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Clutch cable short?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by apox, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    did some searching on the forums, some people have had similar issues but I think mine is just something simple I'm not getting. So, check the videos below in the link, it shows my clutch play in the cover and my lever play.

    Clutch mechanism travel

    Clutch lever travel

    The problem I am having is, I just don't get enough clutch, and if I adjust it more and more, it becomes partially engaged, and I get that weird problem where the kick starter goes limp (no resistance)

    Anyway, when I Pull the clutch and pop it in first gear I basically get moving in a hurry! Lol. do I really need some massive banana looking lever that I have to hog tie in to get. enough clutch travel?

    I just rebuilt the clutch mechanism on the cover it didn't have much wear to the worm gear.

  2. On the tech sheet tab go to clutch and read the entire thread
    XS650 Clutch Worm Actuator experiment & tidbits
    a little long but loads of info
  3. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    Thanks, read it all, including the first few pages of comments. So, my mechanism isn't difficult to operate, as you can see in the video I test with just a thumb, and I was able to tighten down the mechanism holding screws tight with a screwdriver. It does not seem to stiffen the effect of the worm. My issue is really just that it does not travel far enough to fully engage the clutch. I'd love to see how far someones clutch mechanism travels with a full level like I did in my video, that would really show me that I'm just simply not getting enough travel.
  4. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Hey, apox. Yeah, these clutch actuator things can be persnikity. Measure your cable travel that you showed in your first video. Unladen like that, you should be getting about 0.6" of cable end travel. The loads from the actuator can reduce that as much as 0.2", leaving only 0.4" of actual travel. If your unladen travel is much less than 0.6", your actual clutch pressure plate travel will be much less than the 0.060" (1.5mm) acceptable value.

    Some cable info in here:


    Follow thru this recent thread, noting the pics/comments on ideal clutch worm arm starting position, and the short vid showing pressure plate movement:


    If you think that you're getting enuff pressure plate travel, it may be time to inspect and/or replace clutch plates. They could be warped, wrong thicknesses (search for 'stackup'), or simply sticky/gooey. Premium/kevlar plates have a better release/engage region compared to OEM and aftermarket cork-based plates...
  5. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer Top Contributor

    looking at your lever it doesn't look original to me . The clutch lever pivot point looks closer to the bars than original which will lose you some pull and it looks like part of the lever travel is going at a 45 degree angle at the end of the lever pull which means you are losing a bit of cable pull there also.
    You need a clutch lever with less crank so that you get more pull before it hits the bars or alternatively grind a bit off the end of the lever so that you get more angle on the lever start position clutch lever.jpg wormarm.jpg
  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, I think the dogleg on that clutch lever is too great. It's hitting the bar sooner than a normal straight style lever would. That reduces cable pull, pushrod travel, and clutch plate separation.
  7. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Just to compare, my XS1B clutch perch, with a Magura lever.
    The lever meets flush/even with the handgrip, lever travel is 3-1/2" at the lever end.
    It produces 0.60" of cable movement, which is about a 6:1 lever ratio...

  8. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    image.jpeg So, I've since tried both styles of worm gear, the old short arm one seems to travel a bit more. I put a stock lever on with 4.5" of travel.

    I've had my cable travel as high as 3/4" but once it's all assembled and I watch down in the case with a flashlight it seems so piddly, like maybe 1/8" or less of rod movement. I can barely roll the bike in gear it's definitely still not enough. I am 99% sure the actual clutch is fine, previous owner is a genius with bikes he completely rebuild the motor top to bottom less than 3 years ago, I just took the covers off to polish them up and that's it, I did no clutch work. He did not however provide the bike with any cables, bars, levers, etc. so that's all of course different now.

    I also watched that video, thanks, I must have missed that. I guess it really doesn't turn much, I don't know what to do.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  9. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    my clutch cable is also a two piece type with an adjuster in the middle? anyway, today when I was lubing it, I was moving the cable back and forth getting the oil down and 1 of the wires grabbed somewhere inside. It left the bundle and spun around the rest of them all weird like. Anyway, this is on hold till a new clutch cable comes. Should be a few days.
  10. angus67

    angus67 Welder's penetrate deeper!!

    Adjuster in the middle? Hopefully your new cable will be for a xs650
  11. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    Ya, I didn't think twice about it because it came with the 80 special I bought years ago. I just grabbed it out of the parts box and used it on this bike thinking it must have been a rare stock model cable. Funny both ends were perfect for the xs650. Yup, motion pro xs650 cable on order.

    I'll follow up once I get it. I really hope it's the solution but I don't understand how a cable could effect operation, I Understand how it could effect stiffness, but if you can make a full pull with your lever, then you'll pull the same amount of cable regardless of its brand or style no? Assuming it's jacket fits snugly in the lever and the cover which it did.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  12. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer Top Contributor

    Your lever looks identical identical to the XS400 model . I haven't a clue what model or year bike you have because you haven't mentioned it anywhere so I don't know if your lever and perch are stock for your bike . It would be really helpful for future posts if you put your bike details in your signiture .

