At the end of yesterdays ride, I stalled coming out of the local garage, which I put down to tiredness, but when pulling into the drive at home I was feathering the clutch an there was a clunking from the gearbox and I realised I had gained a massive amount of free-play in the clutch cable and needed to pull it back to the bar to disengage the clutch.
I was assuming a few cable strands had broken or the solder joint on the nipple at the engine end had pulled though (it was a DIY job) but on examining things today, the nipple looks fine, and no cable strands have broken at either nipple end (where they usually go from flexing). The cable also runs smoothly when pulling the clutch in, so I’m pretty sure its fine.
I re-adjusted the cable to remove the extra 5mm of slack and clutch operation felt fine. However, after starting bike when I operate the clutch I can feel what I can only describe as ‘grittiness’ in the operation, which I’m sure isn’t normal?
Listening to clutch when it’s disengaged when running I can just hear some rattling over the sound of the engine, but I guess you would anyway with loose plates?
My thinking is that the clutch lifter bearing may have gone. Or the cable really is broken in some none obvious way.
So, today I drained the oil and sieved it which didn’t show anything and the tiny bits at the bottom of the drain pan seemed to be road muck fallen from outside of bottom of engine - they mostly squished away to nothing when rubbed between fingers and what was left didn’t look shiny or stick to a magnet.
It was quite an effort to get the clutch cover off, after removing all the fasteners it still took 2 hours of careful prising, head scratching and a whisky to get it off.
I got the clutch plates out and the problem is the clutch lifter bearing as I’d guessed. 1mm of sideways play, rolls as thought filled with grit, and you can seen in the close-up photo below after cleaning it there’s lots of tiny metal fragments washed off. (Bearings and cage look intact, so no big chunks missing.)
Clutch plates are still within wear limits, probably a bit more than 50% worn, (I did wonder being as I’ve done near;y 46k miles) but I’ll replace them whist I’m at it, and the springs, and the o-rings for the shafts that go into/through the casing.
Now the difficult bit starts… removing the old gasket, but that’s for another day. Got beer and curry to consume tonight
I drain all the oil and filter into a clean pan and run a magnet around the pan, picks up all the ferrous metal, first time you do it, it’s quite shocking as there’s usually a fair bit of "fur"on the magnet which is normal wear, it’s the bigger bits that are a concern, you can of course sieve it too.
Well, I emptied oil out of filter into the pan I drained sump into, and slowly poured that into into a container through a fine sieve. and used a magnet on the bits in the dregs of the pan. No metal on magnet or sieve. I’ll stick magnet into bottom of storage container with oil in tomorrow to check. But bearing didn’t break up, so not expecting big bits, and small bits if they’re there presumably still stuck to filter paper.