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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[SOLVED] Clutch not disengaging

I have a 2009 DL650, less than a year old, with 2,100 miles. Right around 2,050 miles, I noticed shifting becoming a bit more difficult. Additionally, when on the centerstand, if I place it into gear and then pull the clutch in, the rear wheel still spins unless I apply the brake or slow it with my hand. Note that it never did this before as I use this technique to oil the chain. It has always stopped within a few seconds of pulling the clutch lever in. Now it will continue to turn for at least 2 minutes.

If I have it on the ground in neutral and then pull the clutch in, it grinds from neutral to second. Going to first drops in with a loud clunk.

I changed the oil with the recommended Suzuki oil and a K&N filter. The oil is filled right in the middle of the high/low marks on the window. This did nothing.

I then adjusted the clutch mechanism behind the front sprocket. Not being able to get it to disengage like it should, I overadjusted it inward (1-2 turns after resistance) so that the clutch should slip. All the symptoms still exist.

Being under warranty, I took the bike to the nearest dealer, which is not where I bought it. I chose this dealer simply because it was closer. The supervisor and his only tech say everything is normal and it's just wearing in.

I totally disagree as I've ridden many motorcycles and none have exhibited this behavior. They state many bikes are like this and plan to write on the service ticket that I brought it in before the warranty expired to have it examined. In their eyes, in case it goes out in a few hundred miles, Suzuki will cover it. Frankly, I think they just don't want to do the warranty work.

Considering I could not adjust it so the clutch would slip, I'm thinking something is wrong behind the right engine cover.

Any thoughts or ideas? If anyone is in NE Ohio near Akron/Canton, I'd appreciate a meetup somewhere to have someone else give their opinion. I really don't want to destroy my transmission due to a dealer's laziness.

EDIT: I found this post, but I'm not sure why my rear wheel disengaged earlier in its life. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
 

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So, engine off, transmission in 1st, clutch lever out, will the bike roll forward when you push it?

Same, clutch lever all the way in, will the bike roll forward? If it rolls, how far can you slowly let the clutch out until you feel the bike starting to be harder to push, just the beginning of any drag?

Engine running, you're riding, clutch lever squeezed in only a half-inch, will the clutch begin to slip? (This is the correct cable length adjustment.)

There's a youtube video of a guy lubing his chain with the bike on the center stand and the engine turning the rear wheel. It cuts his fingers off when he gets them too close. You should be able to lube the chain fine with the engine off and the transmission in neutral.
 

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I then adjusted the clutch mechanism behind the front sprocket. Not being able to get it to disengage like it should, I overadjusted it inward (1-2 turns after resistance) so that the clutch should slip. All the symptoms still exist.



Considering I could not adjust it so the clutch would slip, I'm thinking something is wrong behind the right engine cover.

Any thoughts or ideas? If anyone is in NE Ohio near Akron/Canton, I'd appreciate a meetup somewhere to have someone else give their opinion. I really don't want to destroy my transmission due to a dealer's laziness.

