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Bike pulling forward when starting in gear with clutch pulled in

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Didn't touch the clutch adjustment but my bike has started pulling forward when starting in gear with the clutch pulled in. Obviously the clutch is dragging, but why?

Shifting also feels a lot harder. As does finding neutral.

So I guess basically the clutch is not disengaging enough right now? Shouldn't adjusting the cable really tight, to the point where there's no freeplay at all "solve" this issue (but also create other problems... not saying this is a fix, just trying to see what helps it. 

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Lots of things cause the clutch to drag not just adjustment.  Simplest thing would be to try changing the oil or changing to a different oil.

Clutch plates de-laminating or broken will cause drag. Any warpage due to heat (slippage) will cause drag. Wear to the clutch basket and/or clutch center will contribute to drag..................

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11 minutes ago, Noble said:

Lots of things cause the clutch to drag not just adjustment.  Simplest thing would be to try changing the oil or changing to a different oil.

Clutch plates de-laminating or broken will cause drag. Any warpage due to heat (slippage) will cause drag. Wear to the clutch basket and/or clutch center will contribute to drag..................

I just had it apart a bit ago and the basket looked good so I don't think its that. Will change the oil and go from there. Although its Suzuki synthetic and only about 700km old so.

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Are you just pulling the bike out for the first time this year or have you been riding it all along when this happened?

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Why did you have the clutch apart?  Did the drag start before or after you worked on the clutch?

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I too would like info on this, I can't get into neutral with clutch in and bike running and at a complete stop, clutch activates very near the handle bar as soon as you start to release it,  but alas, it doesn't actually move bike with clutch pulled in and at a stop.  I wasn't sure if I could just adjust cable a little? 

   thanks, nate

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2 hours ago, Noble said:

Why did you have the clutch apart?  Did the drag start before or after you worked on the clutch?

Hi noble, are you over on the peninsula near silverdale or paulsbo?  I thought I read that in a thread once.  I am near fauntleroy ferry in wseattle, heya, nate

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Wet clutches drag. Assuming the clutch is in good condition and adjusted properly, the amount of drag is determined by type of oil,  viscosity and temperature. Some manufacturers installed springs between the steel and friction disks to minimize this but I don't think the DRZ has these. I have owned bikes that could not be kick started in gear cold, or if electric started in gear cold would lurch forward unless the brake was applied. Once warmed up they were fine. Some of them were almost impossible to get into neutral when stopped. They would clunk between 1st and 2nd and 1st when warm or cold but would never end up in neutral unless engine was stopped. Always a good practice to start bikes in neutral especially when cold.

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7 hours ago, Noble said:

Why did you have the clutch apart?  Did the drag start before or after you worked on the clutch?

No it was unrelated, the clutch has always been fine until now. Even after putting it together it was good for about a month. 

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7 hours ago, bumtarder said:

Are you just pulling the bike out for the first time this year or have you been riding it all along when this happened?

Rode around 700km this season so far, never noticed until now. I wouldn't be too worried about the pulling forward when starting, but its the hard shifting that is more concerning. 

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5 hours ago, dual sport seattle said:

I too would like info on this, I can't get into neutral with clutch in and bike running and at a complete stop, clutch activates very near the handle bar as soon as you start to release it,  but alas, it doesn't actually move bike with clutch pulled in and at a stop.  I wasn't sure if I could just adjust cable a little? 

   thanks, nate

This means that you probably do not have enough free play at the lever.The free play should be about 15mm at the end of the lever or about the thickness of a nickel at the perch.There are 3 adjustment points; at the perch,in the cable behind the headlight and another one at the clutch arm down on the motor case.

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willie - The amount of clutch drag is extremely variable from one motorcycle to the next.  Yes oil viscosity and temp can make a difference but not always. And some wet clutches do not drag at all hot or cold. My DRZ clutch engages right of the grip but has no drag hot or cold with the lever full pulled.  One of my KTM clutches needs to be broken free before the motor is started. Another releases better warm.  My VFR clutch is fine hot or cold.........................

Atolduso - I do not know why your clutch has started to drag.  Try the oil change.  Take it apart and inspect it, might reveal something.

dual sport - Yes, Poulsbo. A cable adjustment might help you.  You can adjust to remove free play. As stated above you need to have at least a small amount of free play at the lever.  If the cable is too tight it can cause the clutch to slip and that makes things worse.

