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Wire in clutch basket (retainer for inside discs)....


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Aiight guys, I'm back. :) 

Got a question that may be considered silly by some, but it's one that is puzzling to me. First off, my clutch slipped a couple times with me on hard take offs a week ago while leading/escorting a charity ride. It was concerning.

I normally don't ride hard except when doing these charity rides and having to handle intersections. During my normal riding since then, clutch hasn't slipped but I'm sure I can make it slip. I do add MotorKote treatment to my T6 every couple oil changes, and that could be the culprit. Gonna do an oil change without treatment, run it a few miles and test. If still slips, will be replacing the discs (I have some on the shelf that I've had since my last RSV).

Saying that, I took the time to watch a couple videos and saw that silly little thin wire. WTH??? I've replaced clutch discs is various drivetrains during my day, but never seen a wire inside a clutch assembly.


FTR, I've searched the forums trying to find out if this thing is really necessary? I will not be upgrading to Barnett, but will be replacing the spring plate while in there.

This is my 2nd RSV and have ridden the over 100k miles and first time that I may have to replace a clutch. Up to this point, I've only had to replace a rectifier and a fuel pump (well, several tires, brake pads, etc along the way). Not sure there are many bikes that can deliver that kind of service.

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8 hours ago, YamahaLarry said:

Aiight guys, I'm back. :) 

Got a question that may be considered silly by some, but it's one that is puzzling to me. First off, my clutch slipped a couple times with me on hard take offs a week ago while leading/escorting a charity ride. It was concerning.

I normally don't ride hard except when doing these charity rides and having to handle intersections. During my normal riding since then, clutch hasn't slipped but I'm sure I can make it slip. I do add MotorKote treatment to my T6 every couple oil changes, and that could be the culprit. Gonna do an oil change without treatment, run it a few miles and test. If still slips, will be replacing the discs (I have some on the shelf that I've had since my last RSV).

Saying that, I took the time to watch a couple videos and saw that silly little thin wire. WTH??? I've replaced clutch discs is various drivetrains during my day, but never seen a wire inside a clutch assembly.


FTR, I've searched the forums trying to find out if this thing is really necessary? I will not be upgrading to Barnett, but will be replacing the spring plate while in there.

This is my 2nd RSV and have ridden the over 100k miles and first time that I may have to replace a clutch. Up to this point, I've only had to replace a rectifier and a fuel pump (well, several tires, brake pads, etc along the way). Not sure there are many bikes that can deliver that kind of service.

the first clutch disc going in has only half the friction material and the remaining void is taken up by two metal discs and the thin wire is to keep them in position. This is to allow for soft engagement of the clutch. Most of us toss out this disc the washers and thin wire and replace them with a full friction face disc for better clutch grab.

Also since this is a wet clutch you should never add any slip modifiers or use oil with slip modifiers added.

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Posted (edited)

I am far from any form of a guru on this stuff (perhaps @skydoc_17 could shed some light on the point I am about to make) but here is something to ponder. IMHO, it all depends on what you want/expect from your clutch and its finer workings. All of my MK1's except for this last one, number 6, I have stayed with the wire and it's functionality for several reasons. 1st and most important in my case I always appreciated the "feel" of its engagement and location of the clutch engagement/disengagement spot in the throw of the clutch lever.  On this latest version of the MK1's I am riding the clutch throw is right out at the end of the throw. This makes it extremely difficult to slow ride (I am not talking about what people like Jerry Palitino of ride like a pro calls slow riding, I am talking about doing what I demenstrated for @VentureFar in the video below). I always found slow riding as demonstrated to be much easier with the stock OEM setup including the "wire" design. The engagement zone was perfect on my prior bikes where, where the Barnette plates and no wire engagement zone makes it much more difficult in my current bike. With no wire design, at least on my current MK1, you have to handle the clutch friction zone with extreme micrometer like precision to attain the level of confidence I am used to on the MK1's. I will say this though, the Barnette with no wire has NEVER demonstrated any form of slippage no matter how much its abused.  The MK1 wire design was known for unwelcome slippage, especially in it higher gears while hauling lots of extra weight (think 2 up, fully loaded for cross country touring) - I am sure triple digit touring in high tempts of the desert did not help much.  My theory,, and that is all it is, is that the narrow surface of that 1st in half size fiber plate was/is the weak link in the design (just not quite enough surface area?). Maybe what Mom Yam should have done back then was doubled the surface area of all the clutch plates back in the early days? Or maybe one of us,, me, should not have tortured these MK1's like he did :).. 

