Clutch that won't Feather

I rode a friends '01 426 today after doing the BK mod and the clutch would not feather out. When you try to let it out slow from a dead stop it grabs hard. If you don't take off fast, it will stall. I asked him what was wrong with it and he said it was bought brand new that way. Being his first 4 stroke, he thought thats just the way it was especially after riding his friends that was the same way. I have a '01 and the clutch is fine. I tried to adjust the cable in and out but that didn't do a thing. The clutch is definately working just not properly. As soon as you start to feel it engage, BAMB it's engaged all the way. It is NASTY!! I don't know how he rides it. You might as well give it 1/2 throttle and slam it into gear. All of the gears are the same just not as noticable because your moving.

If anyone knows what the problem is, please let me know. We have to get this thing working right.

PS.....He couldn't believe the diference the BK mod did to his bike. Again, Thanks Brian!!!


A couple of possibilities warped plates friction or steel, cracked or broken clutch spring ? How about oil condition and quality. The oil in the bike new is only a break in oil. I use Yamalube 10 w 50. Semi synthetic . Clutch lever free play should be .08~.16 in. 2001YZ426 1996 Xr650L

Most likely the clutch basket has notches in the grooves the plates slide in. mike

Since it was like that from new I doubt that it's notches in the basket, but bent plates or broken or loose spring are a possibility (I've seen stranger stuff come from the factory). You've already checked the cable so my advice would be to be sure that he's using good fresh oil and if that doesn't help then it may be worth taking the clutch apart to see if you can find the problem. An '01 shouldn't be like that (my '01 clutch engages perfectly smooth and it's 100% stock).

Thanks for the replies!! He changes his oil every 5-6 rides and uses BelRay. We'll take apart the clutch and check out the plates and springs.

Again, Thanks!!

I have an '02 that I think is grabby. I was told right off the bat that this was a problem with the 426's and to immediately get a Hinsen clutch basket which I did last weekend. Was on a high speed track this weekend but I did notice a little difference in the smoothness.

From what I understand this was a problem on some models earlier than '01, but should definitely not be a problem on '01. I don't know about the '02 but I doubt that Yamaha would take a step backwards with the clutch.

That grabbiness is usually notches in the edges of the basket tangs. It takes some times for those notches to form so if it started having this problem new, it's something else. Try this. When you first start the engine and it has warmed up for about 3 minutes, pull in and hold the clutch lever for another 20 to 30 seconds while you blip the throttle occasionally. This allows oil to penetrate between the plates and prevents grabbiness due to dry friction plates. JBM gave this advice and it works great. This has been the best clutch grabbiness advice I've read here.

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