Clutch Adjustment By The Book


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Clutch Adjustment Technique By The Book

Always done on a cold motor.

Let's go over the basics of clutch adjustment on late motorcycle models.

Ideally, you want the motorcycle to be on a lift or stand. The procedure can be done on the kickstand but, some primary fluid may leak out. If no lift is available, a block of wood under the stand will help then.

Putting the transmission in a higher gear will help here so the lock nut can be broken loose easier.

Back off the cable adjuster until the adjuster is fully collapsed.

Remove the derby cover and set aside.

Loosen the clutch adjuster lock nut two turns.

Turn the clutch adjuster in until it lightly seats against the clutch release. Seated means that it is touching but not pushing against the release. At this time the clutch lever should have very little play.

Back the adjuster out 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn from seated (preferrably 1/2 turn out) . Repeat this several times to get the "feel" and to get all the play out. I prefer an adjustment of about 1/2 turn out for best feel .
NOTE: Backing the adjuster further than 1/2 turn out will move the clutch engagement point on the handle closer to the bar.

Lock the adjuster nut down while holding the adjuster from turning.

Work the clutch lever several times before adjusting the free play at the cable adjuster. Adjust the free play to 1/16" to 1/8" as measured at the pivot by pulling back on the sheathing of the clutch cable away from the clutch perch. I usually add just a little slack as a personal preference.

Work the clutch several times to make sure operation is smooth and no binding in any part of the travel.

Install the derby cover after topping off primary oil if needed.

Perform a test ride and adjust the free play as needed to get the engagement and release points correct once it is fully warmed up.
If you cannot adjust the clutch free play with the cable adjuster, the cable may be stretched or frayed. If the cable has been replaced, the wrong cable may have been installed.

A worn or warped clutch pack will often feel as if the adjustment is bad because it tends to make the release and engagement jerky. If after adjusting the free play you still have clutch operation problems it may be time to take a look at the clutch.

It's better to adjust the clutch so that it starts to grab at least an inch or more from the bar for complete disc separation, which translates into better/quieter shifting.

See the easy method of clutch adjustment here...

Easy Clutch Adjustment Method

Here's a video on the clutch adjustment...

YouTube - Primary Oil Chng N Clutch Adj Part 2
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Help! I tried this and I must have done something wrong! I now do not have any grab in the clutch. It simply will not engage when I release the clutch.
Help! I tried this and I must have done something wrong! I now do not have any grab in the clutch. It simply will not engage when I release the clutch.

Start over again, make sure bike is cold, after you open the derby cover look at the push rod and pull the clutch does it move if not the balls in the clutch ramp may not be seated
Thanks for the tip Jack.

I have looked at the push rod and it does move when I pull the clutch. Everything was working OK until I started the adjustment steps. I was getting a little slip in 5th and 6th and decided to try and fix this. I am pretty mechanically smart and can figure most things out, but this has got me stupmed.
Thanks for the info Mr. Data, appreciated

Amen to that one:s alot of mis in formation on clutches, they do not require much for release, and too much will cause slippage and warping, be thank ful we now have wet clutches. the old days with dry clutches welllll nuff said:s
I did everything by the book. I am going to double check after work and see if maybe the adjuster screw on the clutch is too loose and that's why it won't engage fully. I do ride it like I stole it, so the clutch might be gone...