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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Clutch-Slap? I have seen this issue mentioned but never discussed.
The conversation usually goes directly to chudder, but this slap issue is not chudder at all.
My bike does it but it's not just me. I searched and found a few other DL1000 owners that describe clutch-slap too.

Symptoms & conditions. . .
The clutch violently grabs & lets go in rapid succession when trying to pull away from a stopped position.
The things that seem to cause it to happen. . .
*A hot bike on a hot day.
*Riding 2-up.
*Starting out on a substantial incline.
*Letting the clutch out while the engine is at higher than usual RPMs.
*Only happens when starting out from a standstill, (never happens when going through the other gears).

NOTE: I did the chudder test and my DL1000k6 (38,000 miles) feels rock-solid to me.
I'm running the stock clutch & basket.
It has also been mentioned by "Aeriam" here: http://www.stromtrooper.com/747985-post24.html and by "afmeyer" over here: Clutch Problem Help Needed
Additionally I came across a fellow at the SSYSO forum that has been describing a very similar problem.

Clues? Comments? Free advice? Anybody?

Thanks,
-Ej-
 

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I experienced this symptom with my TLS. The '97 were notorious for slipping clutches. Most owners put heavier springs, (harder lever pull :thumbdown:) or changed to 6 spring clutch packs found on later TLRs. I was going to go the later route. One oil change I opted to use Rotella dino instead of the synthetic I normally use since I already had 5 gallons of the stuff on hand, (I use dino in my Concours and KLR). Shortly after I noticed my clutch quit slipping and started the grab/slip you mentioned. By the time I changed the oil again, (2000 Miles), all symptoms were gone. 6000 miles later and my clutch works as it should. I suspect non motorcycle specific oils may have anti friction additives that affect clutch efficiency. I have put over 100,000 miles on air cooled bikes in the past using dino with no mechanical issues due to lubrication failure, so I think I will just continue with the dino and more frequent change intervals.
 

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I suspect the culprit will be something in the clutch actuation mechanism. Anything from a dirty/sticking pushrod to a slave cylinder that is hanging as it releases to a pressure plate/hub fitment issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm coming up on 40,000 miles and I do a lot of stop & go traffic so I'm in for a clutch & basket, etc, anyway.
But I would feel a lot better knowing if this clutch-slap issue is a specific harbinger of things going wrong before I just change everything at 40k.

To narrow it down. . . (and for my own sanity)
1.) It will never occur on a regular departure from a stand-still in first gear, as in pulling away from a traffic light.
2.) However, it will always happen when I'm at that same intersection but in a hurry to get across and let out the clutch into a higher than normal RPMing bike.
Then she'll grab & release over and over in a bouncy (not shuddery) fashion.
It's obnoxious. When you really need to do a good brisk launch, you inadvertently get a hoppy, bouncy 3-ring circus.
A real joy when riding 2-up.


Thanks x10 for the posts on this.
Every single comment or idea helps!
-Ej-
 

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My K3 has 80.000 klms on it and the clutch is chuddering ..and rattles at idle with the lever out ...I have read about this drama on 3 different forums ..none have failed just the occasional chudder and more rattles than a labour ward at a hospital...

Whats the best cheap fix ?:headbang:
 

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My K3 has 80.000 klms on it and the clutch is chuddering ..and rattles at idle with the lever out ...I have read about this drama on 3 different forums ..none have failed just the occasional chudder and more rattles than a labour ward at a hospital...

Whats the best cheap fix ?:headbang:
Cheap? Nothing. the only thing that comes close is remove your clutch basket and send it to Real Shelby for his old welded in spring spacers. Requires your bike to be off the road for a while, plus new gaskets. Didn't someone price this out at ~$300?

The best way would be a remade or billet clutch basket. Search "chudder". There is TONS of discussion on the topic.
 

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I experienced this symptom with my TLS. The '97 were notorious for slipping clutches. Most owners put heavier springs, (harder lever pull :thumbdown:) or changed to 6 spring clutch packs found on later TLRs. I was going to go the later route. One oil change I opted to use Rotella dino instead of the synthetic I normally use since I already had 5 gallons of the stuff on hand, (I use dino in my Concours and KLR). Shortly after I noticed my clutch quit slipping and started the grab/slip you mentioned. By the time I changed the oil again, (2000 Miles), all symptoms were gone. 6000 miles later and my clutch works as it should. I suspect non motorcycle specific oils may have anti friction additives that affect clutch efficiency. I have put over 100,000 miles on air cooled bikes in the past using dino with no mechanical issues due to lubrication failure, so I think I will just continue with the dino and more frequent change intervals.
Nothing wrong with dino or synthetic oils. But either can have friction modifiers in them that cause clutch issues. Look at the API seal on the bottle. If it says.."energy conserving"...its for cars.

There is widespread debate on the benfits of synthetic. Its all I use in bikes. In the Vee, I use Mobil 1 4t full synthetic in 10w40. Rotella is fine also.
 

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EJ

Mine has done the same thing, It is a 2008 with about 22,000 miles.
Thinking about it I do think it happens more riding two up. I was wondering if it could be that the clutch was not up to operating temp, and maybe the plates were sticking. On mine it seems it has happened when the bike was not running for very long. It does seem to happen when trying to make a quick getaway.
 

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I've had it happen twice, both times from a standstill. Its very startling to say the least. Definitely gets the old heart pumping.:yikes: Better than coffee for a wake up.
 

