Clutch Adjustment.

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Clutch Adjustment.

Postby jafo » 04:07 pm Dec 12 2005

I have'nt seen this topic come up on here yet so I thought I'd ask. How do you all adjust your clutch? I have mine set to slip with minimal pull of the lever. How do you have yours set?

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Postby canyncarvr » 06:59 pm Dec 12 2005

'Minimal pull' will vary a whole lot 'pending on who's doing the pulling.

I want mine as 'close' as I can get it (the less movement of the lever the better) but not slip at all (fully disengaged) when it's 'at rest'. Whatever amount of pull it takes is what it takes. That will depend on the construction of your cable, the friction in your lever joint, the actual leverage of the joint, the shape of your actuator shaft AND the position of it (even º on either side of a 90º measurement cable-to-actuator arm), clutch springs, etc etc.

But...you knew all that...... :wink:

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Postby jafo » 10:48 am Dec 13 2005

I figured all that. I guess what I'm looking for is where your clutch lever is when the clutch first starts to slip or starts to disengage the motor from the tranny.

Your clutch does'nt slip at all? Mine feels like it starts to slip when I slightly pull on the lever. It won't disengage entirely until the lever is at least half way back. Any further out from that point the clutch slips on mine. All the clutch parts, cable,lever springs plates ect. are in good order. I lubed my cable once last year with some synthetic oil (Royal Purple 30wt.) and it glides much easier than with typical cable lube. That Royal Purple is slick stuff and lasts pretty good.

Anyways, this question goes for anyone who wants to answer. :mrgreen: I'd like to see how everyone has thier clutches adjusted. Just curious.
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Postby KanuckKDX » 11:03 am Dec 13 2005

I have play in my first 12 mm then the clutch slips abruptly and is totally disengaged by the time it's half in. I only need to slip the clutch on steep hills when I need the revs. Any other time it's in or out and my tiny hands need a short pull.

I am going to drop a tooth on the front sprocket though and see it that makes life easier in those situations.
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Postby m0rie » 11:57 am Dec 13 2005

A 12t front sprocket will make life easier for you when you need that little extra bit of pull. My clutch is completely the opposite of your though Kanuck. Mine has basically zero free play (and i've tried to adjust it to have some) and smoothly disengages more as the lever is pulled in. About 1/2 way thru the pull its pretty much disengaged.
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Postby canyncarvr » 12:21 pm Dec 13 2005

A word about clutches..

The clutch is 'disengaged' when your hand is off the lever..when the engine is engaged to the transmission.

The clutch is 'engaged' when the lever is pulled, when the engine is disengaged from the transmission.

Well...I've always understood it that way... This is an example:

the web wrote:On two occasions, I have pulled up to a red light and sat at the light with the clutch engaged while waiting for the light to change. All of a sudden, the truck started taking off even though I had not let off the clutch.


The vehicle is in gear, stopped, clutch pedal depressed, the clutch is 'engaged'.

But then...

the web also wrote:If the clutch does not disengage properly, the synchromesh in the transmission prevents the smooth shifting between gears.


The vehicle is in gear, clutch pedal depressed, but it does not completely disengage the trans..the still-applied pressure preventing smooth movement of transmission internals.

My point is...the two words, engaged/disengaged are often swapped around to the extent it's hard to say when the meaning is a disconnect from engine to trans or a connection.

When the clutch is 'engaged', the trans is 'disengaged' from the engine.

Anyway...................... :roll:


My clutch had better not slip at all...WHEN FULLY DISENGAGED! ..according to my definition of that. If it does, I'm fixing it as soon as possible. The slip happens when I start to engage the clutch..or, apply pressure to the lever.

IF you have your clutch set to slip with little pressure on the lever, the chance is having a continued pressure on the clutch even when the lever is completely released. That's the point of having freeplay (as Kanuck said).

Some have modified their engagement angle by lengthening the actuator arm. The longer the arm, the easier the pull, the wider the arc required to fully engage (disengage the trans) the clutch. Obviously if it's too long, you don't have enough movement to get the job done.

But it will be easy to pull! :wink:

I think I've spread about enough BS on this thread for now...I'll go find another......... :blink:

A btw...I don't generally use the clutch at all for shifting. Why bother? If you do it right, you aren't hurting anything.

HEY SKI!!! How's YOUR clutch adjusted? ;)

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Postby KanuckKDX » 12:40 pm Dec 13 2005

I read CC's post twice.

He still breaks me up.

