Clutch woes - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch woes

Hello again all my fellow 750 riders! I havent been posting in a while, but I'm always watching . The bike has been wonderful to me the last few months. I rarely drive my truck anymore because I'd obviously much rather cruise around.

Unfortunately, the bike has given me some problems again. The battery was losing charge, and having trouble starting the last 2-3 days. Eventually I had to push start it to get her to go. Such was the case on Sunday when I had to go to work in the morning. The battery was about done (it would just click when I hit start) and so I pushed her down the road, hop on, pop the clutch in 1st and to my surprise the tire skids, I lose my balance, and down goes the bike to the right side. Full on fall to the ground. Luckily the only sign of damage is the front brake handle tip broke.

I immediately pick it back up, and try to push start it again and realize now that the clutch is not fully taking the bike out of gear. There is too much resistance when in gear and the clutch lever pulled in for it to be working. I can still change gears when it's off, and neutral is fine. The clutch cable is still attached, and spins as it should. I put it on the centerstand, and got it to start, put her in 1st, and when the clutch is held in the back tire is spinning at about 10 miles per hour speed. Clearly more than if the clutch were working, I couldnot stop it with putting my foot on the side of the tire. When I left the clutch out, and its on centerstand I hear the shaft clanking and the bike starts to shake. As if its loose?

I just did some research and realized thanks to someones post asking what it's like to have a slipping clutch, that I did have a slipping clutch. If I pinned it in gear it would rev very high but I wouldn't go anywhere fast until I let some throttle back.

Is my clutch in need of replacing? Or would it be possible to somehow adjust it tighter or something?

1990 VN750 Red and Black
Bought on 6/30/2012 w/ 13,230 miles
At ~20,000
To Do List: Paint Front Rim, Acct- mcct mod

Done: Adjusted Float Bowls, R/R Replace and Relocate, Coastered, Ear Shave, Front/Rear Tire Change, Replaced Final Gear Seals, Splines Lubed, Relay Coil Mod, Replaced Fork Seals, Rebuilt Starter
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 08:52 AM
..have a vulcan good day!
 
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Quote:
Is my clutch in need of replacing? Or would it be possible to somehow adjust it tighter or something?
idk, but I would suspect clutch plates, providing clutch cable adjustment is proper and Engine Oil level sufficient. Definitely need to inspect the clutch plates, I've read if they are shiny smooth, remove shiny with fine sandpaper. Wolfie or another very knowledgeable member will chime in here soon.


Last edited by WilliamTech; 01-02-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 05:30 PM
..have a vulcan good day!
 
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Quote:
Is my clutch in need of replacing? Or would it be possible to somehow adjust it tighter or something?
idk, but I would suspect clutch plates, providing clutch cable adjustment is proper and Engine Oil level sufficient. Definitely need to inspect the clutch plates, I've read if they are shiny smooth, remove shiny with fine sandpaper. Wolfie or another very knowledgeable member will chime in here soon.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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I just hope I don't have to pull the engine to fix what ever is causing it...

1990 VN750 Red and Black
Bought on 6/30/2012 w/ 13,230 miles
At ~20,000
To Do List: Paint Front Rim, Acct- mcct mod

Done: Adjusted Float Bowls, R/R Replace and Relocate, Coastered, Ear Shave, Front/Rear Tire Change, Replaced Final Gear Seals, Splines Lubed, Relay Coil Mod, Replaced Fork Seals, Rebuilt Starter
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stVulcan View Post
I just hope I don't have to pull the engine to fix what ever is causing it...
No, you shouldn't. The clutch is accessed on right side of engine (foot brake side). Simply unbolt cover, unbolt the spring bolts, pull the cover off and the plates are free. All you will need is a new paper gasket (I used manila folder) when you button it back together.

I only understand what I don't understand.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 08:24 AM
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Did you by chance notice this after doing an oil change and changing to a different oil ? Some oils will cause the clutch to slip as well. But clutch replacement is easy...I did mine in about 20 mins (not including soaking the new plates overnight)...big thing is to make sure all the plates are put in properly, i.e. some alternating, some same. But its clearly described in the manual. You can sometimes get away with just replacing the friction plates, and then manually removing the glaze off the metal ones. You need to check the metal ones condition and determine. If you plan on keeping the bike, I'd get a set of heavy duty springs for it too.



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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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It has been about 2k miles since I changed the oil. I'm running Honda 20w50 right now... I'm going to assume the clutch is stock from 1990.

I charged up the battery today, and adjusted the clutch cable by giving it some slack. It was still spinning the rear tire when it was on stand with the clutch pulled in, so i was tentative; but I went for a test drive and its running fine. Think the next thing to do is figure out how to do the starter mod so she starts up instead of cranking down the battery. As long as it's charged I shouldn't have a problem

1990 VN750 Red and Black
Bought on 6/30/2012 w/ 13,230 miles
At ~20,000
To Do List: Paint Front Rim, Acct- mcct mod

Done: Adjusted Float Bowls, R/R Replace and Relocate, Coastered, Ear Shave, Front/Rear Tire Change, Replaced Final Gear Seals, Splines Lubed, Relay Coil Mod, Replaced Fork Seals, Rebuilt Starter
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 04:38 PM
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You know, Ive run 20-50 in all of my bikes since the 70s...unless its very warm out, the VN prefers 10-40....honestly....I started running 20-50 in mine, and where it was fine in summer, soon as they nights dropped into the 40s, the clutch slipped....if you can afford it, try switching to 10-40...use the same filter since its not that old.

And all mod instructions with variants are all right here in detail and even with pics....just use the search on top of the page....for electric mods, all are stickied on the first page of the electrical section. But test your stator's output first before doing anything...it could just be a bad battery.



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 09:40 PM
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does it crank over and backfire?mine will do that on a low battery.just cranks over,and does not start.hook up a jump pack to her and she fires right off.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OleDirtyDoc View Post
does it crank over and backfire?mine will do that on a low battery.just cranks over,and does not start.hook up a jump pack to her and she fires right off.
That's exactly it. My bike is great mid day, it'll usually start up the first few cranks. But in the morning she doesn't like to be awakened that's for sure. I'll sit on the back porch and crank for a minute before it finally fires up. But throughout the day I usually have no problems getting her started.

1990 VN750 Red and Black
Bought on 6/30/2012 w/ 13,230 miles
At ~20,000
To Do List: Paint Front Rim, Acct- mcct mod

Done: Adjusted Float Bowls, R/R Replace and Relocate, Coastered, Ear Shave, Front/Rear Tire Change, Replaced Final Gear Seals, Splines Lubed, Relay Coil Mod, Replaced Fork Seals, Rebuilt Starter
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