Clutch Cable - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch Cable

On yesterday's ride I felt a slight tick in the clutch when I released it. After further inspection I noticed the cable was frayed right at the lead ball at the lever end. Only two strands left. Following lots of posts here on the subject I knew it was just a matter of time. 18k miles of time, I know some have been much sooner.

This frayed and broke right at the lead ball, so I'm not thinking this is a lubrication issue, probably more of a manufacture issue. Cause I know some here have had similar problems with way less miles. When I pulled the cable out of the housing it was very clean. (unlike many cables I've pulled from Mountain bikes)

The new cable wont be in until Friday, so it seemed like a good time to experiment with my emergancy clutch cable repair kit I keep under the seat. This consist of a new brake cable for a bicycle, and one of these

http://www.albes.com/odysseycableknarps.aspx

I had to modify the lead ball end to fit at the motor end of the cable by filing some of it flat. Easily done with my Leatherman Tool file. Slid the cable through the housing and attached the Knarp and cut off the excess. Seems to be a successful field repair done at home with only the tools under my seat. Back on the road again tomorrow to test real world and see how long it will hold up. Hopefully until the weekend.

I guess you could just travel with a spare cable, but the bicycle cable and knarp take up alot less room under the seat. And if I had had the end filed flat before hand it would be a very quick and easy repair.

Mike
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:14 PM
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I didn't know there was such a thing. Very nice to know and I will definitely pick up a couple of these. Thanks for the heads up.

Jeff in Illinois
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 09:34 PM
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Do you grease the ball end?

Mine went out at 6k miles(5 months old) and I'm a little disappointed that my dealer didn't give me a new one at no cost. They supposedly greased while it was in for service.

I've had other bikes before and never had a clutch cable do that. Let alone within a 5 month period.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 10:42 AM
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That's a lubrication problem. If the ball can't swivel, it flexes the cable, which breaks the wires. Wheel bearing grease is your friend here.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
That's a lubrication problem. If the ball can't swivel, it flexes the cable, which breaks the wires. Wheel bearing grease is your friend here.
+1

you beat me to it.. hehe. seen this happen a lot on bikes where riders don't lube the ferrule on the end.. just think about how you would break a piece of wire, you hold the ends, and bend it in the same spot back and forth, over and over, and eventually you break it.. same thing here

good tip on those barrel nuts, but there are some round ones out there that I've seen, be less work then filing those flat sides

Last edited by robdogg; 08-24-2011 at 11:06 AM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 11:42 AM
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Not trying to be a wise ass, but a new factory replacement clutch cable [which is better than Motion Pro] cost $25 and would'nt take up much more room under your seat.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 11:51 AM
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good point Mountain Man.. and I recently replaced mine.. around $22 with shipping.. and it wasn't too hard of a job.. at first I thought I was going to have to remove the fuel tank, but only had to remove the windshield and tank shrouds, and one could probably even replace it without removing those pieces, but it makes it easier to thread the cable up through the space on the right side between frame and the motor and behind the headlight with the plastic removed.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 06:31 PM
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+1

you beat me to it.. hehe. seen this happen a lot on bikes where riders don't lube the ferrule on the end.. just think about how you would break a piece of wire, you hold the ends, and bend it in the same spot back and forth, over and over, and eventually you break it.. same thing here

good tip on those barrel nuts, but there are some round ones out there that I've seen, be less work then filing those flat sides
I lubed the cable and end on my '09 as it was dry as a bone. I had already addressed the poor factory routing issues. The barrel end at the lever has some sort of sleeve on it probably designed to avoid such a condition described above but I'm wondering if that sleeve is the culprit. As it wears it could well start cutting the cable.
Windwalker, did you notice what shape your sleeve was in?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Windwalker, did you notice what shape your sleeve was in?
No I did not take notice.

Mine was lubed, I use White Lightning, a bicycle lube. The ball end with the same. I ckeck it every time I change the oil. It has seen a fair bit of rainy rides since my last change though. The cable came out of the housing very clean. I still think there is something going on here other than a lubrication issue. This problem is far too common on the Versys. I've had bikes all my life and never broke a clutch cable before. Including all my dirt bikes.

Mountain Man - Storage space under my seat is at a premium, and no mater how you roll it the Bicycle cable and knarp will take up alot less space. But you and others may have plenty of space in there for a stock cable.

The main reason for the post was to let others know of this quick and easy field repair. I'm guessing most here don't ride around with a spare cable. And good luck finding a dealer that stocks one. However there are bicycle shops everywhere and I'm sure any decent one could hook you up. This fix will get you back on the road.

It would also probably work on your buddy's bike too if his cable broke, pretty unlikely the stock Versys cable would help anyone else out except hmmmm, another Versys. But I'll go out on a limb and guess that most others don't have the same clutch cable problem, lube or no lube.

Mike
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 07:15 PM
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I lubed the cable and end on my '09 as it was dry as a bone. I had already addressed the poor factory routing issues. The barrel end at the lever has some sort of sleeve on it probably designed to avoid such a condition described above but I'm wondering if that sleeve is the culprit. As it wears it could well start cutting the cable.
Windwalker, did you notice what shape your sleeve was in?
The sleeve is there to give the inner barrel a smooth hard surface to turn on. It's supposed to remain stationary. It's annoying that the factory doesn't lube it on installation. A shot of chain lube should penetrate between the sleeve and barrel.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 07:14 AM
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Windwalker, there IS something else going on here. The clutch cable has a funky routing from the factory. Others on the board have had slippage because of it. There is a post and one of the members has taken good photos of the fix. It takes about five minutes. It involves following the cable and making it comfortable by reshaping supports and removing some. Neither the tank nor cable have to be removed.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for the info, I picked up my bike saturday. I rode it 400 miles and changed the oil on monday. I lubed the clutch cable pivot and will every oil change.

David
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 01:22 PM
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...But I'll go out on a limb and guess that most others don't have the same clutch cable problem, lube or no lube.

Mike
I know that the EX-250 (Ninja 250) has the same issue, though it may have finally been resolved after the 2009 (2010?) update -- though I can't say for sure.

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