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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:22 PM   #1
Wanderer
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Since my mind is on clutch adjustment, can you shorten the clutch release point?

I have read how to adjust the clutch on my pregen(After some embarrassment with the kickstand being down...). Duh...

Anyway, is there a way to shorten the clutch engage point. I would like the clutch to engage sooner when the lever is released.

I may be another noob question here, but can't I adjust the clutch to engage sooner?
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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I have read how to adjust the clutch on my pregen(After some embarrassment with the kickstand being down...). Duh...

Anyway, is there a way to shorten the clutch engage point. I would like the clutch to engage sooner when the lever is released.

I may be another noob question here, but can't I adjust the clutch to engage sooner?
No. There is a set range of motion the lever has. It needs to be disengaged to X point so that you can shift without grinding gear dogs, yet it needs to be able to be let out fully so the clutch plates don't slip.

If you adjust it so it engages closer to the bars, you might not have enough disengagement to make sure you're not damaging the transmission.

Proper adjustment is approximately a nickels thickness between the lever and the perch.
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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RacinNinja View Post
No. There is a set range of motion the lever has. It needs to be disengaged to X point so that you can shift without grinding gear dogs, yet it needs to be able to be let out fully so the clutch plates don't slip.

If you adjust it so it engages closer to the bars, you might not have enough disengagement to make sure you're not damaging the transmission.

Proper adjustment is approximately a nickels thickness between the lever and the perch.
Could you elaborate on this please my friend?
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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:32 PM   #4
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Could you elaborate on this please my friend?
The gap in this picture should be 2-4 MM, or at least the thickness of one US nickel, which is about 2mm.

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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RacinNinja View Post
The gap in this picture should be 2-4 MM, or at least the thickness of one US nickel, which is about 2mm.

That made sense to me. But then the clutch doesn't actually fully engage until quite far out in the lever release point. It does completely engage before the lever is fully released though.

I was just hoping that it would begin to engage sooner.

You have helped me a lot as always.

Thank you.
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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
That made sense to me. But then the clutch doesn't actually fully engage until quite far out in the lever release point. It does completely engage before the lever is fully released though.

I was just hoping that it would begin to engage sooner.

You have helped me a lot as always.

Thank you.
Welcome! Try some adjustable levers then? Maybe some shorties? Just watch for grinding or stiff shifts in the transmission so you don't damage it.

If the factory lever is too loose, the ball can come out of it's socket rendering the lever absolutely useless.
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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RacinNinja View Post
Welcome! Try some adjustable levers then? Maybe some shorties? Just watch for grinding or stiff shifts in the transmission so you don't damage it.

If the factory lever is too loose, the ball can come out of it's socket rendering the lever absolutely useless.
I understand. All great info as always!

Yes, I had the clutch adjusted with little "slop" or looseness in the cable. About as you say, the thickness of a nickel.

I feel that the lever engages a good ways out in the lever travel. Your idea about shorter levers makes good sense. I do have small hands.

Sorry for my noob threads today and being so patient with this dumb old man as always.
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Old October 4th, 2016, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quotes on clutch lever release point from another Ninja forum:


"Unfortunately for the Ninja 250 the friction zone allows the clutch to catch at the very end of the lever travel. There's not much adjustment that you can do to change that point. However there is a fix..Adjustable levers. Adjustable levers will allow you to move the lever closer to the handle bar and still allow the proper clutch release point."

also

"i was scared because i thought the friction zone being near the end of lever travel was meaning the clutch didn't have much life left, but as far as slip, theres none besides when i make it slip to pull out ."

Just as my wise friend above said! Good information here!
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Old October 4th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #9
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Wise?!?! I think you're pushing it a bit.

My word isn't gospel but I try and be helpful where I can.

Thanks.
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Old October 4th, 2016, 05:26 PM   #10
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Wise?!?! I think you're pushing it a bit.

My word isn't gospel but I try and be helpful where I can.

Thanks.
I try to take everyones posts with a "grain of salt", but so far you haven't let me down on any issue.

Everyone has their area of knowledge and experience. A real wise man uses that knowledge where ever he finds it. That is why I love this place.

But, if I need to know about teeth, boats, dogs, the occult, birds or money, then I would look elsewhere.

To share what we know with others rewards the giver and the receiver in my humble opinion. Well worth the effort.
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Old October 5th, 2016, 07:02 AM   #11
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We have a low-mile Ninja 500 that has the same issue - clutch doesn't engage until the lever is almost completely out. The 500 does have adjustable levers, but it doesn't really solve the problem.

I'm thinking, but am not positive, that the weak clutch springs have something to do with it.

Anyone have this issue and found that replacing the clutch springs with new (non OEM) springs cured it?
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Old October 5th, 2016, 07:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
We have a low-mile Ninja 500 that has the same issue - clutch doesn't engage until the lever is almost completely out. The 500 does have adjustable levers, but it doesn't really solve the problem.

I'm thinking, but am not positive, that the weak clutch springs have something to do with it.

