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1988 CR125 Clutch makes grinding/ chattering noise in neutral

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I just got done completely rebuilding the top and lower end of 88 CR125. All new case and crank Bearings. New piston and rod and wrist pin bearing, new rings. Freshly honed cylinder.. removed all the dents, welded and fixed the exhaust. Rebalanced crank, New clutch discs and plates... list goes on. I even filed down the groves in the basket with an oil stone... and when I release the clutch it makes this weird grinding noise. It even seems like it gets a bit louder after I have been riding it for a while and it's warmed up. Other than that runs great. Starts first kick and has no other problems. Doesn't make the noise when in gear or the clutch is pulled in. Only when it's sitting in neutral with the clutch disengaged. Made this noise before so I'm wondering what I'm chasing IMG_1947.thumb.JPG.1661fa733c2bdded4083acdbf2690ab7.JPGin that thing. I ordered a new needle bearing for my clutch basket so that's the next thing I'm trying. Any ideas would be really helpful. Hoping someone chased and fixed a similar problem already.

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Could be there is a washer missing in the transmission so some gear dogs are knocking in to each other, on some bikes there is a little transmission noise sitting in neutral even when assembled properly. When you pull the clutch the transmission is no longer forced to freewheel in neutral so the noise goes away. 

Edited by Wild Alaskan
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Could be the basket softeners are hard and dry from old age.. Softeners are between the basket and the large primary gear that's attached to the basket. I've seen softeners fall to pieces in older engines.

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Could be there is a washer missing in the transmission so some gear dogs are knocking in to each other, on some bikes there is a little transmission noise sitting in neutral even when assembled properly. When you pull the clutch the transmission is no longer forced to freewheel in neutral so the noise goes away. 


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I would agree but I personally inspected everything and they looked great. Hondas never made any clutch noise that I know of
Could be the basket softeners are hard and dry from old age.. Softeners are between the basket and the large primary gear that's attached to the basket. I've seen softeners fall to pieces in older engines.

How would I inspect these ? Or do I need a new basket when it gets to that point ...

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You have to remove the gear. some have screws...most have rivets that need to be ground away, in witch case you will need a new basket. Aftermarket basket comes with new screws to reattach the gear.. OEM basket comes fully assembled (If you can find one) wiseco, hinson or moose should have the parts you need. You can also try this... Wedge a penny or a thick piece of copper wire between the basket and crank gear on the top and bottom of gears so they cant turn either direction, put on some gloves so you can get a good grip on the basket only and quickly turn the basket clock and counter clock and listen for issues. Hopefully your problem is only clutch plate to basket slack where you cleaned up the grooves. (Most common)

Edited by mxsteve1968
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You have to remove the gear. some have screws...most have rivets that need to be ground away, in witch case you will need a new basket. Aftermarket basket comes with new screws to reattach the gear.. OEM basket comes fully assembled (If you can find one) wiseco, hinson or moose should have the parts you need. You can also try this... Wedge a penny or a thick piece of copper wire between the basket and crank gear on the top and bottom of gears so they cant turn either direction, put on some gloves so you can get a good grip on the basket only and quickly turn the basket clock and counter clock and listen for issues. Hopefully your problem is only clutch plate to basket slack where you cleaned up the grooves. (Most common)

I did have to file quite a bit off to get rid of the groves. That's probably my issue. Too loose in the basket...

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