My Clutch is Slipping

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My Clutch is Slipping

Post by Cav47 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:53 pm

On the way home from Michigan today with Tim, I noticed my engine was revving more than the acceleration. Upon full throttle merging from one interested to another, full boost was needed to get clear of a couple semis. Anyway, I noticed it and was able to recreate the symptom when needed. I didn’t try it many times, but upon passing cars in 5th gear about 5 to 8K rpms, I can tell the engine is acting like I have the clutch pulled in slightly.

Need some help ASAP since I am heading to Red Lodge very soon. Thanks.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by FJRoss » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:17 pm

Unusual for sure - assuming that you aren't using an "energy conserving" automotive oil. What motor oil are you using??

Assuming there isn't a problem with clutch springs, you are likely to be looking at a set of friction disks. Chances are that the steel disks will be OK with a little scrub to clean off the crud. It is POSSIBLE that the fiber disks could be cleaned up to restore function but I think I would replace them unless disassembly reveals a different problem.

Just for fun, try bleeding the clutch hydraulics before doing anything.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by Red » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:45 pm

Cav47,

I'd check that nothing in the clutch lever/master cylinder is sticking or damaged. Clean clutch fluid? Good clutch cylinder?
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by extrememarine » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:51 pm

As mentioned above - check the pivot point of the lever. I have v-strom handguards on my FJR, at one point, I needed to clearance the one so the front brake level didn't make contact (and drag). You might have a pivot point that's sticking, not letting the clutch lever travel out as far as it should.

Other points above - what oil are you running?

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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by wheatonFJR » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:41 pm

I assume you didn't just bounce off the rev limiter in your pass on the semi, lost power and were between 5 and 8k when you looked? Just covering all bases.

(Not that the above ever happened to me in a multi car pass, no no)
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by gixxerjasen » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:50 pm

Get all those things checked ASAP so you can get your order in if need be. Just remember, if you have to change it out, it's so easy even my son did it. Make sure to order a new seal for the clutch cover, and you can do it in an afternoon. It's easier to do and harder to gixxerjasen than forks are, that's for sure!

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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by Cav47 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:53 pm

Been using Rotella T6 for quite a while now.

I recently (5 weeks or so) bled the clutch when I reassembled the brakes.

Was not on the rev limiter. You can actually see the tachometer move up and hear engine rev but the bike is isn’t pulling with the same force. The bike is still gaining speed, then the clutch catches up and the bike pulls hard. It honestly feels like a turbo lag situation. Best way to describe it.

I will have to check the pivot point situation more in depth. I really hope that is the easy solution.

Does those answers help narrow it down?
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by escapefjrtist » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:13 pm

Have you removed the clutch lever recently? If no, disregard. If yes, make sure the push rod is seated correctly in the brass bushing.

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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by raYzerman » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:27 pm

Remove lever, check brass bushing that pushes the push rod. Betters it's worn and gouged up out of round. New one fairly universal part used on many bikes. Grease all up there with silicone grease (it won't wash out). Re-bleed clutch.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by Cav47 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:47 pm

Okay. Maybe some more diagnostic info. The lever was not returning all the way out. I measured the distance after squeezing the clutch at under 3 inches. Then manually pushed it away from the bar and wound up with almost 3.75. So after cleaning it up with some different cleaners, it is coming back to full extension.

I need to disassemble the whole thing, but there was some crud that came out of there.

Disassemble tips?
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by Cav47 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:52 pm

It did have some “scoring” on it. The rag I started with was clean and after detailing the area, it was pretty much covered in grime.

The lever now snaps back to the furthest position away front the bar with no nudge. Plan on testing it out on the road tomorrow

I am due for an oil change anyway become of the mileage expected in RL and beyond.

I will have to wait to announce a winner tomorrow.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by FJRoss » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:02 pm

I think you will be fine. Replace the brass bushing in the clutch lever when you have a chance. In the meantime,
Clean and grease. Nice to find the easy (and cheap) solution! Since you recently did the clutch fluid, you might want to do a quick bleed in case there is an air bubble in the line. Wouldn't hurt and doesn't take long.

No issues with the Rotella T6 for sure in terms of clutch slippage.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by rbentnail » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:14 am

Aftermarket levers? Gen3 don't play pretty with some of them.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by bill lumberg » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:33 am

The only way I know what clutch slippage feels like is because of the TheTwoWheels levers I bought. Tossed them in the trash and all was well again.

I don’t ride as much as some if you guys, but I ride enough, and often in crappy weather, that I pull, clean, and lube levers and the pedal at least quarterly. I replaced the brass clutch bushing at around 40,000 miles on my last fjr, as a preventative measure (a little misshapen but not bad), and this thread reminds me that it’s probably time to order one for this bike.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by FJRoss » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:10 am

I had a brass bushing in the clutch lever go bad on a previous Yamaha (2002 Venture) - same part. With annual maintenance, the bushing on my 2007 FJR lasted as long as I owned the bike - 10 years and 185,000 miles. This was in a Pazzo lever - don't know if that makes a difference or not. A little care goes a long way.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by gixxerjasen » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:14 am

Look at all of this smart advice. I have to tell you all how smart Cav47 is. Last night he picked up the phone and called the only guy on this thread that doesn't even have a clutch lever. :D

Seriously, hope it's simple and you get it worked out today. Keep us posted.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by Cav47 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:43 am

Stock levers. I have about 55k on the bike. I honestly don’t recall the last time I disassembled the clutch levers. I know I did maintenance on the brake side because of the sticky pins.

Yeah I called Gixxer, but also called Pants too. I was waiting For the collective advice of the board to come around. Just waiting for the roads to clear up before go test out to see if that lever position does the trick.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by raYzerman » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:54 am

I doubt seriously that there is anything wrong in the clutch plates... you'd have to abuse it a lot to wear it out. That said, at 40-50K or even early in life, the FJR can benefit from a complete disassembly of the clutch, clean, oil and reassemble the plates and it will be better for a long long time. Most of the issues will be at the lever, just remove it clean and lube all the parts.
Aftermarket levers I found an improvement, whether Pazzos or cheap Chinese, never had an issue with them, I've used several sets on Yamaha and Honda. The Yammy design is carried over rather universally in most Yamahas, there should be no reason they don't work on Gen3 FJR's or back to 2003. All the same geometry design/config. Gen3 has more switches/different switch design for things like cruise, are much more sensitive and need frequent cleaning to stay working properly (quarterly is good, semi-annually has been ok for me).
Wee tip on air, zip tie the lever to the bar overnight and any air bubbles should rise to the top and get to the reservoir. Won't help with old fluid that has moisture in it, so I harp on a bleed/flush annually. It just plain works to keep things optimal.
PS if you didn't think of taking the brake lever apart too and keeping it free of crud and lubed at the same time.
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by extrememarine » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:07 am

Now that is priceless...
gixxerjasen wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:14 am
Look at all of this smart advice. I have to tell you all how smart Cav47 is. Last night he picked up the phone and called the only guy on this thread that doesn't even have a clutch lever. :D
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Re: My Clutch is Slipping

Post by DesignFlaw06 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:23 am

I swear I never went near the clutch while working on Cav's bike. I mean, I don't think I did. Where's the clutch again? :?
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