Well, sure, *now* it’s sunny.

I’m no longer sick, my shoulder is feeling better, the sun is finally out, and the weather is gorgeous.

So I’ve been driving to work all week.

It’ll be a good thing in the long run — I’m finally being proactive about fixing the clutch problems that have been plaguing the SVS for the past year. The stiff shifting and occasional dragging was manageable when I could adjust it away at the clutch lever. It became slightly more invasive when I had to adjust it away at the clutch release assembly. It became unacceptable when the lever was adjusted, the release assembly was adjusted, and still the clutch dragged.

For the past month, I haven’t been able to upshift out of first with the bike stopped but running. It’s not the annoying thing where it’ll shift between 1st-2nd-1st-2nd without ever stopping in neutral; it was physically impossible to upshift out of 1st at all. I have the toe bruises to prove it.

About two weeks ago, the clutch started dragging in stop-and-go traffic. I’d be in rush hour traffic on the freeway and the bike would buck like an angry horse.

On Monday, the clutch had a bucking episode and then slipped. Badly. I rode it right into the garage, said, “OK, enough is enough,” and pulled the plates.

They weren’t horror-show terrifying, but they’re definitely worn. A call to Grand Prix Suzuki on Tuesday confirmed that an aftermarket Barnett clutch would be cheaper than OEM plates; I’ve got one on its way. It should be here this coming Tuesday.

In the meantime, the SVS is taking a time-out in the garage, sans clutch. It’s just not worth putting it all back together so I can ride in potentially dangerous situations. I’ll take the Serow out again this weekend, so it won’t be a total loss.

I hope the new clutch plates fix this damn problem. I’m really looking forward to being able to shift into neutral at lights, and to riding in stop-and-go traffic without Bucky the Wonder Motorcycle trying to kill me, and to going on long trips this summer without worrying about all of the above.

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4 Responses to Well, sure, *now* it’s sunny.

  1. Jamie says:

    Isn’t this why you have a spare motorcycle? 🙂

  2. carolyn says:

    Yeah, but the Serow really isn’t a great commuter vehicle for me. First off, it’s still in break-in, so technically, I should be keeping it off the freeway as much as I can. Second, the stock tires are really aggressively dirt-friendly, which is uncomfy on the freeway. I want to eventually swap them out for something a little more street-friendly, at which point I can commute on it.

  3. Dave says:

    I hope you have better luck with Barnett clutches than I did. My DR350 had one in it, and the clutch dragged. So I had a shop (yeah, shoulda done it myself) swap out new Barnett plates. They dragged too. Turns out the Barnett plates are not only thicker than stock, but warped, too. Check yours with feeler gauges and a plate of glass before you install them.

  4. carolyn says:

    Cool, thanks for the heads-up!

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