Clutch Wear and Replacement - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Clutch Wear and Replacement

I didnt find this covered previously with a search of technical threads so here goes.

I have noticed that my clutch cable needs replacing. The stranded cable is down to a couple strands at the lever. I also noted some slipping at 6-7krpm before I adjusted the cable. When I adjusted the cable I noted the frayed strands. This bike has 20k on it. I have never lubed the cable, nor rerouted it as suggested in this forum. A replacement cable is on the way while I ride the ninja.


My questions are whats the expectation for typical clutch wearing to replacement? 20k, 40k miles? With the cable adjusted where it is now I noticed that the clutch is not fully closing when I release the lever. I am noting this at the other end of the cable where the lever is not returning fully (actually both ends are not returning fully with the bike off). Is this an indication that I need the clutch rebuilt? Or could it be due to the neglected cable hanging?

Just curious as to what thoughts are out there. I am likely tackling the valve shims soon and might as well inspect the clutch while the bike is out of service.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 12:31 PM
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Let us know what you find! I have not heard of anyone having to replace a clutch on a V. Have you checked the UK forum, as they have had the V for a year longer.

I am sure some of our more experienced members have some thoughts on this, but I have had mine for two years and 22,000 miles. Still have the original clutch. I replaced my clutch cable because it had crimped and was causing problems.

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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 12:47 PM
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Like Steve said the cable may be the cause. I'm just under 28,000 miles and my only clutch woe was actually the cable binding. Lube it well and see if it is binding around the neck or crimped by one of the brackets and that might solve the problem.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 10:48 PM
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And If you do end up having to change out clutch plates and springs, don't fret...it's pretty easy.

"When It Rains, Get Wet"
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 01:21 PM
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I had the same problem, it went bad at the lever and about the same mileage.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 08:02 PM
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Clutch cables fray and break at the lever because of inadequate lubrication of the barrel end of the cable where it fits into the lever. When it gets dry, it doesn't swivel in the lever as the clutch is pulled in. This flexes the cable at the barrel and causes it to fray and break. The barrel should be greased with a heavy grease that won't wash away. I use chain lube because it sits in the garage, and it works well.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgajohnymac View Post
I didnt find this covered previously with a search of technical threads so here goes.

I have noticed that my clutch cable needs replacing. The stranded cable is down to a couple strands at the lever. I also noted some slipping at 6-7krpm before I adjusted the cable. When I adjusted the cable I noted the frayed strands. This bike has 20k on it. I have never lubed the cable, nor rerouted it as suggested in this forum. A replacement cable is on the way while I ride the ninja.


My questions are whats the expectation for typical clutch wearing to replacement? 20k, 40k miles? With the cable adjusted where it is now I noticed that the clutch is not fully closing when I release the lever. I am noting this at the other end of the cable where the lever is not returning fully (actually both ends are not returning fully with the bike off). Is this an indication that I need the clutch rebuilt? Or could it be due to the neglected cable hanging?

Just curious as to what thoughts are out there. I am likely tackling the valve shims soon and might as well inspect the clutch while the bike is out of service.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...read.php?t=434

you can dig info in the above link.this matter is well known and i feel you cause i had the same problem backthen and it was strange for a 2008 new bike.couldnt imagine i had to reroute the cable so as to have a decent cluch feel....
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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It seems its gone now

Its been a while, but now it seems I am at the end of the cable, or clutch. AT about 42k, its now slipping all the time. It slips any time I go more than a 1/3 throttle. Any adjustment does not help. So I will be opening her up and taking a look soon. Stay tuned.

09 Green
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 07:36 PM
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Keep us posted....



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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 04:31 AM
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If possible, post some pictures on how to replace those clutch plates. Would be good to know why it is 'easy' to do this kind of job.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 02:55 PM
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There have been various posts on clutch springs, but not necessarily plates (that I'm aware of).

As to the cable... Lube that thing! Or else this will happen to you :-):
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...15781627499842



9200 miles in a LOT of rain with nearly 0 lubrication. Always carry a spare

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 03:45 PM
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Use chain lube on that barrel. It won't wash off in the rain.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 04:30 PM
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Yup, that was the last cable I failed to lube properly :-)

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psalm11_6 View Post
There have been various posts on clutch springs, but not necessarily plates (that I'm aware of).

As to the cable... Lube that thing! Or else this will happen to you :-):
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...15781627499842



9200 miles in a LOT of rain with nearly 0 lubrication. Always carry a spare
Question for you:
...At WHAT point in its travel on the clutch lever, does your clutch dis-engage? NEAR the bars, or FAR from them (near the lever's 'resting position')?

Depending on your answer I MIGHT have the answer to your problem....

Ed
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 12:04 PM
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About mid way actually. I leave about 3mm play in the lever and can't allow much less due to cable length.

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Before I get started on the Versys

Here are a few shots of the 1976 KE125 clutch surprise I encountered when attempting to replace a crank seal. I had noted that the clutch felt odd, but was still working. Not very surprising for a bike with less than 800 miles.

So I removed the kick starter lever, the brake lever, carb housing (its a rotorary valve), and 2-oil line prior to removing the right side case cover. The case cover required a manual impact driver and lube to break loose these 35 year old fastners. Sorry no pics of that, but at this point I took some pics.


The clutch is the round one in the middle. I had noticed that a couple pieces of what looked like plastic fell out of the case when I removed the cover. There were also very small gritty buildup of the same color as the plastic pieces in the case nooks and crannies.


Pictured above is the primary drive gear and nut after I removed the clutch and basket. I got the nut off the crankshaft, but the gear will require a puller I do not have.

On to the surprise...

Here are the last two friction plates. Yes all those pieces where packed into the clutch assy some sideways and preventing a full disengagement. All in all two of the plates cracked in so many places some fell out of the basket. All of the plates are brittle. WTF-800 miles and this!!! So it looks like before I crack the Versys open I will be doing a smaller clutch first. Oh well, thats what you get when reminiscing on your past and buy an old bike.

Hopefully I will get my real camera for the documentation on the Versys. These where impromptu with a cell phone.

09 Green
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:17 PM
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Keep us posted!

BTW, 800 miles on a 76? So it was rebuilt or from someone's barn? Ah yes, rotary valve 2 stroke...... I had a 72/73(?) Kawa F7.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Keep us posted!

BTW, 800 miles on a 76? So it was rebuilt or from someone's barn? Ah yes, rotary valve 2 stroke...... I had a 72/73(?) Kawa F7.
It sat in a barn, and rusted up the bottom side of the tank. This wasn't supposed to be a project bike, cept for the rust on the tank, so I am in the hole already on this one. I pulled the carb before I got into the crank seals, and it was as clean as one would expect for 800 miles. The oiler still works at the right volume too!

OK sorry for the hijack.

09 Green
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:47 PM
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It's unusual to ever have to replace the clutch on a mid displacement bike with a wet clutch unless it has been abused.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 01:44 PM
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42,000 miles with many track days,
Just replaced mine for no reason,
Not enough wear to matter a bit.
Do like the feel with stiffer springs.
I had weak springs from day one.
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