Thinking to switch to Hydraulic clutch - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking to switch to Hydraulic clutch

I spend a lot of time in city and traffic riding, got tired of lubricating the clutch cable.. plus my biggest fear is if the cable breaks when i'm far from home. I was thinking to get a kit and install it myself. I found many different ones ranging from $39 to $250..

I wonder if anyone did it here and which kit they used?

Thanks

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 04:50 PM
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Magura is the only one that someone i know uses and he loves his...They have one for the Versys...http://www.magura.com/media/6077/hymec_street.pdf

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Magura is the only one that someone i know uses and he loves his...They have one for the Versys...http://www.magura.com/media/6077/hymec_street.pdf
I can't afford paying $200+ for this upgrade. I was curious if anyone installed a cheaper one on a versys.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Magura-012068...Line/202941382
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaulter View Post
I can't afford paying $200+ for this upgrade. I was curious if anyone installed a cheaper one on a versys.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Magura-012068...Line/202941382
I found this one (and others) on AliExpress. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1200...ceBeautifyAB=0

I have had good service and no problems purchasing there - and the quality is usually great.

2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300; 2010 Suzuki V-Strom 650; 1988 Suzuki GSXR1100J
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 10:25 AM
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I carry a spare cable, would love to try hydraulic clutch but pricey. I've had no problems with Aliexpress, and of course any system can fail when least convenient. I might buy 2 for that price and carry spare.

I discover recently if you turn the cable adjuster until the slot is facing up, you can carefully squirt a bit of lube in it and work the cable a few times, I then leave it sit for an hour, then rotate the adjuster slot back down. No problems so far. I have the motion pro cable adjuster doohickey, but I don't see it doing a better job and due to the extra effort of removing the cable end, I didn't use it often. I carry the tiny can of WD or other lube in the big tool kit for those remote rides. I lube the cable this manner every time I lube the chain.

For maximum peace of mind, I also carry an inreach - satellite based text message, not just 'send help'. I bought a used one, did get stranded once and called for a pickup to get the bike home.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 11:05 AM
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Hydraulic clutch???

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaulter View Post
I spend a lot of time in city and traffic riding, got tired of lubricating the clutch cable.. plus my biggest fear is if the cable breaks when i'm far from home....
The ORIGINAL cable in my '08 V 650 lasted 53,750 miles WITHOUT ever being lubed, after I'd adjusted the "engage-disengage" point to closer to the handlebars, soon after I bought it new! (Shows about 1/4" of threads at the adjuster.)



I replaced the cable, and bought a second that I carry under my seat, just in-case. NOW I lube it every-now-and-then (NOT OFTEN!), w/ WD40, and I'll bet it will last till this bike is no more...!

I don't see the need to go hydraulic, myself, but it's YOUR $....

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 01:24 PM
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I had a Magura clutch kit on my `08 V and was completely satisfied with it.
Never any issues with it, excellent modulation, and no cable adjusting or lubing.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
The ORIGINAL cable in my '08 V 650 lasted 53,750 miles WITHOUT ever being lubed, after I'd adjusted the "engage-disengage" point to closer to the handlebars, soon after I bought it new! (Shows about 1/4" of threads at the adjuster.)



I replaced the cable, and bought a second that I carry under my seat, just in-case. NOW I lube it every-now-and-then (NOT OFTEN!), w/ WD40, and I'll bet it will last till this bike is no more...!

I don't see the need to go hydraulic, myself, but it's YOUR $....

Hey Eddie

If I understand your ajustement, you has some slack in the cable (not a problem ???) ?
And it would only travel so much that the first few degree of movement of the lever would not have any tension/action on the clutch actuator down below (other end of the cable) ?
Right ?

If I get you right, it's very interesting !

LOP
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lours_Polaire View Post
Hey Eddie

If I understand your ajustement, you has some slack in the cable (not a problem ???) ?
And it would only travel so much that the first few degree of movement of the lever would not have any tension/action on the clutch actuator down below (other end of the cable) ?
Right ?

If I get you right, it's very interesting !

LOP
My Versys(s) all came w/ the clutch cable "adjusted" so that the 'engage/disengage' point was VERY close to as FAR from the handle-bars as the lever sits when you're not touching it. (And I found that pretty much every Kawasaki belonging to friends had the same set-up, about 3/4" of threads showing.)

That means TWO things:
1. once you pull the clutch lever towards the 'bars, the clutch QUICKLY disengages, which means that when you pull the lever all the way to the 'bars you're trying to 'reef' the round end of the cable OFF (as witnessed by the GREAT number of 'inmates' who did EXACTLY THAT, breaking their cables!); and
2. as the clutch wears, or your cable stretches, it will soon begin slipping, meaning you can NOT engage it w/ the lever set like that.

The solution?

