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Discussion Starter #1
So my bike has 22100 miles, and on my last few commutes I noticed the clutch was slipping in first gear. I am assuming this is the clutch slipping anyway.. I don't have any previous experience with the issue.

What happens when I try to take off in 1st is that something studders and knocks a bit and the bike doesn't accelerate as quickly.

So assuming these are indications of a worn clutch, is 22k miles the normal lifespan for a clutch? I bought the bike with 9k and I don't know how it was treated by the previous owner, but I haven't had any other mechanical issues with it until now.

How long can I expect the clutch to last before it fails to engage completely in 1st?

If the clutch completely fails to engage on me when I'm out somewhere, will it still engage in 2nd?

Does this necessarily mean the clutch will need to be replaced, or is it possibly something else that can be repaired?
 

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The clutch is a service item that will eventually go out. It really depends on how its been used. Some could last up to 50k miles I believe, but if you drag race or launch off every light then it will be significantly less.

Once the clutch engages and you're moving, if you give it a good bit of throttle do you notice that your speed seems to increase a lot slower than your RPMs? That is another characteristic of a worn clutch.

What concerns me about your description is the fact that it studders and knocks. I've never had to replace a clutch either, but from the knowledge I've gathered here, you typically just end up revving really hard to get it away from the line until your worn clutch engages. The knocking and studdering doesn't seem right.

But that being said, you don't replace the entire clutch assembly. There are steel plates, friction plates, and springs that may be needing replaced. Typically runs a little over 100$ for a new pack of plates I believe. That's not to say you couldn't have broken something, and based on your knocking and studdering problem, I would give it more investigation before you ride it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The clutch is a service item that will eventually go out. It really depends on how its been used. Some could last up to 50k miles I believe, but if you drag race or launch off every light then it will be significantly less.

Once the clutch engages and you're moving, if you give it a good bit of throttle do you notice that your speed seems to increase a lot slower than your RPMs? That is another characteristic of a worn clutch.

What concerns me about your description is the fact that it studders and knocks. I've never had to replace a clutch either, but from the knowledge I've gathered here, you typically just end up revving really hard to get it away from the line until your worn clutch engages. The knocking and studdering doesn't seem right.

But that being said, you don't replace the entire clutch assembly. There are steel plates, friction plates, and springs that may be needing replaced. Typically runs a little over 100$ for a new pack of plates I believe. That's not to say you couldn't have broken something, and based on your knocking and studdering problem, I would give it more investigation before you ride it again.
I forgot to mention that I mostly ride in the city, so I'm sure thats a pretty big factor in the lifespan in terms of mileage.
The knocking and studdering only occurs while the clutch is engaging.. once I get rolling it goes away.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say spread, but that sounds like what I'm experiencing..
 

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I forgot to mention that I mostly ride in the city, so I'm sure thats a pretty big factor in the lifespan in terms of mileage.
The knocking and studdering only occurs while the clutch is engaging.. once I get rolling it goes away.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say spread, but that sounds like what I'm experiencing..
Just because you're doing city miles doesn't determine how you use the clutch really, but that's beside the point.

This is pure speculation, so take it at face value. If you're getting a weird knocking and studdering when you're engaging the clutch and you're concerned that it may have been going out for a while now, you may have worn a plate so thin that something broke and is moving around inside there. But I always like to eliminate the worst case scenario so that is where my brain jumps to.

To check my suggestion would require you to pull the clutch cover which means draining the oil, so if you're due for an oil change you might just take her out of commission until you get this issue figured out. Otherwise you might end up wasting an oil change. If you can tell that it takes a lot more revving to get moving and your acceleration doesn't match your RPMs, it's probably a safe bet that you'll need to replace the friction plates at a minimum. When you (or your mechanic) are doing that, look around for something that seems out of place.

You have me curious though. Can you reproduce the knock/studder with the bike on the side stand or with the clutch lever pulled? Maybe the two symptoms are unrelated?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just did a little experimenting..

The knocking only occurred when I was gradually increasing the throttle while engaging the clutch.
It doesn't occur if I just slowly engage the clutch with no throttle.
I didn't notice any knocking after the clutch was fully engaged.
There is no knocking sound when the bike is on the side stand while in neutral (at idle or being rev'ed).

I'm guessing I should just let a mechanic look at it when I get it serviced.
 

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From what you have said, the studdering and knocking is only occurring when you put load on the engine (rolling on throttle and engaging clutch). Maybe you have a cylinder that isn't firing?

Let your bike warm up and then get put some water on the headers using a spray bottle or whatever you have to use. If it doesn't evaporate off all of them at the same time, you know which one is probably down. You could also use a laser thermometer if you have one. Check to make sure all header pipes are the same temp.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
From what you have said, the studdering and knocking is only occurring when you put load on the engine (rolling on throttle and engaging clutch). Maybe you have a cylinder that isn't firing?

Let your bike warm up and then get put some water on the headers using a spray bottle or whatever you have to use. If it doesn't evaporate off all of them at the same time, you know which one is probably down. You could also use a laser thermometer if you have one. Check to make sure all header pipes are the same temp.
I used a laser thermometer. They all appeared to be about the same temp.

The knocking doesn't seem as bad as it was yesterday.
 

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My assumption is a worn clutch would not cause you to studder or knock. Idk where else to check from there.

Try some basic stuff. Seafoam cleaner in a tank of fresh gas. Clean your air filter.
When did you change spark plugs last?
 

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I threw my oil suggestion out there for a reason.... try changing your oil before throwing money at something where you don't know if it will/won't fix the problem
 

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I threw my oil suggestion out there for a reason.... try changing your oil before throwing money at something where you don't know if it will/won't fix the problem
This. Wet clutch. Oil breaks down after a while. Change oil since it'll only do it good and see if that helps any before getting into more complicated and expensive things.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As it turns out, its the chain and sprockets causing the sound.

I'm gonna get my local mechanic to order the parts and attempt to replace them myself. He offered to rivet the chain if I bought the parts from him and did everything else.

It seems like a fairly easy job. I just need to know how to get to the front sprocket and what size socket I need to pull it.
 

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so you chewed all the teeth off your sprocket hey?


a simple bit of advice.

CLEAN YOUR CHAIN!

getting back there and spending some time around your chain keeping it clean and lubed will give you plenty of time to inspect the sprockets for wear. seems like you shredded yours without noticing at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
so you chewed all the teeth off your sprocket hey?


a simple bit of advice.

CLEAN YOUR CHAIN!

getting back there and spending some time around your chain keeping it clean and lubed will give you plenty of time to inspect the sprockets for wear. seems like you shredded yours without noticing at all.
I put it on a rear tire stand and give it a good lube fairly regularly, but I should probably do it more often. The rear sprocket looks fine to me. The chain looks pretty wore and I've known it was going to need to be replaced eventually for a while now, but it didn't occur to me that it could be the source of the sound. I have no idea what the front sprocket looks like.
 

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I cut out my front sprocket cover so I can change the sprocket without removing the cover, also makes regular inspections a breeze
 

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I cut out my front sprocket cover so I can change the sprocket without removing the cover, also makes regular inspections a breeze
But I wonder why manufacturers cost themselves and add it to the bike to begin with :ponder:
 

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But I wonder why manufacturers cost themselves and add it to the bike to begin with :ponder:
Reduced noise, cleaner from a lube flinging standpoint and safety issues.

OP, clean your chain, not pile lube on it.

Mike
 
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