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Thread: Engine won't turn wheel

  1. #1
    Junior Member Darryl's Avatar
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    Engine won't turn wheel

    First time poster, although I've been lurking for a few months. I have a sad tale with a technical question.

    I bought a 2017 TW200 new in April and have since put 750 miles and 2 oil changes on it. Use has been mixed paved and gravel roads and, perhaps, 10 miles doing serious trail riding.

    Today I took the TW200 (in the back of my pickup) to the Evans Creek ORV area near Mt Rainier to try out some of the motorcycle trails. I was very surprised that the place was empty. One camp site was occupied, but no cycles, ATV, or 4WD vehicles.

    I was riding mostly uphill on a somewhat challenging trail. At some point I noticed the clutch was not disengaging completely. I stopped and adjusted the clutch. Later, on the same trail, I hit a tough section and was dropping the clutch while bouncing on the seat to get over some rocks. After a couple of tries, something happened. Here are the symptoms:

    The clutch lever feels fine, but the clutch doesn't seem to engage.
    The engine no longer turns the rear wheel.
    The clutch return spring is in placed and positioned properly.
    The chain seems rather loose--I last checked it at 500 miles, so I don't really have a before/after
    When I let the clutch out in most gears, the chain flinches very slightly.

    Could it be that I have destroyed the clutch? Any suggestions?

    Here is the rest of the tale: This malfunction happened in a bad spot. I was on a steep and narrow segment of trail that had tall walls on the sides. After some struggle I managed to turn the bike around and coasted downhill. There were a few places of up-hill on the return trip that I managed to push the bike up (push, rest, push, rest...). But I got to a steeper uphill section that was beyond my ability to push the bike up. I had with me a home-built "extraction kit" with a single and double pulley, some webbing, carabiners and 100 feet of 800 lb parachute cord. I rigged up a 3-to-1 advantage pulley system using trees as the anchor that would let me straddle the bike and pull & push it up. It took a long time and quite a bit of effort, but I managed to make it back to the forest service road and, more or less, coasted back to the tuck. I started the engine every so often (if only to try the clutch), so hopefully all the coasting didn't hurt anything.

    The bike should be under warranty, but I would appreciate ideas about what the problem may be.
    admiral, Ken, PlacerLode and 1 others like this.
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    Never too old to learn/ride/operate something new.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Hi Darryl, and welcome to the forum!

    Sorry to hear about your problem, but it certainly sounds like you were well prepared and able to perform a self-extraction of your disabled bike (with a considerable amount of effort!). Congratulations for that!

    I don't have an explanation for the symptoms that you described - first a clutch that won't disengage and then won't engage. Where did you adjust the clutch (at the handlebar or at the engine), and did that help the non-disengaging problem? Having gotten the bike back home now, does the bike still exhibit the non-engaging problem? What kind of oil are you using?

    Brian
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  3. #3
    Junior Member Darryl's Avatar
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    Thanks Brian,

    I adjusted the clutch at the lever a small amount--it seemed like a normal adjustment. The adjustment was quite minimal. I did, of course, try additional adjustment in the field after the "no drive" problem, but I was only a couple of turns out.

    I am pretty sure the oil is Valvoline premium conventional 20W-50. I am looking at the bottle of 5W-30 that I accidentally picked up with the other bottles.

    ***Correction: Just went out to the truck where the filler bottle of oil is: Valvoline premium conventional 10W-40.

    I haven't tried it since getting home, but I did start the engine up occasionally during extraction and the problem persisted. I'll try again tomorrow morning.
    Last edited by Darryl; 06-28-2017 at 11:57 PM.
    admiral and Ken like this.
    ---
    Never too old to learn/ride/operate something new.

    Fun fleet:
    2017 TW200
    1977 RD400
    1988 Toyota 4x4 Pickup (R22E)
    1970 American Aviation AA1

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Commendable self rescue. I would take bike back to dealership for diagnosis and service under warrantee. Perhaps don’t offer too many details, nothing that could be construed as abuse. “ Gee, I dunno, clutch just stopped working”.
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  6. #5
    Junior Member Darryl's Avatar
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    Fred,
    Yeah...that is what I will probably end up doing after I return from a holiday trip. I cannot imagine that ~10 miles of trails would constitute "abuse" of a bike named Trailway, but I'll keep details to a "need to know" level.
    Dryden-Tdub and Ken like this.
    ---
    Never too old to learn/ride/operate something new.

    Fun fleet:
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    1977 RD400
    1988 Toyota 4x4 Pickup (R22E)
    1970 American Aviation AA1

  7. #6
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Certainly anyone who flies an AA-1 could never be accused of abusing a clutch, right? grumman-american-aa-1-06.jpg

    Since bike is so new likely issue is legitimately warrantee related and Yamaha should treat you right. A wild guess is that he reported slight engagement suggests possible broken rivets or de-lamination in the clutch pack, but hey, what do I know?
    Ken, PlacerLode and jtstdub like this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

  8. #7
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Welcome Darryl,

    Certainly a baffling situation for sure. I've not heard of anything similar in the way you're describing. If you've ruled out any kind of cable adjustment problem as TW-Brian suggested I'd guess it could only be something internal. Doesn't sound like it's an oil issue either. Normally, if the clutch cable is not adjusted correctly or the wrong oil is used it can give you the clutch "slipping" type feel.

