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Because of arthritic hands, I have always been on the lookout for ways of making the clutch lever pull easier. In the past, I have changed the master clutch cylinder size on my hydraulic clutches with good results.

For my 2015 Versys 650 there is a possibility of using a hydraulic clutch mod system, but I decided to keep the cable operated clutch system.

Stunt riders often use the RSC easy pull stunt clutch lever. It’s not inexpensive. I was tempted but did not do it because there is no provision for the clutch electrical switch.

I knew that some riders had modified their clutch lever in order to lower the force required to pull the lever. It’s just a matter of relocating the hole for the clutch cable end closer to the leverage point.

I did this with my press drill but messed up the hole. Fortunately I had another set of levers and therefore had a local machinist do it properly for me.



The slot for the cable entry into the lever now needs to be angled as shown below.




A bit of material also needs to be ground off as shown in this pic in order to avoid rubbing the cable against the lever casting.



The above lever modification produced the desired results. While the OEM set-up requires 17 lbs of pressure to pull the clutch lever, this modified clutch lever brought the pull pressure down to 14 lbs. This is an 18% reduction in the required pull pressure. It helped very much but there is no free lunch. This modification reduces clutch travel through the lever … but I quickly got used to it.

In the past, I have ridden on a motorcycle with a slipper clutch and kept thinking of the light pull slipper clutch.

Note: The lighter pull is the result of using 3 clutch springs instead of 5.

At the time I figured that this aftermarket option was too expensive for my budget and continued using my modified easy-pull clutch lever.

When Kawasaki decided to include an assist & slipper clutch for their 2017 and later Ninja 650’s, I started contemplating the idea of retrofitting one into my Versys. In August 2019, a used 2017 Ninja 650 assist & slipper clutch assembly with only 8,308 miles became available. I immediately purchased it hoping that it would be in good condition.

Note: I also purchased a service manual for 2017 and up Ninja 650s because I felt that the procedures for an assist & slipper clutch could be different than the instructions for my OEM Versys clutch. This proved to be the case because instructions for the assist & slipper are different than those for a regular Versys OEM clutch. :)

As shown in the following pics, the clutch assembly was in very good condition.







Note: Steps for the removal of the OEM 2015 Versys 650 Clutch are shown in 6-9 and 6-12 of the Gen 3 service manual.

A few pics of the Versys clutch assembly removal on my bike.

Clutch cover removed



Clutch spring plate, etc. removed.



All of the Versys clutch plates removed (steel and friction)



Ready to install the assist & slipper clutch (clutch hub nut, clutch hub, spacer, oil pump chain & sprocket, etc. have been removed)



Note: Detailed instructions to install the 2017 Ninja 650 assist & slipper clutch on my Versys are shown in the attached PDF file.

A few pics of the assist & slipper clutch installation on my bike.

Most of the clutch assembly installed (clutch housing, oil pump chain & sprocket, spacer, clutch hub, washer, clutch hub nut, steel and friction plates, etc.). I was now ready to torque the clutch hub nut.





Clutch pusher plate and center push-rod installed



Clutch springs and stopper plate installed:



Ready to install the clutch cover



Parts required for this retrofit:

I removed the whole Versys clutch assembly and then installed the whole Ninja slipper clutch assembly. If individual parts needed to be purchased, very few parts from the Versys clutch would fit. The clutch housing, clutch hub, friction and steel plates, stopper plate, springs, etc. are all different.

The only Versys parts that could be used are:

20 MM Nut (92015-1555)
20.3X36X3.7 Washer (92022-1868)
25.5X47X2.5 Spacer (92026-0716)
Ball Bearing 6001C3ML01 (92045-1235)
Bushing (92139-0710)
12X18.5X0.5 Washer (92200-1487)
Note: The OEM Versys oil pump chain and sprocket are also used.

I have ridden with this slipper clutch for over 3000 km and have never looked back. The required clutch lever pull (with the clutch cable end at the OEM slot on the lever) has been reduced to 12 lbs. This is a 30% reduction! My left hand keeps thanking me because I could now pull the clutch lever with one finger!

There are also other noted advantages to this assist & slipper clutch but my main concern was the clutch pull pressure requirement. This modification fulfilled my requirement.

For those interested in reading about other advantages of an assist & slipper clutch, refer to the links below.

Slipper Clutch – What Is It & How Does It Work

Top Things You need to know about the Slipper Clutch

Slipper Assist Clutches Are Appearing On More New Motorcycles

 

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Slipper Clutch

Well I should have fired up the laptop, as the above post is superior to anything in either manual. I will point out mistakes I made, and some things not in the instructions of either the Versys service manual or the Ninja.


