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Old July 15th, 2019, 03:45 PM   #1
jdnightfox
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Resistance in gear

Today my bike wouldn't start, and the starter would spin the motor and then get stuck as if the engine was seized. It rolls freely without resistance in neutral, but when I put the bike into first gear it was really hard to push with the clutch in, and then after a bit of movement it loosened up and then I got the bike to start normally

This isn't the first time it's done something like this, but I just changed the oil less than 100 miles ago so it's completely fresh. It sat for a little over a week before I tried starting it today

Is this something I should be worried about?

2006 250 with about 10k on it

A side note, the carb was rebuilt recently because it was leaking fuel, and I think there may have been a lot of fuel in the oil which is why I changed the oil. the last time it did it was after sitting for almost a year with the old oil
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Old July 15th, 2019, 04:30 PM   #2
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When was last time you lubed clutch cable?
Clutch cable may need adjustment.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 05:03 PM   #3
jdnightfox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
When was last time you lubed clutch cable?
Clutch cable may need adjustment.
I never have, but it doesn't feel like it has much resistance on its movement

in neutral and without touching the clutch, the bike will roll freely

in gear and with the clutch pulled in, it will normally roll semi-freely, but this time it had a lot of resistance to movement
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Old July 15th, 2019, 09:54 PM   #4
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That's right. In gear with clutch lever pulled in, it's supposed to spin freely with no drag like in neutral. Your clutch-plates are not disengaging when you pull clutch lever.

Spin adjuster on clutch-lever to tighten cable. Unscrew larger lock-ring. Then unscrew inner adjuster away from lever so more threads are exposed. Try about 2mm, does clutch disengage when lever is squeezed? Try 4mm, does it disengage when lever squeezed? When finished adjusting, tighten down lock-ring.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 10:33 PM   #5
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Thanks. I guess I need to tighten my clutch cable too.

I thought it was normal to experience a little bit more friction or drag when the bike is in gear with the clutch lever squeezed than when the bike is in neutral. I notice this most when I roll the bike before starting it, after parking it overnight. Getting the to start rolling takes a little more force (maybe 5-20 pounds) if I leave it in first and just pull the clutch lever. As soon as I get it rolling it start the engine the difference goes away. It reminds me of a flat spot on the tires of a car that's been sitting. I thought it might have to do with with the oil settling and largely leaving the clutch until the engine starts and resumes oil flow.

JD, are you trying to start the bike in gear (with the clutch lever pulled) or in neutral?
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Old July 16th, 2019, 06:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnightfox View Post
Today my bike wouldn't start, and the starter would spin the motor and then get stuck as if the engine was seized. It rolls freely without resistance in neutral, but when I put the bike into first gear it was really hard to push with the clutch in, and then after a bit of movement it loosened up and then I got the bike to start normally

This isn't the first time it's done something like this, but I just changed the oil less than 100 miles ago so it's completely fresh. It sat for a little over a week before I tried starting it today

Is this something I should be worried about?

2006 250 with about 10k on it

A side note, the carb was rebuilt recently because it was leaking fuel, and I think there may have been a lot of fuel in the oil which is why I changed the oil. the last time it did it was after sitting for almost a year with the old oil
It also sounds like the clutch plates are sticking. I had a Ninja that liked to do that as well. I would either rock it in gear before starting to break it loose or hold the front brake when I hit the button and it would break free.

What oil are you using? Did the issue start after the oil change?

As noted, check the adjustment of the clutch cable - https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Adjust...e_clutch_cable

You might want to check the condition of your battery also.
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Old July 16th, 2019, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
Thanks. I guess I need to tighten my clutch cable too.

I thought it was normal to experience a little bit more friction or drag when the bike is in gear with the clutch lever squeezed than when the bike is in neutral. I notice this most when I roll the bike before starting it, after parking it overnight. Getting the to start rolling takes a little more force (maybe 5-20 pounds) if I leave it in first and just pull the clutch lever. As soon as I get it rolling it start the engine the difference goes away. It reminds me of a flat spot on the tires of a car that's been sitting. I thought it might have to do with with the oil settling and largely leaving the clutch until the engine starts and resumes oil flow.

JD, are you trying to start the bike in gear (with the clutch lever pulled) or in neutral?
Neutral initially, and then I put it in first and pushed it around and thatís when I felt the resistance
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Old July 16th, 2019, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
It also sounds like the clutch plates are sticking. I had a Ninja that liked to do that as well. I would either rock it in gear before starting to break it loose or hold the front brake when I hit the button and it would break free.

What oil are you using? Did the issue start after the oil change?