EDIT: I found this post, but I'm not sure why my rear wheel disengaged earlier in its life. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
You say you overadjusted it IN 1-2 turns after resistance. It should have been OUT 1/4 turn. Did you follow the service manual precisely? You start by taking all adjustment out at the lever adjuster (loosen the lock nut as far as it will go and turn the adjuster all the way towards the lock nut (it's under the boot at the clutch lever.) (so you can then have full adjustment there, where it is easy to get to .) Then you loosen the lock nut on the adjuster at the CSprocket (under the cover) and while holding the lock nut you turn the adjuster screw OUT 3 turns. Then turn the adjuster screw back IN until you feel resistance (it stops turning easy). This is a hard thing to determine but you don't have to be too precise. From this point turn the adjuster screw OUT about 1/4 turn, and tighten the locknut while holding the screw. THEN, go back to the lever adjuster and turn it to obtain a 1/2 inch of free travel at the outside end (knob) of the lever, before any movement of the clutch release mechanism takes place. Check all lock nuts tight and your good to go.:thumbup: This is something that should be done very soon after the bike has about 2000k on it. (The clutch cable has seated in and stretched a bit because it was new.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
You say you overadjusted it IN 1-2 turns after resistance. It should have been OUT 1/4 turn. Did you follow the service manual precisely? You start by taking all adjustment out at the lever adjuster (loosen the lock nut as far as it will go and turn the adjuster all the way towards the lock nut (it's under the boot at the clutch lever.) (so you can then have full adjustment there, where it is easy to get to .) Then you loosen the lock nut on the adjuster at the CSprocket (under the cover) and while holding the lock nut you turn the adjuster screw OUT 3 turns. Then turn the adjuster screw back IN until you feel resistance (it stops turning easy). This is a hard thing to determine but you don't have to be too precise. From this point turn the adjuster screw OUT about 1/4 turn, and tighten the locknut while holding the screw. THEN, go back to the lever adjuster and turn it to obtain a 1/2 inch of travel at the outside end (knob) of the lever. Check all lock nuts tight and your good to go.:thumbup: This is something that should be done very soon after the bike has about 2000k on it. (The clutch cable has seated in and stretched a bit because it was new.)
I have the service manual and adjusted it the correct way the first time, but it still felt like it was dragging. That's why I overadjusted it inward to see if the clutch slipped at all. It didn't slip at all under load which concerns me.

So, engine off, transmission in 1st, clutch lever out, will the bike roll forward when you push it?

Same, clutch lever all the way in, will the bike roll forward? If it rolls, how far can you slowly let the clutch out until you feel the bike starting to be harder to push, just the beginning of any drag?

Engine running, you're riding, clutch lever squeezed in only a half-inch, will the clutch begin to slip? (This is the correct cable length adjustment.)

There's a youtube video of a guy lubing his chain with the bike on the center stand and the engine turning the rear wheel. It cuts his fingers off when he gets them too close. You should be able to lube the chain fine with the engine off and the transmission in neutral.
It engages fine. The bike will roll forward with the clutch in but is very hard to push compared to when it was new. The service manual speaks of a half-inch of free movement at the tip of the clutch lever. My bike, in fact none that I can think of, has never had the clutch slip with just a half inch of pull. That seems a bit extreme.

The guy with the cut fingers put a rag to the moving chain; that's how he got his fingers too close. I'm just using a spray can with a nozzle. ;)
 

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I have the service manual and adjusted it the correct way the first time, but it still felt like it was dragging.



The service manual speaks of a half-inch of free movement at the tip of the clutch lever. My bike, in fact none that I can think of, has never had the clutch slip with just a half inch of pull. That seems a bit extreme.

;)
They are not implying that the clutch will slip at any point in the half inch of free travel. It is free travel, of the lever, before the lever and cable even engages the clutch release mechanism. The clutch lever would have to be moved about an additional 1&a1/2" to 2" before it would begin to slip. The clearance spec 1/2" is there to keep the lever in a position that it will fully release the clutch before the lever bottoms out on the bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got the bike back from the dealer today. They said the clutch didn't need adjusting, so I must have done it correctly. Still, they re-adjusted it anyway.

If I'm in neutral, with the clutch out, and then pull the clutch, it grinds from neutral to 2nd. I've never had a bike do that. Even this bike didn't do it before.
 

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I got the bike back from the dealer today. They said the clutch didn't need adjusting, so I must have done it correctly. Still, they re-adjusted it anyway.

