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Clutch - does not engage

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Hi all,

Kawasaki kx-125 - 2003 model.

Start bike, warm up, pull in clutch lever, put in gear - small jump then engine dies. Even with engine off - put bike in gear, pull in clutch and bike will not free roll.

The clutch lever action does not appear to be engaging the clutch. When pulling in the clutch lever I can see movement where the cable enters the case. The cable appears to be moving - not sure what is going on inside the case. I'm not much of a mechanic yet. :thumbsup:

Would appreciate some thoughts on what this could be, on what to check, and whether to head for the Kawasaki shop for repair - or is this a repair a rookie mech/tech could do.

Thanks~!

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Sounds like the thrust bushing between the inner and outer hub and\or bearing has seized.

Or the middle case bearing is badly worn enough to where the shaft moves. (very rare)

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Hey - thanks!

So is this a "take it to the shop" or how should I approach fixing this myself?

Thanks again!

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how much freeplay at the lever? are the plates out of spec? how long have you had the bike? is it a new problem? let's start there and forego the $$$$ dealer visit.

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Hi - thanks!

Freeplay in the lever - not sure how to judge that. It seems to be fine based on other clutches (YZ-85) I've used. How do you tell how much "free play?"

I do not know the condition of the plates. I bought the bike used. It appears to be in great condition with a recent rebuild and some aftermarket products. I watched the previous owner ride it, with clutch. There did not seem to be any problem. I was not able to ride it at that time. But he started out shifted fine.

Thanks!

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freeplay should be a nickles width at the lever before it has tension on it. the plates may have been close to done when you bought it and they are shot now. when they are overly worn you can't get enough throw at the lever to disengage. pull the plates and measure the thickness.

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Thanks - Appears that it might be a little bit more than a nickels width - maybe 2 nickels ... but at that point there is definite tension on the cable. I should learn to tighten that up.

When you say "pull the plates" ...

Let me just ask the following so that I don't completely screw something up. :worthy: (I've ordered a service manual, by the way, won't be here for a week or so suspect.)

I should first drain the transmission? I'm assuming that this would be the same place and action that I would do if I was just changing the gear oil?

When I take the cover off ... are any mechanical items going to shoot across the floor or into the air? :thumbsup: I assume that a great deal of caution would be advised but what is to be expected at that point.

Is it difficult to disassemble the clutch?

How can I find what the specs are for the plates - wait for the service manual?

When reassembling is there a kit I need that would have gaskets or other parts that might have been compromised in the disassemble?

Thanks so much - sorry I'm having to learn as I go but I do appreciate all the help available here on these forums!

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Thanks, PABrider - I don't understand your answer however.

Is it a Kawasaki thing where the engine has to be hot before the clutch works?

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Thanks - Appears that it might be a little bit more than a nickels width - maybe 2 nickels ... but at that point there is definite tension on the cable. I should learn to tighten that up.

that should be ok

When you say "pull the plates" ...

Let me just ask the following so that I don't completely screw something up. :worthy: (I've ordered a service manual, by the way, won't be here for a week or so suspect.)

I should first drain the transmission? I'm assuming that this would be the same place and action that I would do if I was just changing the gear oil?

yes drain the oil. drain plug is on bottom of motor. nothing else to take off down there. should require 14mm socket.

When I take the cover off ... are any mechanical items going to shoot across the floor or into the air? :thumbsup: I assume that a great deal of caution would be advised but what is to be expected at that point.

no, nothing will fly out. it's just a cover and holds nothing in place but the oil in the case.

Is it difficult to disassemble the clutch?

How can I find what the specs are for the plates - wait for the service manual?

No it is not difficult. there are 5 or 6 small bolts with springs under them that hold the pressure plate and clutch plates on. by the time you back out the bolts there will be NO tension on them.do it in a criss cross pattern both on and off. I am sure someone on here can provide the specs. post a new thread asking for plate specs.

When reassembling is there a kit I need that would have gaskets or other parts that might have been compromised in the disassemble?

the cover uses an o-ring so you won't have to get a new one. if the clutch is toast you can order a new one that has both driven and fibers as well as new springs.

Thanks so much - sorry I'm having to learn as I go but I do appreciate all the help available here on these forums!

We're here to help.

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Thanks, PABrider - I don't understand your answer however.

Is it a Kawasaki thing where the engine has to be hot before the clutch works?

Not sure if its just kawsaki but my clutch is grabby if its not warmed up properly

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Start simple.. Drain the oil and look real close to see if any metal or metalic dust is in it. It could be simply "heavy" or "thick" of type of oil.Put in a sythetic ATF and try that,with a little more adjustment on the lever.

Iv'e never been a fan of runnig ATF but you'll see the biggest change.

I use a ow-40 synthetic oil in my 03 kx125

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Sounds like the thrust bushing between the inner and outer hub and\or bearing has seized.

Or the middle case bearing is badly worn enough to where the shaft moves. (very rare)

ive had this happen, youll blow thru clutches like crazy if the shaft moves. i had a clapped out 200x with this problem. it ate 3 clutches in 3 months from 3 diiferent mechanics who couldnt figure it out before i did.

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the same thing is happening to my 2001 cr125!! i took off the ignition side cover and the cable pulled and it moved the thing that pulls the clutch. i didnt get to the clutch side because i have no tranny oil left. lol. should i take off the clutch side or bring it to the shop??

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the same thing is happening to my 2001 cr125!! i took off the ignition side cover and the cable pulled and it moved the thing that pulls the clutch. i didnt get to the clutch side because i have no tranny oil left. lol. should i take off the clutch side or bring it to the shop??

If you have a way to get the clutch nut loose(big air wrench on hub holder) take the cover off to inspect the clutch and shaft.

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i got my clutch cover off and i took off the hub and the plates stick together. i took them all off and they stuck pretty good so i separated them and put them all back correctly and i put the hub back on and they still stuck. too much oil? incorect oil??

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i got my clutch cover off and i took off the hub and the plates stick together. i took them all off and they stuck pretty good so i separated them and put them all back correctly and i put the hub back on and they still stuck. too much oil? incorect oil??

They do kinda stick together when you try and take them out no matter what oil you run.

Try a thinner oil and run it a while,see how it feels.

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I Have found that the AFT type F works best to alleviate this if there are no other problems (i.e. worn components, clutch basket notched, etc.)

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I've seen dirty oil cause the problem the OP describes, try changing the oil first, if you do not get an improvement after changing the oil and taking up a "nickel's worth" of clutch free play then I'd say open it up, it could well be the throwout bearing - or the clutch pushrod (either is an easy fix) or that the clutch is worn down too much - usually, that causes slipping though and the clutch will still disengage properly.

Likely it's that the pushrod tip is worn, making the pushrod shorter, once it gets past a point, it won't push the clutch plates apart enough.

You can take it out, weld a 1/8" bead onto the worn tip end, grind it smooth around the perimeter, reinstall it - set the clutch cable free play and all will be well.

Oh, BTW - The actual post title should be "Clutch does not disengage" when the clutch is engaged, it's in gear/the lever is NOT pulled - when you pull the lever, you disengage the clutch letting the engine side run free from the drive side.

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