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Adjusting the clutch play - help

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by tirian, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Sorry for being a bit of a clueless noob, I'm pretty sure its going to be mind-numbingly easy but I'd appreciate any tips:

    How do I go about altering the amount of play in the clutch before it engages? (GS500). I had cause to replace the clutch lever just the other day (because the bike toppled when the side stand sank into the back yard when I was cleaning it the other day and I bent the lever :oops: ) and I've since noticed two things:

    1. The clutch lever was not "recoiling" all the way and I had to push it back. I figured this was because I over-tightened the bolt on the lever and so loosened it a bit.
    2. Either connected to this or just coincidentally, the amount of play in the clutch before it "bites" increased significantly. It is now only about (roughly) 0.5-1cm from its resting place when it enages/disengages.

    Any suggestions on how to alter the clutch play would be really appreciated.

  2. The important area to look at is 'freeplay'. ie the amount of play the lever has before it actually pulls the cable. I have mine set at about 3-5mm.
    Not enough freeplay may cause clutch slippage, too much on the other hand will prevent the clutch from disengaging fully and will make gear changes rough, as well as making the bike want to 'crawl away' when stationary in gear with the clutch fully depressed
  3. +1 to the above. I would have said about 2mm of free play but if your clutch is in good condition it probably won't make much difference.

    Try one or the other and see how it feels. If it doesn't feel right try changing towards the other and see if that feels better.

    You didn't say how old the bike was or how far it has gone, which might have given some indication of how worn the clutch is. Although rider stye can cause this too vary a bit. If your clutch plates are worn you may not be able to make it feel right just adjusting cable slack.
  4. Before adjusting the clutch cable, you should first loosen the cable adjuster at the handlebar so there is plenty of free play, then adjust the release mechanism, then adjust the cable adjuster to give the right amount of free play at the handlebar lever.
    Adjusting the release mechanism is done at the cover over the front sprocket. Just above and forward of the gear lever is a small cover held on with two screws. Remove this cover (there is no gasket) and then loosen the locknut on the adjuster. Now back out the adjuster 2 or 3 turns, then slowly wind it in until you can feel high resistance. From that point, wind it back out 1/4 to 1/2 a turn, hold it in that position and tighten the lock nut. Then re-install the cover.
    Now you can adjust the cable at the lever (if you need more adjustment it can be done at the lower end of the cable) until you have the right amount of free play. This is 4mm measured in the gap between the lever and the lever carrier bracket. You can adjust this a bit to suit yourself.