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I can barely push the bike when its off in gear with the clutch in. It rolls a bit but sometimes sounds/feels like its trying to turn the motor over. Really weird. The clutch arm is moving quite a bit so it looks like its trying to move the pressure plate, but I guess its not really working...

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From your description, the problem is in the clutch pack.  But what that problem is, is unknown.

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55 minutes ago, Noble said:

From your description, the problem is in the clutch pack.  But what that problem is, is unknown.

I will be taking it apart and checking. Sucks because the season is just really starting now.

First I'm going to prop up the wheel and run the bike with the clutch in, and see how fast its spinning the rear wheel in first - fifth gear.

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Start with adjusting the clutch, you SHOULD have free play in it. You should be able to fit a nickel in it at the lever perch before it actually starts engaging. As for the motor dragging, a clutch when properly adjusted and oiled well (after running a bit I mean), you should be able to push it in neutral (walking along side it), pull and hold the clutch and drop it into 1st and not really feel a drag on the bike. Technically with the clutch in and in 1st gear the bike shouldnt have any engine braking acting on it. If it doesnt do that, open the clutch up, split the plates individually at the pack, taking note of the order of ALL of them and toss them in a zip lock with engine oil, let them soak for about 10 mins, then reinstall, readjusting the clutch etc. Once its warmed up you should be able walk it like mentioned before. No bike properly adjusted should move on engine power in gear with the clutch in.

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1 minute ago, D1rtyPelican said:

Start with adjusting the clutch, you SHOULD have free play in it. You should be able to fit a nickel in it at the lever perch before it actually starts engaging. As for the motor dragging, a clutch when properly adjusted and oiled well (after running a bit I mean), you should be able to push it in neutral (walking along side it), pull and hold the clutch and drop it into 1st and not really feel a drag on the bike. Technically with the clutch in and in 1st gear the bike shouldnt have any engine braking acting on it. If it doesnt do that, open the clutch up, split the plates individually at the pack, taking note of the order of ALL of them and toss them in a zip lock with engine oil, let them soak for about 10 mins, then reinstall, readjusting the clutch etc. Once its warmed up you should be able walk it like mentioned before. No bike properly adjusted should move on engine power in gear with the clutch in.

I should have been more clear but I did have the clutch with a nickle freeplay before it engaged, I just tightened it right up to see if it would help the clutch release better and make the drag less noticeable, however it did not do much. Normally I would always have free play at the lever. :)

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If it drags with the free play then its the plates that are stuck together. Some times the plates with stick together if the bike has been sitting a bit, its a super simple job, the hardest part is keeping the plates in order. Soak them in oil and make sure that you unstick all of them. You might notice when you take them out of the pack they will still be held together with friction. If you have the manual and the tools you can get this done is about half hour. No real need to drain the oil if you just sit the bike on the kickstand, it tips to the left, youre opening up the right case. Might lose a tiny bit of oil but nothing crazy.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, D1rtyPelican said:

If it drags with the free play then its the plates that are stuck together. Some times the plates with stick together if the bike has been sitting a bit, its a super simple job, the hardest part is keeping the plates in order. Soak them in oil and make sure that you unstick all of them. You might notice when you take them out of the pack they will still be held together with friction. If you have the manual and the tools you can get this done is about half hour. No real need to drain the oil if you just sit the bike on the kickstand, it tips to the left, youre opening up the right case. Might lose a tiny bit of oil but nothing crazy.

I am not sure what to anticipate honestly. I have already been out riding this year a bunch and it was all good, and the bike sat for maybe two days and then I noticed it lurching forward when I went to ride. If they are stuck it happened fast. I am running super rich right now at idle on my wideband so I wonder if I have a lot of gas in the oil is causing an issue. Just thinking out loud.

The side case was just off to do the timing chain about a month ago, and the plates all taken out separately etc. Didn't just pull the whole basket when removing it.

Edited by Atolduso

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I like to soak the fibers in a coffee can of the bikes motor oil overnight before reassembling.The big fiber goes in first on top of the shudder spring and spacer washer and then the rest of the steels and fibers and then check the free length of the pressure plate springs for wear and even engagement.

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