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Christopher
Christopher, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 6401
Experience:  20 yrs. experience as motorcycle, dirt bike, ATV, UTV and watercraft technician.
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1986 Yamaha Virago XV1100, one owner, only 25,000 miles. Clutch

Customer Question

1986 Yamaha Virago XV1100, one owner, only 25,000 miles. Clutch adjustment problem. Had to replace clutch cable, now when starting engine in 1st gear with clutch handle in, engine will not start. Engine will start in neutral but when I shift to 1st, with clutch handle held in, engine immediately dies. That indicates to me a tight clutch! I can go, but only if revs are way up when I shift to 1st. Not a safe situation!
On the other hand, while driving( bike is very torkie), when I add throttle, bike no longer responds as it used to do, engine revs but rear wheel barely responds. This indicates to me, a loose and slipping clutch! What is going on?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Christopher replied 3 years ago.

christopher :

Hello how are you

Customer:

Puzzled re clutch, but oterwise fine

christopher :

It sounds like you have a couple different issues. But im a little confused, you say it dies when shifted into first then you say it will go if reved up

christopher :

Ok so the new cable is not fully disengaging the clutch?

Customer:

This has changed. I just tried it again with the bike on its center stand. Yesterday & prior, it went down as follows: started engine in neutral, then revved to about 3000 rpm and with clutch handle in, I could put it in 1st and the engine would keep running. now, even with high revs the engine dies when I shift to 1st. Everything else remains the same.

christopher :

Do you feel it does because the clutch is allowing the trans to draor do you feel it is electrical

Customer:

You got me! The clutch must be engaging or it wouldn't kill the engine, right? Electrical? Anything is possible, but I would be surprised if its electrical. Incidentally the kickstand is in the up position.

Customer:

Maybe the kickstand thinks its in the down position?

christopher :

Will the engine spin over when in 1st gear with the clutch pulled in? Does it attempt to move the bike

Customer:

Negative! Oil lite & low fuel warning lite comes on, but silence!

christopher :

Ok the clutch switch is to blame for that, the switch is located on the clutch handle mount

christopher :

The lever should move / open up about a 1/4 inch before the cable is tensioned

Customer:

I'll look for it

christopher :

ok

christopher :

If not adjust the cable so it does

Customer:

I found the switch & it is loose, but I can't seem to get it seated. Tabs force me to insert it only one way. Two more tabs should lock it in place but I can't seem to be able to turn the thing, even if I push the piece in as I turn. Am I going to have to take the cable off the handle?

christopher :

If you just connect the two wires on the switch and it starts in gear the switch is bad. I was more concerned with the bigger problem

christopher :

Once you get the cable properly adjusted the lever pivot bolt can be removed to access the switch without messing with the adjsutment

Customer:

Let's assume, for now, I'll either get that switch seated or I'll replace it if its bad. That may solve the "clutch acts like its too tight" part of the problem, right? So, because of the lack of response to the throttle when I do get it going, the clutch must be too loose, right? Yes on the pivot bolt.

christopher :

Lack of response to me means the clutch cable is too tight or the clutches are worn. By adjusting the cable so you have free play we know the cable is not at fault and allowing the clutch springs to apply 100% of the pressure they have on the plates

Customer:

You're sharp, & now I'll expose my ignorance. Unable to get the 1/8 -1/4" freeplay asked for. The cable is barely on the threads where its made fast at the top.

Customer:

I doubt if the clutch is worn much. This activity was not gradual but only occurred when I changed the cable, plus very low mileage

christopher :

You will want the ajjustment at the top almost all the way in. Get the freeplay adjusted down at the other end of the cable. This way, as the clutches wear and the cable stretches in the future the adjustment can be made simply at the lever

Customer:

Makes sense, but I see no adjustment capability at the lower end. Nothing but a bare-assed catch that traps the ball on the end of the cable.

christopher :

Does your cable have an adjuster on it?

Customer:

As far as I can tell, only on the top end.

christopher :

Follow the length of the cable. Is it a yamaha cable

Customer:

Absolutely Yamaha. I'll go reinspect the cable, etc.

christopher :

ok

christopher :

Left side engine cover is where your adjsuter screw is located. Loosen the lock nut and you can make your adjustment there

Customer:

Negative on any adjustment capability on lower end of cable, been there a few times. I removed cover again to be sure. Negative. Upper end is barely on the threads. Don't see how I can loosen the cable?

christopher :

The lever the cable attaches to down at the engine has the adjsutment on it. The locknut is # XXXXX in the link

Customer:

The only lock nut I see is for the clutch shaft itself. Is that what you're referring to? OK, got your message.

christopher :

Turning the shaft in or out will increase or decrease the preload on the clutch

Customer:

The lever arm only fits on the shaft onlyone way, (unless you want to place the lever 180 degrees in the other direction).

christopher :

Loosen the lock nut #14, the threaded shaft that the nut is screwed on is the adjustment for the clutch

Customer:

I see no way to adjust the lever arm, I can only slack it with a wrench in order to remove or install lower end of cable.

christopher :

Look at the diagrahm again, part number 9 moves left or right on the three balls to apply or decrease pressure on the clutch

Customer:

Ok, so by loosening the clutch at the shaft via the bolt, it will slack the cable?

christopher :

Yes this will increase or decrease slack on the cable.

christopher :

Let me see if i can find you a manual

christopher :

Here is a link to a dowloadable manual, it does cost 7 bucks but the dealer wants close to 80$

Customer:

I've got two manuals but they're not as smart as you. I'm going back down stairs. I can assure you the manuals say nothing re slackening the cable by loosening the clutch! Course maybe they don't know how much of an expert I am!

christopher :

The must have the clutch adjustment procedure

Customer:

OK the clutch cable is loose as a goose & the cable is reconnected to the lever arm & i've got a ton of free play. Maybe I should let you go, I've certainly got my money's worth?

christopher :

Just tighten up the cable a little and make your final adjustment at the lever.

christopher :

If you find you have more questions just post them here and i will help you any way i can. Please remember to click on the accept button, it is the only way i am compensated for my time...Thanks

Customer:

Thanks a bunch. When the next time comes is there a way to ask for you by name, or do you never want to deal with me again?

christopher :

Just put my name in the subject line of the question to grab my eye and i will certainly help you again

Customer:

Thks again

Christopher, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 6401
Experience: 20 yrs. experience as motorcycle, dirt bike, ATV, UTV and watercraft technician.
Christopher and other Motorcycle Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Very satisfied with answer. No more questions at this time
Expert:  Christopher replied 3 years ago.
Thanks!

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