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XRL Clutch Question


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I bought a used XRL a little while back and don't know a ton about it's history. The other day I was riding and wanted to know if I was in 4th or 5th (I know now by feel, but hadn't riden the bike much yet). Well I decided to pull in the clutch and down shift to 1st then back up. I assumed that with the clutch in this would not be a problem. I did manage to down shift with the clutch in going 50mph, but the bike clearly didn't like it. It seemed to clunck into 1st. I shifted back and and experienced no problems.

My question is, with the clutch in shouldn't I be able to shift down freely or is this normal and I'm a fool for trying it? Also, I've heard that 4 strokes need clutch replacements more often than 2 strokes. I have know idea when it was last replaced, if ever and it has 17k. What symptoms lead to replacing the clutch?

Thanks.

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WFT were you doing again? Shifting down to first gear at speed from 5th gear? I would recommend not shifting into a gear until you are travelling at an appropriate speed. The tranny really doesn't like being jammed into first if you are going too fast, not to mention it''s a dangerous situation.

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I bought a used XRL a little while back and don't know a ton about it's history. The other day I was riding and wanted to know if I was in 4th or 5th (I know now by feel, but hadn't riden the bike much yet). Well I decided to pull in the clutch and down shift to 1st then back up. I assumed that with the clutch in this would not be a problem. I did manage to down shift with the clutch in going 50mph, but the bike clearly didn't like it. It seemed to clunck into 1st. I shifted back and and experienced no problems.

My question is, with the clutch in shouldn't I be able to shift down freely or is this normal and I'm a fool for trying it? Also, I've heard that 4 strokes need clutch replacements more often than 2 strokes. I have know idea when it was last replaced, if ever and it has 17k. What symptoms lead to replacing the clutch?

Thanks.

On a motorcycle or even a car..............the wheel is turning the gears in the trans as you are moving................so you`ve pulled in the clutch at let`s say 50 miles an hour.........all you have done is disengage power to the trans..........but when you down shift the trans into 1st the rear wheel and chain still spins the gears up to the same speed as if you were actually riding the bike in 1st gear at 50 miles an hour..........how fast do you think you can go under power in 1st........you can`t spin the gears in the trans any faster just because the engine is disconnected.......keep doing stuff like this and you are going to nuke that transmission..and find a really large exit hole in the bottom of the cases..

Now tell me why you just wouldn`t try to lift up on the shift lever and see if you had another gear left??????????????

I can`t believe you actually did this........doing things you don`t know the outcome of beforehand is why so many people get killed every year or minimally destroy their bikes...

B

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Yougun,

While it might sound like folks are jumping you (they are), it is a case of "tough love if you will. What you did was dangerous and scares the crap out of those of us who have been on bikes for a few years. Possible damage to the tranny aside... if you had released the clutch lever... broken a clutch cable or if the tranny had decided to lock up at speed, you would have had a 50mph bucking bronco on your hands. A locked wheel at that kind of speed is not pretty and seldom ends well. At least you were wearing appropriate protective gear... right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Glad to hear everything ended well...

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My question is, with the clutch in shouldn't I be able to shift down freely or is this normal and I'm a fool for trying it? Also, I've heard that 4 strokes need clutch replacements more often than 2 strokes. I have know idea when it was last replaced, if ever and it has 17k. What symptoms lead to replacing the clutch?

Thanks.

I have exhaled... counted to ten... color's back to normal ๐Ÿ™‚

To answer your question... a big four stroke doesn't NORMALLY get nearly the clutch abuse that a 2-smoke does, so the clutch replacement cycles for the thumper should be much longer than the 2-smoke's.

Symptoms of needing replacement: clutch is slipping; not enough adjustment left on the cable/bars; clutch is "grabbing". If your lever takes two hands to pull, you have cable issues or your clutch basket is worn (notched). A notched clutch basket can also cause the clutch engagement to be... well "notchy"

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Geeze guys, take it easy. If you can't control a bike with a rear wheel locked up, then you don't belong on a bike.

As long as you don't panic and are going straight you are fine. It is very rare to blow a transmission when downshifting at high speeds (even is it's into 1st gear). Still, it is hard on the transmission. OTOH, You will most likely lowside your bike if your wheel locks up in a corner or highside on the apex of an S curve. You must also use EXTREME caution when downshifting while riding through decreasing radius curves.

