Clutch life span?
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Thread: Clutch life span?

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    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Clutch life span?

    Went for a 3+hr ride today, and on the way home my clutch started slipping. Adjusted both ends when I got home and shimmed the return spring to give it a bit more return. It's definitely better than it was, but still not grabbing proper. Current clutch (and bike) has just under 5300mi on it. I bought it from the original owner with 916mi on it about this time last year. Gearing for half or more of that mileage was +1 on the front for 15/50. Probably due for an oil change. I'm not exactly the baby-it type in riding style, but I'm not horribly abusive either.

    What kind of mileage are you guys getting out of your clutches?

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    GOF
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    What kind of oil you running?
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    Senior Member Peterb's Avatar
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    I have 34,000 on the original clutch of my 99 and no problems. 10w40 motorcycle oil is all I run in mine as I know the wrong oil can cause problems.
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    Ken
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    I got close to 40,000 miles on my first clutch set. I had some slippage occasionally since I often used oil not designed for wet clutches. I would add about 4 ounces of Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer and it would swell up the clutches and I would keep on going. Do not overfill your oil. Mine never actually went out but I changed them as a preventive measure eventually and they actually weren't in that bad of shape. I switched to Barnett clutches as many suggested. Yours shouldn't be worn at all at that low mileage unless someone was above and beyond harsh on the clutch. I would try the Lucas as I mentioned above before tearing into it. Others may suggest to change the oil and clutches and use wet clutch oil only. Your money, your choice. Also did you check the clutch return spring to make sure it was correctly positioned? There are posts about that, I believe in the technical section.

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    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    It had Yamalube in it when I got it, I switched over to Mobil-1 T4 10W40 shortly after and it had been performing fine on that. I'm definitely not anywhere near that sort of mileage on it. I wonder if a long relatively hard ride today on an overdue oil change was what caused it.

    Edit: By long and relatively hard ride, it was all street with one minor excursion into some dirt, lots of hills and twisties with copious amounts of gear changes.
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    Ken
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    That ride shouldn't have been that harsh. Yamaha oil shouldn't be an issue either. It isn't really hot yet either so oil temp shouldn't have been an issue. I am in Texas so I usually run 20/50 but I ride over 50 degrees at nearly the coldest and road temps are over 100 degrees nearly all summer. If I rode where it s cooler I would run the lower viscosity.

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    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Sounds like you switched to non-motorcycle oil. Same thing happened to me when I tried Shell Rotella T-4 or T-6, I don't remember which. It happened on both of my TW's. I solved the problem by installing a Barnett Kevlar clutch with Barnett springs. Cost twice as much and worth every penny.
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    Senior Member Maxpower's Avatar
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    when you all are installing Barnett clutches. are you using the Barnett springs also? I'll bet just using those springs alone would stop slippage. I've attempted to use Barnett clutches in other bikes but the supplied springs made the clutch pull entirely too stiff. I'm not debating what anyone else uses. What works for you works for you. I'm saying I stick with OEM when it comes to brakes and clutch plates.
    Last edited by Maxpower; 03-18-2019 at 06:28 AM.
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    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    I think the overdue oil change tells all. I often notice slippage on my old bikes (original clutches) when they are due for a change. I have only ever used Mobil1 Racing 4T. Not that it’s better than others, but almost every auto parts store here has it in stock.
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    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    That ride shouldn't have been that harsh. Yamaha oil shouldn't be an issue either. It isn't really hot yet either so oil temp shouldn't have been an issue. I am in Texas so I usually run 20/50 but I ride over 50 degrees at nearly the coldest and road temps are over 100 degrees nearly all summer. If I rode where it s cooler I would run the lower viscosity.
    It was mid 40's here, but I've run the same 10W40 in 100+ without issue, so temps shouldn't have been a contributing factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by elime View Post
    Sounds like you switched to non-motorcycle oil. Same thing happened to me when I tried Shell Rotella T-4 or T-6, I don't remember which. It happened on both of my TW's. I solved the problem by installing a Barnett Kevlar clutch with Barnett springs. Cost twice as much and worth every penny.
    Definitely motorcycle oil, it even has a little picture of a motorcycle right on the bottle so I don't forget.
    https://mobiloil.com/en/motor-oils/m...motorcycle-oil

    I'll check out the Barnett, but still curious as to why this would fail with such low mileage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badgerflorida View Post
    I think the overdue oil change tells all. I often notice slippage on my old bikes (original clutches) when they are due for a change. I have only ever used Mobil1 Racing 4T. Not that it’s better than others, but almost every auto parts store here has it in stock.
    Looking at my notes it's really not that overdue, only by 250-300mi on a 2000mi interval schedule. I tend to change more frequently on bikes than I do cars since they have smaller reservoirs, particularly for the first 8,000-10,000mi.

    - Got the bike at 916mi with stock Yamalube
    - Changed it to Mobil 1 4T at 1200mi
    - Changed again at 3000mi
    - Meant to change it again at 5000 but didn't get to it before winter
    - Bike currently has just under 5300mi on it

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