Initial Start/Clutch Issue
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Thread: Initial Start/Clutch Issue

  1. #1
    Senior Member tylermoney's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Austin Tx

    Initial Start/Clutch Issue

    Greetings all. So I've been noticing an odd issue when I first start my bike and throw it into gear. It's actually been happening off/on since I have gotten the TW.


    I will start my bike and let it warm up (idle) for a while, and when I engage the clutch, then kick it into first gear, the bike lurches forward and the motor dies as if I was in gear and released the clutch without any throttle. Sometimes it doesn't die, but it will lurch forward. When I reengage the clutch and go to start the bike again, it will start, but will still sometimes lurch forward (not every time). It has never died after the restart.

    This seems to happen mostly after the bike has been sitting for a while, but not every single time ... it also seems to happen more sometimes than others, but have not figured out a specific pattern.

    If I've been riding the bike a lot, ex: I start the bike (experience the issue), then ride around for a while and stop somewhere else, when I go to start the bike back up, I don't experience the issue.

    Has anyone experience this before, or know what might be causing the issue? Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Pleasanton, CA
    This is a very common problem for TW's, your clutch plates are sticking together after the bike sits for a while.

    I usually just grab a handful of front brake, give the engine a little more throttle, and then be prepared for the lurch if the bike has been sitting. After that, you should be good to go.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    San Diego
    You can also rock the bike in gear with the clutch lever pulled in and the motor off to break the sticktion. I find changing oil to full synthetic motorcycle oil pretty much cures this.
    Dryden-Tdub and Fred like this.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Wet-ern Washington
    Above is great, but also make sure that you do not have excessive play in the clutch lever. Meaning, if there is too much slop in the clutch cable, the clutch won't open as far upon disengagement when the clutch lever is pulled in. Also, after you've warmed up the bike, before putting it in gear, try pulling in the clutch lever multiple times... pull, two...release, pull in... one, two...release, repeat to try to get some "thinner", warmer oil circulating around up in there. It may help.
    admiral, jtstdub and Fred like this.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member tylermoney's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Austin Tx
    Whew. Glad it's not something unique to my TW. That all makes sense as well. Thanks for the advice. I'll try these options and re-post in this thread with updates.

    Note: At my 600mi services, I did switch over to Full Synthetic. I'll likely change my oil around 1200mi again just to finalize any break-in period stuff for the motor.

    Thanks again.
    Sthrnromr likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Ski Pro 3's Avatar
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    May 2014
    El Dorado, California
    Try starting the bike in gear with the clutch pulled in for a few cranks. This will cause the plates to slip a bit. If the bike doesn't actually start, then put in neutral and start it before putting in gear. But it really should start in gear/clutch engaged.
    The bear slayer!

  8. #7
    Senior Member RaZed1's Avatar
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    Oct 2015
    It's a somewhat common problem, particularly on brand new bikes. Everything is still breaking in. Check clutch adjustment and oil is at the correct level, but if those are fine I'd just give it some time. My Scout was pretty bad about that when it was new, giving a massive lurch/clunk when you'd drop it into 1st at the start of the day. After maybe 1000 miles it went from clunky as hell, often stalling, to butter smooth, with a barely perceptible click when selecting 1st. The dealer (and other owners) said this was normal and would go away in 1-2k miles, and for once the dealer was right about something.

    If it continues to be a problem maybe try changing brands of oil.

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