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Discussion Starter #1
I ride an 08 DL650AK7. It is my only vehicle. I bought her with 13k miles on it. I have done all oil changes and based on a few days on the big oil thread, I settled on Amsoil 20w50. It was in the manual and I like synthetic.

My problems started in January when I went on a poorly planned beginner off-roading course. I say poorly planned because we started working in sugar sand in the first mile with no practice of technique beforehand. I was slipping the clutch pretty heavy. I was doing great until the guy in front of me went down. I lost my momentum and dropped a few times in a row after. No real damage but my clutch started slipping hard and we had to tighten the cable up so I could get home. For the last 3 months, I have been playing with my clutch cable adjustment. I have gotten good and assumed every time I had to adjust it again was due to novice error. It did take me a good month to get the friction zone where I wanted it and to learn you must have that .5-1 inch of dead slack.

2 nights ago, it started slipping a bit. I assumed I did something wrong and this morning, adjusted it and it did not help so I took it to the dealer. The service tech thought it would be an adjustment issue as well until he checked it. After review, they said it was adjusted perfectly and that my clutch was burnt up. I am shocked as I was hoping for at least 70k miles out of it. They said they suspected my Amsoil 20w50 to be the issue. They said the DL650 is liquid cooled and very efficient at it and that the temperature of the oil may not get high enough to help flow meaning when I slip the clutch for extended periods of time such as low speed or offroading, that the oil does not carry that heat away like it should. They also suggested I just use dino as they don't see a difference between dino and synthetic. I just changed my oil 2 weeks ago too. :headbang:

Part of me is bummed since I was following the manual's instructions. I'm happy I was adjusting my cable right this whole time and was wondering if anybody else has had an issue with their clutch after an extremely abusive incident. It was never the same after that day. A year ago, I did a slow speed school and the clutch preformed flawlessly afterwards but I did feel the offroading was working the clutch more than I ever had before.
 

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You keep talking about cable adjustments. Did you ever do a clutch adjustment, the one under the sprocket cover?
 

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you keep talking about tightening things, that would only make the clutch slip more

the clutches in these bikes are very robust, at 25k unless you've been doing highspeed slipping to do wheelies & burnouts, or it was adjusted improperly(may very well be the case if yer a cable fiddler) is not long

clutch in my SV650 lasted over 100k, that included using it as a dirtbike, riding hundreds of miles in 1st & 2nd standing on pegs slipping clutch and using clutch to smooth downshifts rather than blipping throttle



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Well

Hate to say, but if you were slipping the clutch much off-road (especially in sand, with high loads and low speed) then you probably did toast it. If you've got the mechanical know-how, you might try pulling the clutch plates and sanding the friction plates, as they are likely glazed (as opposed to wearing the friction material off). You want to sand very lightly, just enough to remove the glaze. At least on dirt bikes, you can lay the bike over (gently, of course) on its side so the oil runs away from the clutch, remove the cover, do the work, and reassemble, without draining the oil. FWIW, since I am not an oil technician, I stick to purpose-specific motorcycle oils. Other oils MIGHT work, and perhaps HAVE worked, under particular circumstances. But I figure the oil techs know more than I do, and have worked out the best formula to work with the wet clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you keep talking about tightening things, that would only make the clutch slip more

the clutches in these bikes are very robust, at 25k unless you've been doing highspeed slipping to do wheelies & burnouts, or it was adjusted improperly(may very well be the case if yer a cable fiddler) is not long
If I had over-tightened the cable, shouldn't I have noticed the clutch slipping if it was too tight?
 

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The dino vs synthetic oil has been beat to death. Use what pleases you.

Personally, I have years of using syn under my belt and from a few years in mechanical engineering courses learned why it is superior oil. Mechanics are notorious for passing along urban myths.

I do believe the water cooled strom does not need nor benefit from 20w50 and only use 10w40. On my VEE the oil cooler never gets hot.

Now my air cooled Harley is different and gets 20w50.

The clutches in the strom are durable as hammers.
 

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Odd

Make sure clutch actuation rod actually moves in and out and is not restrained by crap by the sprocket. Open the rod actuator and clean and lube

Only the actuating rod can hold it open

Either the springs are now weak ?
The plates have worn AWAY or broke and fell out
There is a lot of travel relative to the spring moving the plates together.

Lastly....

"Small" chance you are the guy where the lubricity of the oil might allow the clutch to slip. Before I would pull the clutch cover I would clean the clutch rod area and seal and give it an engine oil flush ride working the clutch in and out to flush anything between the plates etc. drain the oil including the filter (just loosen it) . Refill with some 10-30 dino motorcycle oil

Give it a ride
 

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By tightening the cable you only increase the slippage by disengaging the plates further.
Assuming all the adjustments are propper and you have cleaned the actuator rod of debris and the problem still exists, you have most likely glazed some plates or "fried" them completely. Disregard your dealers imput on oil type and the oil not being hot enough, that's a bunch of malarkey. Also, you probably had previous plate problems or miss adjustments prior to your off road running in the friction zone. I run cone courses on the DL for hours at a time (with breaks) in the friction zone and having reciently pulled my clutch for "mods", there was very little wear or glazing. Athough riding in the sand puts more load on the clutch, we run 2 stroke dirt bikes climbing hills all day long in the friction zone with few problems. Wet clutch's are very forgiving, dry clutch's are a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for replies and advice. Got it back Friday. Below are pictures of the plates and basket w/ brownie batter. There was a another strom in the shop being serviced. Blue with a peace sign tag and a pro gun sticker on the windscreen. I figured one was for the passenger, other for the rider. They said she is taking it to Washington State.




 

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Wow, that there is pretty toasted. Too bad. I still think the plates must have been ailing before your last outing though. I would think about doing another oil change after a few hundred miles to help remove any debris left behind.
 

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from the pic, its looks like water damage, maybe even before you owned the bike, water in the oil will turn to steam in the friction of the plates, weakening the fibers and accelerates the process of wear, hard to tell, just an opinion based on what I've seen the inside of a automatic transmission look like in the area of the very similar frictions & steels



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Occam's Razor

"started working in sugar sand in the first mile with no practice of technique beforehand. I was slipping the clutch pretty heavy. I was doing great until the guy in front of me went down. I lost my momentum and dropped a few times in a row after. No real damage but my clutch started slipping hard and we had to tighten the cable up so I could get home."

You burned the plates, and then aggravated it with all the adjustments.
 

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I agree with Randyo. That does look like water has somehow got into the oil. It does not look like a typical burned clutch to me.
 

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Hmm

No rust on the driven (steel) plates, and no corrosion on the alloy clutch basket. But the steel plates look a bit 'blued'. If there was water, it wasn't much, or around long. On the other hand, with a heavy bike, and a clutch that isn't sized for the power and weight (in combination with constant slipping) and I gotta go with a badly overheated clutch. Having said that, unless some of the plates were warped by the heat, a judicious application of sandpaper in the friction surfaces (after cleaning off the gunk, of course) might have been enough to restore function.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The metal ring on the clutch basket is very loose. Shop said it was supposed to be tight on there and they suspected heat caused the issue.
 
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