Earl, if your reading this,, I am wondering if you have found that all unwired, fully filled baskets with NO 1/2 FIBERS have a tendency of tossing the engagement zone out to the end of the clutch throw? 

 

Edited by cowpuc
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15 minutes ago, cowpuc said:

I am far from any form of a guru on this stuff (perhaps @skydoc_17 could shed some light on the point I am about to make) but here is something to ponder. IMHO, it all depends on what you want/expect from your clutch and its finer workings. All of my MK1's except for this last one, number 6, I have stayed with the wire and it's functionality for several reasons. 1st and most important in my case I always appreciated the "feel" of its engagement and location of the clutch engagement/disengagement spot in the throw of the clutch lever.  On this latest version of the MK1's I am riding the clutch throw is right out at the end of the throw. This makes it extremely difficult to slow ride (I am not talking about what people like Jerry Palitino of ride like a pro calls slow riding, I am talking about doing what I demenstrated for @VentureFar in the video below). I always found slow riding as demonstrated to be much easier with the stock OEM setup including the "wire" design. The engagement zone was perfect on my prior bikes where, where the Barnette plates and no wire engagement zone makes it much more difficult in my current bike. With no wire design, at least on my current MK1, you have to handle the clutch friction zone with extreme micrometer like precision to attain the level of confidence I am used to on the MK1's. I will say this though, the Barnette with no wire has NEVER demonstrated any form of slippage no matter how much its abused.  The MK1 wire design was known for unwelcome slippage, especially in it higher gears while hauling lots of extra weight (think 2 up, fully loaded for cross country touring) - I am sure triple digit touring in high tempts of the desert did not help much.  My theory,, and that is all it is, is that the narrow surface of that 1st in half size fiber plate was/is the weak link in the design (just not quite enough surface area?). Maybe what Mom Yam should have done back then was doubled the surface area of all the clutch plates back in the early days? Or maybe one of us,, me, should not have tortured these MK1's like he did :).. 

Earl, if your reading this,, I am wondering if you have found that all unwired, fully filled baskets with NO 1/2 FIBERS have a tendency of tossing the engagement zone out to the end of the clutch throw? 

 

@cowpucI assume when you mean slow riding it is not far of from what I refer to as softer engagement. In my case I replaced my Clutch with the Barnett clutch ( Keep in mind here when one says they used the Barnett clutch that Barnett has a variety of clutch friction material and spring strength options ). Now in my case I purchased the kit with the carbon fiber clutch which has been recommended for slow riding and is used in many police bikes for that reason. The carbon fiber has a high wear resistance to slip clutching and yet when fully engaged there is no slippage even when pulling a heavily loaded trailer. With regards to clutch feel I myself found or at least I think I found I had better clutch feel with the Barnett carbon fiber clutch over the OEM setup. You do however require a bit stronger grip for the clutch lever since the springs are heavier so for some it is possible that the softer spring may give them a better feel over the stiffer spring.

