2011 450 with a clutch question, very late engagement

got a new 2011, clutch seems to be out of whack in that it engages in the last quarter inch of lever travel. It can be dialed in to work better if I take up all of the slack and then some in the cable via the star wheel. No slippage.

Is this normal or should I try to get it fixed under what littel warranty I have? And if it is not normal, what is foobared/needing fixing?

It sounds like we need to get some terminology straightened out because I see conflicting information here. You "engage" the clutch by releasing the lever and allowing the drive plates to engage the driven plates, taking hold of the transmission and coupling it to the engine. When the lever is pulled in, the clutch disengages, or releases the transmission. So here you are, saying that your clutch engages in the last 1/4", which should be the last 1/4" before you let it all the way out, but then you say that taking out all the free travel makes it better, when the opposite should be true.

Do you mean that the clutch doesn't disengage until the last 1/4" before the lever hits the grip instead?

Let me try again with better description (i hope): clutch does not engage while letting the clutch lever swing freely away from the grip until the last qurter inch of its free swinging travel away from the grip and prior to it ceasing movement by contacting with the clutch lever perch. By shortening the clutch cable via the star wheel to the point where the 3+/- mm of recommended free movement (and a bit more) in the clutch lever is removed such that it is firmly planted on the clutch lever perch when fully engaged (i.e., at rest on the perch) moves the timing of full clutch engagement away from the end point of its movement and more towards the mid point of the clutch levers movement arc (closer to the grip, further from the perch). basically preloading the clutch mechinism. That is why I wonder if it is okay/normal for these bikes, or if the stealer should be asked to look into it. It rides fine btw.

Adjust the lever to whichever position you want it to start grabbing at, mine grabs at about half way from fully pulled in , to let out

OK, then, we know are indeed talking about engagement point rather than release point. But, the information is still contrary to what it should be. If you have the "catch point" at a 1/4" from all the way out on the lever with 3mm of free travel, ADDING free travel should be what moves the catch point closer to the bar, not the other way around. What you've said doesn't make sense from a strictly mechanical perspective. It's backwards, and you might want to get someone to take a look at the situation.

In general, what produces a clutch that engages late like that (or releases early, if you want) is a condition under which the plates are all very flat, very hard (not "spongy" or compressible), all of the clutch components are perfectly square with each other, and there is very little oil drag. It could be worthwhile to find out whether the clutch looks like it's getting enough oil, but the inspection may not show much.

okay, perhaps I have it backwards. thanks for your advice and patience.

I too am a little confused by your description.

You should NOT be preloading the clutch in any way. You will damage your clutch plates very quickly if you do.

With your hand off the clutch, the lever should be resting against the perch. Your middle finger should fit right in the groove on the lever. When you pull it gently it should really do nothing. That's the free play. Mine is at about a quarter inch. Without that little bit of play, you'll go though plates every few rides. (ask me how I know this...)

You MUST have the bit of free play. There are two adjusters. One is the knob, the other is the right on the cable. You can make the cable shorter or longer to adjust the free play.

When the plates are worn, you will not be able to adjust any free play into the lever. You will feel tension at all times. The plates will slip. The free play is the first sign of worn plates.

You can place the point of engagement/disengagement of the clutch, via the lever position, via the perch adjuster, where ever you so choose, as long as you leave at least 1/8" of free play in the lever when cold. It usually tightens up when hot.

You can also purchase a clutch lever that has a separate positioning adjustment, in case you want the engagement point to be different from where you like it, but the lever position to be different too......


...and yes, that is not a WR, but a KX, because it is superior in every conceivable way, including spiritually.

Thanks Grey, I had it totally backwards! Works great now. Stealer had the in cable adjuster adjusted way up, just had to back it off and have great actuation now.

great forum!

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