Problem with clutch?
December 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm #3619BenParticipant
Just seeing if someone more mechanically minded could help me out. I have a 2001 ZX6R with just over 41,XXX miles on it. This morning I notices something strange. When I would shift into first gear, sometimes I try and click down again just to make sure I am in first while I’m at a light. For some reason the clutch kept ‘clicking’ even though I was in first. This happened at 3 or 4 more lights on my morning commute. When I was on the freeway I was in 5th and when I went to shift down to 4th the motorcycle refused to shift. The pedal would press down, but there was no click, and in general it just felt mushy. After shifting up, and then shifting down again I managed to get the bike into 4th, but I’m wondering if there is a larger problem looming ahead.
By the end of my commute the bike was shifting normally, and there were no ‘false’ clicks when pressed down after I shifted into first.
The 2 things I can think of…
1. Maybe I need to change my oil. That is the only thing I haven’t done in a while, (it’s been maybe 7,000 miles when I normally change it every 3,000).
2. I HOPE nothing is going wrong. I haven’t done any of the big maintenance I was suppose to have done because I’m pretty broke (isn’t there a maintenance at 30,000 or something?)
What do you guys think?
BenDecember 18, 2009 at 1:17 am #23765Gary856Participant
I’m almost afraid to respond because I’m NOT that mechanically minded, but have you at least checked the oil level? If oil level is low, the shifting action gets messed up. Fill up to the correct level and see what happens.
Haven’t changed oil in 7000 miles? Are you at least using full synthetic oil? But as long as the oil is still oil and not all turned into thick gunk, I don’t think the shifting problem is from how old the oil is.December 18, 2009 at 1:28 am #23766MunchParticipant
I am inclined to thinking a new clutch.December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm #23771BenParticipant
Ok, here is what happened last night:
After work I get home, change my oil, and take the bike for a test ride. Now the bike will only shift into 2nd and 3rd! It won’t shift up to 4th, 5th, or 6th, and it won’t shift down to 1st or neutral. This means if I stop, I have to get going from 2nd gear (a pain in the ass!), and it also limits my top speed.
Does anyone have any idea what is wrong? I don’t know much about the inner workings, the most I do to my own bike is change the oil, take off the tires, and other minor things. I’m pretty sure it’s either the clutch, or the transmission, but if you asked me to explain the difference between the two I couldn’t.
All of that being said, does anyone know a fairly cheap mechanic? Does anyone know how much the replacement parts will cost? Is it possible to do the work myself? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Oh yeah, would it ‘hurt’ the bike any more than it is now if I were to ride it to work in 2nd and 3rd gear taking surface streets? Right now I am bicycling to work which is just a bit too far when I have to be there at 6am and it is 9 miles away…
Thanks!December 18, 2009 at 7:04 pm #23773Gary856Participant
Put it simply, the transmission is the gear box, and the clutch is the part that engages/disengages the transmission to/from the engine. There’s also the shifting mechanisms that selects the gear in the transmission. The problem no longer sounds like the clutch or the oil. Sounds like the problem is in the shifting mechanism (spring, barrel, etc.) or the transmission.
Aren’t you in the SF Bay Area? For technical questions and suggestion on mechanics, BARF (bayarearidersforum.com) has many very experienced motorcyclists and home mechanics. For a bike mechanic in San Jose, I’ve used Sporttech Cycles. For even more specific technical question and service history of a specific bike, you should find the model specific user forum and ask there.
I woudln’t ride a bike that’s stuck between 2nd and 3rd gear other than to get it off the road. First off, starting on 2nd would be pretty hard on the clutch because you’d have to slip that clutch a lot at high revs to not stall the engine. Second, you may aggrivate the existing problem. Most importantly, it’s not safe to ride on public roads when the bike is not fully functional. You’ve got plenty of warning signs, so get that bike off the road and get it serviced. Don’t tempt fate and risk a major mechanical failure in the middle of a ride.December 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm #23776IxecapadeParticipant
same thing happened to my truck recently- had all the makings of a shot slave cylinder but the dealership dropped the tranny and said the transfer case (think thats waht they said- it was 3 weeks ago)
and the cluster gear were shot and the whole thing needed to be replaced.
Usually if you can engage the clutch but can’t get it into gear its a tranny issue rather than a clutch issue- if the clutch is going it gets spongy then usually just sort of goes- it won’t let you into or out of gear at all.
I’m not a bike mechanic but usually the basic mechanics of how a clutch/tranny interlock are the similar issue so I would say tranny before clutch- but thats a limited knowledge… although I totally agree Gary here riding it is a baaaaad idea.
my truck was still ‘running’ and functioning in theory (R was impossible- 1st was tough I did do a number of starts from 2nd just to get me home)… but I don’t want to get stranded and I didn’t want to damage anything further or put more strain on an older engine (174xxx) so it went straight into the shop- good thing cause it was shot to hell and needed replacing immediately. Now if they would only efffing actually fix it!!!!!
when things go mechanically wrong usually its best to have them checked out right away- waiting often damages more parts and with your life depending on your baby I’d get it fixed asap before trusting my life to it- but I try to accept as little risk as possible so thats my moto to keep me as unstranded as possible.December 19, 2009 at 2:47 am #23779bradk04Participant
Ditto to having it checked out ASAP. Im not familiar with the ZX’s but if the clutch is adjustable but if it is, ie cable, then I would check that too. If it’s out of adjustment then you may not be disengaging all the way. But I would think that would give you problems through all the gears, not get you stuck in a particuar gear.
Good luck.December 19, 2009 at 2:55 am #23780XRayHoundParticipant
You only wish it was the clutch. Clutch packs take an hour to change, and 40 minutes of that is soaking the new friction plates in oil.
If you are very lucky, your shifter shaft is shot, or, more appropriately, the little bit on the end that engages the star on the end of the shift drum is. That bit usually isn’t serviceable, though, so you end up having to replace the shift shaft. That will give the “empty” non-shifting pedal presses you describe. I’m not intimately familiar with your generation of ZX-6, but the shift shaft on my FZ-1 took about 30 minutes to change; it hides behind the clutch pack. A pro mechanic is going to charge you for the part and a full hour’s labor. If it is the problem, the fix is going to cost you about $150ish. I could usually still ride by finessing the transmission in various ways, double clutching, playing the throttle, all whilst jamming on the pedal until it cooperated. The bad thing is you’re seeing it in particular gears; mine was through all 6 and ONLY acted up on downshifts.
Sooooo chances are your problem is in the shift drum itself, or perhaps the shift forks are shot. If so, you’re going to be splitting the case, and that means a grand minimum for labor only. Cross your fingers, yo.
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