​Clutch issue on 03.

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  • ​Clutch issue on 03.



    Ok here is the background. bought bike used almost 3 years ago. I am the 3rd owner. I do not have the OEM clutch and brake levers.

    I installed Helibars over the summer and have rode the bike several times since the install.

    Today around 3pm outside temp of 57 degrees, I backed the bike out of the shed and into the yard to warm it up to set the ECM for the ambient temperatures before a short ride. After about a half an hour at idle and pre ride checks and gearing up completed the following happened.

    Pulled the clutch and dropped into 1st. Bike lunged and stalled immediately with clutch still pulled to rear. The clutch was still holding in the rear most position with my hand off the lever.
    I tried to restart the bike with the clutch pulled back and the bike lunged with each attempt of the engine to turn over.
    I was able to roll the bike slightly forward and grab the front brake, that allowed me to get it back into neutral. Pushed back into shed.

    Inspected the clutch fluid reservoir and bleed the line. Took the clutch lever off and the pivot pin and holes were gummed up. cleaned them off and applied slight amount of white lithium grease to them and re-assembled clutch lever now pulls in and releases back to normal position. So I backed the bike out of the shed and started in neutral. pulled clutch, dropped into 1st and lunge and stall again. Pushed forward, put in neutral and pushed back into shed.

    So at this point I am at a loss. Any suggestions and or guidance would be appreciated.
    Dennis

  • #2
    Dennis, first....as I "always" say, it is helpful to all of us if you would please state the mileage on this bike. While we know it is an '03, there is a difference whether it has 10 miles on the bike, or 300,000 miles on the bike.

    Secondly, on ALL of my bikes (and I have taught my wife to do this with all her bikes) I always actuate the clutch lever on each bike several times, before even attempting to start it, but...more importanly...before attempting to put the bike into gear. Maybe it is just my habit, but I still see bikes, mine and others, that will not fully and completely engage, or disengage the clutch, when the bike has been sitting for any length of time.

    So, as a precursor to having the bike lurch forward and stall, I will always actuate the clutch sveral times...3 or 4 or 5 times, quickly, just to free everything up.

    You have already bled the clutch fluid, but....WHERE did you bleed it at? That is important.

    Miles, please?

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #3
      Originally posted by MMR View Post
      Dennis, first....as I "always" say, it is helpful to all of us if you would please state the mileage on this bike. While we know it is an '03, there is a difference whether it has 10 miles on the bike, or 300,000 miles on the bike
      You have already bled the clutch fluid, but....WHERE did you bleed it at? That is important.
      Miles, please?
      Mileage. 55,073
      Upon further reading, I have learned that the color of my clutch fluid is not good. I have also learned that what I thought was changing the clutch fluid was nothing more than changing the fluid in the reservoir. I had no idea of the bleeder under the front.

      So tomorrow I will be getting stuff together to do a proper clutch fluid change. I have already taken the lower front plastic off the bike in preparation. I didn't take the EVAP canister off yet, because I don't want it hanging loose all night.

      additional information. I took the reservoir cover off and pumped the clutch lever. The lever does not feel like it has any pressure behind it and I do not see any movement of fluid in the reservoir as I pull the clutch lever to the rear and release.
      When I loosen the bleed valve on the back of the reservoir, fluid only comes out when I pull the clutch to the rear.

      Again, thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated.

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #4
        Dennis, please note that this is all said in an effort to help you, not criticize you, okay?

        Do you know the proper method for bleeding either a clutch fluid, or brake fluid? In my case, I use a MityVac to do all my brake fluid bleeding. It sounds like you have some air in the system. That needs to be properly bled out, with the old fluid, while installing and bleeding IN the new fluid.

        You may want to look at some of Cruisemans' videos about this procedure, if you have not done it before. The issue is....it is either done right......or wrong.
        If done wrong, you will be fighting air in the system, until it is done right.

        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


        • #5
          no offense taken.
          I watched Fred H's video tonight on clutch bleeding. That's how I knew I had done it wrong and my color was off.
          I also have a MityVac.
          I hope this clears it up tomorrow once finished.

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


          • #6

            Nice stuff its never to late to learn something new.
            2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

            Comment: (For off-topic replies)


            • #7
              Originally posted by Yellowbird View Post
              Nice stuff its never to late to learn something new.
              Amen to that Brother. Just when you "assume" you know everything....something comes around to remind you...you don't know everything...myself included.

              Learning is a life long process.

              Comment: (For off-topic replies)


              • #8
                Originally posted by MMR View Post
                Dennis, first....as I "always" say, it is helpful to all of us if you would please state the mileage on this bike. While we know it is an '03, there is a difference whether it has 10 miles on the bike, or 300,000 miles on the bike.

                Secondly, on ALL of my bikes (and I have taught my wife to do this with all her bikes) I always actuate the clutch lever on each bike several times, before even attempting to start it, but...more importanly...before attempting to put the bike into gear. Maybe it is just my habit, but I still see bikes, mine and others, that will not fully and completely engage, or disengage the clutch, when the bike has been sitting for any length of time.

                So, as a precursor to having the bike lurch forward and stall, I will always actuate the clutch sveral times...3 or 4 or 5 times, quickly, just to free everything up.

