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Parking Attendant
Posts: 9
posted April 22, 2015 05:11 AM        
Clutch Issue?

Well I changed out my stock levers for a set of short levers. I installed new tires and changed the oil and went to Rotella t6 synthetic. Those are the three things that I changed out that I think may be causing this.

Last year, 2 gear wheelies no problem, power it up at 65-80 mph EASILY. This year I take her out after changing things and do a little scuff on the tires and get about 25 miles or so on them. I launch the bike from a 10 mph roll, it takes off but feels like its either spinning the tire or slipping the clutch. And it really didnt feel like it was spinning the tire. So I head out to the highway and make my way from the on ramp and get on it hard in 2nd gear around 7000 rpm and hit it. Nothing it just revs up and moves at the same time, but not like it used to. Again I think it can't be spinning the tire. But they are new tires.... so maybe they still need heat in them.

A few hours later I am on a trip to Kentucky from Michigan. Now I have around 150 miles on the bike. I crack the throttle in first gear a few times and the front end comes up like it usually did, no problem. I launch from a dead dig and slip the clutch a little and it takes off nicely with the front tire about 6 inches off the ground pulling strongly. I think hmm..... ok maybe it was the tires. So I get on the highway again and hit it hard around 7000 rpm in second gear, nothing, no wheelstand, no big rush of acceleration. I hit it in 3rd gear and I watch the tach jump a little and again no rush. I think yep, the clutches are smoked.....

So I ride normal and do 1000 miles that weekend. Come back to my shop, read up that the clutch levers being aftermarket china, might be the problem. So I check them.... seems like they weren't letting the clutch all the way out.... thats gotta be it. So I reinstall the clutch and take it out.... Same thing basically, but it does pull the tire slightly in 2nd gear, maybe 6 inches and it takes off decent but still not the same as last year.

It was late and I pulled the levers and looked at the factory and the aftermarket and the hole depth is definitely deeper, I can't really measure the two against each other because of the difference in shape. In goes the factory lever, and I haven't tested it out yet. I am hoping its back to normal.

BUT.... I am wondering about the Rotella T6. I haven't used that before......

BUT.... I also have 41,000 miles on the original factory clutch, but only about 25-35 drag strip passes on it, but some good street riding.

I don't understand how the clutch can be perfectly good last year and seem fine this year until I change the levers, oil and tires. Which all three could make the bike feel like its slipping the clutch to one degree or another. Tires are Shinko Verge x16, and I went through 3 sets of those last year at normal tire changing pace ( around 5000-6000 miles a set, same as my pilot powers, but cheaper ).

So without trying out the factory lever again till the weather breaks. What do you guys think. Obviously if the lever doesn't fix it, I am going to drain the oil and go back to dino oil or something and see if that is causing it. But I know others have used the Rotella T6 with no issues.

How long does a factory clutch last? If I get in 6 th gear at 40 mph and hit it hard all the way up to 100 mph, it doesn't slip. But maybe the torque multiplication isn't great enough in that gear to notice slippage.

Finally I think if I need clutchs I ll call Dwayne at Cycle Concepts and get the stacked drag pak he offers, since so many people rave about it vs the factory clutch, bang for buck price wise.

2008 ZX14


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Needs a life
RED rider!
Posts: 13081
posted April 24, 2015 10:38 PM        
My experience with chinese shorty levers are love hate. Some work great and some have to have parts shaved down or drilled out to ensure they engage the clutch master or the brake master correctly. I have "CNR" shorty levers and they work flawlessly.
I have 10's of thousands of miles of shell rotella t6 oil use . My clutch is all factory original and has over 152,000 miles on it. Countless 180 -190mph + runs and lots of drag strip passes, touring and hard riding in the twisties.
Bottom line and what i would bet money on is your levers causing the clutch slippage.
'06 Passion Red ZX-14


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