Clutch won't disengage transmission - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch won't disengage transmission

2009 Versys 650 - clutch will not disengage the transmission. I've adjusted the clutch cable all the way (and ordered a new one). It shifts into neutral and into gear, but when I pull the clutch the transmission will not disengage. Called Kawasaki dealer, and they said it is unlikely that it is the clutch plate, but...I can't think of anything else. Help Mr. Wizard!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 11:33 PM
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Sounds like the friction clutch plates are sticking, they are too tacky. You need to replace them and watch what kind of oil you are using.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:33 AM
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More details please! Is the bike on the ground, on a stand or lift? What is the mileage and service history of the bike? Did you follow the service manual when adjusting the clutch cable?

2011 V650 in Black, well accessorized.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:49 AM
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I've noticed, that when in gear at a stoplight, the bike wants to pull forward even though I'm holding the clutch all the way in. How can I adjust that?

2009 Versys 650
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 09:02 AM
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few things. what setting is your clutch lever on (theres a dial on it that moved it closer/ further from the bar without adjusting the tension on the cable at all) how much free play does your clutch lever have (should be about 1/8" free play at the tip of the lever before it starts to move the cable at all) when was your oil last changed? (i know on my yamaha 225xt thats its way of saying it need an oil change , was it would drag a bit when in gear and not like to start in gear, after fresh oil shifted smother and no drag)

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 10:12 AM
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The clutch adjustment is pretty precise if there is just a little too much slack i.e. <1mm the bike will clunk when putting it in gear an indication the clutch is not fully disengaged. A good idea to lube the cable once or twice a season you need a cable lube tool to get the cable properly lubricated. Note there are 2 cable adjustments that can be done one at the lever and one down near the engine. I find it best to tighten the lever adjustment almost all the way in then take up the slack on the lower adjustment. You said you adjusted the cable to the max did you max out both adjustments? I would be sure to rule out any chance of cable adjustment before tearing things apart.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 10:17 AM
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The clutch lever is set to 4, but there is a whopping 1.5 inches of free play in the handle! I'll adjust the clutch cable per the owners manual. Thx!~

2009 Versys 650
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to change the oil and see if that helps. Bike has 60,000 miles. I just bought it and put less than 400 miles on it. It is on the center stand.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jhaap View Post
2009 Versys 650 - clutch will not disengage the transmission. I've adjusted the clutch cable all the way (and ordered a new one). It shifts into neutral and into gear, but when I pull the clutch the transmission will not disengage. Called Kawasaki dealer, and they said it is unlikely that it is the clutch plate, but...I can't think of anything else. Help Mr. Wizard!
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Originally Posted by LifeLongRider View Post
I've noticed, that when in gear at a stoplight, the bike wants to pull forward even though I'm holding the clutch all the way in. How can I adjust that?
MY experience w/ Kawasakis (KLRs as well as the Versys) is that FROM THE FACTORY the clutch is set so that the 'engage/disengage' point is FAR from the handle bars.

Taken to an extreme, IF you had it any FURTHER from the bars you would NOT be able to engage your clutch - it would CONSTANTLY be slipping.

The FIRST thing I did to my three V650s (and the KLR650) was to change the cable-adjuster's position so that it's only about 1/4" - see the pic (just measured my '08 at .200").

And I've done this to other's Kawis for riding buddies several times. That also makes it MUCH easier to 'slip" the clutch in tough-going as your fingers remain closer to your 'hold' on the grips!



ANOTHER advantage to doing this - your clutch-cable should last WAY-Y-Y longer as it's not being stretched each time you pull the lever.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 04:11 PM
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Adjust major slack near the clutch itself, fine tune the play at the clutch lever. Same process as adjusting throttle play.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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New motorcycle grade synthetic SAE 10W-30 fixed the transmission not disengaging with clutch pull problem. Now, I know so much more about "wet clutches." One of those Robert Pirsig moments!

Last edited by jhaap; 03-10-2018 at 05:03 PM. Reason: typo
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 06:47 PM
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[QUOTE=jhaap;1517777 One of those Robert Pirsig moments![/QUOTE]

Or perhaps this guy?

O'l Forest got his clutch all freed up too...Lol.



Cookin Wid Gas

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 06:51 PM
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Great but I would suggest that you also adjust the clutch correctly according to the service manual. I do not have a V650 but adjusting the clutch correctly requires more than just adjusting the cable, unless it is hydraulically operated.
There is usually a locknut and screw arrangement for adjusting the slack within the clutch assembly itself. As the clutch plates wear over time the internal free play reduces and can create a dragging clutch - no matter how much you adjust the cable.

2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300; 2010 Suzuki V-Strom 650; 1988 Suzuki GSXR1100J
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:00 PM
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At 60k, there may be some wear on the pushrod and release lever inside the clutch cover. Proper cable adjustments first of course, but may be worth a look.

Brad, Suwanee Ga.
'09 V650, several others too!
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhaap View Post
New motorcycle grade synthetic SAE 10W-30 fixed the transmission not disengaging with clutch pull problem. Now, I know so much more about "wet clutches." One of those Robert Pirsig moments!
Best book I ever read to this day it changed the way I think and look at the world--quality is everything-
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Took it out for a spin after adjusting cable at top and bottom. First, the clutch wasn't fully releasing, but still the engine would not start in first with the clutch depressed. So, I let out more cable, and the plates fully engaged. But, it still won't start in gear with the clutch in. Sounds like I might be in pushrod and release lever wear land?
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 10:25 AM
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Sidestand down?

Brad, Suwanee Ga.
'09 V650, several others too!
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Always a worthy question. No, side stand up. Has to be in neutral to start with side stand up. Not ideal.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 10:53 AM
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Check the clutch switch on the perch. May have been bumped while you were adjusting it. Also that the nuetral light functions properly. All tied together. If it was in gear without the added circuits it will lurch forward on the start motor, at least.

Brad, Suwanee Ga.
'09 V650, several others too!
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 12:17 PM
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To be more clear with that, if it starts in neutral but does "nothing" in gear when the button is pushed, it's got to be in the "safety circuits." My bet is you accidentally pulled the clutch switch wires. The tab is broken on mine so I just put a finger on it regularly to make sure it's seated.

Brad, Suwanee Ga.
'09 V650, several others too!
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