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Long time reader, first time poster. I've had my 2003 Vulcan 1500 since new and never had a problem ever. I recently had a clutch issue where I notice a whining sound during deceleration. I first discover a problem with my clutch during a long ride through the mountains a couple of weeks ago. I had no clutch at all near the end of our ride. We took the master cylinder apart and noticed brown crappy sludge, which clogged up the small orifice. This caused part of the problem, then i notice the whine sound that may be something engaged in the clutch. Anyone else had a similar problem?
 

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What you are experiencing is the bevel gear failure. When the bearings begin to go out the gears loose their pattern and begin to whine. As the bearings are going bad they also generate an excessive amount of heat, causing the clutch slave cylinder to overheat. This overheating expands the fluid and causes the clutch to slip. It probably works fine for a few miles and once the bike heats up will begin to slip. Will only get worse and will not fix it's self. Requires partial engine removal and removal of bevel gear assembly for replacement or rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What you are experiencing is the bevel gear failure. When the bearings begin to go out the gears loose their pattern and begin to whine. As the bearings are going bad they also generate an excessive amount of heat, causing the clutch slave cylinder to overheat. This overheating expands the fluid and causes the clutch to slip. It probably works fine for a few miles and once the bike heats up will begin to slip. Will only get worse and will not fix it's self. Requires partial engine removal and removal of bevel gear assembly for replacement or rebuild.
Thanks for the info. I will at least take it apart and inspect. I did purchase a slightly used clutch assembly from E bay and was going to upgrade to a stronger clutch spring(beveled washer) to have better engagement. Any trick to keeping the gasket in place while you put in the 20 screws that hold the side cover on. I had planned to tack it in a few places w/ grease. Any thoughts about using gasket sealer?
 

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with the factory clutch. Unless you are using the bike for racing all you are going to accomplish is a stiffer clutch pull, which I am not fond of in traffic. If it is worn, I recommend replacing with factory disc & spring. I normally attach the gasket to the cover with a light coat of sealant. Do not forget the starter gear washer.
 
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