I 'engage' the clutch and the bike goes. Of course I am really engaging the transmission, but no one cares except CC. I just can't bring myself to agree with him - he may still be contagious.
I "slip" the clutch to keep the revs up.
I "clutch" and the bike coasts to a nice stop. Fix that misuse CC!
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Postby jafo » 07:18 am Dec 14 2005

Thanks fella's.....More More More!!!!! :razz:

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Postby KDX220PHIL » 07:29 am Dec 14 2005

A couple milimeters of play in the cable like the throttle. Just to be safe that the clutch isn't engaged at rest. Minimal Pull + safety.
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Postby NM_KDX200 » 10:12 am Dec 14 2005

I like to be able to pull the lever in and totally disengage the transmission and still keep fingers on the bars. In other words, I don't want to have to pull the lever all the way to the bars. When I working thru the rocks, I need to be able to do this and I also want to be able to hold the clutch lever in w/out stalling. My bike used to creep with the lever in, but I got an MRS Raptor and it pulls more cable- problem solved. It'll now idle in gear, and there's still plenty of freeplay with the lever out.

I use my clutch quite a bit when riding, not only to shift gears, but I also use 125 riding technique thru corners sometimes. I use it to fan the revs on hills, and I definitely use it in the rocks for quick bursts of power followed by cruise. On downhills, I keep a finger on the clutch to keep from stalling. I generally use my ring and middle fingers on the clutch and keep my index and thumb around the grip.
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Postby IdahoCharley » 11:39 am Dec 14 2005

From the "old days" of setting up Honda and Yamaha bikes at a dealership - the free spacing between the outer edge of the clutch lever and the mounting perch were to be set about the thickness of a nickel. I continue to set up the bike this way. (A couple of millimeters sounds correct to me - but then if your fingers are short and you want to be able to clutch it while keeping your hand on the bars I really don't see anything wrong with the 12 mm of free play either; as long as you can engage the clutch to the point where it is effective for the purpose. With 12mm of free play the lever flopping around would drive me nuts though.)

Concerning ease of engaging the clutch - CC hit most of them but one that was missed on the KDXs is that you can slightly modify the engagement shaft where it pivots against the clutch pusher. The engagement shaft has a flat milled out where it engages the clutch pusher. The machined flat/shaft cut - if (very slightly) radiused just to remove the sharp edge will noticably ease initial engagement of the clutch. I'm talking about 3 or 4 passes with a fine metal file then a light polishing of the area with crocist(sp) cloth or a dremel tool.

Morie - You might want to double check your set-up. The angle of the actuating lever plays a role in engagement and also affects cable length also. There are spacers (thin washers) that can be added or removed between the clutch pusher and the clutch bearing on the pressure plate. Too much of an angle at the acutator arm may be because there is more spacer than required: If it appears that you acutator arm is less than the manual's recommended 80-90 degrees then I would look into the spacer thickness.
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Postby m0rie » 12:09 pm Dec 14 2005

Thanks for the suggestions IC. I'll take another peek and see if I can get a some free play in the clutch lever.

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Postby jafo » 06:33 pm Dec 14 2005

Wow, some great advice guys! I like this kind of exchange. I'm learning new stuff now and the clutch actions have kind of been a mistry to me. I adjusted my clutch lever play to feel. But I'd like to try different clutch "feels" so to speak.

I seldom use my clutch in the woods. Mostly on hills and stuff. The tight woods has to much going on for me to mess with the clutch to much. I mainly run in first and second gears in the tigher areas, but mostly second and I do feather the clutch from time to time when downshifting to first. I'm peranoid about leaving my fingers behind the clutch lever by using one finger on the lever to pull with. A guy I ride with snapped his small finger in half one time doing that. It was all inocent looking, just another crash. He was on a steep rocky hill and was having trouble getting traction and the bike got away from him. In the panic, he pulled in the clutch lever and it smashed his fingers and broke the small pinky finger in half when the bike flew out from under him. Makes me kringe to think about it. :doh:

I'm gonna try some of this stuff you guys are talking about.

Good stuff guys! thanks!

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Postby Ryan » 09:14 pm Dec 14 2005

i just have a quick question. When im riding down a steep hill is it good to have my clutch disengaged aka out of gear or should i ride down the hill without touching the clutch?
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Postby Indawoods » 09:18 pm Dec 14 2005

I use my engine for braking.... better than locking the brakes up and sliding when you get moving too fast....
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Postby NM_KDX200 » 10:37 pm Dec 14 2005

>|<>QBB<
kdx220freak wrote:i just have a quick question. When im riding down a steep hill is it good to have my clutch disengaged aka out of gear or should i ride down the hill without touching the clutch?