If you happen to be launching off a jump and downshift too far, that's when gear breakage is most likely to occur (upon landing).

A good practice is to wait until your tire is ready for replacement and deliberately lock up the rear wheel at speed. A good place to practice this on the dry lake over and over.

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I do appriciate you all harping on me. It makes complete sense that if somehow the clutch had released I would have been sent flying, I should have know that much. As far as why I didn't just click up, the only thing I can say is that I clicked down simply because I hadn't done it before. I realize this sound stupid and it was. At the time it made sense that if the clutch was it it would be smooth. I have been riding for over 5 years, until the other day I had never down shifted at high speeds and know I know why.

Well lesson learned.๐Ÿ™‚

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Geeze guys, take it easy. If you can't control a bike with a rear wheel locked up, then you don't belong on a bike.

As long as you don't panic and are going straight you are fine. It is very rare to blow a transmission when downshifting at high speeds (even is it's into 1st gear). Still, it is hard on the transmission. OTOH, You will most likely lowside your bike if your wheel locks up in a corner or highside on the apex of an S curve. You must also use EXTREME caution when downshifting while riding through decreasing radius curves.

If you happen to be launching off a jump and downshift too far, that's when gear breakage is most likely to occur (upon landing).

A good practice is to wait until your tire is ready for replacement and deliberately lock up the rear wheel at speed. A good place to practice this on the dry lake over and over.

^^Disagree. but I am leaving it alone. This is where opinion enters into the picture and we can argue about it all day (kind of like which tire/oil/air filter is best.)

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I do appriciate you all harping on me. It makes complete sense that if somehow the clutch had released I would have been sent flying, I should have know that much. As far as why I didn't just click up, the only thing I can say is that I clicked down simply because I hadn't done it before. I realize this sound stupid and it was. At the time it made sense that if the clutch was it it would be smooth. I have been riding for over 5 years, until the other day I had never down shifted at high speeds and know I know why.

Well lesson learned.:banana:

๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘

Not trying to rag on you ,just make you understand how hard that is on the trans.......it must have been spinning a million miles an hour:lol:

I`ve seen 2 posts in the last year where 2 people went out to "just go up the street" with their bikes with no helmets on.........neither ended well..so just be carefull.I appologize if i was harsh,it scares me when i hear/see people taking chances on these things.........if you`re in a car at least you have some protection...

B

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I`ve seen 2 posts in the last year where 2 people went out to "just go up the street" with their bikes with no helmets on.........neither ended well.

I'm thinking of one where the guy had just bought a 650L, took it out around the neighborhood with no gear at all, seriously overcooked it into a corner, totalled the bike, and landed in the hospital...

But yeah, the clutch decouples the engine from the gearbox, but not the gearbox from the back wheel. I have heard of clutches exploding in 4x4s when the driver leaves the transfer case in low range and lets the vehicle coast up to a higher speed. I saw a video where the same thing happened to a tractor. I doubt that is a concern here, but it is easy to overlook the possibility.

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Considering that the trans and clutch would be spinning 3 or 4 times it's design parameters, I wouldn't try that again at that speed. It's easy with a 4 stroke that big to try every gear at less than 20 mph. And much safer for both the trans and your right foot. Years ago a friend of mine had a 66 Chevelle he routinely revved to 9K+. The last time he did it the clutch disc exploded, took the pressure plate with it, shattered the bell housing, came through the floor and removed 3 of his toes before continuing through the dash and windshield. It also removed part of the block, top of the distributor and went through the cast SS hood vents. If any of the pieces had gone a different direction his head could have been removed. Moral of the story, spinning things too fast can hurt you bigtime.

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^^Disagree. but I am leaving it alone. This is where opinion enters into the picture and we can argue about it all day (kind of like which tire/oil/air filter is best.)

It's cool. Not trying to argue. I have just never seen a transmission blow up when simply downshifting. I am sure it could happen. We all have different riding styles for sure.

Did not mean to offend anyone. Still, I think practicing wheel lockup is a good learning tool in the right environment (offroad or empty parking lot).

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