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98 Cr250 super stiff clutch, springs?


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I am on my first season with the 250 and am loving the thing. I am able to pretty much ride it like a four stroke but I want to use the clutch to build some power in corners once in a while.

The pull on my clutch is ridiculous stiff to where i literally can't pull it with only one or two fingers even when it's warm. I greased the pivot point on the lever, brand new cable with fresh lube. The actuator arm slides freely and engages positively so I am now moving to the clutch itself as issues to eliminate.

I searched on here and saw a lot of the usual stuff on worn baskets but I have zero clutch engagement issues, just a really stiff lever. A goole search yielded a result that suggested the springs could be to blame, something about fatigue and packing down, does this sound likely? If it is the springs can I go with the EBC CSK springs or is it really better to stay oem like it is on most of the street bikes I have done?

Anyone have any other suggestions on likely culprits, the springs are the last really inexpensive potential problem so I have my fingers crossed.

Thanks

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someone may have replaced the clutch with a Barnett or something similar with crazy stiff springs. I have a 98cr250 and the clutch is butter smooth.

I just replaced the grooved clutch basket and installed an EBC dirt racer clutch kit too.. fibers, metals and springs. works great, 2 fingers (or 1) no problem.

Take the outer cover off and remove a few clutch springs.. see if it is easier to pull. Don't even have to take the bike off the stand if you change your oil at the same time. If the pull is easy with 1/2 the springs out, you know that is the issue. LOOK AT THE TEETH of the clutch basket. They may be so grooved the plates won't move up and down on the basket/hub easily.

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Thanks guys, I'll pull the outer cover on Sunday and see where we're at after that.

So would I be better off replacing springs with oem only or do people have good enough success with EBC springs etc?

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Thanks guys, I'll pull the outer cover on Sunday and see where we're at after that.

So would I be better off replacing springs with oem only or do people have good enough success with EBC springs etc?

I have a '99 250. I just installed a tusk clutch with new oem springs. I asked around and everyone said go with oem springs. Most of the aftermarket ones are 10% stiffer than stock. I ride a lot of singletrack, so I want the pull to be as light as possible. My pull feels darn close to newer KTMs. It's light and smooth. Your bike should feel just as good when you get it worked out.

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Thanks guys, I'll pull the outer cover on Sunday and see where we're at after that.

So would I be better off replacing springs with oem only or do people have good enough success with EBC springs etc?

the EBC springs are not exceptionally strong. For that reason, Garry Gahleger with EBC told me to run the stock springs in a crf450.. (the dirt kit from EBC are the same for a 450 and cr250, just a cople metals are different thicknesses) for the cr250 they were about the same as the cr250 oem springs. If you have some EBC springs laying around, use those, but i would just use OEM honda 250 springs. They are longer with less overall tension so the pull is a tad easier.

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I pulled it apart today and here's what I found...

The springs are short by about 1.5 mm beyond the lower service limit. Removing half the springs did change the lever effort, as one might expect with less spring tension on the clutch pack.

Since I hadit apart I pulled the whole thing and inspect the clutch package and basket together. The basket is a nice Hinson billet piece but is slightly grooved, salvageable. The Plates look okay but they are all the same and I don't see the difference between the plates (manual indicated 5 aluminum plates and 2 steel) so I am guessing they too are aftermarket. Half of the fiber disks are within spec and half are below the limit so I'll replace those as well. My manual has limits for the individual pieces of the clutch but not for the overall stack height.

The steels are measuring out around 1.5mm thick and the low service limit is indicated by the manual at 0.2mm and they don't appear burned or warped so I guess we're good there.

After one ride my oil, 10-40 synthetic which went in tanish and clear, came out dark grey and kinda burnt smelling. I feel no clutch slipping but I assume the coloration is clutch fiber material right?

I think I am going to just order the fibers and OEM springs and a new right side gasket etc and see where that puts me.

Thanks for all the help everyone.

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Dropped in the whole new clutch package. Pull is better but still pretty stiff and now it seems like I can feel the slight notching in the basket fingers. I'm hoping this will get a little better as the fingers on the new clutch plates wear in a little on Sunday. I know I need a new basket but that's not in the budget right now. I guess we'll see.

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Couldn't get them fast enough, Tusk Springs went in instead and are only 10% above stock. Still seems like I'm missing something else. I was going to go grab a new perch and lever tomorrow but the lever moves effortlessly without the cable attached.

I'm going to figure ths out.

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Eureka, with the new clutch installed I went ahead and filled the oil, no change at the lever. I then removed, cleaned, lubed, and re-routed the cable. Bingo. I learned that I made a small mistake in the cable routing that apparently was enough to more than double my perceived lever effort. It is almost as good now as some of the other bikes I have played with and that's stone cold. I figure it will likely get a little better when the bike is warm.

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  • 7 years later...
On 7/25/2010 at 6:31 PM, long arm said:

I couldn't ride for crap today but the new clutch and the cable routing change transformed the bike. Suddenly the whole thing felt looser and snappier and generally less work for my left hand.

Can you take a picture of the route you used for your cable. I can’t find a good picture anywhere

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  • 2 years later...

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