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Discussion Starter #1
i finally got around to tightening up my clutch lever since it has had quite a bit of free play for quite a while. so this resulted in my lever not entering the friction zone until i squeezed it much closer to the grip. which felt good for me, but not really where i felt it was 'supposed' to be. after tightening it up, my clutch feels a lot heavier and now the friction zone begins much further away from the grip. both those things make it not nearly as comfortable as it used to be and results in slower shifting for me. my question is, what is the downside in just leaving it the way it was? how much is too much free play and how can you tell? how can you tell if the clutch is not fully engaging from having too much free play?
 

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I have always adjusted mine with the friction zone very close to the grip. Having small hands and short fingers it's very comfortable for me. I've adjusted every bike I've owned this way and never had any issues.
 

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If you adjust the lever or cable so there is little or no freeplay, the clutch may not be fully engaging (grabbing) when you release the level, and it will slip.

If you have way too much free play then when you pull the lever all the way to the grip, it may not be fully open (disengaged). Then the bike would be pulling and trying to creep when you stop without putting the brakes on. That would also make the bike hard to shift, because the gears will have torque on them when you change from one to the next.

Either extreme is not good, but anywhere in between is ok. Vstar bikes tend to have very narrow friction zone, so you have some latitude about where you put it.


whenever you adjust it your muscle memory will take a while to get use to the new response.

To the best of my knowledge, as the clutch plates wear down the freeplay gets smaller and smaller. If you keep the lever all the way out with very little freeplay, you will need to keep an eye on it and adjust it more frequently.
 

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I recently adjusted mine on my 09’. 950 tourer. I found a happy medium in between too much and not enough. I have decent size hands and fairly long fingers so for me, the happy medium works well, plus I added aftermarket grips which fit my hands better. It took me a few trips after the adjustment to get used to the new zone for engaging, but I’m used to it now.


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Here is what my clutch is like. (Need adjust meant?)
From fully out to red line is "play."
From Red to blue is my friction zone.
Green colored area, clutch is disengaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so when disengaged, your clutch lever is sitting at the red line? if so, then that looks fine according to what the experts say. they say as long as you can fit the thickness of a quarter in the crevice between the clutch lever and the black stopper, or about 3mm, you're fine.

how much feathering the clutch is too much? Austin has a ton of stop and go rush hour traffic. so i'm constantly using the friction zone to creep along. is there such thing as too much feathering?
 

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The past 4 years I've set in at least 1 hours on nothing but stop and go traffic 5 days a week. My friction zone is very close to handle bar. Is it right, don't know. But as of last month I've put 50k miles in 4 years with no clutch issues what so ever. I've adjusted the cable a few times but it never needs much. I do have a few milimters play between lever and lever pivot. It works for me, so I stay with it. Yeah, bikes dirty, got rained on three times this week.

 

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As long as the clutch is fully engaged when all the way out, and fully disengaged when all the way in, the middle is where ever you want it to be.
 

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if you are stuck in traffic and just slipping the clutch to creep the bike forward, you are barely using the friction characteristics of the clutch plates. As long as you are not reving the engine and lurching the bike forward 10 feet at a time, you are probably using the oil film between the plates more than you are using the plate surfaces themselves.

I would not hold the clutch slipping in the friction zone for more than maybe 5 seconds at a time, because the oil between the plates does heat up, and there is not a lot of circulation of that oil wedged between the surfaces (until you open the clutch again and let more oil thru, or engage the clutch fully and squeeze all that oil out).

Did I mention how much I hate stop and stop traffic?
 
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