(poor) Clutch performance.... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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(poor) Clutch performance....

Anybody else notice a slipping clutch when romping on the bike? During normal riding the clutch is 100% A-OK. I've adjusted the lever, free play etc. The issue I'm having is when trying hooligan manuvures (wheelies) my clutch continues to slip for a second or so causing poor performance compared to every other bike I've ridden. You can really hear this while the motor slowly revs down when releasing the clutch quickly.

Example; I pull in the clutch, grab about 2/3+ throttle and dump the clutch. Bike should wheelie right? On my bike the clutch continues to slip (you can really hear it. Not so on other bikes I own/ride. It's obnoxious. I've read others on the forums claim the V is easy to wheelie. Not mine. Once in a while the clutch will hook up and work normally, but mostly it slips when I'm romping on it. Last week I shifed HARD into second (full throttle, dumped the clutch) and she stood straight up (nice), but most of the time the darn clutch slips and the bike doesn't do what I want it to. I used Mobil1 after my first oil change. I thought this was the cause of the problem, but I've since changed to a motorcycle specific oil. I've also used Mobil 1 in my dirt bikes and used it in my old FZ1, both bikes worked great and their clutches grab instantly.

I'de LOVE to get the clutch sorted out so that when I release the lever it GRABS. Know what I mean? Stronger springs? Is there some kind of adjustment I'm missing somewhere? I'm considering gearing the bike down for more wheelie power, but it's already kind of buzzy at highway speeds. I ride backroads most of the time anyway.

Gearing wise I wish the bike had a lower 1st and a taller 5/6th gear. What are ya gonna do?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 09:44 PM
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mine wheelies fine. I do not "dump the clutch". I just give it some gas. On the exit of a tight curve it will lift the front end with just the throtle. Applying power in second gear repeats the front end lift.

You have probably hosed yours up by "dumping the clutch".

If you "dump the clutch" on an FZ1 you will loop it for sure.


I weigh 285 lbs. if you are lighter than that and can't get it up, I would think something is wrong.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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No way I "hosed" the clutch. I don't have that kind of power with my V. Yes, I can get it to lift but it's got to be the perfect speed and RPM. I'm looking to use the clutch to control the front wheel loft. This is how you get controlled wheelies that don't rely purely on acceleration, slipping the clutch. My Versys clutch doesn't "grab" like every other bike I've ever ridden.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 12:13 AM
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My clutch slips from 6000 rpm to 9000 rpm every now and again. and I'm not big on wheelies going to phone the stealer today. Recently switched to semi synthetic oil wonder if this could be it? any advice would be appreciated cheers H
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 02:42 AM
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semi synthetic should be ok
it could be an oil issue though if say an oil not designed for a bike is used
also fully synthetic may cause problems
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 05:59 AM
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I think it could be an oil problem too, some oil are not designed for wet cluth. Lukejt, are you using a JASO MA certified oil or oil that has some addtives specially for wet cluth?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 08:01 AM
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My question doesn't have to do with the clutch so much as it pertains more to oil. I am running traditional oil in my V right now with about 1200 miles on it. I had been thinking about changing to full synthetic, but after reading all of these posts, I am questioning my judgement. Is full synthetic like Amsoil 10W 30 ok or not? I thought it would be just fine?
Thanks guys...
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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The Mobil 1 was not JASO oil. I read up on this years ago when I had my FZ1. From what I could gather, some bikes run fine with non JASO synthetic oils. I've used Mobil 1 in all my other bikes and they run great (no clutch issues), so I tried it on the V.

I've since swapped over to full motorcycle spec oil.

Anybody here who has slipped the clutch for power knows what I'm talking about. On my V in 2nd or 3rd gear (at speed) I can slip the clutch, give full throttle and release the clutch and the motor slowly revs down because the clutch isn't grabbing instantly like it's supposed to. I wouldn't normally do this, but that is the extent that my Versys clutch isn't operating correctly (INMHO).

It could have been the oil. Maybe I should remove the clutch plates and scruff them up a bit to remove any coating left by the Mobil 1. I'm not convinced this is the problem because I'm using the same oil in my other bike and it's fine.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 08:34 AM
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Hi luke. I am an avid wheelie rider myself. I feather my clutch when riding a wheelie on the V. its the safest ,if there is a safe way,lol to have a controlled low speed wheelie, (My dirt bikes are the same feel.) I would suggest getting your bike on a 20 mile ride then dump the oil with the engine HOT!!. let it drain for 1/2 hour. getting it all out. Put fresh stock recommended oil. NO clutch should slip!! I feel your pain o the loss of the elusive V wheelie. good luck

if it were easy....everyone would do it!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jimmyjam View Post
Hi luke. I am an avid wheelie rider myself. I feather my clutch when riding a wheelie on the V. its the safest ,if there is a safe way,lol to have a controlled low speed wheelie, (My dirt bikes are the same feel.) I would suggest getting your bike on a 20 mile ride then dump the oil with the engine HOT!!. let it drain for 1/2 hour. getting it all out. Put fresh stock recommended oil. NO clutch should slip!! I feel your pain o the loss of the elusive V wheelie. good luck

Cool! Good to know. I'll get some more JASO spec oil and give it a try.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 05:46 PM
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If you're going to continue abusing the clutch, I'd suggest pulling it apart and beefing it up with heavy duty plates and springs. Don't forget that all of that lining material you burn off is going straight into the oil system and through the engine bearings, so you'll have to change oil every couple hundred miles. You'll also develop a muscular left hand from the new stiff springs. Only downside is that folks might think you're a left handed wanker..........

