My old nemesis has returned.

So, once again, I’m having clutch issues.

After doing the valves, I took off the front sprocket cover to clean up the ten metric fucktons of crap that the chain spews there; while in the general area, I decided to readjust the clutch. It’d been doing that annoying “Wha? Neutral? Huh?” thing at stoplights again.

With Peter’s (very patient) help, we got the clutch back in spec…which means, of course, I can’t pull in the lever. My two options with this bike seem to be:

1) Clutch is functional but requires superhuman arm of steel to pull in lever
2) Clutch is accessible to mortals but then does not engage and, in fact, pretty damn well just doesn’t work.


I should also point out that, while working on this, I idly bitched to Peter about “why was this just happening now?” and how “the clutch used to work just fine”, thereby proving that I have become senile at 28. In fact, while doing a bit of websurfing just now, I found posts I’d made about this same exact problem back in 2001.

Meanwhile, the riding posture on the SVS is aggravating my shoulder. I know this, but yet I continue to ride the bike to work. I spent my entire commute today thinking “huh, I’m probably undoing all of the good that physical therapy is doing for my shoulder”. Sigh. I just don’t want to face the possibility of not being able to ride the SVS, whether for short or long term. “Denial” isn’t just a pretty river in Egypt.

What I should be doing is riding Dora to work. So far, she hasn’t given my shoulder any problems. Perhaps I can learn from my posture there.

At what point do I give up? When do I say, “OK, we’ve had 60,000 really terrific miles together, but I can’t ride you at all without my entire left arm erupting in agony within 20 miles. I’ve tried everything I know how to do, and nothing helps. I’ve changed the handlebars and the seat and my own gear and I’ve been to physical therapy twice and I see a chiropractor every month and I’ve totally revamped my office cube and home desk for ergonomics and still my arms and shoulder hurt.” How do you know when it’s time to say so long and thanks for all the fish?

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8 Responses to My old nemesis has returned.

  1. Geoff says:

    As a final, desperate, break-only-in-case-of-emergency last resort you could spend a week riding a newer GSX-R 600. After a week on that orthopedic nightmare, your SVS would feel like a La-Z-Boy by comparison!
    But really, I can appreciate the emotional angst associated with putting a dearly beloved bike out to pasture. But as long as you are replacing ‘ol Bessie with something better (or at least comparable) the sorrow is usually very short lived.

  2. Kansas says:

    That sucks to hear. I didn’t know the SV was uncomfortable for you.
    Maybe a FZ6 or that Kawasaki 750 would be a better match for ya.

  3. carolyn says:

    Wow, that’s awesome info, thanks so much! I disabled the clutch lever electric cut-off switch a while ago, so that wouldn’t be a problem…I’m definitely going to try to hunt down one of those GPZ levers. Thanks!!

  4. Ron Napier says:

    I just bought and wrecked an ’07 SV650S. Dislocated my shoulder in a previous crash, and it does get aggravated a bit. Not sure if it’s totaled yet or not; if it is, I may go cruiser or some such thing. Who knows.

  5. Enzo says:

    Hi there, i recently came across this site, having a 05′ yellow sv650s myself- I’m glad to find peers out there 🙂

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those GSXR wanna be or stunt rider- Although I do feel the stock 74 something horsepower totally isn’t enough for me, sure it goes fast, but after 3rd gear i’m always waiting for the rpm to pass each thousand bands of rpm i.e shifting to 4th at anywhere between 4500-5500 rpm it takes forever to rev up high enough to be up to speed or passing speed

    could i be missing something here?

    • carolyn says:

      Hi Enzo — it’s been 6 years since I’ve ridden the SVS , so I may be a little off in my memory, but I seem to remember doing most of my shifting right around that same area (4-5k RPM).

      On the SVS, you should be going a good 50mph in 4th gear around 5k RPM, and about 70mph in 6th around 5k RPM (depending of course on your size/weight, what you’re carrying, etc).

      If you’re in top gear and want a little more power to pass someone, for example, try downshifting so that you wind up in 5th at a slightly higher RPM.

      Hope that helps!

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