    New cable or not you will still have the same problem. You have too little lever travel.
    if I were you I think I would consider buying a used clutch lever with a straight arm (no dog leg) to get more lever travel Its a simple immediate fix and they can be had for less than $5.00
    Alternatively buy a used lever and perch for a later model 1978-84 which will give you greater mechanical advantage.

    There is something wrong with your existing clutch perch pivot . If you watch your video you will see that the last half an inch lever travel doesn't pull any cable out because the cable travels sideways, due to the design of the lever perch pivot point.
    Can't explain it in words ........I'm sure 2M or 5T or someone will explain it better than I.
    Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

    Its the same in principle as the angle of moment problem that you have with your worm arm
  13. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    Ok, still on hold till I get the cable but I'll post my bike info. It is a 1980 engine, with the inbetween style worm arm. the middle size. (I also have the longest style as a backup). I fully inspected the entire worm gear mechanism, no play of the two pieces when together, ball bearing in, everything moves nicely. I've also got the one piece push rod. As far as the lever, in my last photo I took I switched to an xs650 late style lever. I looked on mikesxs, ebay and google photos, and it is definitely this lever and perch as you can see it does have a massive almost 5" of travel capability, I slid it up to just where the bar starts to bend as well for a bit more leverage. So the only thing of out place that I can tell was the cable. Will report back once I am all stock (minus handlebars) and hooked up.
    lever.jpg perch.jpg
    level and perch.jpeg
  14. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    Ok! lots of new stuff to show and talk about now. So I got the clutch cable, motion pro, looks like the elbow isn't as steep as the stock one which is great they made that improvement. Tried it out in every single configuration, with my two levers, adjusted to clymer, then super tight no play, then even moved the lever to the end of the bars and pulled that sucker into next tuesday and still, I cant easily roll the bike in 1st gear, I STILL only get a very partial clutch. So I caught the oil and opened right case up... Now, as soon as I got it off, I pulled the clutch to see the plate action and the very first plate closest to the engine stayed close to the engine, the other 5 moved away from the engine. I just kinda unstuck it very easily with my finger and it freed up and follows the other 5 now. Not even sure if this is the correct function btw that's why I am letting you guys know. Some videos below to see

    So do the plates look like they are operating properly?
    I did measure the friction plates, they were in spec as per the service manual.
    clutch disks on a granite counter top produced no warps at all that I could get a 0.002 feeler under.
    clutch springs must be an upgraded type as their free length is ~41.5mm and manual says a number in the 30's.

    some other photos below may be useful, but I am really at a loss here, not sure what to do.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback so far guys. Bike is basically ready, minus a working clutch! :(

    Attached Files:

  15. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Have you followed the clutch adjustment directions in the manual? I have found that the Clymer directions are pretty good. I have modified them to be even better. Loosen the lever adjuster to give max free play, Down at the worm loosen the lock nut, back off a few turns. Now spin the adjuster in/out a few times to get a good feel of how much resistance just turning the screw feels, This is important. Now turn the screw in till you just feel an increase in resistance. This is the point you have removed all free play from between the worm and pressure plate. Now you need to put back some free play. The book calls for 1/4 turn, I like a bit less. As you turn the adjuster you will see the nut turn also, back off the screw one flat of the nut, Lock down. At the lever adjust for 1/8 to 1/4 inch free play. This gives you about the max pressure plate movement available.
    If you adjust the lever to make it easier to reach, you lose pressure plate movement. This can lead to clutch drag, this leads to hard to find neutral and hard shifting.
    When you have the worm apart, clean out any old grease and use a generous amount of fresh grease. On the cable use engine oil as described in the manual. Make the funnel method. Works better and lasts longer than the spray lubes.
    On my 75 with 70 lb. springs I can pull the lever with two fingers. Plenty of fresh lube and proper adjustment makes a big difference in operation.
    Even at it's best this clutch has some drag. This makes pushing the bike around in gear, clutch pulled a bit tough, just pop it in neutral to push around.
  16. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, it's normal for this bike to be hard to push around when in gear, clutch pulled, motor not running.
  17. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    I wondered when someone would mention the "nature of the beast" clutch drag.
    apox have you tried your clutch with the different handle while riding?
    One of your first concerns was when it engaged while riding. Has the different lever helped that?
  18. apox

    apox XS650 Addict

    Fixed, cleaned and filed the stamped edges of the plates, also scuffed with some scotch pads, immediately upon reassembly I could pull the clutch and move the back wheel in 1st.

  19. Greyandridin

    Greyandridin Got nothing to do and all day to do it XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    apox I see the picture of the clutch lever and bracket where can I get one like it my bracket is cracked and the lever is a bit wobbly -- the picture of a ? xs650 late style lever

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