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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
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.
 

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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”.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.:confused4:
 

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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?
 

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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. :D

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.:eek:
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I lost internet for a couple of hours this morning...Imagine waking to no TW200 AND no internet! :eek:

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!)
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Heli-Mech,

Thanks. But if I am going to disassemble the clutch, perhaps I should simply replace the fiber discs with a performance product? I didn't find any such product using a quick search, but maybe someone here can make a recommendation for a better-than-OEM fiber disc replacement?
 

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One place to check is in the center of the pressure plate.

I have only heard of this lock nut coming loose once and when it did the clutch would not disengage. Who knows what might happen with further attempts are riding? Maybe it would readjust itself to the point of not engaging?

P8090023a.jpg

As you pull the clutch lever you should be able to feel the difference between "free play" and "clutch springs compressing" as the pointer goes by the mark cast in the block. Its not a huge difference but if you look at the pointer while doing it you should be able to tell what is happening. Try it several times and see what happens.

P9260023 (2)a.jpg

Instructions in the service manual. Crappy pictures so stare at them a while.

clutcha.jpg
 

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I agree with elime. What you experienced on a bike with low miles sounds like a mechanical issue of the clutch not engaging properly. If even slightly out of tolerance, heating and cooling of the clutch plates and oil in the conditions you described could magnify the issue. And, Kudos on the self rescue. TWs are heavy when they take naps on an uphill climb..DAMHIK!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
elime, thanks for the ideas. I've made some progress....

After work today, I adjusted both clutch cable adjustments. At the clutch lever, the adjustment bolt is all the way in (as I had done in the field). On the engine side, the front-most nut is at the top of the threads on the adjuster thingie. (I.e. everything is set for maximum clutch engagement by the cable adjustments alone.) I have about 3mm of clutch cable play before the spring tension kicks in. And...it works. There is no evidence of slippage and I can lift the front wheel off the ground. The free play at the clutch lever (ball end) is about 1.5 cm, and the clutch disengages at 3 cm--sooner than it used to. That is the best I can do using clutch adjustment alone.

The clutch disengages well before the case mark. In the photo, the clutch pointer is in red. The free-play is the two green lines. The proper line is in yellow.

clutchadj.jpg

So, one theory is that the fiber discs are slipping and/or glazed steel discs. Another is that there is a mechanical failure or mis-adjusted center lock nut. In the first case, Yamaha has no liability, it is my error in using automobile oil. In the second case, it could be taken in for warranty work. The dealership is 1.5 hours from me, so I am willing to spend those three hours doing more investigation myself. Is the gasket the only replacement item I need to pull the right cover and disassemble the clutch for cleaning?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
UncleRandy,
TWs are surprisingly difficult to move up-hill unless the terrain is very smooth! In some ways, it was a valuable experience trying out the extraction kit. I just got the parts last week and had never actually tried assembling and using it. But, man, I sure wish I had played with the lower clutch cable adjustment yesterday!!
 

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Darryl; If you replace the one single pulley with another double; you can have it as a block and tackle type set-up with 4 to 1 mechanical advantage when on the bike - and 5 to 1 if helping someone else.

That would reduce your straight pull to only 20 feet from your current 25, but, give you the option to use a tree (or other anchor) much further out.

By attaching the front of the block and tackle to the line itself with a prusik loop; if you set the block and tackle at 10 feet - you would have a total reach of 60 feet to the anchor. Once the block and tackle collapses; you slide the prusik as far as it will go towards the anchor, and keep doing this (resets) until you reach your destination. If on a steep section; you use another prusik at the bottom of the block and tackle as a brake to keep the bike from losing ground, while you reset the upper prusik.
 

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I used nothing but car oil in mine for years. Yes, it does make the clutches slip but it can be resolved by draining a little oil and adding about 4 oz of Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer. I ran mine about 30000 of my 43000 miles with car oil. The Lucas seems to swell the clutches up and make them grab again. You will need to adjust the clutch after using the Lucas.
 

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When I used car oil, mine never slipped for a long time. It wasn't instantly as in your case. My clutch adjustment pointer on the case of the bike has never lined up perfectly no matter how it was adjusted. I got it as close to the pointer position as I could and where it functioned the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Old w/2 many...,
Getting a second double pulley is exactly what I was thinking. There is really no disadvantage besides some $ and maybe a bit of space. But after my experience yesterday, the 4:1 solo (5:1 helping) advantage would be nice. The prusik loop is a good idea, and I though about it when I was assembling my kit. The only negative is that the set-up seems more complex to me--and not really intuitive the way a simple pulley system is. I'd have to do something radical like read instructions :eek: . The 4:1 (5:1) is easy enough to set up without instructions, but a couple of prusik loops and some instructions wouldn't take up much space....
 
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