Clutch lever service.... - ZX6R Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-12-2017, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch lever service....

I haven't done anything with the clutch on my bike in a few years..... why mess with success?

Of late, the lever action has been getting more and more stiff, so I decided to service the pivot, and clean everything up.

That led to removing the lever from the clip on, and then removing the micro switch, then the cable.

The pivot itself was really tight. Adding machine oil didn't loosen it up as much as I had hoped for, so I backed off the nut in the pivot and used that to get enough room to get some oil into the joint. Then cleaned everything up, re-torqued the lock nut, and set everything back as it had been.

I took the time to lube the cable ends, and make sure they were free of any debris, as well as giving the micro switch connector a daub of dielectric grease..... shouldn't be any issue in the future with that connection

It was also a good opportunity to check the alignment of the lever with my usual riding position.... I think I have the setting where I want it to be, I'll know more the next time I take the bike out.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-12-2017, 02:14 PM
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Glad you were able to get to the root of the issue. I always use a high quality synthetic grease on pivot points like that.

I actually came across this stuff in the firearms industry some years ago and swear by it. I have never seen anything that does such a fantastic job lubricating pivot points:

AR8000 High Performance Grease | Archoil

If you don't want to spring for that or can't find it locally, SuperLube can be obtained from Ace hardware and others I would imagine.

https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=...QwzwIBg&adurl=
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-12-2017, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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I had laid in some white lithium grease to the pivots, when I got the bike and touched them up pretty much annually..... that only goes so far. I'm glad I got it better.... it's not perfect; that's likely going to be the next time I fiddle with it.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 01:15 AM
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Hmm. Nice reminder!

I should check my levers and lube em up too. Its been a while since Ive inspected them.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
I haven't done anything with the clutch on my bike in a few years..... why mess with success?

Of late, the lever action has been getting more and more stiff, so I decided to service the pivot, and clean everything up.

That led to removing the lever from the clip on, and then removing the micro switch, then the cable.

The pivot itself was really tight. Adding machine oil didn't loosen it up as much as I had hoped for, so I backed off the nut in the pivot and used that to get enough room to get some oil into the joint. Then cleaned everything up, re-torqued the lock nut, and set everything back as it had been.

I took the time to lube the cable ends, and make sure they were free of any debris, as well as giving the micro switch connector a daub of dielectric grease..... shouldn't be any issue in the future with that connection

It was also a good opportunity to check the alignment of the lever with my usual riding position.... I think I have the setting where I want it to be, I'll know more the next time I take the bike out.
I would suggest lubing the whole cable, not just the ends. I use this to clean/lube the entire cable: Motion Pro 08-0182 Cable Luber and spray this through it: DuPont Teflon Chain-Saver Dry Self-Cleaning Lubricant, 11-Ounce

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Last edited by Strider; 03-13-2017 at 04:23 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that.

Cable action is perfectly smooth..... I have been a proponent of not injecting problems where there wasn't one before, and still haven't seen any reason to change this approach.

The way I think of it, the cable mfg installed the cable within the sheathing when they built the assembly, and they used cable that was loaded with lubricant when they did. As there is almost no way for dirt to work it's way inside the sheathing, except at the ends, the central part of the cable shouldn't ever see any change in environment. I'm guessing that dirt and moisture can't migrate far enough into the sheathing to create a rough spot, unless something is done to propel it in further. Aside from submerging the cable overnight in water, the ends of the cable are the only places that will be exposed to grit and moisture. Keep them clean and well lubed and the main span of the cable should take care of itself.

Just like with an O ring chain..... if something is sprayed into the sheathing, there has to be a solvent involved. The solvent is almost certainly going to dissolve the lubricant the mfg put there. I cannot imagine that the replacement material is going to be as uniformly distributed, and you have the added friction modifiers that were carried in from the exposed ends of the cable.

The way the rubber boot covers the clutch end tip of the cable..... no dirt is going to get in there until the boot fails. Mine's 8+ years old and is still in good shape.

