When is the clutch completely disengaged? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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When is the clutch completely disengaged?

I have a couple questions. I just replaced the clutch cable on my bike and I am not sure if I have it adjusted 100% correct. I followed the clymers manual but I still unsure.
After replacing the clutch I started the bike and put it in 1st with the clutch in and the back tire did not spin, when I released the clutch the tire spun as expected. However when I pulled the clutch back in, the tire continued to spin until I tapped the back brake, then it stopped spinning. Is that normal?
My next question is, how can I be sure that the clutch is fully engaged when the clutch is released? Any help is once again greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 04:46 PM
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I have a couple questions. I just replaced the clutch cable on my bike and I am not sure if I have it adjusted 100% correct. I followed the clymers manual but I still unsure.
After replacing the clutch I started the bike and put it in 1st with the clutch in and the back tire did not spin, when I released the clutch the tire spun as expected. However when I pulled the clutch back in, the tire continued to spin until I tapped the back brake, then it stopped spinning. Is that normal?
My next question is, how can I be sure that the clutch is fully engaged when the clutch is released? Any help is once again greatly appreciated.
Yep,sounds pretty normal,you never notice it but most Bikes will do that when up on a stand,you may have to readjust after riding a little and everything settles in .




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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reassurance. Do you happen to know how to tell when the clutch is fully engaged?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 08:53 PM
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Thanks for the reassurance. Do you happen to know how to tell when the clutch is fully engaged?
When the clutch is "engaged" you mean the clutch lever is out right? There should be free play at the lever...no matter where the bars are turned. You should have about 1/8 of an inch of a gap between the lever and it's mount before you can feel the lever start to put pressure on the clutch spring.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 08:57 PM
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If you have the recommended 2-3 mm gap for free play in the clutch hand lever before starting to feel spring resistance, I would think the clutch is fully engaging.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. Now I just need to wait for this snow to clear out.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 05:30 PM
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On every bike Ive ever had (and thats many), Ive always adjusted it so that its fully engaged with 2 fingers between it an the grip. That way technically, you can still grip the bars with 3 fingers and operate the clutch with the other 2. I learned that in my racing days, and still use it on the street.



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 01:43 AM
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I recently replaced my clutch and adjusted the cable. I always set my clutches on all bikes for 1/8" play BETWEEN THE LEVER AND THE PERCH. One way to tell for sure is to ride the bike straight down the road, pull in the lever until that one inch of play is taken up, then pull it just a fraction more. The clutch should disengage quickly. The rpms will suddenly go way up. DON'T hold it there, you don't want the engine to turn that fast with no load on it for more than a fraction of a second. As soon as you feel the clutch disengage, release it. Another way to check it is to have the engine in gear, with the clutch all the way in. Slowly let it out. It should be some distance from the grip before you feel it start to engage. If it starts to engage too close to the grip, it is not adjusted properly, and may not be disengaging completely while shifting.

I used to race 250 MX, 30 something years ago, we didn't use the clutch very often. On a 250 2 stroke there is virtually no engine braking, and the power is all right close to redline. At most we would just "fan" the clutch, but most shifting was done during that brief moment between when the transmission was unloaded, between when the engine was driving the wheel, and the wheel was driving the engine. Trying to shift an MX bike the conventional way was one sure way to wind up in last place.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 11:11 AM
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On every bike Ive ever had (and thats many), Ive always adjusted it so that its fully engaged with 2 fingers between it an the grip. That way technically, you can still grip the bars with 3 fingers and operate the clutch with the other 2. I learned that in my racing days, and still use it on the street.
You should adjust the clutch for the proper amount of free play regardless of position from the grip.

A very important thing all should do is adjust the clutch and then check the free play with the handlebars turned full left, right and center. Many times the play can change on how the bars end up bending the cable.

You might need to re-route the cable if the gap varies alot. Always adjust it so it does not fall below the reccomended amount at all bar positions.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 01:03 PM
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You should adjust the "clearance" between the clutch lever and perch at the very outside edge of where the two come together. That will be toward the front. Either do the 1/8", or whatever it says in the manual. Main thing is to have some freeplay at all times, no matter what position the bars are in. If it is so tight that there is actually pressure on the clutch rod and springs, the clutch will wear out REAL fast. The Vulcan clutch has a very narrow engagement point, and just a hair beyond that free play is where it will engage and disengage.

I personally like as little free play as possible, because I prefer the clutch to engage at the outer limit of clutch lever travel. But there does have to be some. If you have the stock oem cable, and it is properly routed, the free play will not change while turning the bars.

Consider yourself lucky the Vulcan has a cable clutch. These are far superior to a hydraulic clutch. When I first got my Goldwing, I had to rebuild the master cylinder and replace the slave cylinder, and even after going through 2 qts. of fluid bleeding it, it still did not work right. I finally got a SpeedBleeder, which solved the problem. Older Goldwings had cables, and they worked just fine, as does the cable on the Vulcan. Cables can also be adjusted, and are cheap to replace. Hydraulic is just more complication and expense for nothing gained.

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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
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