Anyone have this issue and found that replacing the clutch springs with new (non OEM) springs cured it?
It should always fully engage near the end of the travel. The key is to get a different bend in the lever so your hand isn't outstretched as far when it does fully release.
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Old October 5th, 2016, 07:39 AM   #13
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Just to be clear here, as I read it RacinNinja is talking about free play in the clutch lever, which is not the same thing as the actual clutch bite point.

Free play is the point where all the slack is taken out of the cable and the clutch arm actually starts to move. If you remove all free play, then the clutch could be slipping.

Bite point (or release point), on the other hand, is where the clutch actually engages/disengages.

I believe the OP is asking about the latter, and wants to get that point closer to the handlebar.

Actually, having the bite point near where the lever is fully released helps you shift quicker, because there's no need to pull the lever in all the way. When I'm accelerating up through the gears, a brief tug on the lever is all it takes. The only time the lever ever gets pulled fully is when I'm at a full stop.

If the real issue is getting comfortable with the friction zone and the biomechanics of controlling clutch slip when launching from a stop, then yeah... adjustable levers are the way to deal with that. The actual bite point won't change, but your hand position will.
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Old October 5th, 2016, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Just to be clear here, as I read it RacinNinja is talking about free play in the clutch lever, which is not the same thing as the actual clutch bite point.

Free play is the point where all the slack is taken out of the cable and the clutch arm actually starts to move. If you remove all free play, then the clutch could be slipping.

Bite point (or release point), on the other hand, is where the clutch actually engages/disengages.

I believe the OP is asking about the latter, and wants to get that point closer to the handlebar.


Actually, having the bite point near where the lever is fully released helps you shift quicker, because there's no need to pull the lever in all the way. When I'm accelerating up through the gears, a brief tug on the lever is all it takes. The only time the lever ever gets pulled fully is when I'm at a full stop.

If the real issue is getting comfortable with the friction zone and the biomechanics of controlling clutch slip when launching from a stop, then yeah... adjustable levers are the way to deal with that. The actual bite point won't change, but your hand position will.
Yes, you are correct. I want the "bite point" or the beginning of clutch release to happen closer to the handle bars. I would like the "bite point" to happen near the middle of the clutch lever range instead of at near the end of the lever release.

I have very little loose cable or "slop" in the clutch/lever action. Maybe only 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch, no more.

It seems that many people are also interested in this issue.
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Old October 5th, 2016, 11:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
We have a low-mile Ninja 500 that has the same issue - clutch doesn't engage until the lever is almost completely out. The 500 does have adjustable levers, but it doesn't really solve the problem.

I'm thinking, but am not positive, that the weak clutch springs have something to do with it.

Anyone have this issue and found that replacing the clutch springs with new (non OEM) springs cured it?
While reading through previous posts online on various sites, many people are having this same issue or question.
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Old October 6th, 2016, 08:10 AM   #16
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I had the same issue. An adjustable clutch perch/lever from an 06 ex500 solved it for me. Clutch now starts engaging about a 1/4in off the handle. Being a noob myself Ive found that I can shift easier and faster this way, than having to reach all the way out like the stock lever. I'm pretty sure all adjustable ex500/600/750 clutch perches made from 88-07 will fit.
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Old October 7th, 2016, 08:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
We have a low-mile Ninja 500 that has the same issue - clutch doesn't engage until the lever is almost completely out. The 500 does have adjustable levers, but it doesn't really solve the problem.

I'm thinking, but am not positive, that the weak clutch springs have something to do with it.

Anyone have this issue and found that replacing the clutch springs with new (non OEM) springs cured it?
The 500 is known for losing power to clutch slippage, so upgraded springs are a fairly common recommendation. http://www.ex-500.com/wiki/index.php...gs_Replacement I'm personally using the EBC CSK10, and happy with my ~$10 purchase.

I wouldn't expect it on a low-mileage bike, but the cable itself might be bad and stretching. Lack of maintenance by the PO maybe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bk834 View Post
I'm pretty sure all adjustable ex500/600/750 clutch perches made from 88-07 will fit.
You want Gen2 EX500 perches, so '94-'09 for that model.
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Old October 7th, 2016, 08:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
The 500 is known for losing power to clutch slippage, so upgraded springs are a fairly common recommendation. http://www.ex-500.com/wiki/index.php...gs_Replacement I'm personally using the EBC CSK10, and happy with my ~$10 purchase.

I wouldn't expect it on a low-mileage bike, but the cable itself might be bad and stretching. Lack of maintenance by the PO maybe?

You want Gen2 EX500 perches, so '94-'09 for that model.
Thanks Bill - we may have to give those a try then.

The bike is a 2009, only has 2500 miles on it, and was purchased as a left-over in 2011. I've adjusted the freeplay on the cable to where it should be. Adjusting the lever helped slightly, but it feels like the clutch is just engaging softly like the springs are weak - which sounds like a possibility.
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