As noted, check the adjustment of the clutch cable - https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Adjust...e_clutch_cable

You might want to check the condition of your battery also.
The battery is old but still charges up and stays at a good voltage after riding for a bit

Itís the same oil I had previously, 20w-50 full synthetic


It didnít want to go into first gear when I first tried, I had to rock it a bit and then it finally went down
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Old July 16th, 2019, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnightfox View Post
The battery is old but still charges up and stays at a good voltage after riding for a bit

It’s the same oil I had previously, 20w-50 full synthetic


It didn’t want to go into first gear when I first tried, I had to rock it a bit and then it finally went down
A battery that doesn't stay at 100% charged will give you trouble, and may even cause odd running problems.

I wouldn't run a 20W-50 - no need for it in a water cooled engine. Heavy oil moves heat away slower, and has no benefit unless you are on a Big Twin stuck in traffic.

Make sure the clutch cable is adjusted properly. They are also known to fray and stretch, which keeps changing the adjustment until it finally snaps.

Last futzed with by jkv45; July 17th, 2019 at 05:53 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 16th, 2019, 02:44 PM   #10
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Slot on adjuster to allow quick easy cable-swaps will also chew up cable! Edge of that slot where it meets threads becomes TEETH!!! Always turn adjuster so that slot in adjuster is up or down to prevent rubbing on cable.
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Old July 18th, 2019, 04:51 PM   #11
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I checked yesterday and it looks like my clutch cable is at the max adjustment position on both ends. I already know the handle doesn't fully return when I squeeze the clutch in, but the lever on the engine is all the way out where there's no pressure on it. I'm not sure where it should be set so that the clutch cable isn't putting pressure on it when I'm not grabbing the clutch lever

I drove it today, and I can feel a lot of resistance to movement when trying to put it in each gear. It doesn't want to shift to the next gear easily now. I think the clutch does need to be adjusted because it's no longer pulling the clutch in far enough to disengage

I ordered a new clutch cable so hopefully that fixes it
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Old July 19th, 2019, 06:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnightfox View Post
I checked yesterday and it looks like my clutch cable is at the max adjustment position on both ends. I already know the handle doesn't fully return when I squeeze the clutch in, but the lever on the engine is all the way out where there's no pressure on it. I'm not sure where it should be set so that the clutch cable isn't putting pressure on it when I'm not grabbing the clutch lever

I drove it today, and I can feel a lot of resistance to movement when trying to put it in each gear. It doesn't want to shift to the next gear easily now. I think the clutch does need to be adjusted because it's no longer pulling the clutch in far enough to disengage

I ordered a new clutch cable so hopefully that fixes it
Chances are it's just about ready to snap.

Sounds like a new cable should cure the problem.
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Old July 19th, 2019, 07:30 AM   #13
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Jay seems to understand that you've fully tightened the cable or it's catching, not sliding. It sounds to me like the cable is as loose as possible. Is that correct? You have slack on both ends of the cable when the lever is not pulled?

If that's the case, you may want to tighten not loosen the cable. Tightening the cable is like pulling the lever in a bit more (both when the lever is gripped and not gripped.) To fully disengage the clutch and disconnect the engine from the transmission, you need to pull the lever in more or tighten the cable.

I believe the owners manual says we should have just a bit of slack in the clutch cable as measured near the joint of the lever, maybe a couple mm?
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Old July 19th, 2019, 07:54 AM   #14
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Is there any chance that the clutch lever is an aftermarket replacement, bent, or the grips are aftermarket? Perhaps something is limiting the cable's range of motion at the lever?

I'm curious what happens if you turn the clutch arm directly rather than through the cable and lever. I don't know the proper term, but by clutch arm I mean what the other end of the clutch cable is connected to on the right side of the engine, above the oil sight class and rear brake pedal.

Turning that clutch arm requires some torque, so you may need to use a vice grip, channel lock pliers, adjustable wrench, or 16-17 mm wrench. To avoid scratching the paint you can also use some rubber from an old inner tube, elastic bands, it electrical or duct tape. Be gentle to not put too much torque on the clutch arm, more than the lever could or enough to damage anything inside.
When the bike has been sitting and the bike is in gear, how much does the bike resist rolling when you turn that clutch arm clockwise? After you let the bike warm up fully and ride it, can you stop and while sitting on it hold it stationary, turn that clutch arm clockwise, and try switching between gear? Is it still as resistant to changing gears as when you fully grip the clutch lever?

If you don't have the same problems when moving the clutch arm directly, just use that instead of the clutch lever. Riding that way will get easier with practice. Trust me. I found it impossible at first, but it seems completely natural now.

I'm joking. If moving the clutch arm alleviates or ends the problems try tightening the cable. If that doesn't solve your problems before you tighten the cable so much that the clutch starts to slip, you could try thinner grips or a new lever that gives the cable a greater range of motion

If the bike behaves the same way whether you are moving the clutch arm directly or just gripping the clutch lever, I don't believe the cable or lever are causing your problems.