Well, neither and both. I keep the clutch fingers loose and if I start to stall, then I reach out and feather the clutch. Some of my downhills are just pure loose dirt and sometimes there's a log or rock in the way. In that case, I pull the clutch in and pop it out for a quick wheelie over the obstacle. It's much better, IMHO, to pull the clutch in than stall and lock up the rear wheel. Colorado Mike has ridden the "backcountry" at Pueblo, I'm sure- you don't want to lock the rear wheel on the hills that go up under the cliffs.

I keep a finger on the clutch in rocks, too. If I get the front wheel up against a big rock or drop it in a hole, I'll get the clutch in to keep from stalling. It's possible sometimes to come to a dead stop, balance, and pop the clutch to lift the front wheel over the obstacle. Power going up, then pull clutch in to coast over the top- I don't want to lose momentum and letting off on the gas will cause the bike to nose off the rock plus it may be necessary to pop the front end up and out again when leaving the rock. I can think of a specific place in my "loop" where I have to do this every time. You've seen the "EnduroCross" thing? It looks like that.
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Postby canyncarvr » 12:38 pm Dec 15 2005

I missed it? Did not! :shock:
...the shape of your actuator shaft..


Just btw... AND I didn't do an edit to PUT it there! :wink:

**IMO alert!!**
If you don't use an aftermarket lever, chances are you will likely have a bit of drag even with the lever all the way to the bar. If you stall your bike on a downhill, that bit of drag is going to turn into a real PITA when it comes to shifting a dead bike that is being powered by the rear wheel (as opposed to being powered by the engine. Big difference between the two!!)

Solution? Well..besides a $600 auto clutch..a FWW will help a lot when it comes to resistance to stall in the first place.

Re: pinkys

The end of my clutch lever broke off years ago. I left it that way 'cuz I like it! The lever is short enough such that a crush to the bar isn't going to result in an amputation.

Yeah...now it's not a ball-end and all that. I filed the sharp edges off, though! :blink:

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Postby jafo » 04:42 pm Dec 15 2005

>|<>QBB<
kdx220freak wrote:i just have a quick question. When im riding down a steep hill is it good to have my clutch disengaged aka out of gear or should i ride down the hill without touching the clutch?


It depends on the hill. How steep, whats on the hill, rutted, tree.s rocks, gravels ect. Generaly, I myself use the engineas a brake also most of the time, but i also pull the clutch in to keep from stalling at times. When I approach a hill, I'll normaly be in second gear. I will get bck as far as I can on the seat then slide forwards alittle, depends on how steep it is. If second is to fast, i downshift with out using the clutch lever. I do sometimes ingauge the clutch all the way and fre wheel the bottom portion of the hill too.

Theres just so many different situations. I was following these two guys on my last ride this past fall. One was a double A rider and the other was just as good. We were running in third gear atop this plateu area and came onto this down hill. It was steep, but the eye opener and jaw dropper was the 2 1/2' rock ledge you had to go over before the hill. they both went over, and I was right in line, could'nt brake, it was to late had to ride it out. I just down shifted to second and goosed the throttle alittle and shot off the ledge onto the downhill and feathered the throttle, no clutch just throttle. It was something I've never done before but I got through it good. Scared the hell out of me but I'd like to do it again. It was kinda fun too, but one mistake and I guarentee there will be plenty of pain cause it was a long hill and had alot of large to medium size rocks all the way down.
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Postby KanuckKDX » 05:05 pm Dec 15 2005

>|<>QBB<
canyncarvr wrote:**IMO alert!!**
If you don't use an aftermarket lever, chances are you will likely have a bit of drag even with the lever all the way to the bar.


So I need a new perch and lever to avoid that drag? I definately have bad drag and even though we're taking the notches out of the basket, I wonder if I will still have drag.

What brand names are worth my money? Are they specific to my model and year? I know generic perch and levers have different leverage so I want to get a perfect match without the trial and error method.
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Postby jafo » 07:40 pm Dec 15 2005

>|<>QBB<
KanuckKDX wrote:>|<>QBB<
canyncarvr wrote:**IMO alert!!**
If you don't use an aftermarket lever, chances are you will likely have a bit of drag even with the lever all the way to the bar.


So I need a new perch and lever to avoid that drag? I definately have bad drag and even though we're taking the notches out of the basket, I wonder if I will still have drag.

What brand names are worth my money? Are they specific to my model and year? I know generic perch and levers have different leverage so I want to get a perfect match without the trial and error method.


They used to call these "Easy Pull Clutch Levers". http://www.rockymountainatv.com/product ... vType=type

This is what I run. I also bought a cable luber and put some Royal Purple synthetic oil in the cable housing and it realy made a difference. But this clutch lever assembly will make a big difference over the stock one also.
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