If not the clutch, then what? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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Rear End Woes? Splines Shot? Discuss it here!

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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If not the clutch, then what?

Hi everyone.

Lately my 2002 VN750 has been giving me some issues when cold (first 5-10 minutes of riding). From a stop, I slowly let out the clutch and accelerate...the bike tends to bounce/jump forward a bit. Almost as though the clutch is slipping. Strange thing is that when the bike gets hot, the problem goes away. It's not consistent, there are some days when I'll start the motorcycle and it wont do it at all. Regardless, it's a little scary to be accelerating form a red light and feeling the bike trying to get away from you.

I probably wont be going back to the mechanic I've been using, because today I had him take a look at it since it's a growing concern of mine. His determination is that there is nothing wrong with the clutch, and the bike drove fine for him. In a friendly manner, he pretty much told me I'm crazy and shouldn't worry so much. I've been riding for a while now, and haven't had an intermittent problem like this before. Any ideas as to what could cause this? Could it be the oil? I'm currently running synthetic AMSOIL. Thanks.

Note: My splines have been lubed about 2,000 miles ago. Bike currently has 8,500 miles.

Last edited by kcdude; 07-20-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 11:02 PM
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When the clutch tends to grab, sometimes it's the plates sticking together. That will cause the jerking and feeling it's going to get away from you.
The first thing you can do is remove the plate cover and remove the plates and see if any of them are discolored or stuck together, or possibly warped. Pay close attention to how they come out, and put them back in the same order.
These bikes have a tendency of having some minor issues when cold. I usually let mine warm up a bit before I go on a ride, and it seems to help.
The oil can have an effect, especially if you changed oil from a different type from before.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSmith68 View Post
When the clutch tends to grab, sometimes it's the plates sticking together. That will cause the jerking and feeling it's going to get away from you.
The first thing you can do is remove the plate cover and remove the plates and see if any of them are discolored or stuck together, or possibly warped. Pay close attention to how they come out, and put them back in the same order.
These bikes have a tendency of having some minor issues when cold. I usually let mine warm up a bit before I go on a ride, and it seems to help.
The oil can have an effect, especially if you changed oil from a different type from before.
Most likely the culprit - thicker Viscosity Oils will cause this problem.
Some Vulcaneers have solved this issue switching to Synthetic Oil.
Other than annoying, no short term harm.

WilliamTech

'86 VN750 13,700 mi -Stock
-Purchased 2008 w/8800mi
Replaced ALL Cables . Kuryakyn LED Voltmeter
SilverStar Ultra 9003/HB2 H4 Headlamp, Jardine Fwd Controls,
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Splines Lubed - 11/4/2012 - MF AGM Battery
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Dampers went out @ 13+K !
After TOC MCCT's..... so amazingly quiet I discovered a rattling heat shield on my stock exhaust !
...have a vulcan good day!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 07:47 AM
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Try, while the engine is running, disengaging and engaging the clutch several times before you ever put the bike in gear. This will help get the oil on the clutch plates before taking off. Also, when I went to full synthetic oil mine got worse. Changed to Castrol 10w40 4000 miles ago and it hasn't done it sense after the first engine warm-up with it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 09:13 AM
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Last edited by FlacoLove; 03-25-2013 at 03:07 AM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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If I get some free time, I am going to take a look at the clutch plates myself. Until then, I'm going to do what was suggested and let it warm up pretty good before I drive it, and squeeze the clutch in and out a few times before putting it in gear. Though some may disagree, in regards to what Flaco said, come my next oil change...I might go back to non-synthetic. If I notice a positive change, I'll let you guys know. As always I appreciate all of your advice/input! Thanks everyone.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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At 8k miles the clutch is fine. Try the oil change first.

02 honda sabre 1100
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 02:22 PM
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I'm a firm believer of using Castrol oil. I have used it for years in everything I own. It's a preference of mine of course, so please don't think I'm trying to sway you in any manner.
I have always had good luck with it.
I have used other oils in various cars over the years, and you couldn't pay me enough to use them again.
I haven't researched synthetic oils enough to warrant any comments or opinions. I do however use a synthetic gear oil in the final drive and it seems to have helped a lot with the noise.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:41 PM
'03 VN750 "Rosie"
 
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I've had the same experience. It's worse in the colder months, and I haven't found that warming it up by idling makes much of a difference; it takes several stop signs before the tranny and clutch warms up enough. I just expected it and mentally prepared for it; don't take a passenger on board until it's warmed up and engaging smoothly. Sticking to 10w40 oil did help, and so did nights that don't go below 70 deg. I ran 15w40 oil last winter and I actually had the oil light come on a number of times while idling at stoplights before it warmed up fully. I would go back to the thicker oil for summer but I haven't gone enough miles to really warrant an oil change.

'03 VN750 "Rosie"
Purchased in June 15, 2010
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 05:06 AM
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Hey I think there is a mod for that. Involves taking the clutch basket out and drilling a series of holes in it. This would allow the thick oil to get into the clutch plates quicker and prevent the jerking and squealing when cold.

Edit- found it https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21451

4/12/12 1st bike ever! 95 VN 750 13k
New plug wires
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Shinko 170-110 oversized tourmaster tires
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Front signals relocated.

Last edited by skyboxer; 07-23-2012 at 05:14 AM.
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