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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I went riding on the Skyline Drive today. The wait getting into the park was terrible, the line backed all the way out to the main road and even up the main road about 1/4 mile. What that meant was about 45 minutes of holding the clutch in while moving one car length at a time. I probably used the clutch more today than I normally would in close to a year of riding.

I've never had a clutch problem. I have the Barnett first or second generation cable. What happened was about half way through the wait the clutch didn't want to disengage, like the cable was stretching. As soon as I started letting the clutch out the bike would move. I was having one heck of a time trying to slip it into neutral to give my hand a break a couple times. At one point I managed to reach across and back the adjuster out and this let me get it into neutral.

Once we got past the toll booths and started moving again, the clutch returned to normal and now I had to turn the adjuster back in to get my normal free play. At the first stop I checked and the cable still looked good, no fraying or obvious sign it was trying to break.

The only thing I can figure was the extended time with it pulled in got the clutch plates hot and changed the amount of slack in it, since it was fine once we were moving again. We rode another 125 miles after that with no issues, it shifted fine and the slack never changed again.

Anyone else ever had this happen?
 

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My wife and I went riding on the Skyline Drive today. The wait getting into the park was terrible, the line backed all the way out to the main road and even up the main road about 1/4 mile. What that meant was about 45 minutes of holding the clutch in while moving one car length at a time. I probably used the clutch more today than I normally would in close to a year of riding.

I've never had a clutch problem. I have the Barnett first or second generation cable. What happened was about half way through the wait the clutch didn't want to disengage, like the cable was stretching. As soon as I started letting the clutch out the bike would move. I was having one heck of a time trying to slip it into neutral to give my hand a break a couple times. At one point I managed to reach across and back the adjuster out and this let me get it into neutral.

Once we got past the toll booths and started moving again, the clutch returned to normal and now I had to turn the adjuster back in to get my normal free play. At the first stop I checked and the cable still looked good, no fraying or obvious sign it was trying to break.

The only thing I can figure was the extended time with it pulled in got the clutch plates hot and changed the amount of slack in it, since it was fine once we were moving again. We rode another 125 miles after that with no issues, it shifted fine and the slack never changed again.

Anyone else ever had this happen?
That a new one Mike but what you suggest sounds like that could be the prob. I have been caught in a few jams like that, and I just try to move me along while in neutral, or not engage till cars have moved 2 or 3 car lengths before i move. Cuts down by half ,
 

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You are partially on the right train of thought. Oiling on the clutch plates (good thing) is part of it, but the other part is heat on the clutch springs. The heat is the main culprit that cuased that. With theat, as you know, the springs lose a bit of their designed properties. It does not take much to help cause your problem. That is why I like the oil temp idea. I really like to know that info.
 

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I've experience the same issue on two occasions. Both time were while riding in parades. When the bike got hot, it seemed as if the the clutch would engage slightly when I raised the RPMs even with the lever fully depressed. The other guys with M109s also had the same issues. The bike has the heart and mechanics of a thoroughbred, it doesn't like to go slow. It was born to run. :D
 

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Clutch

On really hot days, my clutch will need adjustment if I go through town and miss all the lights. It will start to lurch when I put it in gear. A full turn at the handlebar adjuster seems to cure it. These clutches are heat sensitive in my experience.
Since yours returned to working fine after it cooled, I'd say it's normal for these bikes.
You know, my 1500 Intruder had a big oil cooler out front, and a hydraulic clutch release. Seems like we went backwards in that respect with the 109. It sure is a lot faster though.:D Ride safe, Ed
 

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I've experience the same issue on two occasions. Both time were while riding in parades. When the bike got hot, it seemed as if the the clutch would engage slightly when I raised the RPMs even with the lever fully depressed. The other guys with M109s also had the same issues. The bike has the heart and mechanics of a thoroughbred, it doesn't like to go slow. It was born to run. :D
The bike has the heart and mechanics of a thoroughbred, it doesn't like to go slow. It was born to run. :D

Man you got that right, Slow , as in traffic jams is not for the 9
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On really hot days, my clutch will need adjustment if I go through town and miss all the lights. It will start to lurch when I put it in gear. A full turn at the handlebar adjuster seems to cure it. These clutches are heat sensitive in my experience.
Since yours returned to working fine after it cooled, I'd say it's normal for these bikes.
You know, my 1500 Intruder had a big oil cooler out front, and a hydraulic clutch release. Seems like we went backwards in that respect with the 109. It sure is a lot faster though.:D Ride safe, Ed
I think it was just the heat too. The road was slightly uphill so I couldn't even foot pedal it, and the traffic was moving just slow enough that I couldn't let it idle along in 1st. I had to crank mine out close to 2 full turns to get it to act normally.

