Clutch Adjustment FAQ
by Kristian #562 & Nick JC #1085
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Q. My 'friction zone' is moving out....what gives?
A. Read the adjustments below and read all the way to the bottom.
This is the Key to a good Shift.
Dimension "A" = 68 - 75mm from the outside of the crankcase anchor to the inside face of the hook in the clutch pivot arm. (Fork Lever)
Dimension "B" = 1.5 - 2.5mm on the opening of the hand lever.
Dimension "A" = 47 - 52mm (1.85 - 2.05 in.) from the inside of the crankcase anchor to the outside face of the hook in the clutch pivot arm. (Fork Lever)
Dimension "B" = 1.0 - 2.0mm (0.04 - 0.08 in.) on the opening
of the hand lever.
Adjustment Procedure at Clutch (Fork) Lever on LHS Engine
The Clutch (Release) Lever must be so located on the spline such that when it is pressed forward as far as the release point i.e. where the Clutch actually "releases" distance "A" is specified.
Q. What is the "Release Point".?
This refers to the point where the Clutch loses engagement.
As in where it starts to slip while you squeeze it.
This means when are riding the bike uphill and you pull the lever to the point where the clutch starts to slip.
Or, if you have the bike in gear, with the engine well warmed up but NOT RUNNING... try to push the bike across the floor or driveway while slowly squeezing the lever. The point where the bike WILL start to roll is the point where the Clutch loses engagement.
This is a picture of the GS Fork Lever but shows the measuring distance of both the Classic & the GS.
This is a picture of the Classic Fork Lever but shows the measuring points of both the Classic & the GS.
NOTE! "How do you get the actuator arm off of the splines without hurting anything. The Clymer just says remove the bolt and remove the arm. I'd hate to apply to much force and damage something." Basically it's a B**** to get off if the bolt has been tightened even close to the right torque, or over it. I ended up spreading the thing with a screwdriver in the slot and a bit of LIGHT GENTLE twist. Heed the advice about NOT overtightening when it goes back on.
Adjustment Procedure at Clutch Lever on Handlebar:
Adjust to Dimension "B" by turning adjusting Screw (2) on the Handlebar Lever.
Lock the Adjusting Screw with Knurled Nut (3).
Dimension "B": This Photo shows a GS but the Classic looks almost the same.
Adjustment Knobs: This Photo shows a Classic but the GS looks almost the same.
1. Clutch Locknut: I've always done "finger tight", as you might have occasion to adjust it when on the bike (hopefully at a full stop). The screwdriver might spread the locknut open, eventually fouling the threads. Marty #436-Chicago-97 F650F
I started out tightening it with the screwdriver--(heck, I had to use it to loosen it), then I thought: "How am I gonna get this undone after a couple thousand miles without breaking something?" so I loosened it again and went finger tight. Then I thought:" Is this one of those things that loosens with vibration so that I loose my clutch out on the road somewhere?" Nate
2. Slot in the Knurled Nut: Good tip (learned from experience): Always keep the 'slot' in the cable adjuster (2) away from the cable inner movement path. If the cable inner rubs against this the sharp edges soon cut through the cable. David #1060
Q. Friction zone moving out?
I'm closing in on my first 8,000 miles over the past two years, and encountering something unusual. It seems like the friction zone is moving further out on the clutch lever. This is not related to the freeplay on the lever - Chris #856
1) The friction zone moves as slack enters the system. Slack enters the system via wear on the clutch plates OR...
when your clutch cable starts going bad. Consider replacing your clutch cable and keeping the old one for a spare. - Flash 412 (CO)
2) If you adjusted the play
1. Check the clutch aluminum fork lever on the Top of the Engine Housing is not cracked and moving on the spline. See picture of mine in FAQ
2. Check Cable isn't going South
3. THEN check the Clutch Plates (and do your water pump while you're in there!)
- Kristian #562