cause the plates to stick, especially when cold. Changing the oil type often improves the situation. A bike that sets for extended periods is prone to this, should all oil on the clutch basket drain back into the sump, allowing condensation to build on the parts, followed by corrosion...synthetic oils may help with this issue. However, I think using an appropriate oil for the bike is a good place to start. No amount of tinkering will undo a situation caused by improper oil application. Oil additive composition changes frequently. It is hard to keep up with, especially for people like me who like consistency in the products I have come to trust.

Improper adjustment of the drive chain can create this condition, too. Too tight of a chain setting will create a lurch. Try a looser chain tension.

Clutch cables are dispensable items, meaning that like tires, batteries and drive chains, they wear out and are intended to be replaced. Time, elements and use all contribute to wear factors. The bottom side of fifteen bucks will assure that the issue is not due to a wore out, improperly operating cable.

There are other internal issues, such as clutch spring tension and friction and metal clutch plates warping.

The coil springs in the clutch basket can and do break. Usually, I find that the clutch lever becomes very hard to pull to the handle when this happens, and some problems at takeoff. Not isolated to cold start issues, it is consistently difficult to use the clutch.

Chevron Delo 400, Delvac 1300, Shell Rotella T in dino or synthetic are examples of engine oils that do not harm or hamper wet clutch operation.

Kawasaki recommends engine oil types: API SE, SF, SG, in addition to SH and SJ with JASO MA.

Kawasaki recommends engine oil viscosity: 10-40 between 14 and 104 degrees F (-10 to +40 C), 10-30 between 14 and 86 F (-10 to +30 C), and 20-50 between 32 and +104 F (0 to +40 C).

From Castrol, via email:

Thank you for contacting Castrol North America.

Castrol does not recommend using automotive oils in motorcycles. The Reason? In 1996 the American Petroleum Institute (API) upgrad ed the performance standards of automotive oil from SG to SJ (currently SM). This upgrade impact ed the friction modifiers and zinc and phosphorus levels, to address the fuel economy, catalytic converter and pollution issues of passenger car owners. For motorcycles, the additional friction modifiers can affect wet clutch performance, and motorcycle engines appreciate a higher level of the anti-wear ingredients of zinc and phosphorus.

We have formulated our line of Castrol Motorcycle oils to be API SG. This allows us to optimize the formula specifically for motorcycles without being constrained by the specification demands for passenger car engines, which our passenger car oil must meet. All Castrol Motorcycle oils have low volatility to reduce the effects of oil evaporation, and they can be up to 50% lower than many API SL/SJ passenger car engine oils. API SJ engine oils have a minimal shear stability requirement; therefore, some types may lose their viscosity more quickly when us ed in a motorcycle, due to the stresses of these bike engines.

The Castrol motorcycle line includes oil for 2 stroke, 4 stroke and V-Twin oils with a wide variety of viscosity ranges and oil types, including mineral, synthetic blend and fully synthetic formulations. This variety offers superior performance for all motorcycle rider demands and every type of riding condition.

For an air cooled motorcycle, we recommend a V-Twin formulation-
Castrol Power RS V–Twin

For the liquid-cooled, either V-twin or 4 stroke would be appropriate, and your choice should be based on the viscosity requirements of the motorcycle-
Castrol Act>Evo X–Tra, Power RS GPS, and Castrol Power RS R4

Castrol’s line of motorcycle products are available through motorcycle specialty shops and regional distributors.

To purchase online visit: www.proformanceusa.com

For more information on all of Castrol ’s motorcycle oils visit: www.castrol.com/motorcycles and click 'Products & Services' then 'For You' then 'Motorcycles'

Castrol Consumer Relations
 

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Thanks Guys, but I'm looking for something of a permanent fix. This is not normal. The clutch plates must be sticking together. What about a rubber hammer? Would switching to a synthetic oil solve this? Make it worse? Better?
It's normal, lots of wet clutch engines do this. The longer they sit, the more lkelikely it is to happen.
I tend to do this; I warm the engine a little then I roll it off at idle, clutch in and snick it gently into gear. Hold the clutch in while I spin up the revs a bit the everything is normal.
This is the gentlest method I know of.
 
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