Slipping clutch - did I really wear it out in 13,000km? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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  #1  
Old 11-23-2012, 10:55 PM
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Default Slipping clutch - did I really wear it out in 13,000km?

Hi,

2010 DL650 and badly slipping clutch at 13,000km. It is properly adjusted, both the worm gear and cable. A little too much free play if anything right now - wanted to make sure nothing is engaging it, and it is still slipping. It is not slipping too badly when cold (need to give it a good twist for that), but when hot I can't ask the bike to out-accelerate a 50cc scooter or it will slip (in all gears, more easily in higher ones). Have been using Bel-Ray EXL dyno oil since 6,000km, don't know what dealer put in there before. I first had it slip at around 10,000km riding 2-up, and adjusted it properly and it stopped slipping, and 5 weeks ago did a 1,000km 2-up trip over Cascades and off-road where I didn't notice any issues. For the last 3 weeks it's been slipping worse and worse to the point that it can't be ridden safely any more.

Most of my miles are in stop-and-go traffic and off-road. I didn't abuse it and I think I don't ride the clutch too much. It may have been misadjusted for a while so that it didn't fully disengage. It seems that it can't just be worn plates at this low mileage, but what else could it be? I live in PNW and don't have a garage for extended work, so trying to armchair troubleshoot before taking it apart in this rain.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2012, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obstacle View Post
It may have been misadjusted for a while so that it didn't fully disengage.
That could be it right there. You could have glazed friction material.
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2012, 11:51 PM
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Don't sweat it. A full clutch job you can do yourself for < $200 and a few hours, it's near as easy as replacing brake pads.

Mine was getting slippy @ ~100,000k's. I didn't realize at the time, but I'd done so much slow clutch-slipping dirt that it needed checking. Since a refresh was as easy as a check I installed new plates and springs. However it would have done another 20,000k's easy - in my case only the clutch springs really needed replacing and six 6mm washers on top of the springs would likely have cured all ills .

Possible causes OTHER than a worn clutch, badly worn clutch snail cam, piles of crap inside the sprocket cover part jamming the shaft, cable part broken. (Broken wire ends catch in the sheath so it can't slide back properly).

I'd suggest - pull that sprocket cover off, clean it, remove, clean and grease the snail cam. Pull the clutch cable off and make sure it slips easily through the sheathe (and it should be VERY easy). I'd guess though that if it's slipping that badly it needs new innards now anyway since the slipping will have worn the fibre plates anyway.

If all inside the cover is O.K. and it still slips, just buy new springs and fibre washers, clutch bearing and gasket, oil and coolant and replace the clutch innards. NOT A HARD JOB.
Doing the oil change and radiator flush you end up doing as part of this is near as much work as the plates.

One comment. If you use Barnett parts (which are good) the clutch will drag badly for 2000k's after the refresh, run top spec. synthetic motorcycle oil until it all beds it if you have that problem.
Genuine 'zook parts shouldn't do that.

Either way, soak the fibre plates in oil 24 hours before install.

One of the plate sets is different from the others, so get hold of a manual, or look up the parts list online (Oneida suzuki used to have that page available). Taking pics on the way out isn't a bad idea either.

Pete
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:57 AM
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My brothers in law who lives in Telluride, Colorado and in a avid off road rider decided to ride has V-Strom 650 over Black Bear Pass. Now for you who have never ridden Black Bear you won't be able to visually understand the difficulty of it, but he burnt the clutch out right quick. He said that slipping the clutch on the V-Strom was not the thing to do, he replaced it with an aftermarket HD clutch. I'm sure knowing him, it was probably twice the cost of the Suzuki one. Note, bike was new and had 2,600 miles on it.

John
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Last edited by trainman; 11-24-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:57 PM
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I slipped the clutch on mine for hours on end which is why I opened it up to check it and ended up just refreshing it, but my slip was all at low rpm. i.e. Slipping the clutch to get the forward speed down while I picked good paths through tight & tricky single track.

High rpm, high speed, yeah, near instant trouble, in first at 3000, not so much.

Again, not a big deal to fix. Though - if you are changing a clutch for wear, change the oil filter as well, that's where all the material missing from the plates is

Pete
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:01 PM
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Before you go blaming the clutch.... are you CERTAIN you do not have incorrect oil in the engine? Even if you ran the incorrect oil 3 changes ago... the residual 'slippiness' could still be on the clutch surfaces. There are ways to get it off.

You would have to 'open up' the case to inspect the clutch for wear anyway.... Some folks would say it is easier at that point to simply bolt-up new clutch whilst you are in there.

Last edited by BruceP; 11-24-2012 at 11:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:11 AM
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Using Bel-Ray EXL, which is definitely without additives that cause slipping. Used it at 6,000km and at 12,000km oil changes, first 2 oils were by dealer.

It is interesting, and maybe completely normal symptom of worn clutch plates, that slipping is greatly increased when engine gets hot, after 5-6km or riding. At that point it is barely able to grip uphill. This all seems to have gone from only slipping under very high load to riding like a scooter in 500km.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:24 PM
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OK - lets assume the issue is NOT the oil... (and still assume the clutch-plates are not burnt-up)

Have you checked the clutch-adjustment which is near the front sprocket? With the clutch-lever untouched, there should be a VERY small amount of free-play in the adjuster-screw. This ensures that the clutch-springs are pushing with full force against the clutch-plates.

Any tension at all on this adjuster will tend to make the clutch slip. (as if you had the lever partially pulled in)

Oh - and the 'lever' on that so-called "snail adjuster" should be at a RIGHT ANGLE to the cable. (at least this is how I interpret the instructions)
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:45 PM
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All of those adjustments are good and on loose side. When clutch is released there is no pressure on the pin. Right now pin only starts any visible movement after clutch is pulled over 1/2 inch at the handlebar.
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2012, 02:59 AM
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Whatever, after 500k's of slipping at speed, the fibre plates will be toast.

You MIGHT find a clutch spring bolt loose, or metal embedded in one of the plates, or warped metal plates when you open it, but it's not going to get better.

As I've commented, not bad news in the sense that it's not expensive to remedy, but I'd REALLY want to know the cause myself because this isn't common.

Normally those clutches will take a LOT of abuse, I know mine did - so, if you havn't already, check the cable - that's about the only external item left that can fail and cause this.

Note: It has been known for the cable to ride up on the perch adjuster - doing things like installing handguards etc. That'll partly engage the clutch.

Pete

Last edited by PeteW; 11-26-2012 at 03:17 AM.
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