If I'm in neutral, with the clutch out, and then pull the clutch, it grinds from neutral to 2nd. I've never had a bike do that. Even this bike didn't do it before.
What RPM is your bike idling at when you are having the grind from n-2. Higher than 11-1200 will make shifting more clunky. N-2 is not a usual shift, and by that I mean the trans is usually shifted from n-1 then 1-2, so that could be some of the problem. When a bike is not in motion the shift from n-2 or n-1 will be more harsh than when shifted with the rear wheel turning forward. You will find it less harsh if you down shift to 1 just before the bike stops moving rather then at say 10-20 miles per hour, or after the bike stops. I can only try to assure you that what your bike is doing is normal, even if it did not do it when new.:yesnod:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What RPM is your bike idling at when you are having the grind from n-2. Higher than 11-1200 will make shifting more clunky. N-2 is not a usual shift, and by that I mean the trans is usually shifted from n-1 then 1-2, so that could be some of the problem. When a bike is not in motion the shift from n-2 or n-1 will be more harsh than when shifted with the rear wheel turning forward. You will find it less harsh if you down shift to 1 just before the bike stops moving rather then at say 10-20 miles per hour, or after the bike stops. I can only try to assure you that what your bike is doing is normal, even if it did not do it when new.:yesnod:
It's idling at the normal 1300 rpm. They even checked that too, now that I think about it.

Today, I went to the local store and it was grinding when attempting to go from N->2 but then also ground a bit when going from N->1. It's really unnerving.

But, I'll take your word for it. I'm sure it's also normal to be paranoid when things change for what seems to be worse. :) To me, grinding should never occur when shifting, even from N->2, as that's what the clutch is for.
 

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Better paranoid than left at the side of the road right? No apology for trying to get things right, ever! For what it's worth, if my bike was GRINDING on every shift from N, I would be concerned. Are you trying to shift at a standstill, or are you shifting while the bike is in motion? I think 1300 is a little high,( not high enough to change but:thumbdown:) especially if you shift at a standstill.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Better paranoid than left at the side of the road right? No apology for trying to get things right, ever! For what it's worth, if my bike was GRINDING on every shift from N, I would be concerned. Are you trying to shift at a standstill, or are you shifting while the bike is in motion? I think 1300 is a little high,( not high enough to change but:thumbdown:) especially if you shift at a standstill.
I thought 1300 was the spec. I don't have a digital tach to test it with, so I'm guesstimating there.

All of these shifts are from a standstill.

I called the dealer where I bought the bike and he said it sounds normal. He said with a few thousand more miles it will likely loosen up. I was thinking of switching to a synthetic oil, such as Rotella, in hopes that would make things smoother.
 

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I thought 1300 was the spec. I don't have a digital tach to test it with, so I'm guesstimating there.

All of these shifts are from a standstill.
There is your problem. :headbang:The bike will shift much easier if shifted on the run.:thumbup: You only need to shift from a standstill once per trip if you want to. When coming to a stop, shift down to first just before you stop, don't sit there in N waiting to be rear ended. You will do no harm to your clutch holding it while you wait for a light, I've been doing it for 40 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh I realize that. I've been riding for about 20 years now. :)

I just never had a bike being that finicky about shifting into 1st or 2nd from neutral.

I did notice it can grind some going into 1st as well, but seems to not do that if I wait until I stop completely. At any rate, I'll mark this as solved.

Thanks for your help, honestbob!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've been riding the 650 for several days. I've noticed it's shifting a bit odd while rolling now too. For example, I will feel the shift lever move and then there's a tiny bit of grind as it finds the next gear.

Here's an interesting bit. This morning, I fired it up and let it idle while I got geared up. I jumped on, pulled the clutch in and then waited a few seconds. It went very smoothly (no jump or clunk) into first. Going into second while rolling was very smooth too.

So now I'm wondering what that means. Then halfway to work (20 min drive), it starts clunking into other gears while rolling.

:confused: Reading the service manual, it says one of the clutch springs could be having issues, and that may make sense if the outer plate isn't disengaging evenly from the friction plates.
 

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You may be onto something there, but the Suzuki trans in these bikes do have the symptoms that you have described. I would take that clutch out for an inspection just to eliminate mechanical failure as the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Switch to Rotella diesel oil.... shifts like butta

even better than mobil1 mc oil
I was thinking of changing to synthetic, but given these symptoms came on rather suddenly, I don't think oil is the issue.

Thanks, though!
 
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