Hey everyone. I know there have been a couple clutch threads on this forum in the past, but I kinda want to get feedback from all of you, currently.
Here is why I think I might be doing some clutch work on my 2010 V Star 950 with nearly 22,000 miles on it:
I put over 14,000 miles on my bike in just one season, last season. Half of those miles where highway, when I crossed the country. And I would say the other 7,000 would be quiet a bit of town and backroads.
At the end of the season, I started noticing 1st and 2nd were shifting strangely. Downshifting seemed like it was slipping instead of clicking into gear. Also upshifting was weird and clunky and "slippy" at the same time. When I put fresh oil in it, it seemed to improve. I put maybe over 500 miles on new oil, but it started to seem to be slipping or hard to shift in 1st and 2nd gears again. I noted that it seemed like the gears were more likely to slip when the engine was hot, toward the end of the ride. At the beginning of the ride, with colder oil, low gear shifts were more deliberate.
Question for all of you: Have you replaced the clutch on your bike yet? If so, how many miles were on it?
I know a lot can be dependent on SO many variables. For example, at a traffic light I will, more often than not, leave bike in 1st with clutch pulled in. I know that this can wear out the clutch. I know that town miles will cause more wear and tear. I know that, perhaps, oil preference could play a role in clutch life.
My motorcycle guru friend says I could try replacing just the clutch spring first, and see it that helps. The clutch spring on the 950 looks like this:
It looks pretty sturdy, like it would not wear out as quickly as small springs would.
One question I would really like answered is if I only replace the spring, do you all think the new gasket I put on there will be good for a few hundred miles of test riding? I mean, I wouldn't have to buy a new gasket every time I open up that crankcase, right?
Thank you in advance to whoever replies back! The clutch replacement seems like something that I can totally do, but don't want to replace all the plates if I don't have to yet. Maybe I'm being too sensitive to wanting crisp gears, like I used to have.
(Another side note: The bike now has Yamalube 10W-40 in it. When I crossed the country I switched from Suzuki's 20W-50 to a Castrol 10W-40. - For some reason I think my bike runs better on 20W-50, even though I know you should run 10W-40 in cooler temps.)