Very stiff clutch / Hard to pull lever...

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by NerpAngel, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. NerpAngel

    NerpAngel New Member

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    I know I have a thread on my chain coming off in the brief seconds of my engine starting but this is a whole new subject.... :(

    Anyone know anything about the clutch being very stiff and hard to pull? I just installed my engine tonight and pulled the clutch lever in so i could roll my bike out of the garage so I could test it and I really had to yard on the lever to pull the clutch arm back. Is this normal to have to apply a big amount of force just to pull it back?
     
  2. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Very common prob man, no worries :D

    The cables that come with this kit are dry as a bone, get a good oil/cable lube and go nuts on ALL of them, including the throttle cable - it's very important that it quickly and easily snaps back to idle speed. It's also a good idea to lube the plastic on plastic contact inside the throttle grip assembly, there are a couple different lubes appropriate for that, but I just use a crayon/candle - wax seems to last longer with plastic/plastic/metal friction.

    Also remember to route your cables smoothly without any sharp bends or kinks, generally no sharper a bend than what would make a four inch loop.

    Just a touch of heavy grease in the clutch arm's pivot and on it's little engagement ramp will also help quite a bit - but you'll need to take the cover off again to get to them.

    Usually that's all there is to it, but it'll also get a lil easier with time and use ;)
     
    #2 BarelyAWake, Oct 8, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  3. NerpAngel

    NerpAngel New Member

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    Thank you :) Not sure what lubing up the cable will do... but I'll give it a try!!

    Is it normal for my clutch lever to hit my handle bar? In order for me to lock it in idle speed, (right now since i'm testing the engine and whatnot) I have the clutch like half way off my handle bar so I can fully squeeze the lever down so it can lock. And yes, I have the cable attached to the clutch arm securely with a 1/8" play room. :)
     
  4. scooterhoot

    scooterhoot New Member

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    Is your clutch disengaged at the half off bar lock? On my first build I had to play with the clutch lever location on the bar for the best operation.
     
  5. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    NerpAngel,
    Yes, lubrication in the cable housing will help. It reduces the friction and anything you can do to make the clutch actuation easier will make for a more enjoyable ride.
    There is a modification that can be done to the clutch actuating mechanism inside the sprocket cover but that's best left for later after you're more familiar with your engine. Another option, although they seem to be out of stock at the moment is this> CLUTCH ACTUATOR

    As for the lever hitting the bars; You said you had about 1/8th inch free play in the clutch arm. You can reduce that to where there is little to no slack but not so much as it is actually pulling on the clutch. I like to keep the cable tight, but not bow string tight, just so there is no slack when the clutch lever (handlebar) is released. This will decrease the amount of lever movement necessary to disengage the clutch and get the lever off the bar.
    Tom
     
    #5 2door, Oct 8, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  6. NerpAngel

    NerpAngel New Member

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    Taking the free play out of the clutch won't help my problem. I know exactly what you are talking about and i like your idea better about having a more tight control, but my problem is that when I bend the lever back to try and lock it into place with the button, my handle bar gets in the way of me being able to pull back the lever far enough to lock it... In order for me to be able to lock it I have to have the clutch lever half way off my handlebars to get the full pull back so I can lock it... So I'm confused at how people have their levers in the handlebar a lot further than mine, but are still able to lock it...
    I can post pics if you want.
     
  7. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    dunno about your lever, but one easy way to ease the tension is to remove the little spring they tell you to put on the cable. not the big one, that's a heat shield, but the "return spring." it's useless. there's plenty of return action on the clutch itself.

    also, make sure your cable is routed without any kinks, nice and smoothie-like.
     
  8. NerpAngel

    NerpAngel New Member

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    It's routed nicely and I did get rid of that stupid spring :p I'm just so confused as to how I can't pull this lever back far enough to lock it... Like if it works for others handebars, how is mine any different?.... :)
     
  9. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i just answered this elsewhere, i think.

    what you're saying is, when you pull it in and lock it, the clutch is still engaged, right? and you can't adjust it to where it's free-pedaling with the lock button on?

    mine was the same way. i tried everything, then i just forgot about it.

    after my motor and clutch got a few months on it, it started working.

    i think they just need to break in.
     
  10. NerpAngel

    NerpAngel New Member

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    No my clutch works. Everything works perfectly.

    What I'm talking about is.... Ok.. you know when you get your clutch lever thingy, you have to slide it on your handlebar first then your handlebar grip right? So it's like you put your clutch lever thing in the same spot your front break would be. Now when i go to pull the clutch lever, I can't pull it back far enough to lock it because the lever hits the handlebar. In order for me to pull it back far enough to lock the lever, I have to take off the grip and slide down the clutch lever off my handlebars until I can bend back the lever far enough so I can push that little lock pin into it.

    If this is still confusing I'll def post pictures tomorrow of what I'm talking about :) haha
     
  11. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Hmm - I think I know what yer talkin' about, it's a lil odd as most have the opposite prob, thus the confusion.

    Look under/in the pin lock mechanism, you may have a bit of casting flash blocking the recess where the pin seats while in the locked position. If so - that's easy enough to clean up. If not, I suppose you could reshape the lil cove where the pin seats to lock it or simply bend the lever a bit so it doesn't hit yer grip - but I'd be hesitant to do either of these as mostly the lock doesn't work well enough to prevent the clutch from dragging for many of us and you may find as your clutch wears in - it could end up being perfect *shrug*.
    [​IMG]

    By far the simplest way to deal with this is a 1 1/2" - 2" section of old inner tube on yer grip, using this as a "rubber band" to hold yer clutch in while pedaling distances or idling for prolonged periods and this is far safer than trusting that locking pin - should you inadvertently hit that lever while tinkering, your bike could launch w/o you o_O
    [​IMG]

    It's interesting tho - the first lever I had, the lockout was useless and the clutch would drag. My buddy stuffed up my bike and as a result I got another clutch lever and tho it looked absolutely identical - the lockout worked great o_O

    I still prefer to use the inner tube trick ;)
     
    #11 BarelyAWake, Oct 9, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  12. NerpAngel

    NerpAngel New Member

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    Anywhere on here where I can find out how to do the "inner tube trick"? :)
    I'm a complete noob so I don't have a clue where to start cutting stuff or whatever haha
     
  13. george_n_texas

    george_n_texas New Member

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    [​IMG]

    I still prefer to use the inner tube trick ;)[/QUOTE]

    What is this a profilactic clutch?
     
  14. Creative Engineering

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    Nerp,

    I created a thread last year regarding really tight clutch lever operation. It spun off from there, and several guys figured out that you could also increase the tension to cure a slipping clutch. While this is true...99% of the time the primary spring is adjusted correctly from the factory.

    I had one new engine that had an abnormally stiff clutch. The following fixed it:

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/external-adjustment-primary-clutch-spring-4851.html

    Jim
     
    #14 Creative Engineering, Oct 10, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  15. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    As far as the clutch disengagement problem, you stated that you have 1/8" free play. Remove the free play as 2door said and your problem will go away.
     

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