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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty sure I saw this thread in here somewhere (can't find it now) so apologies in advance for starting it again.

yeah I'm having pretty rough neutral to first and first to second changes. I would say all gear changing is rougher than it was when I got the bike last fall but worse by far in the lower gears. As far as I know the clutch pack/plates are original and I have over 100,000km or about 65,000 miles. I am using mobil one synthetic. The previous owner used petrol based oil with no problems while he owned it. Coincidence?

My thoughts are the clutch is not quite fully engaging and when I try to put it in gear (sorry don't know the technical terms or even precisely how it works) there is still some friction in the clutch creating the chunking sound and FEEL in the gear box....it's not subtle!

So I've read that synthetic oil is believed by some to not work well with Kevlar clutch plates...apparently the Kevlar will "absorb" synthetic oil and swell creating friction and a sticky clutch. Even though I doubt I have Kevlar plates if they are original, I suppose they could be...regardless I wonder if this problem could be possible. Many others rave about how well their bikes shift using synthetic...I was hoping that would be me.

The other thought I have is the push rod just happened to start wearing as I took over the bike and is now not long enough to fully engage the clutch.

I think my first look will be at the rod as that looks relatively easy to do. After that I thought about just putting in a new filter and some 20/50 petrol based oil and see if it makes any difference.

I hate these problems where there never seems to be a black and white answer. Hopefully somebody has one!

Any thoughts and/or advice is much appreciated.
 

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mobil one is an outstanding oil, but not for wet clutch bikes. culprit? friction modifiers. if you are hell bent on using mobil one, use the version made for v-twins (no, harley doesn't have the market cornered). no friction modifiers. i've been using it for about 8 years and find it works well as far as smoothing out shifting.

next, how old are your chain and sprockets? nothing beats a fresh set of those.

next, check the slop of the shift linkage. frankly, i recommend ditching that ridiculous contraption and going with a shift lever from a DR650. makes a WORLD of difference.
 

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Hi Jim. Welcome to the forum.
Just a FYI. The pushrod down by the foot shifter cannot wear to any extent that would affect the problem you are experiencing. You have a hydraulic clutch, so any wear down there is compensated for by the hydraulic system. Which leads me to suggest that you check the level of fluid in your reservoir. You can change the point at which the clutch lever starts to engage the hydraulic system (play) by shortening the little pushrod that the clutch lever pushes on to move the piston in the master cylinder. Someone may have done that previously. My lever engages almost all the way out. If yours engages with much more play than that, you could have air in the system or someone could have shortened the little pushrod that goes into the master cylinder. If your reservoir is full, then air is not likely to be the problem. The problem could also be a leaky master or slave piston. You should be able to hold the clutch in for at least ten minutes without it engaging on its own while you are holding the clutch lever in. Even at that, you have the beginnings of a problem that will need to be addressed.
My old Vee is very clunky in the 1-2 and 2-1 shift. I simply don't shift into 1st while slowing down. From 2, I go into neutral while stopping. To be smoother, you can shift earlier from 1 to 2. Otherwise, it's a bit of a clunk. The rest of the shifts should be fairly smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
mobil one is an outstanding oil, but not for wet clutch bikes. culprit? friction modifiers. if you are hell bent on using mobil one, use the version made for v-twins (no, harley doesn't have the market cornered). no friction modifiers. i've been using it for about 8 years and find it works well as far as smoothing out shifting.

next, how old are your chain and sprockets? nothing beats a fresh set of those.

next, check the slop of the shift linkage. frankly, i recommend ditching that ridiculous contraption and going with a shift lever from a DR650. makes a WORLD of difference.
Thanks for the thoughts. I'm using Mobil1 4T 10w-40 racing oil. If friction modifiers such as moly were the culprit however, wouldn't I be more likely to experience clutch slippage? If anything, I'm getting a bit of clutch "grab" which I believe is what is causing the rough shifts... Sprockets and chain still look pretty decent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Jim. Welcome to the forum.
Just a FYI. The pushrod down by the foot shifter cannot wear to any extent that would affect the problem you are experiencing. You have a hydraulic clutch, so any wear down there is compensated for by the hydraulic system. Which leads me to suggest that you check the level of fluid in your reservoir. You can change the point at which the clutch lever starts to engage the hydraulic system (play) by shortening the little pushrod that the clutch lever pushes on to move the piston in the master cylinder. Someone may have done that previously. My lever engages almost all the way out. If yours engages with much more play than that, you could have air in the system or someone could have shortened the little pushrod that goes into the master cylinder. If your reservoir is full, then air is not likely to be the problem. The problem could also be a leaky master or slave piston. You should be able to hold the clutch in for at least ten minutes without it engaging on its own while you are holding the clutch lever in. Even at that, you have the beginnings of a problem that will need to be addressed.
My old Vee is very clunky in the 1-2 and 2-1 shift. I simply don't shift into 1st while slowing down. From 2, I go into neutral while stopping. To be smoother, you can shift earlier from 1 to 2. Otherwise, it's a bit of a clunk. The rest of the shifts should be fairly smooth.[/QUOTE

Yup of course...as soon as I read your explanation...oh right a hydraulic system like hydraulic lifters always takes up any slack. I will look at the pushrod. So far just bled the system with maybe a very slight improvement and maybe I'm being picky...my friend with a Yamaha Vstar or similar said his clunks just as much if not more.
 