Not to make this sound the wrong way, but for a tradesman like myself who has spent their life working with heavy tools or someone who works out your grip does tend to be stronger than someone who for example works in an office type job and/or does not work out, in which case you may want to consider wether or not a stiffer clutch is a good idea. On the other hand if you do opt for the stiffer clutch your grip will strengthen over time from working the clutch, so there are a few things to consider such as the points cowpuc mention in his post and the points I have raised in this one. for example if your ride one up and never pull heavy there may be no need to go to a heavier clutch.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, saddlebum said:

@cowpucI assume when you mean slow riding it is not far of from what I refer to as softer engagement. In my case I replaced my Clutch with the Barnett clutch ( Keep in mind here when one says they used the Barnett clutch that Barnett has a variety of clutch friction material and spring strength options ). Now in my case I purchased the kit with the carbon fiber clutch which has been recommended for slow riding and is used in many police bikes for that reason. The carbon fiber has a high wear resistance to slip clutching and yet when fully engaged there is no slippage even when pulling a heavily loaded trailer. With regards to clutch feel I myself found or at least I think I found I had better clutch feel with the Barnett carbon fiber clutch over the OEM setup. You do however require a bit stronger grip for the clutch lever since the springs are heavier so for some it is possible that the softer spring may give them a better feel over the stiffer spring.

Not to make this sound the wrong way, but for a tradesman like myself who has spent their life working with heavy tools or someone who works out your grip does tend to be stronger than someone who for example works in an office type job and/or does not work out, in which case you may want to consider wether or not a stiffer clutch is a good idea. On the other hand if you do opt for the stiffer clutch your grip will strengthen over time from working the clutch, so there are a few things to consider such as the points cowpuc mention in his post and the points I have raised in this one. for example if your ride one up and never pull heavy there may be no need to go to a heavier clutch.

Hiya @saddlebum!! What I was referring to as "slow riding" was what I posted in the video.. Take a peek if you havent..  The position of the lever when engaging is one part of the difficulty of slow riding like that in my case as is the sudden hook up of the Barnett as apposed to the softer hook up of the OEM "wired"..  Totally NOT not doable (as shown in the vid - that was with a Barnett system as I recall) its just that the rider has to be a little more sensitive with clutch control as the Barnett (or not wired OEM conversion/converted to all full plates maybe? - that is what I was wondering about) if he is wanting to slow ride in the bush, down side walks around people who are walking, thru crowds at Sturgis and on and on.. Ben I also found that standing on the pegs like you and all dirt bikers KNOW is THE way to slow ride with full control also complicates the control with the Barnett engagement when slow riding as shown in the video,, at least in my case. Took a lot practice on my part (my learning curves tend to be wayyyyy longer than most) to learn to control that long reach, quick hook up Barnett when standing on the pegs like I love to do... 

Edited by cowpuc
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cowpuc said:

Hiya @saddlebum!! What I was referring to as "slow riding" was what I posted in the video.. Take a peek if you havent..  The position of the lever when engaging is one part of the difficulty of slow riding like that in my case as is the sudden hook up of the Barnett as apposed to the softer hook up of the OEM "wired"..  Totally NOT not doable (as shown in the vid - that was with a Barnett system as I recall) its just that the rider has to be a little more sensitive with clutch control as the Barnett (or not wired OEM conversion/converted to all full plates maybe? - that is what I was wondering about) if he is wanting to slow ride in the bush, down side walks around people who are walking, thru crowds at Sturgis and on and on.. Ben I also found that standing on the pegs like you and all dirt bikers KNOW is THE way to slow ride with full control also complicates the control with the Barnett engagement when slow riding as shown in the video,, at least in my case. Took a lot practice on my part (my learning curves tend to be wayyyyy longer than most) to learn to control that long reach, quick hook up Barnett when standing on the pegs like I love to do... 

I am not much different from you in that sense. I like to creep down slopes sometimes, in parking lots even use the clutch/throttle/brake combination to hold the bike at a stand still while maintaining balance. More importantly creep extremely slow into the parking lot at work so the girls looking out the office windows get to admire that guy on the good looking Venture or was that the good looking guy on the Venture (never could quite get that figured out :whistling: ) as I slowly slide by. Whether having the carbon fiber clutch versus regular friction material is the difference I am not sure but I was informed by the experts at Barnett if I did a lot of slow riding that their carbon fiber was the way to go over their regular friction material as the regular could not take slip clutch as well as the carbon fiber.

