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Discussion Starter #1
My '03 SV is experiencing clutch slip when the revs hit 7000. I've never abused the bike, and hardly ever take it that high in the revs, but it's repeatably occuring now.

Is this a common issue?
Are there any ways to modify the behavior short of replacing the clutch?
If I have to replace the clutch, can I tackle it myself?

The only recent change to the bike has been an oil change, which I used Mobil dino oil for, in a 20w50 weight. I couldn't get the filter off so I didn't change that yet. Bike has about 5000 easy miles on it.

Thanks for you advice :)
 

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i started a thread a while back telling everyone that your clutch wire will stretch just as a new chain stretches and right around the 5000 mile mark mine needed adjustment bad. i mean a full adjustment though not just the adjustment by the lever.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe I don't understand how that will help, or maybe I didn't state the issue clearly. The clutch slips under power, it has no issue engaging. How does tightening the cable make the clutch hold better? I'm new to wrenching on bikes but I do a fair share of work on my cars.

Thanks
 

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well thats the thing that could be causing it to slip. its not fully engaged. Just adjust it and see what happens. i bet if you havent done the full adjustment yet that its way off like mine was.
 

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RyanC said:
Maybe I don't understand how that will help, or maybe I didn't state the issue clearly. The clutch slips under power, it has no issue engaging. How does tightening the cable make the clutch hold better? I'm new to wrenching on bikes but I do a fair share of work on my cars.

Thanks
as previously posted, complete clutch adjustment, there is more than a cable to adjust.
 
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mario60185 said:
well thats the thing that could be causing it to slip. its not fully engaged. Just adjust it and see what happens. i bet if you havent done the full adjustment yet that its way off like mine was.
Use the main adjustment that is located by the countershaft sprocket as well, and you will be able to reset your handle adjuster.
 

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RyanC said:
My '03 SV is experiencing clutch slip when the revs hit 7000. I've never abused the bike, and hardly ever take it that high in the revs, but it's repeatably occuring now.

Is this a common issue?
Are there any ways to modify the behavior short of replacing the clutch?
If I have to replace the clutch, can I tackle it myself?

The only recent change to the bike has been an oil change, which I used Mobil dino oil for, in a 20w50 weight. I couldn't get the filter off so I didn't change that yet. Bike has about 5000 easy miles on it.

Thanks for you advice :)
I should add, your periodic services are more than changing oil and tuning up, a service includes checking for loose fasteners, clutch, throttle & chain adjustments etc.
 

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How to

Remove the front sprocket cover, loosen the cable adjusters. You will note that the cable attaches to a little lever arm. Make sure the bolts holding the bracket the arm are not loose. The pivot of the arm has a lock nut around a shaft with a slot in it. Loosen the nut, put a screwdriver in the slot, turn counterclockwise to make sure there is no pressure on the shaft. Now turn clockwise until you feel slight resistance. Back off 1/4 turn and snug the nut with the screwdriver in the slot (to make sure the shaft doesn't rotate out of adjustment). Now adjust the cables and try again.

If the clutch still slips, drop the oil and the filter, put fresh oil and filter on (I recommend a diesel-specific oil, like Rotella T 15W-40, Delo, Delvac, etc.). Try again. If it's still slipping then you may have to change the plates. Download the owner's manual.l
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks fellas for all the advice. I will take a whack at it this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I adjusted the tension as Andy suggested, but I must have done it wrong because now (today's the first time I have been able to ride since I adjusted it) it's worse. I can't get onto more than a bit of throttle without the clutch slipping.

The only issue was if I did what andy suggests, there was a ton of slop in the cable, meaning I could move the clutch lever about 3/4 of an inch before the arm started to move. Andy, you mention adjusting the cable, but I'm not seeing how to do that. The end that attaches to the clutch lever has a fixed end on it, and it looks similar on the front sprocket end. Ideas? Thanks

Ryan
 

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RyanC said:
Ok, I adjusted the tension as Andy suggested, but I must have done it wrong because now (today's the first time I have been able to ride since I adjusted it) it's worse.  I can't get onto more than a bit of throttle without the clutch slipping. 

