Clutch lever went clunk and all of a sudden now 1/2 way engaged. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Clutch lever went clunk and all of a sudden now 1/2 way engaged.

Weird problem on my way home from costco this morning. Had been riding for about 1.5 hours. All morning running fine in stop light to stop light traffic with lots of shifting.


Leaving costco. Clutch in at the light, leaving light 1st to 2nd, everything normal. Pull in to go to 3rd and there was kind of a clunk in the line its self, not from the engine or trans. I 100% felt it in the line. Gear shift felt a little stiff.

Lever feels like I am only pulling back about 3/4 of the way (it is back all the way), not returning all the way forward. Pull in to go to 4th and felt another little clunk and now it is acting like I am only pulling the clutch in about half way when pulled the full distance.


Pull over as soon as I could, and adjusted the cable to proper spec, everything is fine. BUT what the hell happened? I mean to go from perfect to dead cable in 2 feet? I had to turn the adjuster about 5 or 6 turns to get the clutch back where it should be. Lock nut was locked in tight. So it didn't slip.

Played with it on the side of the road for a little just to make sure that it wouldn't happen again. Nothing. Ran around another 1/2 hour shifting, nothing. Everything is normal.


On my way to cycle gear to buy a cable lube thing so I can do my cables. But anything else I should look at?

Last edited by Kyle E; 09-24-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 01:13 PM
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I think I'd put on a new clutch cable. My 2013 Versys clutch cable had to be replaced before it had 8000 miles on it. I can't really remember what the problem was BUT Kawasaki had changed the part number so that may have been an indication they had a problem. (I've since traded the '13 for a '17 650LT).
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:04 PM
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Check the cable, maybe (hope...) it is the problem...

Nobody thinks that something is so easy like who is totally unable to do it.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KnobbyGuy View Post
I think I'd put on a new clutch cable. My 2013 Versys clutch cable had to be replaced before it had 8000 miles on it. I can't really remember what the problem was BUT Kawasaki had changed the part number so that may have been an indication they had a problem. (I've since traded the '13 for a '17 650LT).
Just went and looked, yep, seems like they did change part numbers at some point according to the parts diagram.
54011-0107 to 54011-0582

Either way $25 seems a cheap price to pay to make sure the cable doesn't snap in half on me or something crazy.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 04:20 PM
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Just went and looked, yep, seems like they did change part numbers at some point according to the parts diagram.
54011-0107 to 54011-0582

Either way $25 seems a cheap price to pay to make sure the cable doesn't snap in half on me or something crazy.
And don't forget to keep the old one for a spare. Sort of in place if you can.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:37 PM
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Let me throw this out for thought. on the clutch lever there is a round dial with numbers on it. turning this dial changes how far the lever has to be pulled in before it actually starts pulling the cable in. This is controlled by a plastic cam. The plastic cam could have broken or slipped. Either of which would give you slack in the clutch cable. I can't imagine a cable stretching that much that fast. Usually when a cable goes bad, it breaks. This is just me giving you something else to check.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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This is just me giving you something else to check.
That is a really good idea of something to check. I will do so as soon as I get lunch. Would explain everything.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Skypilot 69 View Post
Let me throw this out for thought. on the clutch lever there is a round dial with numbers on it. turning this dial changes how far the lever has to be pulled in before it actually starts pulling the cable in. This is controlled by a plastic cam. The plastic cam could have broken or slipped. Either of which would give you slack in the clutch cable. I can't imagine a cable stretching that much that fast. Usually when a cable goes bad, it breaks. This is just me giving you something else to check.
If it slipped once, it will slip again.
First time I ever heard of this.
Can you indicate the part number on these diagrams?
https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/ka...e650fff/clutch
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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If it slipped once, it will slip again.
First time I ever heard of this.
Can you indicate the part number on these diagrams?
https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/ka...e650fff/clutch
He is talking about the built in adjuster on the lever itself. Not something internal to the engine or trans.
That dial on your clutch lever has a cog in it moving the lever closer or further from the grip. He was saying to check to make sure that mine didn't break. If it would have broke, it could have moved the lever back making it engage exactly like I was describing.


Unfortunately mine is fine. Would have been a nice way to figure out and explain the problem.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 07:32 AM
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New cable

I did purchase the new part number (54011-0582) from 2Wheelpros.com and never had another problem. That was back in Jun 2015. Again, I can't recall the exact problem but I believe it was lack "of feel" and some loss of adjustment. I have snapped cables before and had them fray near the swaged end, but there was no clear evidence when mine failed. Probably would need to cut it apart to find the real issue, but 25 bucks was the easy solution.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 08:26 AM
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Sounds like cable failure. My riding buddy had this happen on his KLR last week.

Multi strand cables usually don't totally fail all at once. They tend to fail progressively, several strands at a time.

As this happens the cable will suddenly "stretch" and overall length will increase in a manner you described as a "clunk."

When the big stretch/clunk happens, total failure is just around the corner.

In the case of my buddy total failure happened on the very next ride. Then on the way home you pray for green lights!!!
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 09:24 AM
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Weird problem on my way home from costco this morning.....
How do you store all your costco shopping in a motorcycle?
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
If it slipped once, it will slip again.
First time I ever heard of this.
Can you indicate the part number on these diagrams?
https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/ka...e650fff/clutch
part#43094/a
https://www.cheapcycleparts.com/oemp...8c23/handlebar
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 11:15 AM
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Sounds like cable failure. My riding buddy had this happen on his KLR last week.

Multi strand cables usually don't totally fail all at once. They tend to fail progressively, several strands at a time.

As this happens the cable will suddenly "stretch" and overall length will increase in a manner you described as a "clunk."

When the big stretch/clunk happens, total failure is just around the corner.

In the case of my buddy total failure happened on the very next ride. Then on the way home you pray for green lights!!!
I was going to post THIS as a "possible"....
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 01:42 PM
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I was going to post THIS as a "possible"....
Well I guess I had it in Turbo mode this morning cuz it's pretty hard to beat the Fast Eddie...Lol.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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How do you store all your costco shopping in a motorcycle?
It will Costco! Older pic, but yeah, its a handy grocery getter.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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BTW now getting some more "crunchiness" in the cable this morning and feel like its not staying adjusted well.
It moved a bit more. Left the house, clutch was perfect for me. Had to make 5 stops and took around 2 hours. By the time i got home had to adjust it in some as it now was going the opposite way that it went yesterday. Small amount, not interfering with operation or anything, but enough where it had to be done.

New cable can't get here quick enough.... Thankfully I did order it right after making this post yesterday, and didn't procrastinate like I normally do. So should be here next week.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 03:06 PM
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It will Costco! Older pic, but yeah, its a handy grocery getter.

Man Kyle with all that A&W strapped on the back, you are ready for a long journey!

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Man Kyle with all that A&W strapped on the back, you are ready for a long journey!
I will sacrifice many many things for motorcycle travel, but TP and Coke Zero are not luxuries, they are necessities!!!
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 10:52 AM
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That is quite the load of arse wipe. You must be planning on scaring the crap out of yourself on some twisty mountain roads.
Good Boy Scout move (be prepared).
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