Stalling as soon as clutch lever is released.

Mjohnm

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1980 Yamaha xs650
Seems like a pretty common problem with these but after going through piles of other threads regarding the same issue I haven’t really solved the problem yet.

At first the clutch was near impossible for me to pull in (permanent hand injuries from over the years). The previous owner had also replaced the clutch cable (I’m not sure what exactly he got but it almost seems a bit short and too tight possibly?). I purchased a new clutch worm actuator from Mikes Xs which seemed to help a fair bit. I also opened up the other side of the clutch and pulled the plates apart and soaked everything in oil, replaced a gasket etc nothing too crazy. The plates look decent and not too worn, same with the basket itself. It used to still gradually pull forward while running with the clutch pulled all the way in but this all seems to have fixed that.

I’ve adjusted the worm gear locknut to just be touching slightly but not tight (following some YouTube videos).

Still as soon as I let out the clutch in first gear it stalls on me. It has a nice smooth start as I slowly release it while giving it some throttle and then just stalls as soon as it’s fully let out.

My next idea was to replace the clutch springs because it seems like that might potentially be part of the issue according to some other threads. But I’d like to be more sure before I order it because it’s actually quite expensive and takes a while to get to west coast Canada from mikes XS. I’m also up for suggestions on Canadian or west coast alternatives if this is actually part of the problem.

Thanks for any advice!
 
I adjust the clutch with the rear wheel in the air
If you have a central stand or otherwise
With wheel in the air I have the motor idling in 1 st gear
Pull in the clutch and try to stop the rear wheel with the foot .
If not possible adjust at the engine side till it is possible.
Try shift gear and set it so it works
To loose the clutch can slip out on the road
 
Replacement heavy duty clutch springs are quite cheap usually, like $15 a set or less. Don't get them from Mikes, in fact don't get (hardly) anything from them. You can usually find it cheaper, and often a better product, elsewhere. But heavy duty clutch springs will make the lever pull a bit stiffer, and you may not want that.
 
1980 Yamaha xs650
Seems like a pretty common problem with these but after going through piles of other threads regarding the same issue I haven’t really solved the problem yet.

At first the clutch was near impossible for me to pull in (permanent hand injuries from over the years). The previous owner had also replaced the clutch cable (I’m not sure what exactly he got but it almost seems a bit short and too tight possibly?). I purchased a new clutch worm actuator from Mikes Xs which seemed to help a fair bit. I also opened up the other side of the clutch and pulled the plates apart and soaked everything in oil, replaced a gasket etc nothing too crazy. The plates look decent and not too worn, same with the basket itself. It used to still gradually pull forward while running with the clutch pulled all the way in but this all seems to have fixed that.

I’ve adjusted the worm gear locknut to just be touching slightly but not tight (following some YouTube videos).

Still as soon as I let out the clutch in first gear it stalls on me. It has a nice smooth start as I slowly release it while giving it some throttle and then just stalls as soon as it’s fully let out.

My next idea was to replace the clutch springs because it seems like that might potentially be part of the issue according to some other threads. But I’d like to be more sure before I order it because it’s actually quite expensive and takes a while to get to west coast Canada from mikes XS. I’m also up for suggestions on Canadian or west coast alternatives if this is actually part of the problem.

Thanks for any advice!
You can get many of the bits you need from XS650direct.com out of Ontario. I used them often.
 
Replacement heavy duty clutch springs are quite cheap usually, like $15 a set or less. Don't get them from Mikes, in fact don't get (hardly) anything from them. You can usually find it cheaper, and often a better product, elsewhere. But heavy duty clutch springs will make the lever pull a bit stiffer, and you may not want that.

the cost for everything has been about triple because of the currency exchange and all the duty fees plus postage to the other side of the country. But Bosco659 just linked me to a Canadian site so I might try that.

Do you think that my current springs being worn would contribute to the bike stalling when trying to release the clutch lever in gear though? Trying to read some instructions right now on testing for worn springs. I’m not sure what else to check or mess with at this point.
 
I don’t think your stalling problem is the result of clutch issues. If you slowly release the clutch while applying throttle and it kills the motor I’d suspect you have other issues to deal with. Do you have a centerstand? If the bike is on the stand with the rear wheel off of the ground will it still stall as described?
 
I noted your comment regarding hand injuries so just thinking to the future when the clutch issue is solved.

On the XS, or any motorcycle, the effort required to pull the clutch lever is greatly affected by the bends in the clutch cable. I have seen Yamaha photos showing the XS clutch cable exiting from under the tank rising up between the ignition key and the handle bars. This creates a tight bend and a difficult lever to pull. I routed my cable to the left of the speedometer and this made the clutch much easier to operate - See below:
image_2024-05-14_221503569.png

If you want it even easier to pull then let the clutch cable exit below the headlight between the forks and just above the lower triple tree. The cable then sweeps up in a very gentle bend to the clutch perch/lever. It does not look as tidy but is sure easy on the left hand.

Enjoy your XS...:cheers:
 
I suggest you push the bike with your legs before releasing the clutch so the bike will not stall. Then you will check if the engine pulls and revs as it should.
 
I don’t think your stalling problem is the result of clutch issues. If you slowly release the clutch while applying throttle and it kills the motor I’d suspect you have other issues to deal with. Do you have a centerstand? If the bike is on the stand with the rear wheel off of the ground will it still stall as described?
Had to get some help just to put this thing on its centre stand. I just managed to get it to start and it seems it didn’t actually stall after I put it in gear with the rear wheel off the ground. I haven’t gotten this thing to idle very long so it eventually just died so it’s a little tricky to diagnose anything during the short time it’s actually running. I just need to keep giving it gas. I’ll probably just adjust the idle screw. What does this mean exactly if it’s running fine for the most part while up on the centre stand though?

