Clutch engaged - should the rear wheel spin? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Clutch engaged - should the rear wheel spin?

Today, while doing an oil change on my '86 VN750, I noticed that when the bike is on it's center stand, the engine is running, it's in gear and the clutch is engaged, the rear wheel still spins. It would seem to me that if the clutch is adjusted correctly, the drive wheel should STOP spinning with the lever pulled. Am I wrong? Is the clutch adjustment off? Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 07:10 PM
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Will it stop turning if you apply the rear brake with the lever pulled in???

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 07:22 PM
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I think with the wheel hanging free and no "load" on it, it will spin a bit, I don't believe pulling the clutch is the same as neutral.

All the bikes I've had have done what you're describing, but not spinning what would be considered fast by any means, and if grabbed (outside the tire) it could be held still.

Maybe the clutch cable could be adjusted a little bit...

When you're sitting at a stop light or something with the clutch held in, does the bike keep trying to roll forward then, does the brake need to be held to keep it stopped?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 09:21 PM
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This is normal and nothing to worry about. Some bikes even will get the rear wheel to turn with the engine running, on the centerstand...and in neutral.


I could tell you why it does this...but I just got home and want something to eat and drink...


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 09:35 PM
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With any wet clutch system, there will always be some 'hydraulic action' that gives the appearance of a sticky clutch when the lever is pulled in with no load on the rear wheel. The clutch plates may be pulled apart, but with fluid between them, there will be some spin (drag) even more when the oil is hot.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 09:58 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong (my wife does this frequently!), but I always thought that when you pulled the clutch lever in, your bike was essentially in neutral and the rear wheel should spin freely, not powered by the engine. This I thought meant the clutch was DISENGAGED.

I thought when the bike is in gear and you let go of the clutch lever you ENGAGE the clutch and power is transfered from the engine to the rear wheel.

If this is true then when the bike is on the center stand with the engine running, pulling in the clutch lever in disengages the clutch and allows the rear wheel to spin freely on it's own, not powered by the engine. When the bike is in gear and the clutch lever is released the clutch is engaged and the rear wheel is powered by the engine, so it shouldn't spin freely, it should spin as fast as the throttle makes it go.

I think anything else would be abnormal. The rear wheel shouldn't be controlled by the throttle when the clutch is pulled in (disengaged) just as it shouldn't if the bike was in neutral.

Am I wrong? My wife would be overjoyed once again!!

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 10:03 PM
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It all has to do with the oil in the trans. As explained above the clutch has some drag due to the oil and the gears also have some drag to the others due to the oil in the trans. This is what causes the wheel to turn. If the rear brake is applied the wheel will stop.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
If the rear brake is applied the wheel will stop.....
....without the engine dying.
If the bike were in gear, and you did that, the engine would die, just like if you'd come to a stop and not pull the clutch in.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyrick View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong (my wife does this frequently!), but I always thought that when you pulled the clutch lever in, your bike was essentially in neutral and the rear wheel should spin freely, not powered by the engine. This I thought meant the clutch was DISENGAGED....


Am I wrong? My wife would be overjoyed once again!!

No you are not wrong...but this has nothing to do with the wheel spinning when it is off the ground and the bike is in gear...AND the clutch is "disengaged".

Kind of hard to give you a good example of what is happening, but think of two pulleys connected with a belt. You turn one pulley and it turns the other..which lets say turns a huge metal fan. Now, if you loosen the belt slowly by pushing the pulleys together, at some point it will not be able to turn the big fan but will slip on the pulley it is connected to. The weight of the fan (it's mass) has overcome the friction and until you tighten the belt up a bit, the fan will not spin..BUT if you were to somehow disconnect the big fan from its pulley. you would greatly reduce the mass ...and even though the belt is still slipping some, it would start to turn that pulley..because the mass is no longer working against the friction. You could take your hand and stop the pulley with very little force, causing the belt to slip again.

Same thing is going on with your clutch..the plates are still making very light contact even when the clutch lever is pulled in. But instead of just mass like the fan, it is the counter amount of friction of the wheel touching the ground. Put the wheel in the air, you lose that bit of "holding power" and the wheel will begin to turn slowly...opening the throttle most likely will not make the speed of that wheel increase by the way...because raising the inertia of the "drive" clutch plates might actualy make them slip more when set against the "driven" plates..whose inertia is the same.

Oil does factor in this as the oil between the plates is causing the actual contact. Not really sure if how much oil tempature factors in here, but it is the "Stiction" of the two oiled plates that causes this whole thing to occour. (Take a small thin flat sheet of of metal and coat it with oil, slap it against a smooth wall and let go..it will slide down the wall...but ..it is sticking to the wall...)

When you are sitting on the bike and the wheel is on the ground, your weight, the weight of the bike and the contact of the tire on the road all increase the static friction of the wheel so much that it overcomes the light input to turn, and thus you would never notice it. Raise the bike off the ground and you remove all that.

So..as I said, normal , do not worry about it.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 11:35 PM
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my brother had an old dodge truck with a manual transmission. One day he had the rear on jack stands. he replaced the rear brakes and when he finished he started the motor while it was still on the stands just for the heck of it. and the wheels turned with the transmission in neutral. My Royal infield does this to.
Not sure about my vulcan but I would'nt be surprised if the wheel spins; while on the stand, even with the clutch pulled. and I'm certain my clutch is properly adjusted.

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Last edited by kay; 08-16-2008 at 11:40 PM.
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