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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Ok, I posted this before, but I recently ran into this problem. I live in AZ, where it is HOT, and use 20w50 oil. My bike has 71,000+ miles on it, and all but one of them are mine. I have never had any clutch problems. A couple of months ago, I started noticing shifting problems. Very notchy shifting. Then I noticed the clutch was dragging when pulled all the way in. After making sure the cable was lubricated properly, and adjusted properly, it still did it. I even adjusted it too tight, and still had the problem. I switched to 10w40 oil, as it is winter here, and that didn't do any good either. The only choice left was to pull the clutch and check it out. I found the metal plates and springs were fine, but the friction plates were actually swollen, they were thicker than the specs in the service manual in several places. I have never seen this happen before. These were the original plates. I replaced them with standard EBC plates, put it back together, filled it with 20w50 oil, properly adjusted the cable, and it has been fine ever since.
As for starting the bike, I am a believer in warming up my engine in the morning, until the coolant temperature gauge needle has reached the second mark from the left. I do this in neutral, on the centerstand, with the clutch out. In the winter it can sometimes take several minutes. Then I push the bike off the centerstand, shut off the engine with the kill switch, shift into first, and rock the bike back and forth with the clutch pulled in to break the clutch plates loose. All bikes used to be like this, the Vulcan and several more still are. Once the clutch is free, I pull it in and start it in gear, and take off. The bike is never left in neutral the rest of the day. I always park it in first, and start it in first. I also keep it in first with the clutch in at stoplights. My main reason for doing this is to avoid starting it in neutral, then shifting into first with the bike not moving. This always results in a loud clunk, and a lurch forward. It puts quite a shock load on the transmission, because it forces a gear that is turning to mesh with a gear that is locked. I have never known of a transmission being damaged enough to where it wouldn't shift into first, or would jump out of gear because of this, but I have seen many transmissions with those problems, just don't know what caused them. Slamming things together like that cannot be good, and I am not a mechanical sadist. Motorcycles do not have synchromesh transmissions like cars do.
I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.
1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike