Clutch problem

I'm having a strange problem with my clutch. I assume I'm doing something wrong, but I've taken it apart twice now and can't see what.

When I pull the clutch lever and put the bike in gear, the wheel still wants to spin. Not just a little drag, but like the clutch isn't pulled at all! It isn't a free play issue, there is just a little left at the lever.

When the bike is off and I put it into gear with the clutch pulled in, kick starting the bike makes it want to roll forward.

I had the whole assembly apart. (e.g. basket, boss etc. removed). I followed the directions in the manual, then watched this video to make sure (

). I can't see anything wrong with how I put it together.

The parts go in this order right?

  1. Basket (ensure alignment with kickstarter gear)
  2. washer
  3. Boss
  4. lockwasher
  5. nut
  6. Plates and fibers
  7. ball bearing and push rod
  8. pressure plate
  9. springs and bolts

I tried it with a different set of plates and it behaves the same. The boss moves freely inside the basket, I put oil on each friction plate when I installed it (they aren't new either). The basket is not notched, the steel plates are not warped. What the heck is going on?

Any ideas?

I have a more specific question now. I took it apart again, and I'm wondering about the washer that goes on right after installing the basket.

When I get the basket pushed in all the way and meshing properly with the kickstarter gear, I push the washer onto the shaft. It has teeth on the inside that mesh with the gear that's integrated into the shaft, but I can push it past that gear onto the non-geared portion of the shaft. Is that how it should fit?

I realize that is probably confusing, so here are some pictures:



Could it be the temperature and oil weight causing this issue? I'm running amsoil 10w-40 and it's currently -12 C (or 10F).

I assembled the clutch again and got it to slip by putting it in 5th gear, holding down the rear brake, pulling in the clutch and kick starting. It still has a lot of grab, so I don't want to try putting it in gear when the bike is running, but at least I know it can slip now. It was really REALLY stiff at first, but started to slip a bit easier after I got it moving.

For reference, it's hard to start in gear at the best of times but normally I can kick it over somewhat easily in gear. Right now the kickstarter is way too stiff to even be close, even after I got it moving.

So, my theory is that maybe the low temperature - and because I coated each plate in oil when reassembling- might be causing some extra friction. Maybe I'll have better luck if I start the bike and let the oil warm up?

Regarding the splined washer, what you describe is normal; it slides past the splines on the shaft.

Thanks for confirming that grayracer.

I still can't figure out what's going on.

I have lots of spare parts from different configurations I've run, so I've tried with many different drive plates with no luck. My bike is an '08, but I was running the '06 setup with my rekluse exp 2.0 (9 frictions, 8 thinner steel plates, different pressure plate and clutch arm). I tried switching back to the '08 setup, but that made no difference. I tried using the '06 frictions with '08 steel plates (since the '06 setup is newer), no change. I have also tried both versions with or without the rekluse. With the rekluse installed and adjusted, and the clutch lever pulled in, I can get it into gear without a thunk, but it grabs like a regular clutch at idle when I let the lever out.

Do you have an recommendations of things I should check?

Edited by cereal killer

How tight are you tightening the nut that holds the basket and hub on. I installed a reckluse zstar pro the other day and spun the nut on with my 1/2" drive electric impact and it caused the problem you are describing. After about 10 mins on the phone with reckluse they asked me what I torqued it to and explained what I did and the guy almost chuckled and said back it off and torque it to spec. I did so and problem solved. I over tightened the nut so much it locked the clutch hub to the basket........ Hint... when you get the basket on with the washer and hub and nut all torqued down the clutch hub should spin freely while the basket is stationary. (make sure it's in neutral)

Also mine was so bad no mater what I did the bike would stall instantly putting it in gear. I also looked at your pictures just now and on the one of the clutch basket the back part of it where the hub would/could rub does look to have some scratches in it which would indicate the problem i'm describing.

Edited by f150jokerstyle

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take it apart and check. It seems unlikely since I can move the hub by hand, but maybe it's causing some extra drag even though it isn't stuck.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take it apart and check. It seems unlikely since I can move the hub by hand, but maybe it's causing some extra drag even though it isn't stuck.

If it's not stuck then you should be good as far as the problem I described.

The only other thing I can think of I know on my 03 the throw out washer deal that pushes the pressure plate out to disengage. Mine has a ball bearing inside of it as a spacer because the push rod that operates off the lever on the case in not long enough so they throw a ball bearing in there as a spacer and it can fall out. I would think that would make it impossible to get the free play adjusted right thou.

Edited by f150jokerstyle

I definitely have that ball bearing in there. I took it apart and retorqued the hub. It spins freely. I haven't had a chance to test it yet (It was getting late and I didn't want to upset the neighbors).

Yesterday I also tried putting it in gear, and revving with the clutch pulled in several times. I remember my rekluse install guide mentioned doing that as part of the break in procedure. No effect. The bike doesn't stall when I put it into gear anymore, but the drag still causes an uncomfortable clunk.

If my latest re-installation doesn't work, maybe I'll take it apart again and make a video of the reassembly. Presuming I'm not doing something wrong, it would be a good guide for others if nothing else.

I'm tearing my hair out. This doesn't make sense. Would soaking the plates in oil for a few hours as if they were new accomplish anything?

Edited by cereal killer

Well, I tried again after torquing the hub nut. No improvement. :cry:

Guess it is time to make a video.

I haven't had time to take it apart yet, but I took these pictures of my spares for the sake of argument. The hub and pressure plate I have on the bike are in better shape that the ones in the photos - but they aren't new. Could the scoring on these parts cause the problem?

It doesn't look severe to me, but I'm not an expert and the parts on the bike are only slightly better.


Also, here is a short video showing how far the plates separate when I pull the clutch. Does it look right?


Took it all apart again. I put in some brand new steel drive plates. My old plates were in spec, but I figured I might as well give it a try... limited success. I think it was actually a marginal improvement, but still a heavy thunk when I put it in gear.

I took some pictures of the boss and pressure plate I'm using. They aren't perfect, but could they really be the cause of the thunk? I don't think they are worn enough to be the problem and I'm hesitant to drop another $150 chasing this problem if these parts aren't the culprit.







Also, here's a picture montage of the install process:








Out of curiosity, what clutch perch/lever are you running?

Stock perch with a sunline unbreakable lever. It's adjusted as far out as I can get it and still be able to reach with my fingers.

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