I don't know enough about our wet clutches to know what the cause or fix might be then. JASO MA approved oil rather than energy or resource conserving oil? A clutch pack with new friction plates? A new pressure plate? Someone else here should have a better idea.
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Old July 19th, 2019, 10:01 AM   #15
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Yeah it can get confusing:

Tightening adjuster = looser cable
Loosening adjuster = tighter cable

If you have lots of lever free-play that doesnít move arm down by engine, you want to loosen adjuster and tighten cable to take up that slack.

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; July 27th, 2019 at 03:58 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2019, 02:27 PM   #16
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Where in the lever pull do most pregen ninjette clutches engage?

My clutch doesn't engage until the clutch lever is 80 to 90% released. It's been like that since I bought it. When I bought it the clutch cable was a little bit too tight having zero free play in the lever. I quickly adjusted that as prescribed in the PDF owners manual. The clutch does not slip. After the bikes been sitting there is somewhat more resistance to rolling when parked in gear than when in neutral.

This clutch engages later or when the lever is more released than on other bikes I've ridden, but I haven't ridden other pregen ninjettes. When I bought it I thought the clutch was like very worn and would need to be replaced soon. As it still hasn't changed much or started slipping, I've stopped looking at clutch packs.

Where in the lever pull do your pregen ninjettes clutches engage (connecting the engine and the rear wheel via the transmission and chain)?

Do you have a confident prediction for how soon my clutch might start slipping or need to be repaired?

Is there anything else I should or could do for the clutch before, instead of, or while replacing the clutch plates and gasket (and maybe the springs while I'm in there)?
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Old August 6th, 2019, 08:30 AM   #17
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New clutch cable is now installed. Problem is still there

I set the bike in my driveway so I could roll it back and forth. With it in first gear, and not touching the clutch lever, the bike does not want to move at all, which is how it should be

However, immediately as I start pulling the clutch lever, it releases and begins to slip. This is with pulling the clutch lever about 1/4 inch and no matter how much further I pull it, it still has the same amount of slip and resistance to movement
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Old August 6th, 2019, 12:45 PM   #18
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* You need a little more free play than that, so the cable needs to be a little looser.

* It's not unusual that in first gear with the engine off and the lever pulled to the bar, there is more rolling resistance than when in neutral. After all, you're making a stack of plates that are still quite close together and with thick oil between them all slide against each other. I can duck-walk mine around like that, but it takes a lot more effort than when it's in neutral.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 01:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnightfox View Post
New clutch cable is now installed. Problem is still there

I set the bike in my driveway so I could roll it back and forth. With it in first gear, and not touching the clutch lever, the bike does not want to move at all, which is how it should be

However, immediately as I start pulling the clutch lever, it releases and begins to slip. This is with pulling the clutch lever about 1/4 inch and no matter how much further I pull it, it still has the same amount of slip and resistance to movement
As TJ noted - that sounds normal to me unless I'm missing something here.

Confirm you have adequate slack in the clutch cable.

Info on cable adjustment - https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Adjust...e_clutch_cable
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Old August 6th, 2019, 02:22 PM   #20
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with the clutch pulled in all the way, it’s enough resistance to make the engine stall, and if it doesn’t stall I can feel it dragging trying to pull the bike forward

So I don’t think that’s normal but I already have the lever set at what feels like the maximum amount of clutch disengagement
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Old August 6th, 2019, 03:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnightfox View Post
with the clutch pulled in all the way, itís enough resistance to make the engine stall, and if it doesnít stall I can feel it dragging trying to pull the bike forward

So I donít think thatís normal but I already have the lever set at what feels like the maximum amount of clutch disengagement
Yes, that does say that something is wrong, and with all you've done so far, it may mean it's time to take off the clutch cover and have a look.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 04:18 PM   #22
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I’ve seen this before with shimmed clutch springs. This mod increases spring pre-load for more grip, but has effect of bottoming spring before clutch has fully disengaged.

Remove clutch-cover and remove springs. Measure depth of spring pocket in clutch pressure-plate. Should be about 21.5mm I think. Look at bottom of pockets for shims, remove if any. Then measure depth of spring pocket again. Then compress spring in vise to same height, 21.5 or whatever you measured. At that compression, is there still gap between coils? Or does it bind before then?




Also here’s my cable adjustment. About 7mm of gap in upper-threads at lower adjuster and about 4mm at top.



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Old August 7th, 2019, 06:46 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnightfox View Post
with the clutch pulled in all the way, itís enough resistance to make the engine stall, and if it doesnít stall I can feel it dragging trying to pull the bike forward

So I donít think thatís normal but I already have the lever set at what feels like the maximum amount of clutch disengagement
In that case yes - there is a problem.

That means the clutch is not completely disengaging for some reason, and if the cable is adjusted properly (sounds like it is) there is an issue internally with the clutch.

Have you had that apart before?
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Old August 7th, 2019, 07:27 AM   #24
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The clutch has not been serviced before, but I have a clutch from a 2015 model that I wanted to install so that I can do the fuel injection mod eventually when I have time
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