At the lever end, the tip of the cable is pointed towards the ground, then loops up before descending into the chassis to route to the clutch... gravity is being used to keep moisture out of the sheathing. Add to that the knurled adjuster, with the slot (keep that pointed down, if you can), and the shoulders on the adjuster parts so that the sheathing is covered and you have a quite limited area that can get dirty.

I believe the lever pivot was actually dirty... but it seems more like most of the issue was that it was too tight. The action improved drastically, as soon as I backed the lock nut off less than 1/8th of a turn, and became silky smooth with a touch of machine oil.

When I pick up some of the lube PSlo identified, I will almost certainly take the whole thing apart again and actually lube the pivot directly. It's already a night and day difference; if I can make that permanent I will jump at the opportunity.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
Thanks for that.

Cable action is perfectly smooth..... I have been a proponent of not injecting problems where there wasn't one before, and still haven't seen any reason to change this approach.

The way I think of it, the cable mfg installed the cable within the sheathing when they built the assembly, and they used cable that was loaded with lubricant when they did. As there is almost no way for dirt to work it's way inside the sheathing, except at the ends, the central part of the cable shouldn't ever see any change in environment. I'm guessing that dirt and moisture can't migrate far enough into the sheathing to create a rough spot, unless something is done to propel it in further. Aside from submerging the cable overnight in water, the ends of the cable are the only places that will be exposed to grit and moisture. Keep them clean and well lubed and the main span of the cable should take care of itself.

Just like with an O ring chain..... if something is sprayed into the sheathing, there has to be a solvent involved. The solvent is almost certainly going to dissolve the lubricant the mfg put there. I cannot imagine that the replacement material is going to be as uniformly distributed, and you have the added friction modifiers that were carried in from the exposed ends of the cable.

The way the rubber boot covers the clutch end tip of the cable..... no dirt is going to get in there until the boot fails. Mine's 8+ years old and is still in good shape.

At the lever end, the tip of the cable is pointed towards the ground, then loops up before descending into the chassis to route to the clutch... gravity is being used to keep moisture out of the sheathing. Add to that the knurled adjuster, with the slot (keep that pointed down, if you can), and the shoulders on the adjuster parts so that the sheathing is covered and you have a quite limited area that can get dirty.

I believe the lever pivot was actually dirty... but it seems more like most of the issue was that it was too tight. The action improved drastically, as soon as I backed the lock nut off less than 1/8th of a turn, and became silky smooth with a touch of machine oil.

When I pick up some of the lube PSlo identified, I will almost certainly take the whole thing apart again and actually lube the pivot directly. It's already a night and day difference; if I can make that permanent I will jump at the opportunity.
Thanks for your comments - they remind me of a post I read somewhere previously (not sure if it was this board or another I frequent) that suggested putting oil or lube down the cables was actually the wrong thing to do based on the way the cables are built these days. Incompatibility with the internal sleeves or some such thing - don't remember the details obviously.....

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
Thanks for that.

Cable action is perfectly smooth..... I have been a proponent of not injecting problems where there wasn't one before, and still haven't seen any reason to change this approach.

The way I think of it, the cable mfg installed the cable within the sheathing when they built the assembly, and they used cable that was loaded with lubricant when they did. As there is almost no way for dirt to work it's way inside the sheathing, except at the ends, the central part of the cable shouldn't ever see any change in environment. I'm guessing that dirt and moisture can't migrate far enough into the sheathing to create a rough spot, unless something is done to propel it in further. Aside from submerging the cable overnight in water, the ends of the cable are the only places that will be exposed to grit and moisture. Keep them clean and well lubed and the main span of the cable should take care of itself.

Just like with an O ring chain..... if something is sprayed into the sheathing, there has to be a solvent involved. The solvent is almost certainly going to dissolve the lubricant the mfg put there. I cannot imagine that the replacement material is going to be as uniformly distributed, and you have the added friction modifiers that were carried in from the exposed ends of the cable.

The way the rubber boot covers the clutch end tip of the cable..... no dirt is going to get in there until the boot fails. Mine's 8+ years old and is still in good shape.

