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1987 XR 250 Clutch issue...

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Looking for some advice/ ideas for my 1987 clutch issue. 

I have a very low hour (20-25hr max..)  87 XR 250 that I purchased last year. The engine engages only when the clutch is 3/4 the way out from the bar grip. I want to know how to properly adjust the clutch cable and see if adjustment is my problem or if I have a bigger issue. I do have a Honda Service Manual for this bike year but I'll be the first to admit I do not have a mechanical background. I just don't want to ruin anything and / or damage the clutch buy being ignorant and making stupid mistakes / adjustments. I do see I can adjust at the perch and that there are 2 bolts down where clutch goes into right side of motor. I also readily recognize that the bike is 31 yrs old and there may be some issues because of its overall lack of use........

I have been looking through threads this AM. I found one (which I'll paste here). If anyone has any useful tips / advice, would be much appreciated. 

In addition, shifting seems very notchy on yesterday's ride and has become more notchy with more riding. Getting harder to shift into gear, shift through gears, and hard to find neutral. I will do a separate post on shifting but wanted to add this point in for any of the Gurus who might pose the question about how bike is shifting and current clutch operation. 

Thanks in advance for any info. and responses.

Here's the paste from a previous post on clutch adjustment I found: 

It's possible to adjust it too tight which causes the clutch to stay partially disengaged, causing a constant slipping condition, wearing out the clutch in short order. You want at least a hair slack in the lever/cable.

Try this, turn the adjuster at the lever on the bars all the way in. Then down at the crankcase lever adjustment, adjust that farther away from the lever, leaving enough for the jam nuts to tighten. Then go back up to the lever at the bars and come out with that adjustment til slack in the lever is taken up. See how close this gets you. I usually use my finger to see how tight the cable is at the crankcase lever while actuating the lever at the bars. I want very slight deflection of the cable there with the clutch lever released. If I can tell very little difference deflecting the cable with my finger while activating the clutch lever and it being released, then I have it adjusted too tight.

Did you happen to have a new cable installed at the same time as the clutch work? If so, a wrong length cable could be giving you grief too.

- Thanks again to everyone.

 

IMG_6031.jpg

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Wow only 25 hours on an 87 that’s rare. With the milage that low your clutch is probably not worn out. My bike’s clutch has always been like that and I just got used to it so i wouldn’t be too worried about yours. If you did want to adjust it you would move the crankcase adjuster towards the rear of the bike a few turns, making clutch engagement sooner and less chance for slip.

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If cable slack is set right, it may be that's just the way the interaction of the throw lever at the clutch is designed. My Kawi KLR650 is like that.

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It seems as this bike hasnt been used much, this facilitates the friction plates almost being glued to the pressure plates,  it is common when bikes have stood for a while without use,  a quick fix is to pull the clutch cover and while pulling clutch lever, sepperate the plates and poor a little fresh oil on them, or if you are inclined ,strip ,clean ,oil up and reassemble.

Check that there is no excessive wear to outer basket at contact of friction plates, if so file off the indents

 

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Thanks for the advice / ideas. I'm on call for my place of work all weekend, but will see what I can figure out based on your recommendations on Monday or Tuesday.

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6 hours ago, mike levy said:

It seems as this bike hasnt been used much, this facilitates the friction plates almost being glued to the pressure plates,  it is common when bikes have stood for a while without use,  a quick fix is to pull the clutch cover and while pulling clutch lever, sepperate the plates and poor a little fresh oil on them, or if you are inclined ,strip ,clean ,oil up and reassemble.

Check that there is no excessive wear to outer basket at contact of friction plates, if so file off the indents

 

+1. Good advice.

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I had an ‘89 250.  Clutch engaged very late, like yours is doing.  Its not designed like an mx bike where you can expect a sooner engagement point.  

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All the fluids need changed. Buy a cable lubing device as well. +1 on drain the oil, take the clutch apart, wipe and oil plates, reinstall, and always use a good motorcycle oil. Not Rotella, not car oil, it's 8 bucks a quart, throw some yamalube or the like in it and stop worrying. Then take the clutch cable off the perch, so you know there is slack, manually pull the cable, you might have to slip a barely open crescent wrench behind the knob. If it works that way, then you know it is just an adjustment after that. 

Shifting - once you have good motorcycle oil in it, it should get better over time. Might be smart to ride it about 50 miles and change oil again after all that sitting without much of a break-in. Also spray some lightweight oil on the forks and shocks and exercise them, the seals are probably very dry.

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Thanks for your response. I've been working all weekend so I haven't had time to respond.  

I'm going to try and look at things today, pull a couple things apart and evaluate. I plan to wipe plates, soak in oil and reinstall. I'll work at adjusting clutch once this is done. 

SHIFTING. I think there may be an issue other that just the oil / lack of use. 

a.  I can't seem to get through all the gears. (bike is cold, sitting on stand) 1st can be hard to get to but I can eventually get it. It will go through 2nd, and 3rd but I am not able to to go past that very often. I was able to get into 4th once last night- I just tried once when I go home from work....

b.  Also, I have a very difficult time finding neutral. 

c. I'm not forcing the shifter to do this while it is cold on the stand. It shifts with reasonable pressure but I can't get through all the gears.

On my last ride the previous Fall 2017, it did seem a bit hard to shift but I was always able to get through all the gears. On my 50 mile ride a couple of days ago, I could not get the bike to shift past third shifting with my toe. I had to 'heel shift' which was alot more pressure / force to get it into 4th and above to get home. 

Any ideas of what could this be? 

Thanks again for any info.

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When is the last time you changed the oil. What is the level of the oil. I would drain the oil and inspect some of it for shavings or glitter/grit, and thickness/sludge. Replace it with a good motorcycle oil. Even if the clutch doesnt work you can shift a bike with timing pretty easy. Also with the bike sitting on the ground, can you rock the bike back and forth and go through all the gears? Neutral is always tricky, I still miss it and have been riding for over 40 years. What you have going on is not normal for a low hour bike at all, and it is getting worse which makes me suspect lubrication or lack of it. I learned my lesson on a 85 XR350 using car motor oil, shifting became notchy and the clutch was horrible over time. I started using Belray race oil and never had another problem.

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Thanks for the advice / ideas. I'm on call for my place of work all weekend, but will see what I can figure out based on your recommendations on Monday or Tuesday.

My yz was doing this, I bought it from a guy and he said it had been sitting in a shed for 4 years. thought that it was grooves in the clutch basket so, I pulled the clutch cover off and pulled the pressure plate off and tried to pull the clutch plates off, it turned out that 3 of the clutch plates were completely stuck together and I had to pry them apart with a screwdriver, sure enough that fixed the problem .
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I've had the bike just over 1 year. I've put 5 hours on it maximum. In that time, i've changed oil 3 times. I clean air filter after each ride. Oil was changed before my ride a couple days ago. Oil level exactly as per manual in terms of amount and how to check properly. No shavings no grit on any of the changes- and I looked very closely. Bike was well warmed up before each change and bike was also allowed to drain completely. Change that was most recently done was with recommended Honda GN4 oil . Oil level was and is perfect per Honda rec of how to accurately check level. If I rock bike back and forth, doesn't want to go thru all the gears. I plan to change oil again but am feeling like this may be a bigger issue. 

 

 

Going to pull clutch apart and have look at the plates as suggested. 

Thanks for all responses so far....

Edited by XR Fan
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