Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Clutch clipping on my XVS250 - noob questions

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by AyeKay, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Hey all, I have done a search and come up with some theories, but this still may end up being moved to the dumb ass questions thread. If so, I apologise in advance.

    Going for my p's in a week and been getting practice on my learner Virago 250 - going to get something a little more suitable after I get my licence and give it to my little bro on his L's, but I digress.

    Its a 2004 Virago 250 with 13k and just had major service (well October 2014) and new rear tyre (last week). Both by professional mechanics. Chain tension is in spec.

    So its the engine over-revving and not driving while under heavy acceleration. Back off and accelerate slower and its then ok. Gear changes themselves are fine. Getting neutral is fine too, even when warm (although there is a technique required). Clutch was adjusted in October. It's not doing the slipping/flaring all the time, maybe once or twice a ride, usually up big hills or other high load situations. But it is getting more frequent. A bit worrying as I don't want it happening during test.

    Maybe the oil spec used was not much good, or maybe fuel has got into the oil somehow? (engine and clutch oil are common/same reservoir on these bikes right?)

    I have next week to sort it... any advice very gratefully received.



  2. Sounds like a classic case of clutch slipping under load. If normal car oil was used, the friction modifiers may cause the clutch slipping. You'll need to be sure that Motorcycle spec oil was used (note some Diesel and LPG oils meet motorcycle standards with no friction modifiers, but it's on a per oil basis).

    Check that the clutch lever is still properly adjusted, so that when released the clutch is actually engaged 100%. Typically there would be roughly 10-20mm of play from the outside edge of the clutch lever, but check your bikes manual or do it by what feels most correct if you are mechanically minded. Clutch pivot first, then the fine adjuster on the handlebar.

    As a quick test I would tighten it all the way so that the clutch grabs really close to the grip and see if you can get it to slip when giving sudden throttle. Maybe even try a solid on-off-ON to be sure. If it still happens, and you're sure the oil is correct, the clutch is probably cactus.
  3. Clutch plates are farked would be my "guess".
  4. Typical freeplay would be about 2 mm not 10-20 mm. If freeplay is correct then it sounds more like the clutch is failing.

    You could try changing oil in case something odd was used previously.

    13K is not much and a clutch shouldn't fail normally at this point but 250 Viragos are typically a L bike and learners can be pretty hard on clutches.
  5. Would not have thought a Virago would be ideal to do a test on. Mine was never a good low speed, tight turner. My current bike is far easier than the Virago was. Is there much low speed figure-8ing in the test where you are?
  6. Thanks all, I can't imagine an experienced motorcycle mechanic would have used the wrong oil, but he did say the existing level was very low (just after I got it), so maybe damage had been done by the low oil level by previous owner?

    Sounds like a new clutch maybe on the cards, but no one is around at the moment to work on it - all on holidays - so it should be right for the test on the weekend - and will then have to get it fixed after.

    glennmcc - I suppose I am just comfortable with the Virago - have been learning on it and am doing the NSW MOST test. Have been practicing that on the Virago at the Sydney learner sessions and am pretty ok with it. Thinking about getting an MT07 when funds allow.
  7. If you can't get it fixed prior to the test then nurse it and hopefully it will make it. The test is load speed and not heavy acceleration so it should be OK if the clutch doesn't get worse.
  8. Anythings possible due to the low oil before, so the clutch may have given up prematurely as a result. Haven't done any myself but a bike clutch should be much less effort and cost than a typical car clutch if worst case scenario. Just make sure the lever has been adjusted properly before being sure it is the clutch. If you need a hand with it I'm sure someone would be happy to show you first hand.

    GreyBMGreyBM : While i always did think it was a silly way to measure the free play, the VTR250 manual (user and workshop) measure it from the tip of the stock levers rather than the base of the lever to the housing. Without 10-20mm of free play the clutch on my bike releases way too far from the bar (personal preference), and you run the risk of not having the clutch fully engaged if they're set too tight (i.e. no free play, basically), making it potentially slip under load. You just won't find neutral and get plenty of jerking during shifts if there is a little too much free play. It's personal preference as long as you have from completely disengaged to completely engaged available in the lever.
  9. Thanks for the clarification HarbHarb . I have never come across free play specified that way before and could also be misleading if you change to levers of a different length. Personally I,d stick to the 2 mm at the pivot end approach but that's just me.
  10. Not familiar with your bike but check if there is a clutch adjustment screw on the engine case(normally under a small cover held in by a couple of screws) . If it's there it's used in conjunction with the free play at the lever - check manual or Google for specifics. Good luck
  11. The Virago seems to be feeling much better - hasn't slipped in a few trips now (probably jinxed now though). Passed the MOST no probs. Thanks all for your help.