    Please let us know what was found when you took it to the dealer for warranty work. Then if someone describes a situation like yours I (we) will have then heard of it.

    Good luck.


    P.S. Glad the extraction gear worked. Probably time I quit thinking about having a system like yours and actually get one or put one together...and carry it on the TW.
    Dryden-Tdub and Ken like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  9. #8
    Senior Member old w/??'s Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, Darryl. Sorry for your troubles. Smart that you had your extraction kit to help. I put one together based on one I saw on line; but made mine 5 to 1 with a quick 9 to 1 adjust-ability (after I saw how hard a guy worked on a big bike with a 5 to 1 in the video). I'm to damn old to try 3 to 1.

    When you say "premium conventional oil"; is it "motorcycle" oil as opposed to car oil? For most of my years I did not know there was a difference as dealers did my servicing - and when I started servicing my bikes myself I made the mistake of using regular car oil until I read that there was a difference. Car oils are not made for wet clutches in motorcycles and cause them to slip.

    When you say "dropping the clutch" to get through a section of trail - I think of a term I knew back in the 60's and 70's: "dumping the clutch" as in car drag racing to get a jump off the line (hitting the throttle and letting go of the clutch)(and hoping things don't break). Don't know if this is what you were doing. If it was -and- if you were using "car" oil; it may be that the maximum clutch slippage problem was induced.

    Have you made sure your chain did not get loose and jump off the front sprocket? Don't know what your experience level is; so just tossing out ideas. We'll all be waiting to hear the outcome.
    Tweaker, Ken, PlacerLode and 1 others like this.

  10. #9
    Junior Member Darryl's Avatar
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    I lost internet for a couple of hours this morning...Imagine waking to no TW200 AND no internet!

    The bike has the same malfunction this morning.

    Fred, the problem may have occurred instantly or perhaps over the course of a minute or so...it is hard to tell under the conditions whether the wheel was slipping on the dirt/rock/mud or whether the clutch gradually lost engagement. At the time I thought it was more of an internal catastrophic failure rather than a clutch worn away. Will play with adjustment some more when I have a chance.

    Admiral, thanks...I'll report back when the problem/solution is found.

    old w/2 many guns & bikes: If one doesn't exist, perhaps a thread on extraction kits/techniques would be useful. My kit does 4:1 in one configuration, but that configuration doesn't put me at the bike. The 3:1 configuration lets me sit on the bike. How much rope do you carry? With 100', I needed trees no more than 25 feet in front of me. I was fortunate that there were 4 well placed trees where I needed them the most.

    Yeah...I screwed up an put automotive oil in, so perhaps I've hosed the clutch plates. Although I wouldn't think swollen plates would produce this particular symptom. I've ordered a case of Valvoline 10W-40 motorcycle oil. The bike is scheduled for an oil change anyway. I wonder if I should change the oil before taking it in? It doesn't seem likely this would fix the problem.

    Dropping the clutch: I just mean releasing the clutch much like one would do for a wheelie from a standstill. But slightly less aggressive, since I was simultaneously bouncing/weighting the rear tire for traction and I didn't want to flip the bike.

    Experience: Yes, the chain is on the sprocket. I haven't worked on motorcycles in a couple of decades, but used to road race with WERA RD-250s. I ended up tearing down the engines after every couple of races. But I've probably forgotten more than I remember. (You know, like what kind of oil to use!)
    Last edited by Darryl; 06-29-2017 at 10:46 AM.
    Dryden-Tdub and Ken like this.
    ---
    Never too old to learn/ride/operate something new.

    Fun fleet:
    2017 TW200
    1977 RD400
    1988 Toyota 4x4 Pickup (R22E)
    1970 American Aviation AA1

  11. #10
    Senior Member Heli-Mech's Avatar
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    If you used automotive oil then the fiber discs are messed up. The additional lubricants in automotive oil impregnate the disc fibers and don't really cause them to swell .... just slip like crazy.

    It might have also glazed or burnt up the steels as well from the heat/slippage. I have used the process below to salvage a CBR100RR clutch assembly that only had a few thousand km on it when the owner used automotive oil and messed up the fiber discs.

    If it was me I would

    - pull the side cover and empty the clutch basket. Take pictures of the order and draw3 some crude diagrams so you can remember.

    - soak the fiber discs in a container full of lacquer thinner over night ... or longer ... to extract the evil automotive oil. After soaking remove and let air dry.

    - Clean the steel discs with the thinner as well then take a piece of medium emery clutch and tape it down to a large flat object .... piece of glass or floor tile works great.

    - then lay the steel disc flat on your emery board and move in around in a X pattern to deglaze and reestablish a cross hatch pattern. Do this for all the discs on both sides.

    - Lastly soak the cleaned fiber discs overnight again in the proper motorcycle engine oil ..... reassemble in the proper stack up and give it a try.
    Dryden-Tdub and Fred like this.

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