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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch slipping?

Hi, I'm a noob to the site. I love it!!!

I have a '97 VN750 with just under 20k miles. Lately, it seems like my clutch is slipping: when I rev, it pulls weak, as if I'm engaging the clutch lever even though I'm not. My questions are:

1. This sounds like clutch slippage, no? I'm 90% sure that's what it is, but wanted to make sure no one else had ideas.

2. I'm assuming the only fix is to replace the friction plates, right? I was going to overhaul the clutch with the EBC Kevlar clutch kit (as suggested in the Verses). Anyone have up-to-date photos of this job? The photo links in the Verses are dead and I've never done it.

3. 20k miles seems too early for this, no? I live in Manhattan and spend a lot of time in traffic (engaging the clutch), but I assumed I'd get closer to 30-40k or more. Does the kevlar kit wear significantly better? I don't want to do this every 20k miles.


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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 12:18 AM
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The movement in neutral is a classic sign of a cable in need of adjustment. If you haven't checked that yet, I'd do that first. Even a replacement cable is cheaper than new friction plates!

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 09:10 AM
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I'm not sure about others but I'm up to 41,000 & still on the origional clutch. But I am doing alot of hiway miles.

Also, there was a recent posting (walk through) on doing the clutch. Ah, here it is. I had it saved for when I'd need it.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 10:47 AM
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I have 40,000 am I had reason to check the clutch. All the fiber and metal plates still look very good, with minnimal wear.

02 honda sabre 1100
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 11:55 AM
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Welcome to the Vulcan madness jjl.underwood
How long have you been riding the Vulcan? Is it your first scoot?

I agree with Cindy; adjust the clutch cable before deciding whether or not you need new clutch plates.


1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 12:01 PM
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With 20k miles its time for a new clutch cable anyways as per the maintenance schedule in the owners manual. Maybe you can start there, change the cable and insure the clutch lever gap is aligned properly to the rib. Even if it is a clutch, the best time to change the cable is before it breaks. Let us know what fixed it.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 01:09 PM
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DON'T use automotive engine oil. Use motorcycle rated or diesel engine oil in your bike. Most bikes have wet clutches and regular cheap auto oil will cause your clutch to slip and burn up reducing the life of the plates. I like Castrol diesel better than Rotella.


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Last edited by dirtrack650; 07-08-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry if I wasn't clear, there is no movement in neutral. When I am in gear (1-5), the bike sometimes drives as if I'm engaging the clutch when I'm not. It revs high and doesn't pull hard immediately. After a second or two it kicks in and pulls normally.

I don't think the cable is the issue, although I will replace it as suggested for 20k mile maintenance.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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And thanks for all the responses, btw! I appreciate it.

Gordon, I've had my VN750 for about 1.5yrs. This is my second Kawasaki; I used to have a 454LTD. Before that I had a Honda CB500 4-cyl and a Yamaha TX650. I have loved all my bikes, but the VN750 is by far the most reliable which means it gets the most use. I ride just about every day, year round, unless there's snow and ice on the ground. I'm hoping to ride from NYC to Toronto later this summer!!!
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 08:44 AM
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I replaced my clutch at 7000 mileage is not always an indicator with clutch life.

Mine only slipped at high rpms under pulling out and trying to pass a truck on a highway. NOT a good thing.

The Kevlar clutch cured the problem. Make sure you intall the heavier springs too, and repalce ALL the plates...not just the friction plates.

Adjust free play in the clutch and check it through the entire sweep of the handle bar movemet lock to lock. Sometimes due to the way the clutch cable is routed it can be tighter when the bars are to one side.


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