The only issue was if I did what andy suggests, there was a ton of slop in the cable, meaning I could move the clutch lever about 3/4 of an inch before the arm started to move.  Andy, you mention adjusting the cable, but I'm not seeing how to do that.  The end that attaches to the clutch lever has a fixed end on it, and it looks similar on the front sprocket end.  Ideas?  Thanks

Ryan
Think of it this way when you pull cable it disengages, so with that being said you have to adjust the cable towards the transmission in other words you wont have any free play at all. You've done oposite thing, try to unscrew bolt at countershaft so you'll let cable go "further" into transmission and dont forget to secure that with bottom bolt.
 

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mario60185 said:
well thats the thing that could be causing it to slip. its not fully engaged. Just adjust it and see what happens. i bet if you havent done the full adjustment yet that its way off like mine was.
If the cable has slack, its not going to affect clutch slip.

If it were too tight, and not allowing the clutch to engage fully, then you might have a problem.
 

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Not enough back-off on the slotted rod, probably. Try again, make sure that you have at least 1/4 turn backed off after resistance. keep the wrench and the screwdriver in place and held for the entire procedure. If you don't keep the screwdriver in the end of the shaft the shaft can turn when you tighten the lock nut.

To adjust cable slack take a look under the rubber cover at the clutch lever. You will see a threaded bolt-like thing with a slot in it screwed into the lever mount. There is a circular lock nut on it. Back the lock nut off and you can unscrew the adjuster. As it backs out of the lever mount it will take up slack in the cable. Both ends are adjustable.

The lever under the front cover moves toward the engine as it rotates (pulled by the cable). As it moves toward the engine the shaft moves through the hollow mainshaft and pushes the clutch apart releasing it. If this lever and shaft are adjusted too snugly then the clutch is held a bit released.

Now what if it's all adjusted correctly and the clutch is still slipping? If you're lucky you just put the wrong oil in at some time and an oil change will solve the problem. If you're unlucky you could have worn-out friction plates. These clutches are pretty robust, I'd be surprised if yours is worn out already. Bad technique will wear a clutch out very quickly, but I'm hoping that an oil change will solve the problem. Put Rotella, Delo or Delvac in. Cheap enough to try if the adjustment seems correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Andy, that's a great post, thanks!

I did readjust the slotted shaft on the sprocket end the other day, and rode the bike today for the first time since. The clutch holds great all the way up to 9k, which is as fast as I was willing to go... in 4th hehe.

I do have to adjust the slack a bit, but now that you've told me how it'll be done this weekend. I appreciate the help, any time you're in Cambridge the beer's on me :)
 

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We just had an 05 SVS with about 1k on the clock in the shop that had the same problem. No amount of adjustment was going to fix the slipping. Most of the frictions measured about 2~2.4mm, the steels were a nice deep blue! Yeah the guy was doing burn outs.

A good rule of thumb is to adjust at the bottom for cable stretch & wear and at the top for lever free play only. If you run out of adjustment at the bottom - pull the clutch plates and measure.

If your clutch slips and the plates are well within tolerances - get the metals media blasted and the frictions deglazed. This makes the clutch grip as well as it can. Changing oil is a band-aid, fix the root of the problem and the oil will not matter at all. Modern bikes are designed to deal with very slippery new gen oils, the clutch materials are formulated to handle slick oil. Measure the free length of the springs too. Worn springs can allow a clutch to slip also.

On very high power output SV's we have added clutch plates to the pack. By subbing a couple of thinner steels on the outer part of the pack (clutches run hottest and slip most in the middle of the clutch pack) an SV basket can take two or three additional plates. This makes for a clutch that handles 100 hp without problems. Street SV's shouldn't need this, but it does work, we've tested it.
 
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