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Nasty clutch after laying bike up

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jchesshyre
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Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:45 pm

I had my CB off the road for a year and re-commissioned it about a month ago. All has been fine and it passed its MoT without advisories.

I changed the oil just after putting it back on the road.

There is just one issue that's bugging me. The clutch feels nasty. It drags quite a lot even though the cable free-play is minimal, neutral can be hard to find, and the engagement feels juddery. Both these symptoms, as would be expected, are worse when cold. 

The cable doesn't seem to be frayed as the free-play is not increasing as it does when they're about to go, but could it still be that the cable is somehow stretched? I can't see how this would happen just from the bike sitting doing nothing. It almost feels as if the cable's too long because the free-play is actually below the minimum spec of 10-20mm at the lever and yet I'm getting the above symptoms. It's an OEM cable on there.


Last edited by jchesshyre on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 12:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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paul1098
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by paul1098 on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 11:21 pm

Funny you should mention the clutch.
Mine was OK untill I fell off, now it drags a lot. You have to use brake to stop wheel turning even when not in gear. Clutch cable has free play & clutch seems to work OK when riding it.

I'm guessing something isn't right inside the housing.
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Beresford
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by Beresford on Thu 08 Jun 2017, 12:29 pm

Correct chain tension ?
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jchesshyre
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Sat 10 Jun 2017, 4:53 pm

Yes, chain tension is fine, and alignment. Not sure how either of those would cause clutch drag however. 


Paul1098, funny you should say that actually as a couple of weeks before laying it up I did come off it quite badly - low-side on a LH bend at c. 60mph. There was very little damage and I didn't notice any change in the clutch afterwards but then again it's not massively, massively obvious. It just feels odd as the clutch engages, like a pulsing of power to the rear wheel, and as I say there's a bit of drag, certainly more than there used to be. 


I can't think what could shift in there if the bike's on its side, unless one of the plates is slightly jammed at an angle in the basket? But then the clutch would have been engaged when the bike went down so really can't see this happening...
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jchesshyre
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 7:50 pm

Well, wow is all I can say. I never realised a clutch cable could make this much difference. It totally felt like a problem within the clutch. 


I changed the cable today and the problem's completely gone! It must have gone all horrible from sitting about. 
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jchesshyre
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 12:37 am

Thread resurrection. Whilst it is true that changing the clutch cable sorted this issue, it was only temporary. I haven't put many miles on the bike over the last few months as I've mainly been riding my Firestorm, but this clutch issue is back.

Once the bike's fully warmed up it's barely noticeable, but when cold or warm it's horrible. The clutch engages too early, and not at all smoothly but juddery. I also sometimes feel it trying to pull the chain as I come to a stop and pull the clutch in. 

I *definitely* have the correct freeplay in the cable, and even if I didn't this would just cause the drag but not the judderiness.

I'm using the same oil as ever and it doesn't need changing yet. 

As I said above, I did crash the bike and slid it down the road at around 60mph, but it sustained little damage and it was on its left side. However I guess this could have knocked something out of place? Seems unlikely to me though. 

The other factor is that soon after said crash I bought the aforementioned Firestorm and had the CB laid up for just under a year. It otherwise rides fine now and doesn't seem to have suffered from having been laid up (I did everything properly) but is it possible that some of the plates are partially stuck together?

I'm thinking the only thing left to do is dismantle the clutch. I'm dreading that a little as unlike on my Firestorm where you can take the plates out without undoing the centre nut, with the CB you do have to and last time I tried to do so (on my previous CB, to change the clutch plates at 100,000 miles!) I gave up as I couldn't, and took it to a garage. Although, I have since invested in an EBC clutch holding tool so maybe I should just go for it...
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ANDYC
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by ANDYC on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 8:23 am

Quite often plates will stick together when laid up for a good while. 
Notched edges and tabs on the friction plates and the basket where they sit doesn't help towards smooth operation either.
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Fair Weather Rider
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by Fair Weather Rider on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 9:30 am

Are you using the correct oil? This can make a clutch drag.
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jchesshyre
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 9:37 am

Yes, same oil as I've always used - Halford's 10W40 semi-synthetic bike oil. It's never caused problems before and I owned a CB previous to this which I took up to 145,000 miles.

And it isn't just drag - it's this nasty judderiness. 

I think I've no option but to take it apart for inspection. I vaguely remember reading about some trick for unsticking a stuck clutch but I think that's for if it's *really* stuck together and doesn't disengage at all.
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by Jameshambleton on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 5:10 pm

Check the cable routing and lubrication of the cable. Other than that give your clutch some abuse (clutch up wheelies ect) as I'm sure that would crack loose any plates that will have stuck together?
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jchesshyre
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 5:51 pm

Good shout, I don't know why I didn't think of that! And shows that I'm too kind to my clutch most of the time. Maybe in thirteen years of riding it's time to learn to wheelie hahahhaa

Clutch cable was new 3,000 miles ago and it was already doing it when I replaced it...99% sure it's routed correctly as whenever I change it I run the new one alongside the old one before I swap them.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 7:09 pm

A little bit of abuse won't do it too much harm ;)

I think the backyard method of freeing a stuck clutch is something like this:

1. Bike in neutral, running, on centre stand.

2. Rev the bike, hold it, pull in clutch.

3. Depress rear brake lever and then engage first gear.

Hopefully the shock of knocking it into gear with one set of plates held stiff by the rear brake should brake (ho ho) it free. Probably best to do this once it's warmed up... I'll let you judge how much revving is required :)

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jchesshyre
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Re: Nasty clutch after laying bike up

Post by jchesshyre on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 7:19 pm

Yes! This is what I was thinking of. 

I will try both techniques and hopefully the issue will be sorted without my having to dismantle the clutch. 

I will report back...

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