Stiff Clutch Pull

Just bought a slightly used 2006 WR450. The clutch lever requires the KungFu Grip to actuate. Searched this site and under 'clutch' did not find much.......Is this just a sticky cable that needs oil or is there something else I may want to know about? For example, on this other dirt bike I have (A Suzuki DR350) the clutch requires a ton of force unless you index this little puller-arm on the right side cover correctly.

Most likely it's just the cable, but it could be a dozen different things.

The most common issues are a grooved clutch basket, and a worn out cable.

If the stock levers were replaced with the wrong ones, the leverage can go down on the lever, making it stiffer.

Old YZ levers would do this.

A grooved basket.....never thought of that. I had an old KX that had that problem. Took the basket apart and filed the grooves off......came right back. I would guess that the rotational 'slop' of the friction plates made the problem to begin with. 'Spose the proper solution was a new clutch basket where the tabs on the plates make a tighter 'slip-fit' with the basket. Oddly enough the owner included a new cable, plates and a new basket, he said he just never got around to putting them in. Sounds like he may have had the right advice but never acted on a bonus I prob save myself $100 because I don't have to buy a new basket!!! Guess I need a new cover gasket though if I'm going to take a peek in there.....

Start with the easy stuff....replace the cable with a new one (properly lubed with a good silcon lubricant).

Mine is same way but I bought a 2004 used. I'm going to look at the manual and try to rotate some of the screws on the actual clutch handlebar adjuster. On my other newer bike, the clutch is easy to pull with one finger. This one is kungfu grip 3 finger action haha..

Like to hear about other solutions if this doesn't work

My clutch lever required a lot of force to pull in when I first bought my bike. It turned out the bolt that holds the piece that the lever pivots in was way too tight and the metal piece smashed against the lever. I unbolted the assembly amd pryes it open a little with a flathead, cleaned it up, greased it a little and put it back together tight enough to allow the lever to move just slightly up amd down... but not too loose. This made pulling in the clutch nice and easy.

Whenever I get a used bike and run into this I start easy at the top first, then work my way own to the hard (read expensive) stuff. Start like this:

1- remove cable from lever perch, remove gas tank (you want to see EXACTLY how it's run) and remove cable from engine side actuator.

2- check lever operation and make sure pivot is clean and greased. You have NO idea how much difference this can make. Make sure the pivot bolt isn't too tight or too loose and that it moves extremely freely. If you have aftermarket levers be sure they are setup right and the right lever; with a used bike, if you think they don't fit right buy some cheap OEM knock offs and try those as PO's can and will throw whatever is lying around on as cheap or quick replacements and it may not be the correct one.

3- check cable operation and its physical shape with it removed completely from the bike. It should be extremely easy to move back and forth and there should be almost zero resistance. If there is resistance, the sheath is in good shape, and the inner isn't rusted try to lube it using a cable lubing system that forces lube into the cable. If that still doesn't free it up or the outer sheath is damaged replace with OEM; nothing wrong with Motion Pro stuff it's just their cables are generic and more times than not are slightly "wrong" (either too long, too short, or adjust weird) and OEM is almost exactly the same price, usually under $20.

4- using your manual thread the cable back into the bike making sure you don't pinch or pull the cable too tight in any spot following the exact route the stock one should follow. Again, often overlooked and the slightest pinch can cause a bad clutch feel and bad routing can bind the cable.

5- after this it gets slightly more complicated and involves removing engine stuff. Report back if the above steps didn't solve our issue or start digging into the manual and follow their procedure.

The above steps will solve 80-90% of your hard clutch pull issues. You would be surprised how much the slightest lever drag can amplify into the lever or how new your bike feels by simply replacing the cable. Give this a shot and report back: a new Moose lever is $10, even if the perch is shot aftermarket is $25 or so and a new cable should be under $20.

Edited by miweber929

I had the same issue on my '06. The previous owner put asv levers on stock perches and the shape of the cable slot made for binding. The things i would say to check are lever first. I put '08 yz 450 levers on mine and they are great. the second thing i did was make sure there are no kinks in the cable. The third is run cable lube. When i let mine sit, it feels aweful. I use pro gold prolink chain lube. Its thin enough to wick all the way down the cable then the solvent evaporates and the lube stays behind. doing it once a month makes my clutch feel like its hydraulic.

good luck


Oh these clutches aren't hydraulic.... :banghead:

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