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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Thanks,

James
 

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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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Giggity!
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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.

Click Me!





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Old Truck Junkie
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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.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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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.
 

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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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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.


DT
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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Discussion Starter #9
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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I replaced my clutch at 7000 miles...so mileage is not always an indicator with clutch life.

Mine only slipped at high rpms under load...like 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.


KM
 

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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.KM
Great advice there KM. Have helped alot of guys in the past adjust their clutches cause of this. They adjust it fully only in a forward position and then have trouble working the clutch in a tight turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for those tips! I'll probably have to wait until next week or longer to do this, but I'll update the thread once the issue is resolved. I'll also take some pics in case anyone wants to see. In the meantime, I'll be shopping for some saddlebags (and I'll probably post a question about that too later).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just ordered an EPC clutch kit with springs, a clutch cover gasket, and a clutch cable. Should have it next week. Wish me luck!
 

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Hoser
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The clutch on my 86 was slipping pretty bad when I first got it on the road. After pulling the assy, I measured all the frictions and plates with a micrometer in 4 places and found them in spec according to the factory manual. New clutch springs were the solution, cheap, easy, 6000 miles in 2 years with no problems. You'll need 5 if memory serves.
 

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Start with the freeplay in the lever. When you pull on the lever is should move about 1/8th inch bore the cable is fully tight. This insures that whenyou let go the clutch id fully enguaged. I have 30k on my clutch and every time I feel like its slipping its allways the freeplay. I adjust it and the slippage goes away. you dont need a clutch. And unless the cables freyed. its not the cable. If you have the proper freeplay then its probably the oil your using.
 

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Start with the freeplay in the lever. When you pull on the lever is should move about 1/8th inch bore the cable is fully tight. This insures that whenyou let go the clutch id fully enguaged. I have 30k on my clutch and every time I feel like its slipping its allways the freeplay. I adjust it and the slippage goes away. you dont need a clutch. And unless the cables freyed. its not the cable. If you have the proper freeplay then its probably the oil your using.
I think this has become an issue with my bike the past couple of days and will go check it out now. But I wonder - how does the freeplay get tighter over time? If anything I would think the cable would get looser if the lock nut mechanism near the lever vibrated loose or something?
 

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If only it had 6th gear..
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Hi jjl, and welcome . Curious, is it worse when it is cold/cool and gets better when up to op. temp? These bikes have an issue that many call the "coffee grinder" noise. Mine still does it, although less after seafoam in the crankcase for a little while before an oil change and different oil. Dont remember what's in there, castrol i think. When it does it though, it grunts and doesn't grab right but then smooths out. There are theories on why it happens but the clutch kit that knifemaker mentioned along with the heavier springs seems to be the winner. I have my clutch lever adjusted with around 1/8 inch of freeplay before it starts to pull on the cable and that assures that the clutch is fully released. Knifemaker also mentioned cable routing. A friend thought his clutch was going bad and after looking at his bike, I found he had no freeplay and the way the cable was routed, when he turned his handlebars. It would slip. An easy fix there. Hope yours is too. Good luck
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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I think this has become an issue with my bike the past couple of days and will go check it out now. But I wonder - how does the freeplay get tighter over time? If anything I would think the cable would get looser if the lock nut mechanism near the lever vibrated loose or something?
With normal wear the clutch plates get thinner, the clutch pressure plate sinks deeper into the clutch basket and takes up the freeplay in the cable.

I believe you are right that the cable would get looser (freeplay increases) if the hand lever locknut becomes loose.

The freeplay and clutch operation is one of the items that should be checked on every pre-ride inspection.
Unless the clutch cable breaks/separates inside the sheath, a rider should never be caught by surprise by an out of adjustment clutch cable.

The freeplay specs call for a 2-3mm gap at the hand lever pivot point before feeling resistance from the clutch cable. (3 mm~ 1/8")
 

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If only it had 6th gear..
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Just ordered an EPC clutch kit with springs, a clutch cover gasket, and a clutch cable. Should have it next week. Wish me luck!
Saw this post before I spewed all that gibberish before. So, never mind all that, and... Good luck! :smiley_th
 

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so how exactly does this work...

I loosened my clutch cable all the way, because it was starting to stick a bit and I figured rather than lube it, I'd swap in the nylon Motion Pro clutch cable (which I'd done before on another VN750).

I'm not sure how to feel or gauge the freeplay. The lever didn't feel any different as it ever had before I did anything, though; when I pulled on the clutch lever it felt tension immediately, as far as I could tell (which you say indicates not enough free play?)

After loosening the cable lock nut and the cable nut near the hand grip, but before removing the cable, I started the bike and tried the clutch lever out. The clutch was basically disengaged no matter what, even without pulling in the lever. But pulling on the lever felt just as taut/loose as ever.

And that confuses me too - if loosening the cable is supposed to increase free play is supposed to prevent the clutch from slipping, but loosening it all the way feels the same as ever and the clutch is never engaged, that seems to be contradictory?
 
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