The sleeve that was missing in the box of parts , you need snap ring pliers or finishing nails , something to assist in removal, as it needs to come out , although no real weight on this during removal, will explain later




Parts in a box, lots of extra parts but missing the sleeve, fortunately the OEM Versys sleeve fits.In the lower part of the photo is a metal ring about 120 mm , it is actually the spring that goes in after the spring ring, took me a while of looking because the guy I bought it from had left the steel ring that the soring rides on in the assembly, possibly he put things back together and found it on the floor. Anyway I had difficulty in deciding the orientation , my opinion is putting it with the concave facing in, would require the ID to travel along the aluminum , whereas with the spring concave out, the inner diameter doesn't move under compression and the OD is allowed to flex freely. I couldn't find a drawing showing this clearly so my spring is as in the photo



Spring concave out, don't know if this is right but I think so , the other way, it could compress inward and basically remain there, compressed.Hey I could be wrong, but I am comfortable with it like that.



This photo could have been worth saving 2 hours of work and struggle. Take note, all the friction discs and steel plates are installed, they can go in only one slot, However, instructions say to place the remain steel plate and friction disc one notch over and install last. If you look at the lower part of the photo, the aluminum casting has like a pocket, only 1 friction disc could ever fit there, but that is the correct location for the last plate.


Note in the above post
Clutch springs and stopper plate installed: Note the push rod and the small bearing, my mistake was twofold, being tired and finding the bearing ID matched the push rod OD, that was a mistake, the purpose is to allow the Clutch pusher plate and center push-rod to travel freely when you pull the clutch in, the outer shoulder of the push rod rides on the inner race of that bearing.






And the 2 extra hours , showing my mistake, FYI I had molykote gna grease and it calls for lubing that rod, this photo is useful in that the last friction disc is in the correct location, note also the small bearing ID is meant to have a gap, this is what threw me off, I should have realized , looking at the clutch actuator, it is meant to pull outward, my brain was saying with the rod in this photo it needs to travel inward WTF


And finally use the post above because all the correct names and part numbers are there. That is what I call a excellent write up, forgot it was on the forum. Note, this last photo, the push rod for the clutch is on the wrong side, I took apart and installed correctly, it pulls , not pushes.

:thanx::thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

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Thank you guys!
The stock clutch have me almost killed too many times already. Locking up rear wheel while going downhill the Alps. Very scary!
Ordered used Ninja 2017 part as described will swap it myself.
Can’t find the PDF file referred to in the first article though (using mobile). Any chance it could be re/attached?
 

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Thank you guys!
The stock clutch have me almost killed too many times already. Locking up rear wheel while going downhill the Alps. Very scary!
A slipper clutch wont compensate for improper technique. Something is very wrong if your clutch actuation is causing the rear wheel to lock up going down hill - and its NOT the stock clutch.
The only way that could possibly happen is if you aren't braking to an appropriate speed before down shifting, or not braking at all.
 

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That’s true, and doesn’t happen all the time. Getting an automatic security feature is always a welcome move in my books. Same goes for ABS, it’s better not to rely on it, but still a must have.

Besides a 30% lighter clutch lever is a huuuge deal for me. Not to mention I won’t have to worry about my clutch suddenly slipping on acceleration (got this problem recently when riding with a passenger)
 

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Not to mention I won’t have to worry about my clutch suddenly slipping on acceleration (got this problem recently when riding with a passenger)
The slipper clutch will NOT prevent clutch slippage while carrying a passenger. If your clutch is slipping, its either not adjusted correctly or the plates are getting worn.
 

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Not to mention I won’t have to worry about my clutch suddenly slipping on acceleration (got this problem recently when riding with a passenger)
I agree w/ betoney - your clutch IS NOT correctly adjusted!

It should NOT EVER slip when correctly set-up!!!

Fix THAT before you go after something else.
 

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All right, I’ll try to make my motivation more clear (apparently CAPS is the way to go):

1- Clutch lever gets CONSIDERABLY lighter
2- Forgives some riding mistakes, less prone to blocking on downshifting = MORE SECURITY
3- My current clutch is probably worn out after 40kkm, needs frictions replacement and/or stiffer springs. (Obviously I’ve checked the adjustment on the lever already). In either way I need to disassemble the whole thing anyway + buy expensive spares. Instead I rather have a modern clutch installed and kill 2 birds with one shot.
4- I believe that Kawasaki should have made these clutches available on the V650 long time ago. Thanks to the post above I can now work around the corporate greed and have a modern feature upgrade on my bike.
 

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My '08 clutch MUST be worn out (by your reckoning) as the bike has 91,255 miles on it; the clutch on my '15 has to be NEARLY gone TOO (52,761 miles), while I guess I escaped w/ my '09 - it was an 'insurance-write-off' at 39,016 miles.

:cool:
 
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