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Why is the clutch dragging???

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Hi guys, great site! I just found it and have already learned a lot about the 97 XR400 I just bought.

Question: It is difficult to move to neutral with bike in first or second. Going in to gear causes the chain to tighten as though drag from the clutch has engaged the engine a lttle even with the clutch pulled in.

If the clutch were worne out it would be slipping not dragging, isn't that right? Clutch adjustment on the cable seems OK, do these bikes have a little clutch drag that makes it hard to shift/ find neutral?

Thanks for any help you can give me here,

Eliems.

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clutch drag is generally caused by cable being too tight, but these other symptoms can cause drag , like worn or warped clutch plates, improper oil type are all possibilities.

If you have enough freeplay and are sure that the oil type is correct, then look into taking apart the clutch and look at the plates, the fiber plates have to be withing specs and the metal plates should NOT have blue marks on them.The best way to evaluate the metal clutch plates is by placing them on a flat surface such as glass , if you see void between the plate and glass , that particular plate is toast.

stu

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Change the oil (and filter) regardless of what you think is in it and how new it might be. I bought a used WR426 once and it dragged really really bad until I changed the oil. Then it was like new again. Old broken down oil could cause it for sure. Other than the cable adjustment, it's cheaper than buying new plates. You should have to adjust you clutch to the point where there is no freeplay. If there is a slight amount freeplay and your oil is new and it still drags, it might be worn plates. You can start a whole new thread on oil, but I like the Valvoline 4-stroke motorcycle oil (20-50w). It meets the OEM requirement and you can buy it by the case at Autozone. Luckily the 400 clutch has that nice access cover (unlike my old XR600).

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I'm really not trying to be a smart a--, but is this primarily when the bike is hot, cold, or does it matter. When first started, they will all do it untill oil is circulated between the plates, they will drag a little. As it is ridden, or the clutch worked, it should lessen, but will never go away completely. If you put a "perfect" bike on a stand, click it in gear, and hold the clutch in, the wheel will turn slowly at least. That's just the dynamics of the spinning parts in the clutch acting on the stationary parts. The judging factor is, when warmed up, how much pull is there. Holding the clutch in, with the bike in gear, there shouldn't be enough drag that the bike will try to move under it's own weight (warmed up). Cold, it's exagerated because the plates and pads have lost some of the oil film while sitting. Just normal. I've never seen one that wouldn't click the chain a little when put in gear, hot or cold.

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When Im warming my bike up I pull in the clutch and hold it in for a few secs and let it back out and do this a couple of times and it helps it from leaping forward from shifting it into first. I like it to be able to be rolled backwards in first with the clutch pulled in with me sitting on the bike. If you do need new clutch plates, its not that expensive and an easy fix.

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