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Discussion Starter #1
During an off-road training class a week ago, I noticed that my clutch was slipping and, despite clutch cable adjustment, soon realized I'd burned out a clutch after only 7,000 miles of riding. Now, here are some possibilities:

1. My bad riding technique is at fault - I tend to feather the clutch on turns and frequently use engine breaking to slow me down.

2. The clutch cable was misadjusted from the very beginning - I've always noticed a lurch when I start the bike (with the clutch level fully pulled). Perhaps the clutch was always partially engaged even at stops and simply burned out slowly. In the last few months, I'd noticed it hard to get into first at high speeds (>20mph) and mentioned this to my dealer. He said I didn't have enough play in the clutch cable and that was the problem. The adjustment seemed to help.

3. Everything was fine until I got to the off-road class and then 1.5 days of feathering clutches, climbing hills and plowing through sand burned it out.

I'm hoping for #2, but would like to hear opinions. I'm replacing the clutch plates with Kevlar versions that I'm told are heartier (though less smooth).

What think? :confused:
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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In the image below, the small screw and the locking nut is the adjustment for your clutch. The clutch cable comes into the "arm" that has the spring attached to it.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Me, too!

I have a very hard time believing your clutch is burnt


it only needs adjustment

fwiw, the cable will not adjust the clutch, it only adjusts cable freeplay
the clutch adjustment is a rod & locknut under the sprocket cover
I have a hard time believing it, too, but that's what the (reputedly honest) dealer is telling me: I need new plates and springs.
 

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I have a hard time believing it, too, but that's what the (reputedly honest) dealer is telling me: I need new plates and springs.
my SV650 (with same clutch) went 102,000 on original clutch fibre plates (@ 135k still has original springs & steel plates)

many many of those miles were standing on pegs in 1st & 2nd gear slipping clutch on single track trails, I also feather clutch to smooth downshifts rather than blip throttle

there are a lot of what I call "cable fiddlers" out there that only "think" they are adjusting something but in reality, they are putting it further from proper adjustment



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In the image below, the small screw and the locking nut is the adjustment for your clutch. The clutch cable comes into the "arm" that has the spring attached to it.

Confirm that one would need to adjust the cable arm (one with the spring attached) clockwise to take more pressure off the clutch?

Ken
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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As long as there is some free play in the clutch cable, a basic adjustment, that arm position will put no pressure on the clutch when the clutch lever is released. The clutch free play adjuster is the screw and surrounding lock nut in the center of the circle.
 

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What Kinda Bike Is That?
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The factory adjustment of the clutch push rod is to: Loosen the locking nut, back the screw out a little bit, then turn it in until it "stiffens" up against the end of the push rod; then back off 1/4 turn and tighten the lock nut.
 

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Are you kidding?!

3. Everything was fine until I got to the off-road class and then 1.5 days of feathering clutches, climbing hills and plowing through sand burned it out.
What think? :confused:
This is why your clutch fried. One 300-mile 'Hare-and-Hound' will wear out a clutch on a 225-lb. desert specific bike.
The Wee weighs in around 480-lbs wet and was not engineered for use as a dirt bike.
 

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Another "my clutch is fried and the dealer tells me I need special plates thread".....sheesh......I want to see some of these parts. Or sell clutches.........:confused:
 

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Marcin mentioned what ya did last night when I spoke to him. I find it pretty hard to believe, considering I have 16,700 miles on mine and feather my clutch quite a bit.

Follow the steps that Black Lab mentioned.

And which "reputable dealer" was this again?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Marcin mentioned what ya did last night when I spoke to him. I find it pretty hard to believe, considering I have 16,700 miles on mine and feather my clutch quite a bit.

Follow the steps that Black Lab mentioned.

And which "reputable dealer" was this again?
I've got the old plates. I'm going to take them to my local dealer to have them checked out. The diagnosis/replacement was done by Tacoma Motorsports.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How to burn out a clutch in 6000 miles?

(repost - last attempt magically disappeared).

Looking at my old plates, they're only about 1mm thick, with about .1mm of "pad". Nominal (as I recall) is 2.5-3mm, so they're definitely worn down. The springs look close enough to 2" that I don't think they were a factor.

My question is "how could this happen in 6,000 miles?"

Here's a hypothesis: maybe when the clutch first started slipping, it was just an adjustment problem. I'd recently taken the bike in for service (about 1,000 miles earlier) and maybe they forgot to tighten the lock nut when adjusting the plates. Perhaps, if I'd known how to adjust the plates "in the field", I'd be ok. Instead, I drove the bike 25-30 miles to the deal. I rode at 30-40mph and tried to avoid overrevving and clutch slipping as much as possible, but is it conceivable that the damage occured during those 25-30 miles? What think?
 

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I've got the old plates. I'm going to take them to my local dealer to have them checked out. The diagnosis/replacement was done by Tacoma Motorsports.
Thanks for the heads up. I guess I won't be going there after all. That just sounds suspect.
 

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Sorry just have to ask, did you use proper oil for the clutch or was there car oil in there? That is a lot of wear just for a slightly engaged clutch.

-GW
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry just have to ask, did you use proper oil for the clutch or was there car oil in there? That is a lot of wear just for a slightly engaged clutch.

-GW
Service was always done by my local dealer. I'd presume they'd used the right type of oil during my 600 mi (initial) and 4000 mi service.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
as much as I've slipped wet clutches (hundreds if not thousands of miles in total) I can't imagine 20-30 miles doing any damage unless the reason adjustment was bad was high rpm slipping for burnouts or wheelies

low rpm slipping a wet clutch won't hurt it one bit.
No burnouts or wheelies - just pretty normal riding for 6,000 miles except for an off-road class. Yes, the class was tough on clutches (hill climbs, lots of clutch feathering, etc.), but that was probably a total of 5-6 hours or riding.

I'm stumped.
 

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Ditto...

Just burned out my clutch on my Wee after 14k miles. Same situation, mostly used for commuting in Seattle Traffic, plus two weekends of offroad, maybe 250 miles total. Went to the RawHyde rally this weekend, was going up a (very steep) hill (/jump), and suddenly had no clutch.

Dealer maintained bike, all adjustments and fluids are good. It appears that it is possible to burn these suckers up with certain kinds of usage.

I have heard rumors that the friction plates on the SV and the DL are different, any suggestions on a more durable option for this kind of useage? Anyone else using their bike as an oversized dirtbike and been able to keep their clutch in good shape?
 
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