The clutch is dead, long live the clutch!

I picked up the Barnett clutch yesterday. While soaking the friction plates in motor oil before installation, I thumbed through the SVS’s service manual and actually managed to find the wear limits for the old plates. I’d been looking for these last weekend, but the manual helpfully puts “clutch disassembly”, “clutch inspection”, and “clutch installation” in three separate areas. Someday, when I’m old and bitter and I hate the world, I’m going to write service manuals.

Anyway, it turns out that my stock friction plates were well past the wear limit, as were the springs. Hooray.

I installed the new clutch plastes, springs, and gasket and bolted everything back up all happy-like. Like a complete tard, I forgot to replace the oil filler cap thing after pouring in the new oil, which resulted in a nice coating of fresh oil splatter all over my half of the garage.

Once I cleaned that up and replaced the oil (and cap!), things ran well. Until I tried to actually adjust the clutch.

The problem now is that the new clutch springs require approximately fifteen thousand pounds of force to compress. My left arm has tendonitis. And so we reach an impasse.

I spent a long time last night trying to adjust the clutch to a point where (a) the clutch would disengage with the lever pulled in and (b) I could pull the lever back to the friction zone. Unfortunately, I could get one or the other, but never both. If I could pull the lever, the bike would immediately stall when I downshifted into first. If the tension was correct to disengage the clutch, I needed both hands (literally) to pull back the lever.

So Peter and I came back inside and he drew me lots of pretty pictures of levers and pivot points and fulcrums. We decided that, short of finding me a three-foot-long clutch lever, I wasn’t going to be able to get enough leverage to use my new clutch.

Fortunately, the internet solves all ills, and I found a Moose Easy-Pull Clutch System. The gist of it is that there’s additional linkage inside, which attaches to both the stock clutch cable and to its own cable (if I understand correctly, the cable that’s attached to the system then connects to the bike lever). I ordered one from a local shop that swears up and down that it’ll be in tomorrow morning. So, watch this space, and I’ll let y’all know how that works out.

G1948

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7 Responses to The clutch is dead, long live the clutch!

  1. Dave says:

    I certainly hope your easy-pull clutch system is cheaper than new stock clutch springs. Did you know the Barnett springs were stiffer than stock?

  2. Michael says:

    yah, Barnett’s are much stiffer than stock (in theory for high horsepower applications) but a good mix would be swap half of the Barnett’s out with your old stock springs (or new stock springs if you don’t like the idea of the used springs) which should give you a much easier pull….And you don’t have to wait until tomorrow if you put in the old springs :).
    -Michael

  3. alex says:

    Carolyn,
    I had the same problem when I replaced the springs in the ducs. For my street bike, I run 4 springs, rather than the stock 6. I havnt had it slip once, and its nice and easy on the wrists. Try it, I bet it works nicely. 🙂

  4. Duane says:

    Have you had a chance to install the Easy-Pull? I’d like to install one on a Suzuki too, but have no idea how it mounts to the bike by looking its picture. I’d love to read a review and maybe see it on your bike. Good luck and keep us informed.

  5. carolyn says:

    Yup, it’s all installed and is working really well. 🙂 I took pictures during installation and have thus far been too lazy to upload them…I’ll try to get to that tonight and will post an installation write-up ASAP….

  6. mojomofo says:

    Umm, with muscles like those you’re displaying in your shoulder photo, why do you need help pulling in the clutch?!?!!!??!!??!! 😉

  7. carolyn says:

    Hee! If I pulled in the clutch with my rear delts, it wouldn’t be a problem, no. 😉

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