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think quickly releasing the clutch lever constitutes abuse.

This may be a case of OE (operator error). I might be used to bikes with a much higher power to weight ratio. I've had the bike out a bunch lately, she pulls right up in 1st or 2nd using the clutch. Problem is in 3rd gears on up, she seems to want to be 8k+ rpm and up to lift the front wheel using the clutch. I'm more comfortable keeping the revs low for clutch wheelies. My poor clutch performance is in 3rd gear while trying to loft the front wheel with the bike cruising at low RPMs. Crusising in 3rd at 4k I'll slip the clutch, grab some throttle and release the clutch. Nope she won't pull up and the motor slowly reduces RPMs as the clutch continues to slip once released. I'm still thinking a better clutch would just grab and the motor RPMs would drop instantly, or the front end would come up.

If I get the RPMs up to 8-9K it feels like the front will come right up in 3rd using the clutch, but at this point I'm going way to fast and I'd rather keep the revs low for slow speed wheelies. What it boils down to is I'm used to dirt bikes, I want my V to pop up like a powerful dirt bike. Time to gear down.

As far as abuse..... My dirt bike is 3.5 years old, coming on 3k miles of the roughest conditions imaginable, lots of slipping the clutch to get unstuck from everything nature can toss in the way, hills, trees, mud, you name it. The biek still runs great, valve shims are original and still in spec. The clutch works perfectly (and grabs instantly ALL THE TIME), way better than the V's clutch if I may say so. I've been posting about the V's clutch since I got it home, it just doesn't feel right when I'm hard on the throttle. If Kawasaki's are so fragile that romping on the throttle and slipping the clutch here and there for some fun will ruin the motor (which I strongly doubt to be the case), maybe my next bike will be another Yamaha.

Just messing around, I really like the V. Just wish the clutch grabbed and held better, would make for better 1/4 mile times as well. There are professional reviews that claim the V's clutch is sub par, and I'm afraid when it comes to aggressive riding, I agree.

Luke
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 09:50 AM
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I think you're trying to do something the bike wasn't designed for. What you really need is some kind of a supermoto that's fairly light and powerful.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 10:00 AM
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I have read not to use mobile 1 so I have used AMS oil works just fine, as you could tell from my other posts I beat the bike up no problems that I have seen. But than again I am not a fan of dumping the clutch.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 11:34 AM
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i think i know what your feeling, my 04 z1000 felt the same way. you let the clutch out, it starts to grab, then it slips just a little than grabs. i don't thing there is anything wrong with it. do these clutches have some king of clutch damper? i haven't noticed it on my V yet. but i haven't tried any clutch wheelies. i have been using Mobil 1 (made for bikes) for both bikes. is it a kawasaki thing?
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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I think you're trying to do something the bike wasn't designed for. What you really need is some kind of a supermoto that's fairly light and powerful.

Haha, I thought that's what the V is? I wish the bike had about 15 more HP. Already have a street legal dirt bike. I wanted something more street oriented, so I picked up the V.

Maybe the oil change will help. It might be a little better, before I felt like it even stunk in 2nd gear. I've seen enough wheelies with V's on Youtube that I really think something is not right with mine. This is my 5th bike and the only bike so far where the clutch continues to slip once released when hard on the gas.

If it turns out to be the Mobil 1 I'll fess up to my mistake.

Luke
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by invisabiker View Post
i think i know what your feeling, my 04 z1000 felt the same way. you let the clutch out, it starts to grab, then it slips just a little than grabs. i don't thing there is anything wrong with it. do these clutches have some king of clutch damper? i haven't noticed it on my V yet. but i haven't tried any clutch wheelies. i have been using Mobil 1 (made for bikes) for both bikes. is it a kawasaki thing?
Could be, Mobil1 works great in my Yamaha and Husky.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I'm the cause of the crappy clutch. The bike seems to be getting better with every ride since flushing the Mobil1. I just went to the bank and was able to easily get the front end up at 44mph in third at 4k rpm where it used to just slip. It's been 160 miles since the oil change. WOT shifts seem to engage quicker too.


Don't use Mobil 1 auto oil in your Versys. Duh!
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 11:11 AM
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I've been haveing clutch slippage also. I was useing mobil 1 motorcycle oil but have recently switch to lucas oil. the problem seems to be happening more. only happens when i get on it hard. I think will try the manufacture recommended oil, maybe that will fix the problem sometimes your just have to do what the manuel says and use thier products.
cheers
jet
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 02:02 PM
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I run semi synthetic motorcycle specific oil and do a oil change every 4000KM max. I have a thermobob installed so I know the oil is always going to be around 212F, so no moisture and viscosity will be about the same a synthetic. I don't ride in the winter, and if I did , I think the thermobob would take care of the problem.

Check this thread about clutch http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...=sticky+clutch

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