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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm using Mobil1 4T 10w-40 racing oil. If friction modifiers such as moly were the culprit however, wouldn't I be more likely to experience clutch slippage? If anything, I'm getting a bit of clutch "grab" which I believe is what is causing the rough shifts... Sprockets and chain still look pretty decent.
i'm not a mechanic or engineer so i haven't a clue. i do know that when i switched from castrol synth to mobil 1 v-twin, shifting became smoother immediately and stayed that way until i replaced the chain and sprockets and then it became SAHWEET.
 

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Hey Teevee, is that the mobil1 twin SYNTHETIC?

i'm not a mechanic or engineer so i haven't a clue. i do know that when i switched from castrol synth to mobil 1 v-twin, shifting became smoother immediately and stayed that way until i replaced the chain and sprockets and then it became SAHWEET.[/QUOTE]
 

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Hey Teevee, is that the mobil1 twin SYNTHETIC?

i'm not a mechanic or engineer so i haven't a clue. i do know that when i switched from castrol synth to mobil 1 v-twin, shifting became smoother immediately and stayed that way until i replaced the chain and sprockets and then it became SAHWEET.
Mobil1 4T "is their motorcycle specific oil", and all are synthetic and free of friction modifiers as seen for cars.
 

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Thanks Teevee that was the one I thought you must be referring! So really just a heavier oil. Hmmm, interesting.[/QUOTE]

well, my bike lives in miami where it never really gets cold, so 20w50 is fine. the key for me is full synthetic without friction modifiers.

my DR650 gets fed motul 7100 4T synthetic 20w50 since the mobil 1 is not available in nicaragua where the DR lives.
 

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The cheap cure. Clean out the front sprocket area. Lube the shift mechanism. Light oil in the ball joints, the shaft on the bike you need to remove the circlip and lube that moly grease is ideal but pretty much any grease will last 20,000k's or so.

Have a spare circlip when you do that one and a GOOD set of circlip pliers makes it easy. (O.K. not so cheap, if you don't have them a decent set on ebay is ~$20). NOT those stupid pressed metal things with replaceable tips.

Slather some silicone adhesive over the circlip on reinstall.

Yes it COULD be engine oil but the above definitely helps and is a common problem.
 

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Teevee,,,i recommend ditching that ridiculous contraption and going with a shift lever from a DR650. makes a WORLD of difference.
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I've got 2013 650 & would also like to try a more direct shift lever. Is there a specific DR650 shifter for my particular bike?
 

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Yes Rich, the spacer does help. however, when i purchased my '07 in '10 the spacer was one of the first mods i did. thereafter, shifting was still clunkier than most bikes i've ridden.

i then switched to castrol synthetic which didn't help at all.

bought the ridiculously priced, now unavailable touratech folding shift lever, thus dumping suzuki's ridiculous contraption of a shift mechanism and the world suddenly got MUCH better.

switched to mobil 1 and felt a noticeable improvement.

530 chain and sprockets with new cush rubbers was the icing on the cake.

like life itself, improving the strom is a process.
 

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Teevee,,,i recommend ditching that ridiculous contraption and going with a shift lever from a DR650. makes a WORLD of difference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've got 2013 650 & would also like to try a more direct shift lever. Is there a specific DR650 shifter for my particular bike?
the dr650 shift lever has remained unchanged from at least 1996.

CAVEAT: i seem to recall that on the 650 changing to a straight lever reverses the shift pattern. hopefully someone else will confirm or call BS.:wink2:
 

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teevee,

Oh. There goes egg on my face. Apologies.

Still the symptoms are so similar I would check to make sure the chain is tracking down the center of the rear sprocket and not catching on the side. And check the rear wheel bearing.

I swear I could feel the difference between the old full Group 4 base stock Mobil 1 and the new Group 3 stuff. Much smoother shifting with the True Group 4 synthetic. But that was on a different bike.
 

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the dr650 shift lever has remained unchanged from at least 1996.

CAVEAT: i seem to recall that on the 650 changing to a straight lever reverses the shift pattern. hopefully someone else will confirm or call BS.:wink2:
Correct, I did it using a cheap aftermarket Suzuki dirtbike lever. Shifting was butter smooth but impossible to live with for me. It's still under the seat as my "Well it'll get me home" lever.

Note that this will work on the 1000 without screwing up the shift pattern.

The caveat is that that mechanism saves you from having to split the cases if you have a fall on that side. (It's near impossible to bend the shifter shaft that goes through the engine). With the gear shifter directly on the shaft shifting is wonderful but there is a risk of very expensive repairs being needed.
 

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The caveat is that that mechanism saves you from having to split the cases if you have a fall on that side. (It's near impossible to bend the shifter shaft that goes through the engine). With the gear shifter directly on the shaft shifting is wonderful but there is a risk of very expensive repairs being needed.
true, but i can tell you that i've dropped my DR more times than i can count (for some reason, more on the left side than right) and the worst that's happened is the shift lever bending, sometimes wildly. a little leverage and voila! it's back.

i dont think i could get used to a reverse shift pattern after riding one way for 40 years
 
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