Adjust the cable-adjuster (by the lever) to AROUND 1/4" of threads showing. NOW that 'engage/disengage' point is CLOSER to the 'bars, so now you can 'slip' the clutch when you need to w/ a SMALL movement of the lever, and as it's nearer to the 'bars, w/out losing your grip on them, particularly nice when you're in a 'touchy' or 'tough' situation. (I adjusted ALL of my friends' Kawis clutch-cables to that at their request, and they ALL wonder WHY Kawi sent them out so miss adjusted...?) Here's what mine looks like w/ .20":

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 05:14 AM
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One thing to remember is that a hydraulic conversion as I posted above is not a true hydraulic clutch. You will still need to adjust the grubber screw and locknut actuator every year or so.
Loosen the locknut, turn the screw in until all the slack is gone, and then back off 1/4 turn.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PHX_Joe View Post
I carry a spare cable,
Same here. Have it taped to the inside of my saddlebag lid/cover. I'm also going to do the same with an el cheapo clutch lever. It takes up almost no room and it will be worth its weight in gold if either of them breaks while on the road.

Quote:
would love to try hydraulic clutch but pricey
The Versys is my first bike in many, MANY years not to have a hydraulic clutch and it is tempting to install one of these add-on devices but I'm just going to keep the stock setup and lube regularly.

Speaking of lubrication, I purchased THIS cheap, handy little device that makes cable lubes a snap.

2016 Versys 650 LT, Orange


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 06:00 PM
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This winter I lubricated all the cables with Crown/Rust Check AntiRust oil (it gels after application which makes it a good option for this) and adjusted throttle and clutch cable tension. I've been reminded how much of an improvement this makes on recent rides. It reduces effort and improves smoothness. Removing excessive chain slack also helps in throttle smoothness as well.

A clutch cable will never normally fail IF it is kept lubricated and does not bind on anything. It is only when it binds on something that it wears and eventually fails. If the cable is fraying anywhere replace and resolve any binding issues causing it.

If cost was not a factor I would imagine all bikes would come with hydraulic clutches since they are self adjusting, slightly lower effort as well as maintenance free. That said you can get some decent performance out of a cable clutch cable if you maintain it. Any alignment or fitment issues with a generic hydraulic clutch mechanism will likely take away any advantage it may have thus I am suspicious of any cheap generic kit. The Versys specific kits are $300+ which makes them a poor value IMO.

If you install the cheap generic kit from Amazon or AliExpress PLEASE do a write up on this site, it would be helpful to the rest of us to know what your experience was like.

Last edited by twowheels; 03-29-2018 at 06:23 PM.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 05:23 AM
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You have to change the Hydraulic fluid periodically so they are not maintenance free.

I know of guys who explore off the beaten path zip tie a spare cable to the clutch cable so if something breaks away from civilization they can quickly get going again.

My Versys Travels:


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfcamp View Post
...Speaking of lubrication, I purchased THIS cheap, handy little device that makes cable lubes a snap.
I tried one of those a few years back. MY experience was that it was MESSY, MORE of a PITA than just removing the cable from the lever and 'dripping' WD40 into it, every-now-and-then (which is what I do now)....

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered a hydraulic clutch from AliExporess for $35, it should be here in a week or two. Will keep you posted.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
My Versys(s) all came w/ the clutch cable "adjusted" so that the 'engage/disengage' point was VERY close to as FAR from the handle-bars as the lever sits when you're not touching it. (And I found that pretty much every Kawasaki belonging to friends had the same set-up, about 3/4" of threads showing.)

That means TWO things:
1. once you pull the clutch lever towards the 'bars, the clutch QUICKLY disengages, which means that when you pull the lever all the way to the 'bars you're trying to 'reef' the round end of the cable OFF (as witnessed by the GREAT number of 'inmates' who did EXACTLY THAT, breaking their cables!); and
2. as the clutch wears, or your cable stretches, it will soon begin slipping, meaning you can NOT engage it w/ the lever set like that.

The solution?

Adjust the cable-adjuster (by the lever) to AROUND 1/4" of threads showing. NOW that 'engage/disengage' point is CLOSER to the 'bars, so now you can 'slip' the clutch when you need to w/ a SMALL movement of the lever, and as it's nearer to the 'bars, w/out losing your grip on them, particularly nice when you're in a 'touchy' or 'tough' situation. (I adjusted ALL of my friends' Kawis clutch-cables to that at their request, and they ALL wonder WHY Kawi sent them out so miss adjusted...?) Here's what mine looks like w/ .20":

You're right Eddie, even with the clutch lever set to position 5, there's still quite a bit of room between the friction point and the handlebar. I can only assume Kawasaki wants you to use your fingers as the stop for the clutch, rather than the grip (2-finger clutch pull), which is kinda hard because the clutch lever naturally curves away from the handlebar so in order to do the 2-finger pull you have to slide your hand closer to the end of the grip, making the distance even bigger. You pretty much have to adjust the cable to be able to achieve really fine control over the bike.
If you have shorty levers, that makes it a little bit better but you still have to adjust the cable since obviously you won't be using your other 2 fingers as the stop.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2018, 12:30 PM
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Best lube for cables hands down is oil. I’ve been in the aircraft industry for over 20 years and all the cables are kept oil lubed. Once a year remove cable clean with oil socked rags check for broken worn strands of wire. Put in large ziplock bag add 1/4 quart of cheap engine oil. Soak it sealed 24 to 48 hrs. Walla! A perfectly cleans lubed cable ready for install wipe excess oil of and install.

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