Is this considered routine lever maintenance? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Is this considered routine lever maintenance?

About a year ago I got a 1994 Kawasaki VN750 with about 23,700 miles on it, my first motorcycle. I liked it so much I decided I wanted to keep one around for the long term, and since it's out of production, scooped up as recent and low mileage a bike as I could find in a 2004 model with 550 miles on it back in April/May.

Now that I have the SAME bike 10 years and 27,000 miles younger, I notice that the clutch on my '94 is a lot more.... sticky. I got used to it when it was my only bike, I guess, but releasing it slowly feels like there's resistance. I don't think it's in the cable, I just lubed it pretty well, but I'm not sure... I have a suspicion there's rust, dust or gunk in the joints of the lever, because other handlebar levers have the same feel of stickiness (such as the choke).

Does that make sense? Is that something people have done? Take apart the clutch housing and grease things up? How hard is that? My owner's manual has nothing about that kind of maintenance. I'm going to search through my garage for the Clymer book but any kind of feedback from you guys would help.

Or is it definitely the clutch cable going old and needing replacement?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 09:51 AM
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Did you pull the cable off completely when ya lubed it? Pushing & pulling the cable then would let you know if it might be frayed internally somewhere.
Check to make sure the cable is routed properly. An extra bend from being routed differently could cause a feel of resistance.

But it wouldn't hurt to get a new cable anyhow, just to have a spare.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 01:26 PM
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Before you take the clutch apart i would take off the cable and pull it out of the sheath to check the condition.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperbuzzin View Post
Did you pull the cable off completely when ya lubed it? Pushing & pulling the cable then would let you know if it might be frayed internally somewhere.
Check to make sure the cable is routed properly. An extra bend from being routed differently could cause a feel of resistance.

But it wouldn't hurt to get a new cable anyhow, just to have a spare.
What is the correct routing for the clutch cable?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
Is that something people have done? Take apart the clutch housing and grease things up? How hard is that? My owner's manual has nothing about that kind of maintenance.

Everything that pivots or has metal to metal surfaces that move against one another needs to be lubed periodicly.

I do my levers at least once a year, using a waterproof lithium with teflon grease. You should also do the sidestand pivots, centerstand pivots, the shock bolts , the brake pedal , and really anything else that looks like it could use it. Don't forget the throttle tube, (you should lightly grease the handlebar)

This is all normal maintance, I am surprised you did not know this, your owners manual covers this under the wording of "general lubrication" at intervals of every 5k miles.



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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
Everything that pivots or has metal to metal surfaces that move against one another needs to be lubed periodicly.

I do my levers at least once a year, using a waterproof lithium with teflon grease. You should also do the sidestand pivots, centerstand pivots, the shock bolts , the brake pedal , and really anything else that looks like it could use it. Don't forget the throttle tube, (you should lightly grease the handlebar)

This is all normal maintance, I am surprised you did not know this, your owners manual covers this under the wording of "general lubrication" at intervals of every 5k miles.

KM
Well, this is my first M/C, and when I looked in the manual I must have missed this section. I'll go back and re-read.

Glad my instincts that this stuff of course needs regular lubing is right. Sorry for the stupid question, but I never worry about this with my car either, I just bring it in twice a year to a service station. It's a good year when I remember to (ask them to) rotate the tires. But for my motorcycle I'm taking a bit more of an active interest.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
Well, this is my first M/C, and when I looked in the manual I must have missed this section. I'll go back and re-read.

Glad my instincts that this stuff of course needs regular lubing is right. Sorry for the stupid question, but I never worry about this with my car either, I just bring it in twice a year to a service station. It's a good year when I remember to (ask them to) rotate the tires. But for my motorcycle I'm taking a bit more of an active interest.
Yes, unfortunetly the wording of "General lubrication" is itself not very specific, and one would have to know the various things associated with this going in. Not implying you are a dummie here, but there should be a "Motorcycling for Dummiess" book as required reading for anyone that gets a bike and knows nothing about them.

(well actualy there is : http://tinyurl.com/ntmwt4 )


And you should rotate your car tires every time you get the oil changed BTW...(makes it easeir to remember)


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 07:10 AM
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My brake lever did similar and it turned out to be corrosion build up on the pivot bolt and in the bolt hole.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ha, you know, I did get and read that "Motorcycles For Dummies" book, before ever getting a bike. For some reason I hadn't thought to go dig it out and re-read it now that I'm undertaking more of the maintenance. I must have skimmed through that part since I didn't have a bike yet and none of it really meant much to me without something in front of me. I didn't even remember that it HAD info on disassembling and greasing clutch lever housings and whatnot!

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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OK it was the clutch cable, I needed a new one. I got a nylon one from Motion Pro and spent 2-1/2 hours swapping it in. It took me that long because (a) I'm a total newbie at this and (b) both the Clymer and the owner's manual have basically the same steps with the same pictures.

The Clymer book has this on removing the clutch cable (nothing on re-attaching one; I guess it's obvious that it's the same steps in reverse):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clymer
Disconnect clutch cable as follows:

a - At the cable center adjuster, loosen the cable adjuster locknut (A, Fig. 40) and turn the adjuster (B, Fig. 40) all the way in to allow maximum slack in the cable.
b - At the hand lever on the handlebar, loosen the cable adjuster locknut (A, Fig. 41) and turn the adjuster (B, Fig. 41) all the way in to allow maximum slack in the cable.
c - Align the slot in the cable adjuster locknut and the cable with the cable and release the cable from the adjuster and the hand lever.
The Owner's manual has the same pictures of where the clutch cable lock nuts and adjusters are at the lever and at the center, and no more information.

What I had to figure out on my own (which I assume is par for the course) was:

1 - How exactly the cable is meant to come out, particularly from the bottom connection where it attaches to the transmission. I could only get enough slack on that end if I detached the top part first. I figured that was why they gave that direction in (c) without mentioning the bottom part in a theoretical step (d).

2 - The fact that I had to remove several parts of my bike to be able to get the cable free. My VN750 has an engine guard on it, which I had to loosen and move out of the way; then I found out I also had to remove the gear shift foot lever in order to get the space to fiddle with and remove the clutch cable. All the bolts needed a different sized metric hex nut, too.

But now the clutch is silky smooth. The old cable was full of rusty looking gunk.

But shifting gears still operates with a "clunk" or "chunk". I'm gonna have to keep looking at what else to lubricate on my '94 bike. That, and try the Grambo trick for that intermittent ticking sound when idling.

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