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I have a 03 Vee with the disigned for bikes mobil 1 syn oil and I get the clutch slap on pull aways with higher revs. I personally think it is a user problem. I think it is the "un-sweet spot" in the clutch grab and the jerking motion causes you to squeeze the clutch a mm or 2 for a split second causing slip, then you let out a mm or 2 and get grip, then repeat the process until you grab the clutch fully and start over. A bit more cautious this time.:headbang:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ahh yes, the 2-up issue comes up yet again. But Buff, mine has done it with a full hot bike too.

We can agree that letting the clutch out into a higher RPMing engine (from a stand-still) certainly is the key factor.

I've been pushing the theory that blindly doing a full clutch & basket job would cure the problem but before I do that I really would feel vindicated if I could learn exactly what is going on with this.

jar3316 may be on to something here...
The fact that the DL1000 has such a narrow (and late arriving) friction zone may be part of the problem. The difference between slip and grab on a Vee's clutch is only a few mm of lever travel. Once she starts to buck, the rider's hand on the clutch lever may indeed be affected making the slip/grab oscillations all the worse.
The defect may simply be "the nature of the beast" being irritated by the actions of the operator.

I think I have some testing to do soon as the rain lets up.
Thanks crew, for more good input on this,

-Ej-
 

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Mine did this again yesterday. I was riding alone and came to a stop sign. When I took off It did the slip grab thing. It seems that if I try to slip the clutch while making a quick getaway it will sometimes happen. I was thinking maybe the clutch plates are thrashed . I bought the bike with 8000 miles on it and now I have about 23,000. Maybe the prior owner was hard on it.
I am planning on switching oils first and see if that makes any difference. Currently running Rotella
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mine did this again yesterday...
...I am planning on switching oils first and see if that makes any difference. Currently running Rotella
Thanks for the update Buffalo rider.
Since my last post I did get the opportunity to take my Vee to a practice area and experiment.
I intentionally caused my bike's clutch to studder on take-off under varying situations. To be honest about it, I didn't really prove (or learn) anything but I did gain a lot of confidence and comfort in handling the issue when it does occur.
BTW: I'm running a similar thread on the topic here: Clutch-Slap Undocumented?

As for experimenting with the motor oil. . .
I am in the early stages of doing a crankcase flush (not for the faint of heart) but so far, no improvement.
I've only got about 300 miles on the "experimental oil" and I'd like to get about 500 more miles on the bike before I write it off as a failure.
Regards,
-Ej-
 

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My 09 has been doing the same thing the past month. 15K and does need the basket mod. as chudder is getting worse. Been using Rotella dino all along so that's not the solution. I've been riding over 40 years and both of my current street bikes have hydraulic clutch's so most likely not operator error. I will be doing a basket mod this Jan. and hopefully the problem will show it's self then. Will also pull the slave and pin for a check then.
 

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For those experimenting with ways to improve this, I would like to see one of you try cleaning the pushrod/sprocket area very well. Followed by an extensive flushing and proper bleeding of the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. While I have not experienced the symptoms personally, my thought is that it points to a clutch actuation issue. If it were the clutch plates/steels/or other mechanical part I would think it would be easier to repeat.
 

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For those experimenting with ways to improve this, I would like to see one of you try cleaning the pushrod/sprocket area very well. Followed by an extensive flushing and proper bleeding of the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. While I have not experienced the symptoms personally, my thought is that it points to a clutch actuation issue. If it were the clutch plates/steels/or other mechanical part I would think it would be easier to repeat.
I am with Terry on this one. Before I would go flushing the oil and looking to the basket or plates for this issue I would look at everything that controls the clutch. I would start at the lever make sure there is no binding there. I would then pull the sprocket cover and clean everything to look shiny and new. While I was in there I would pull the seal for the clutch actuator rod make sure nothing is behind it causing a bind. If none of that works then it is time to tear down the hydraulic slave and see if there is some sort of foreign object causing the slave cylinder to bind.






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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I plan on pulling the clutch cover next spring,
However, until then...
I'm real interested in trapperdog's plans to do a basket upgrade this January.
Please trapper, before you do the work, take the bike out and make the bike do the clutch-slap thing a few times to get the feel of the defect.
Then after the basket upgrade is done, let us know if it's a "fix" for the slap!
-Ej-

I am with Terry on this one.
Before I would go flushing the oil and looking to the basket or plates for this issue I would look at everything that controls the clutch.
The occurrence is totally dependent on RPM though :confused:
As for the sprocket, clutch, and pin, etc...
I try to keep my bikes pretty much spotless, (remember crew, I'm a hobbyist, not a biker).
This photo is of an inspection I did on the Vee about 2500 miles ago.



But the sprocket cover, slave, & pin are pretty easy to check so I will indeed take your advice and examine their function closely.
I would be pleased (and thankful to you guys) if that's all the problem actually was.
Once the snow hits the ground, I got nothing but time to tinker!
Thanks,
-Ej-
 

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For those experimenting with ways to improve this, I would like to see one of you try cleaning the pushrod/sprocket area very well. Followed by an extensive flushing and proper bleeding of the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. While I have not experienced the symptoms personally, my thought is that it points to a clutch actuation issue. If it were the clutch plates/steels/or other mechanical part I would think it would be easier to repeat.
Probably a good idea. I was going to do the basket (Bad chudder) and clean/check/flush the slave side at the same time but doing the latter first might narrow down the possible causes. Eletrojake keeps his under sprocket cover clean, I do not. I did however flush and bleed when I replaced my lines with 2 over SS about 9 months/10K miles ago. Should be interesting to see where all this leads
 
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