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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Maybe I'm missing something, and I was hoping some of the more experienced and knowledgeable folks in here might be able to point me in the right direction.

Bike: 2010 Vulcan 900 Custom
Problem: when she's cold, she's a dream to ride (except when the high-idle goes all stupid), but after about 10-20 minutes of riding, downshifting seems like is fighting me, and neutral is almost impossible. I've flattened the toe of my boot, and used all the muscle I could muster in my leg to try that one little half click up from first. Nothing. Won't budge. Not the first time, either. Kill the engine, and it works fine... I've already bent the shaft once due to the downshift issue, but neutral should pull, not push. I'm lost, but I'd rather it not kill me...
Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I've adjusted the clutch a few times since replacing the cable due to a little stretching, but my sweetspot doesn't start until about a quarter inch off the grip... It's in specs for the model as well... So I'm not sure what to adjust outside of that...
 

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You might, just might, try a different oil.
It might be dragging more in the plates of the clutch when it gets hot, even with the lever pulled in. You might have to adjust it a bit more if you have a lot of miles on the clutch.
Does it happen in all of the downshifts or just some?
5-4
4-3
3-2
2-1
2-N
1-N
 

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Hey Misfire, I am going by "memory" here - but - it seems to me that if you are getting "into the sweet spot" for the clutch engagement at 1/4 inch off the grip - that is too soon...I would say my clutch isn't even thinking about engaging that early - more like 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch before I get any drag on the clutch...not doing this scientifically - but its more than 1/4 inch off the grip, for sure.

I'm not sure why you have had to re-adjust your clutch lever so often - you say its because you are getting "a little stretching" on a new clutch cable...wow...I think I have adjusted my clutch lever free play once in 12,000km, and that was at around 1,000km from new. Nothing since.

Having not seen/ridden your bike, I'd be thinking you have too much free play in the cable. It is suppose to be 2-3mm gap when you take-up the slack in the cable...you know how to do this measurement, right? Do you have a service manual?

At the end of the day, if you are using the correct oil (I'm assuming you have motorcycle oil in the bike), have triple-checked your clutch lever free play according to the service manual, and you still cannot down-shift or find neutral, then your trouble could be in the shift mechanism, shift fork, return spring, or shift pawl. You'll need to test those parts using the service manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The oil makes sense. It's due for a change, add it stands. Haven't been riding much add of the past couple weeks... Nothing but rain and work. 3-2 and 2-1 on occasion, but the worst one I'd say I'd 1-N...
I think I used standard oil on the last oil change... Soon as the weather clears up, I'll get to a flat surface and try bike oil again this round and see if it clears up.
Lastly, I've got it adjusted correctly by the book. And by quarter inch, I meant free play, not cable drag to the sweet spot.

Thanks a ton folks...
 

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I still think you need to "correct" the clutch lever free play...

You said this..."Lastly, I've got it adjusted correctly by the book. And by quarter inch, I meant free play, not cable drag to the sweet spot".

I have attached the image showing the 2-3 millimetres of free play...not 1/4 inch (which is around 6-7mm).

Too much free play means the clutch will not filly disengage when the lever is pulled all the way in.

Hey, if you think you have adjusted the free play correctly, then good-on-ya...but your description does not show that you do.

I have no idea what you mean by "standard oil". If you mean non-motorcycle spec, automotive oil...then that's a problem too.
 

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I just read another thread where the guy said the correct clutch "free play" in the cable was 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

No, that is not correct.

If you are confused about the metric system, grab 3 dimes and use those as a feeler gauge. Two dimes should slip into the free play gap easily, but 3 dimes should be snug or "just" not fit in the gap. I like 2.5 millimetres of "gap" as that is right in the middle of the factory spec.

You realize that 1/4 inch is equivalent to 0.635 millimetres? That is way too much free play - like, double the maximum spec.

The shift lever should NEVER need to be beat-on or stomped-on to shift down. I can shift down with a nice 2-pound push with my toe - always.
 

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1/4 inch = 6.35mm or 0.635cm
and that would be indeed too much play.
Shadow01's pic is what you need. the handlebars need to be straight or to the left when setting the play. that being set, the clutch friction zone on the vulcan 900 is in the first 3/4 inch as you start pulling the clutch lever in. halfway pulled in should give you no traction/friction.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just coming back to this thread after all this time, and I'm setting new responses. Sorry about that, folks... Guess i got lost in the in between. However, that problem was a frayed clutch cable at the perch. I replaced it, and then I recently broke it again at the case... There's a whole explanation here at this link:

http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292818

I need to check my service manual, however. It seems I remember a different measurement in my Clymer manual, so I'll have to get back to you on that one. If it is different, too much free play may account for needing to replace my cable more than my tires? (Sarcasm... )
 

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The only reason I can think that a clutch cable would fray that often would be if the ball end or angle of cable was incorrect and rubbing or flexing excessively at either end. I don't think being a little too long should cause this problem.
 

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I've been using Rotella truck engine oil for many years. As long as it doesn't say "energy conserving' its generally OK for motorcycles with a wet clutch
I agree with ya,know many riders use rotella,was not sure what misfire is using,:nerd:just strange for 3 clutch cables to go
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was using regular car oil, but I've been using motorcycle specific oils as of late.
 
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