Edit - ok quick idle screw adjustment and it idles fine. Can put it into first and rear wheels moves just fine, doesn’t stall. Can easily flick it back into neutral as well. Starting it is still a pain but at least she runs while on the centre stand.
 
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The 2 bikes I had similar issues, it was a lean carb. While idling, can you quickly throttle up w/o hesitation?
If you put the choke on, does it still do it?
In both cases (XJ650), my idle mix was too lean and in one case, I needed to bump up the pilot jet. One of the bikes just took more time to warm up than the other and given time, it would warm up and operate fine.
 
If off the center stand with wheels on the ground, engine not running, in first gear, clutch lever pulled in, can you roll the bike forward and backwards? If not the clutch plates might be stuck together. To break them free, leave it in gear, sit on the bike, rock the bike forward and backward with the clutch lever pulled, until the plates break free.
 
I adjust the clutch with the rear wheel in the air
If you have a central stand or otherwise
With wheel in the air I have the motor idling in 1 st gear
Pull in the clutch and try to stop the rear wheel with the foot .
If not possible adjust at the engine side till it is possible.
Try shift gear and set it so it works
To loose the clutch can slip out on the road
If off the center stand with wheels on the ground, engine not running, in first gear, clutch lever pulled in, can you roll the bike forward and backwards? If not the clutch plates might be stuck together. To break them free, leave it in gear, sit on the bike, rock the bike forward and backward with the clutch lever pulled, until the plates break free.
it moves fine with the clutch lever pulled in. And should the plates really be getting stuck together if I just opened the case up and pulled it all apart and re soaked everything in oil?

It was actually really difficult getting it on it’s centre stand because I’m not a big guy so I might try to do all the work I can while it’s up there before I put it down again. Haha.

Also I greased the new cable as well.
 
If off the center stand with wheels on the ground, engine not running, in first gear, clutch lever pulled in, can you roll the bike forward and backwards? If not the clutch plates might be stuck together. To break them free, leave it in gear, sit on the bike, rock the bike forward and backward with the clutch lever pulled, until the plates break free.
If they were stuck, he would stall/surge forward when he put it in gear right?

Either the engine can't handle the load or the Transmission is seized.
Even with the transmission, it may not be siezed, but it may not be going into first gear? Can that happen? Tap down on shift but it does not go into 1st but goes into a higher gear. Can something be messed up to make that happen?

For transmission, he should be able to put it in gear, on center stand, remove left plate and turn the engine and rear wheel should move.
 
It was actually really difficult getting it on it’s centre stand because I’m not a big guy
I'll bet your springs are sagged out, which makes it a lot tougher to put up on the stand, no matter your size.
When new, these were a doddle to pop up.
 
Had to get some help just to put this thing on its centre stand. I just managed to get it to start and it seems it didn’t actually stall after I put it in gear with the rear wheel off the ground. I haven’t gotten this thing to idle very long so it eventually just died so it’s a little tricky to diagnose anything during the short time it’s actually running. I just need to keep giving it gas. I’ll probably just adjust the idle screw. What does this mean exactly if it’s running fine for the most part while up on the centre stand though?

Edit - ok quick idle screw adjustment and it idles fine. Can put it into first and rear wheels moves just fine, doesn’t stall. Can easily flick it back into neutral as well. Starting it is still a pain but at least she runs while on the centre stand.
Sounds like you may need to get the engine running consistent first and idle at proper rpm.
A poorly running engine can have you going in circles. Best of luck. :)
 
If they were stuck, he would stall/surge forward when he put it in gear right?

Either the engine can't handle the load or the Transmission is seized.
Even with the transmission, it may not be siezed, but it may not be going into first gear? Can that happen? Tap down on shift but it does not go into 1st but goes into a higher gear. Can something be messed up to make that happen?

For transmission, he should be able to put it in gear, on center stand, remove left plate and turn the engine and rear wheel should move.

It actually was lurching forward and stalling when letting out the clutch in first gear. Even right after I pulled the plates apart and soaked in oil and checked them for wear. But oddly enough it doesn’t seem to be stalling when putting it in first when it’s on the centre stand with the rear wheel in the air.

To answer Melnic as well, it is idling fine now and I can give it throttle just fine while idling.
 
If you have the cast alloy wheels then it will be difficult to use the center stand because Yamaha forgot to re-design the stand for a smaller rear wheel. If this is the case with your bike then roll the rear wheel onto a board about 1/2" to 3/4" thick then the center stand will be easy work for you. With my 1981 SH I had a piece of board screwed to the garage floor in my parking spot. As an alternative some people shorten the center stand.
 
If you have the cast alloy wheels then it will be difficult to use the center stand because Yamaha forgot to re-design the stand for a smaller rear wheel. If this is the case with your bike then roll the rear wheel onto a board about 1/2" to 3/4" thick then the center stand will be easy work for you. With my 1981 SH I had a piece of board screwed to the garage floor in my parking spot. As an alternative some people shorten the center stand.

That’s exactly what I had to do. Still even needed my cousin who has 100 pounds on me pull it back while I held the centre stand down with my foot otherwise it just snaps back up. Doesn’t seem like an easy one man job this hah
 
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