At the lever end, the tip of the cable is pointed towards the ground, then loops up before descending into the chassis to route to the clutch... gravity is being used to keep moisture out of the sheathing. Add to that the knurled adjuster, with the slot (keep that pointed down, if you can), and the shoulders on the adjuster parts so that the sheathing is covered and you have a quite limited area that can get dirty.

I believe the lever pivot was actually dirty... but it seems more like most of the issue was that it was too tight. The action improved drastically, as soon as I backed the lock nut off less than 1/8th of a turn, and became silky smooth with a touch of machine oil.

When I pick up some of the lube PSlo identified, I will almost certainly take the whole thing apart again and actually lube the pivot directly. It's already a night and day difference; if I can make that permanent I will jump at the opportunity.
I look at it the same way and never lube my cables internally. By the time a cable is binding, it is already screwed and needs to be replaced IMO.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
Thanks for that.

Cable action is perfectly smooth..... I have been a proponent of not injecting problems where there wasn't one before, and still haven't seen any reason to change this approach.

The way I think of it, the cable mfg installed the cable within the sheathing when they built the assembly, and they used cable that was loaded with lubricant when they did. As there is almost no way for dirt to work it's way inside the sheathing, except at the ends, the central part of the cable shouldn't ever see any change in environment. I'm guessing that dirt and moisture can't migrate far enough into the sheathing to create a rough spot, unless something is done to propel it in further. Aside from submerging the cable overnight in water, the ends of the cable are the only places that will be exposed to grit and moisture. Keep them clean and well lubed and the main span of the cable should take care of itself.

Just like with an O ring chain..... if something is sprayed into the sheathing, there has to be a solvent involved. The solvent is almost certainly going to dissolve the lubricant the mfg put there. I cannot imagine that the replacement material is going to be as uniformly distributed, and you have the added friction modifiers that were carried in from the exposed ends of the cable.

The way the rubber boot covers the clutch end tip of the cable..... no dirt is going to get in there until the boot fails. Mine's 8+ years old and is still in good shape.

At the lever end, the tip of the cable is pointed towards the ground, then loops up before descending into the chassis to route to the clutch... gravity is being used to keep moisture out of the sheathing. Add to that the knurled adjuster, with the slot (keep that pointed down, if you can), and the shoulders on the adjuster parts so that the sheathing is covered and you have a quite limited area that can get dirty.

I believe the lever pivot was actually dirty... but it seems more like most of the issue was that it was too tight. The action improved drastically, as soon as I backed the lock nut off less than 1/8th of a turn, and became silky smooth with a touch of machine oil.

When I pick up some of the lube PSlo identified, I will almost certainly take the whole thing apart again and actually lube the pivot directly. It's already a night and day difference; if I can make that permanent I will jump at the opportunity.
You would be surprised what actually comes out if you ever did clean and lubricate it properly. It's not just what gets in from the outside, but particles caused by wear between the cable and the metal sheath it moves against every time you pull/release the clutch. The same goes for the throttle cables.

Not to mention it's part of the periodic maintenance in the service manual:

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PainfullySlo View Post
I look at it the same way and never lube my cables internally. By the time a cable is binding, it is already screwed and needs to be replaced IMO.
If you do the proper maintenance on the cables, they will last a lot longer before they ever start binding. My original clutch cable currently has over 65,000 miles on it, and still no signs of wearing out. That's 65,000 miles of year round riding on the street and track, in all kinds of weather (rain, shine, hot, cold, etc).

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Last edited by Strider; 03-13-2017 at 03:39 PM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-13-2017, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Again, thanks for pointing this out.

I never question that the folks at Kawasaki have a better idea of what's best wrt maintenance...... you won't go wrong, following the manual.

I'd like to think that I'm a decent judge of what's good enough, for what I do with the bike. As I don't stress it as much as a race bike, I am willing to skimp on some of the recommended actions.

The risk is mine alone, and I'm comfortable with that.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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