I agree on the hydraulic clutch too. My wife was right beside me on her S50 and wasn't having any problems. Good thing too, as she has no adjustments at all. :D

Thanks to all that have responded. The next time this happens I'll just join the several other bikes that were parked along the road (I thought they were just taking a break) and let it cool off a little.
 
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All the clutch problems I hear about, I wish I could disable the clutch switch on the bike to start without disengaging. Add that up over how many times you start the bike. I hear that's not a good idea to disable, as it helps the computer trigger a starting map. On my carbed Marauder I disabled it - it was titties just flipping the key and starting. It's got a neutral and sidestand switch, I think we're fully nannied with those two.

I don't even hold in first at ANY stoplight. I hit neutral on a coast up to the light with a light touch out of 2nd, and only shift into first when the car in front of me is moving.

Alas, the only way to use the clutch lever on this thing is NOT to use it whenever possible. I am dreading the day I lose a cable. I hope not in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I'll make it a 2 year service item.
 

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Heat sensitive

On really hot days, my clutch will need adjustment if I go through town and miss all the lights. It will start to lurch when I put it in gear. A full turn at the handlebar adjuster seems to cure it. These clutches are heat sensitive in my experience.
Since yours returned to working fine after it cooled, I'd say it's normal for these bikes.
You know, my 1500 Intruder had a big oil cooler out front, and a hydraulic clutch release. Seems like we went backwards in that respect with the 109. It sure is a lot faster though.:D Ride safe, Ed
With out a doubt , when I first take off when mine is still
fairly cool it shifts and engages perfectly after a few miles
it's harder shifting and lurches at a stop from neutral to first.
It seems that there is not enough clearence between the clutch
plates and they expand when hot My 010 Kawy voyager runs
hot as hell but shifts the same regardless I like the hydraulic
clutch too
 
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While I haven't had the same problem, this bike definitely doesn't like sitting in traffic. On several occasions it has induced the clutch "shudder" familiar to so many of us. While usually this is a cold bike/dry plates issue, on mine if I've been riding the clutch too much in stop and go traffic, it will eventually start to shudder periodically until I get going again.
 

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You are partially on the right train of thought. Oiling on the clutch plates (good thing) is part of it, but the other part is heat on the clutch springs. The heat is the main culprit that cuased that. With theat, as you know, the springs lose a bit of their designed properties. It does not take much to help cause your problem. That is why I like the oil temp idea. I really like to know that info.
I think you hit the nail on the head with heat on the springs. It explains why I don't experience this problem. And I do at least 4-5 brutal parade-type rides per year (like Rolling Thunder) and get stuck in 1-2 hour traffic jams. Difference? I'm running the MTC heavy duty springs. The only downside to these springs is that lever effort is slightly higher so if I'm doing hours of clutching, it takes a toll on my hand in the way of cramps.
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head with heat on the springs. It explains why I don't experience this problem. And I do at least 4-5 brutal parade-type rides per year (like Rolling Thunder) and get stuck in 1-2 hour traffic jams. Difference? I'm running the MTC heavy duty springs. The only downside to these springs is that lever effort is slightly higher so if I'm doing hours of clutching, it takes a toll on my hand in the way of cramps.
sounds like you're going to be able to crush rock with your hands pretty soon. :joke:

i don't have the mtc springs. but after a long day of riding my hands feel like paul newman's in the hustler. can't imagine what they would feel like with the heavy duty springs. :eek:
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head with heat on the springs. It explains why I don't experience this problem. And I do at least 4-5 brutal parade-type rides per year (like Rolling Thunder) and get stuck in 1-2 hour traffic jams. Difference? I'm running the MTC heavy duty springs. The only downside to these springs is that lever effort is slightly higher so if I'm doing hours of clutching, it takes a toll on my hand in the way of cramps.
you had any clutch cable problems with the added spring pressure?? Always wondered about that, upgrading the springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you hit the nail on the head with heat on the springs. It explains why I don't experience this problem. And I do at least 4-5 brutal parade-type rides per year (like Rolling Thunder) and get stuck in 1-2 hour traffic jams. Difference? I'm running the MTC heavy duty springs. The only downside to these springs is that lever effort is slightly higher so if I'm doing hours of clutching, it takes a toll on my hand in the way of cramps.
I don't think it was the springs, but could be wrong. If the springs got hot enough they would lose tension and then the clutch would slip. You are compressing the springs when you pull the clutch. Mine did anything but that, I could barely pull the lever back far enough to get it to release. If I let the clutch out even 1/8" it would start moving the bike, which also made it difficult to get into neutral.

