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Old 02-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
lastrebl
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Default Clutch Slipping?

Hey all-

Spring is just around the corner ! In Massachusetts, still getting out there all suited up. Curious if anyone has had a slipping clutch at all? I have a Vulcan 1600 Classic, 2005 with about 22K miles on it. That seems early for a clutch to be asking to be replaced. If i take off hard, it seems like it is slipping, but I imagine things all the time are wrong that aren't. The shop says "it's right about that time" . I wish I was a more trusting soul but I think he sees dollar signs. So if anyone has any experince with or similar to this could you pipe in? Thanks !
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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I recently read an article about a 900cc Ninja with 200k on the original clutch. And, as I understand it, the guy around here with 150k on his 900 is still running the original clutch (or maybe he's replaced it once... but not more than that).

How about oil? What are you running? I mean I don't want to take that dead horse out for beating here BUT, before I swapped a clutch at 22k I might change the oil and consider another brand. Maybe switch to a synthetic if your not using it, and if your not using a motorcycle specific oil, maybe switch to that. Like I said, the oil issue is one that gets pretty intense around here, lol, so I won't discuss it too much, but that might be a first step.

The other option, is to clean, lube, and adjust the clutch cable. (Actually, probably do that first) If you find that it's out of adjustment to the point the clutch is dragging, then it's possible the clutch is out. Or you may find that the clutch isn't ever fully grabbing due to poor adjustment, easy enough fix.

For what it's worth... I switched to Valvoline full synthetic from whatever the dealer stuck in there when I bought it. The clutch is a lot grabbier now. It wasn't slipping before, but it grabs very good now. When it's time for an oil change it's something to consider.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastrebl View Post
Hey all-

Spring is just around the corner ! In Massachusetts, still getting out there all suited up. Curious if anyone has had a slipping clutch at all? I have a Vulcan 1600 Classic, 2005 with about 22K miles on it. That seems early for a clutch to be asking to be replaced. If i take off hard, it seems like it is slipping, but I imagine things all the time are wrong that aren't. The shop says "it's right about that time" . I wish I was a more trusting soul but I think he sees dollar signs. So if anyone has any experince with or similar to this could you pipe in? Thanks !
Here's some info and a fix for your problem. It's a common problem for the 1500/1600 models. http://www.gadgetjq.com/clutch_spring_replacement.htm
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Romans5.8 might be right on with the oil change suggestion. Perhaps there are some anti-friction adatives in your oil that is causing the clutch plates to slip. The guy telling you it's about time at 22k is full of crap. Don't take your bike back to him. My 05 1600 has 34K and no clutch probelms. Gadgets web page says the 1600's clutches are generally good for well over 50K.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Two pieces of good advice above. First try a different oil cheaper and easiest. Mine reacts differently (and shifting does too) with different oil. ALWAYS use JASO rating. Many threads on that. If doesn't help, then perhaps the gadget link posted above would be the next step. The clutches last but evidently the clutch springs don't sometimes. Hope mine does!

Not to get into oil too much .... but since you didn't mention what you use here are three quickies - Rotella 15W 40 white bottle for conventional. Rotella T6 5W 40 Blue bottle for cheap synthetic. Mobile Racing 4t Motorcycle 10W 40 for more expensive syn. There are many more options, but these three seem to do well by many and in three distinct price ranges. Also all easily obtainable.

Hope a change in oil helps you out!
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #6
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Thanks so much. I will read your replies thoroughly when I get home. Thanks ! Way better than a new clutch !
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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If you figure out how to adjust your clutch cable......let me know ......since you don't have one....it's hydraulic.....LOL One problem hydraulic actuated systems have is that if you run your oil too long then the actuator gets dirty and won't compress your clutch all the way. This is more common than you think. The oil if it is clean shouldn't make much of a difference. The actuator that compresses your clutch is alot like the acuator on your disc brakes. Either way you have to pull the side casing which isn't a big deal on a Vulcan.....and then you can see what the problem is. Obviously how hard you ride determines the life of a clutch.

PS....When I say the oil is not a big factor in a slipping clutch system....I am assuming you are using a oil meant for wet clutch systems on a motorcycle. Dirty oil kills motorcycles.....I just use a synthetic blend....but I change it with filter every 4-6 weeks during the riding season.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastrebl View Post
Hey all-

Spring is just around the corner ! In Massachusetts, still getting out there all suited up. Curious if anyone has had a slipping clutch at all? I have a Vulcan 1600 Classic, 2005 with about 22K miles on it. That seems early for a clutch to be asking to be replaced. If i take off hard, it seems like it is slipping, but I imagine things all the time are wrong that aren't. The shop says "it's right about that time" . I wish I was a more trusting soul but I think he sees dollar signs. So if anyone has any experince with or similar to this could you pipe in? Thanks !
With no more miles than you have on it, I would almost garentee your cluth plate are ok, but these stock springs are crap. Replace the spring with a mean streak spring & you could probably smoke the tires if you want. But I would mike the plates since you will have easy access when you remove the spring.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
I recently read an article about a 900cc Ninja with 200k on the original clutch. And, as I understand it, the guy around here with 150k on his 900 is still running the original clutch (or maybe he's replaced it once... but not more than that).

How about oil? What are you running? I mean I don't want to take that dead horse out for beating here BUT, before I swapped a clutch at 22k I might change the oil and consider another brand. Maybe switch to a synthetic if your not using it, and if your not using a motorcycle specific oil, maybe switch to that. Like I said, the oil issue is one that gets pretty intense around here, lol, so I won't discuss it too much, but that might be a first step.

The other option, is to clean, lube, and adjust the clutch cable. (Actually, probably do that first) If you find that it's out of adjustment to the point the clutch is dragging, then it's possible the clutch is out. Or you may find that the clutch isn't ever fully grabbing due to poor adjustment, easy enough fix.

For what it's worth... I switched to Valvoline full synthetic from whatever the dealer stuck in there when I bought it. The clutch is a lot grabbier now. It wasn't slipping before, but it grabs very good now. When it's time for an oil change it's something to consider.
I'm still on my original clutch springs, with 53,600 miles. I'll probably jinx myself for saying this, but my clutch has never slipped... I watch my oil closely and change it every 3,000 miles.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:17 AM   #10
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Default slipping clutch

Hey lastrebl, I'm curious about what you did regarding your slipping clutch. Mine did it today while in 4TH and 5TH gears at higher Hwy speeds. 07 classic 1600. I did check out gadgets page.
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