M109 Rider Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,

I know there have been several discussions on clutch noise, failure and the like, but after a fairly lengthy search I didn't find this question...

I have ~1500 miles on the bike and the clutch effort has always been high. I've ridden predominantly sport bikes in the past, but I've had some experience with Harleys and the big twins always had significantly higher clutch effort. SO, when the 9 exhibited the same tendencies, I just thought it was a "big V-Twin thing".

BUT, today I went to lunch and on my way back, the clutch effort dropped WAY down. I would say by 40% or so. It didn't seem to be related to a certain event, i.e., I didn't flog it hard, fan the clutch, etc. I drove it no different than normal.

So, being an engineer, the first thing I tried to do was analyze and come up with scenarios:

1. Was the cable always in a bind somehow and magically today broke free?

2. Did a clutch spring(s) break allowing less effort at the lever?

3. Am I just imagining things? (doubt it).

I have recently adjusted the free play and perhaps the stretch has caused number 1 above to happen. I have not seen any slipping since which I feel would be an indication of lack of spring pressure (broken spring), BUT it was raining on my way back so I could really get on it. I have to say I appreciate the reduced effort, but not if it is a sign of damage.

I'm just basically appealing to my fellow 9er's to see if any of you have experienced the same thing. I've gotten plenty of good info from this site and y'all seem extremely helpful, so any input would be appreciated.

- Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
I know that on mine, when I bought it the clutch wasn't very tight which I liked because I have short stubby fingers. When I took it to the dealer for the 600 mile service, one of the guys told me that they had tightened up the free play for me. It was really a noticeable difference. I hated it. But after a couple of weeks of riding the cable stretched out again and it was back into my comfort zone. I think you'll get significant cable stretch for about the first 2500 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I, too, have short fingers and the reach to the lever is pretty far for me.
However, this doesn't seem to be a cable stretch issue. It's definitely the
effort required to pull the clutch, regardless of the distance, has reduced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
You may want to ask your dealer's service person then. There have been a few threads about clutch problems on this board.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info, folks!

Drove home tonight and it was back to "normal" (hard pull). Hope the cable doesn't crap out, but thanks to Pr0wl3r-X, at least I can be on the lookout.

- Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Wow and I thought that I was going nuts.

My 109 does the same damn thing. Last weekend the clutch was acting up again, slipping, chattering, sounding screwy. I was leaving a parking lot and the clutch chattered, slipped, grabbed and then I was on my way. Between gears I noticed that the clutch lever was SUPER easy to pull in and out. man it was shifting like a dream for about 15 minute then BAM ! back to pulling in hard.

I'm at a loss. the dealer said everything is ok. NOT !.. Their is something really crazy going on with this thing and I know it's not just me that's it's happening to. One note or observation those, after the bike is good and warmed up and left to sit shut off for a while I find the clutch to be so much smoother in operation upon restart. It's like it get warm soaked and is lubed up better, call me crazy but that's how it is, I never had anything feel like this in all the years I have ridden. I really think that their may be an oil restriction with the motor that is preventing adequate lubrication at times, or the clutches are binding up and some how allows the pressure to be temporarily freer.

I'm not at all impressed with the clutch, and it's really begining to p*ss me off. It shift's like crap most times also.  :dontknow:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Folks: Looking at the way the clutch cable is routed leads me to believe the cable is dragging within the sheathe. There is a pretty good bend in the cable at the engine/trans mount. I have some spray graphite for door locks and I'm going to give the cable a shot from both ends and see if that will provide some lubrication and reduce any friction which may be occurring. I'm not sure if the factory applies any lube to the cable assembly during original assembly. I'm sure the graphite will improve the lever effort :bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I had the same stretching, easy pull, hard pull situation, though the bike has always shifted fine. Then one day at a light, puled the lever in and SNAP! The damn thing broke. The ball at the motor end popped off and I pushed all 700 lbs of her home. (luckily only a mile and a half from home... longest mile and a half I've walked though.) I imagine the mention about the hard angle turn the cable makes just before the end at the crankcase is the culprit and keeping that lubed is a good idea. (design flaw?) I'm just lucky it broker while in neutral. Don't wish this on anyone. I think I'll be buying that extended warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Extended warranty, towing coverage with both insurance and AAA (not sure if AAA is good for MC, need to call and ask) as well has having my own MC trailer in case its needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Tampa109 said:
I had the same stretching, easy pull, hard pull situation, though the bike has always shifted fine. Then one day at a light, puled the lever in and SNAP! The damn thing broke. The ball at the motor end popped off and I pushed all 700 lbs of her home. (luckily only a mile and a half from home... longest mile and a half I've walked though.) I imagine the mention about the hard angle turn the cable makes just before the end at the crankcase is the culprit and keeping that lubed is a good idea. (design flaw?) I'm just lucky it broker while in neutral. Don't wish this on anyone. I think I'll be buying that extended warranty.
I personally haven't looked at the end of the cable where the ball is located. From what you have described it sounds like the metal ball is attached to the cable end by crimping and after some extended use the cable pulls through the ball. I have some low temp Grade #4 Silver Solder handy and may just remove the cable and solder both ball ends before I have any problems. The Grade #4 has approximately 80,000 lb. tensile strength which will adequately keep the metal balls from slipping off :bigthumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
bob109 said:
The Grade #4 has approximately 80.000 lb. tensile strength which will adequately keep the metal balls from slipping off :bigthumbsup:
Always a good thing, but 80k lbs? Seems.... excessive 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Thanks for all of the heads up guys. These are definitely some good things to look out for. I wonder why Suzuki just didn't use a hydraulic clutch in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wish they had used a hydraulic clutch as well, but I'm sure it would drive the cost up another $500 or so.....

This would solve the secondary problem of long lever reach. Adjustable levers are far more prominent on hydraulic clutches.

- Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Yup,I would have gladly paid the difference for a hydraulic clutch :bigthumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Hey Bob let us know if lubing the cable makes any significant difference. Anything we can do to make it shift better will be a plus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I have had trouble maintaining the clutch lever free play on my 109 I had it to where I liked it and then I came to a stop sign and pulled the lever in and had about 2 inches of free play so maybe it is binding. I have tried to get advice on how to properly adjust the clutch cable at both ends but so far nothing has helped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
this weekend i went riding in a parade and had a blast never had clutch issues untill now. did a few burnouts and now my clutch lever is stiff and my clutch slips. wtf? i adjusted the lever all the way in loosening the clutch cable and checked it this morning and still stiff. is there adjustment at the tranny end? that maybe the lock nut loosened? and i will try the lubercation thing but that is really weird. i have 2100+ miles on her now.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top