Edited by saddlebum
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Wow. You guys are getting deep. :) I've owned 2 RSV's over the past 8 years, both 2nd gen. I do love the stock clutch, but like I said, I am one that goes thru the gears as one should and rarely take off like a bat out of hell. But, when I do, its mostly in group rides especially when I'm performing blocking duties during escorts or when showing that Harley guy he aint got nothing on me.

In these rides, I also have to do a lot of slow rolling and both of the RSV's I've owned do me well when feathering the clutch and rear brake. Answer me this: I've noticed on both bikes that as I ease out on the clutch, there's this one point that you feel and hear this sorta like a little click and the clutch friction changes. Does that have anything to do with that wire and the plates behind it?

I don't think I want the Barnett upgrade if I do have to replace my discs. I may go ahead and order a new spring plate and replace that while I'm in there. The current bike is a 2009 with approx 60k on it.

BTW, thank both of you for sharing your brilliant minds.

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Not that I ever recall hearing anything like that, which may be clutch related, I doubt it has anything to do with the wire. I would be more inclined to think it is the lash between the clutch disk fingers and the the splines in the clutch hub and basket or maybe some gear lash in the transmission. To know better I would have to hear it though. its even possible to be coming from the drive line if it has a worn u-joint which again I doubt or excessive gear lash between ring gear and pinion. Finally it may be nothing at all just normal drive-line behavior.  . 

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On 5/4/2021 at 1:42 PM, saddlebum said:

Not that I ever recall hearing anything like that, which may be clutch related, I doubt it has anything to do with the wire. I would be more inclined to think it is the lash between the clutch disk fingers and the the splines in the clutch hub and basket or maybe some gear lash in the transmission. To know better I would have to hear it though. its even possible to be coming from the drive line if it has a worn u-joint which again I doubt or excessive gear lash between ring gear and pinion. Finally it may be nothing at all just normal drive-line behavior.  . 

I don't think it's any backlash/slack in the u-joint. Out of curiosity and my own sanity, I tested it again yesterday while out riding. On current bike it occurs while easing out on the clutch when rolling very slow, about as slow as you can roll and keep it upright. Clutch is barely getting enough friction to move you forward and as I continued to ease out just a little at a time, it reached a point to where there was a noticeable engagement of the clutch and I could hear this sort of a faint click in the drivetrain, like maybe a point to where something in the basket engages at a more rapid rate than the easing out of the clutch lever.

Anyhow, enough on that. Gonna continue to run it for a while with the new oil change with no MotorKote additive. Hopefully that's the issue and not the discs. Either way, I'm prepared. Just not looking forward to that little wire that looks like it can be aggravating to put back in.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, YamahaLarry said:

I don't think it's any backlash/slack in the u-joint. Out of curiosity and my own sanity, I tested it again yesterday while out riding. On current bike it occurs while easing out on the clutch when rolling very slow, about as slow as you can roll and keep it upright. Clutch is barely getting enough friction to move you forward and as I continued to ease out just a little at a time, it reached a point to where there was a noticeable engagement of the clutch and I could hear this sort of a faint click in the drivetrain, like maybe a point to where something in the basket engages at a more rapid rate than the easing out of the clutch lever.

Anyhow, enough on that. Gonna continue to run it for a while with the new oil change with no MotorKote additive. Hopefully that's the issue and not the discs. Either way, I'm prepared. Just not looking forward to that little wire that looks like it can be aggravating to put back in.

The wire is actually very simple to remove and/or install but as of your most recent explanation of the noise and keeping in mind this is only an educated guess, I would be inclined to think it has to do with movement between the tabs on the clutch discs and the slots they fit into on the clutch basket. Often with wear the begin to get a little sloppy. Chances are it is not something to get too concerned about.

Edited by saddlebum
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