I think the heat from the plates dragging against each other was heating the steels and fibers up and causing them to expand, reducing the clearance between them. Or maybe they oil was getting wiped off and the plates couldn't slip freely. :dontknow:

I do feel like I could crush walnuts with my left hand now. :D
 

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you had any clutch cable problems with the added spring pressure?? Always wondered about that, upgrading the springs.
No, none at all. I'm still running a 1st generation Barnett clutch cable. I think I have about 20K miles on it now. I clean and lube the cable ends with Mobil 1 grease (red) every 6 months.
 

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I don't think it was the springs, but could be wrong. If the springs got hot enough they would lose tension and then the clutch would slip. You are compressing the springs when you pull the clutch. Mine did anything but that, I could barely pull the lever back far enough to get it to release. If I let the clutch out even 1/8" it would start moving the bike, which also made it difficult to get into neutral.

I think the heat from the plates dragging against each other was heating the steels and fibers up and causing them to expand, reducing the clearance between them. Or maybe they oil was getting wiped off and the plates couldn't slip freely. :dontknow:

I do feel like I could crush walnuts with my left hand now. :D
Ugh... I'm getting a headache thinking about this... I realize that the springs compress as you pull the clutch lever. But if spring tension was weakened due to heat, wouldn't the engagement point (as perceived by the rider at the clutch lever) shift for the worse also? In other words, if 10 ft/lbs of spring pressure is required to allow the stack to slip under normal operating temperature, but the springs were subjected to above normal heat for a prolonged period, you'd have to compress the springs more in order to get that 10 ft/lbs of spring pressure needed to release the stack. That means the clutch lever would have to be pulled back farther than normal. But it only goes back so far, so the stack can't fully release. :dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ugh... I'm getting a headache thinking about this... I realize that the springs compress as you pull the clutch lever. But if spring tension was weakened due to heat, wouldn't the engagement point (as perceived by the rider at the clutch lever) shift for the worse also? In other words, if 10 ft/lbs of spring pressure is required to allow the stack to slip under normal operating temperature, but the springs were subjected to above normal heat for a prolonged period, you'd have to compress the springs more in order to get that 10 ft/lbs of spring pressure needed to release the stack. That means the clutch lever would have to be pulled back farther than normal. But it only goes back so far, so the stack can't fully release. :dontknow:
Lol, and now I'm going to get a headache too. :D

The springs apply pressure to the clutch pack by pressing the pressure plate or hub down against the clutch pack. When the pushrod moves outward (from pulling the clutch lever) what it moves is the hub. The springs compress as the hub moves outward, releasing pressure on the clutch pack and letting them slip.

So if the springs weaken, the pull on the lever gets less, and the pressure on the clutch pack is less.

Now it could be that the springs wouldn't weaken uniformly and that could cause the hub to apply uneven pressure and not allow it to release.

Where's the Aleve? :D
 

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good read you guys ..... and I am no mechanic but I got a headache now.... Thanks, Mike, Glenn, Matt and others.... :bigthumbsup:
 

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Lol, and now I'm going to get a headache too. :D

The springs apply pressure to the clutch pack by pressing the pressure plate or hub down against the clutch pack. When the pushrod moves outward (from pulling the clutch lever) what it moves is the hub. The springs compress as the hub moves outward, releasing pressure on the clutch pack and letting them slip.

So if the springs weaken, the pull on the lever gets less, and the pressure on the clutch pack is less.

Now it could be that the springs wouldn't weaken uniformly and that could cause the hub to apply uneven pressure and not allow it to release.

Where's the Aleve? :D
We're saying the same thing but I'm failing to convey something related to the difference between consistent pushrod travel and undesirable variable spring pressure between the hub and pressure plate. :a20: I'm out of beer, so let me sleep on it. :D
 
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