                You have already bled the clutch fluid, but....WHERE did you bleed it at? That is important.

                Miles, please?


                Please excuse me, I'm not understanding, wouldn't it be informing to know when was last time the break fluid was changed or the milage on last break fluid change? Why would I need to know milage on bike?

                Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                • #9
                  Originally posted by orange winger2 View Post



                  Please excuse me, I'm not understanding, wouldn't it be informing to know when was last time the break fluid was changed or the milage on last break fluid change? Why would I need to know milage on bike?
                  That is a good question, and quite worthy of an answer. When I asked the question as to the # of miles on the bike.....it was based upon the fact that the bike is an "03 model, so it is 12 years old, and there are many other things that can be contributing to this clutch "acting" as though it is not working...other than the clutch fluid replacement issue. By knowing the miles on the bike, it tells us a lot. Many of us that currently own a '12, or '13, or '14 model bike, have also owned an '01 - '05 Wing, and in some cases, have put 100s of 1000s of miles on them, so we have seen things come up...that occur with higher miles on the bike.

                  To "me"...every single post on this, and every motorcycle forum, when the OP starts the post with a question about something that is wrong with their bike....the post SHOULD include....the YEAR and MODEL of the bike, as well as the total MILEAGE on the bike. Yet, 75 % of the time we have to go back and ask the OP these questions....that should have been provided in the first place.

                  The problem with Dennis' bike may...or may not...be related to the replacement of the clutch fluid. If it is...good...as that is an easy fix. But if it is not related to the clutch fluid, then it is helpful to know how many miles are on that bike, so we can further diagnose it.

                  Lastly, no one should hide how many miles they have on their bike....because...if it has HIGH mileage on it, we think that is great that this forum member is a higher mileage rider. If the bike has LOW mileage on it, there are some on here, like myself, that might offer to buy the bike from that forum member, as we are looking for low mileage older GL1800s.

                  Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                  • #10
                    update on the clutch issue.

                    Today I got the clutch system properly bled and re-filled. Last night I watched Fred H's video on clutch bleeding and learned a lot. Mostly that I had no idea what I was doing before hand, and that the light tea color of my fluid was not good.

                    Today I picked up the fluid and shop towels and other materials that I needed to do this with minimum of mess. Drug the wife outside to assist me with the re-fill of the reservoir while I mity vac'd the snot out of the system. We decided to go over kill because of our obvious lack of care in the past. We ran about 16 oz of Dot 4 brake fluid through the system. Ran clear for 2 full Mity Vac cups, I think it had a good bit of air in the system, because as we were doing the initial bleed, there were quite large air pockets in the tubing between the old fluid.

                    Anyway after getting it all done and we were happy with the results, the clutch had tension on it again. I rolled the bike out of the shed and started in neutral. Shifted to 1st. no lunge and no stall. slowly shifted through all the gears and let the clutch out until the bike started to move and then pulled the clutch in again. Worked my way down the gears to first in the same manner. Then into neutral to sit at idle. Pulled bike back into shed for the night.

                    Now my question. How quite should the clutch system be when pulling the lever to the rear. I ask because, with the bike turned off, when I pull the lever and release I can hear what sounds like fluid movement somewhere under the shelter. I can hear it the loudest on the right hand side of the bike with the side panel removed for the oil fill area. Is this normal, or do I still have a large quantity of air trapped in the system?

                    As always suggestions and advise appreciated.
                    Dennis

                    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                    • #11
                      I got an answer to my question on the noise of the clutch system and feel better about the "squishy" noise that I hear with the bike turned off.

                      Before anyone asks about my oil. I just ordered the speed bleeder set from Shinhopples. I figured the process of doing 1 bleeder with a mity vac for the clutch was a pain in the butt. mainly because of how tight the space was for the clutch bleeder and then trying to maneuver the mity vac around. 7 bleeders for the brakes would probably test the limits of my 26 year marriage. So once the speed bleeders come in the brakes will get some attention also.

                      Plus I need to watch Fred H's video on how to do the brakes before the bleeders get in for proper order of sequence and such.
                      Air filter was changed 2 months ago when I installed the Helibars.
                      Thanks for all the suggestion and insights it is much appreciated.

                      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                      • #12
                        Dennis, that is all great news...except that you had to drug your wife to get her to help you.

                        I am glad that the clutch fuid was the issue, and you have learned a big lesson from all this. Now you can ride that '03 bike with 55,073 miles on it, until you are ready to sell it...to me.

                        What color is it, and...ABS brakes, or not?

                        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                        • #13
                          Me too.

                          The wife is willing to help with the bike when the need arises. We agreed before we bought it that she needs to have at least a fundamental idea of what is going on with the bike. Granted the main stay of maintenance is my responsibility, but she enjoys riding it also and if something happens out in BFE then at least she has an idea of what I am doing and how to help to get us going again.

                          The bike is red with yellow line designs on it. ABS was a must for both of us.

                          This bike is not going anywhere anytime soon. We bought it as our retirement bike. We however got it 2 years before I retired, so a large portion of that time has been getting it set up the way we wanted for touring. A work related collision in March sidelined me from riding for most of this year with a shoulder nerve injury.

                          Now that I have retired and my shoulder is about as good as it is going to get, it is time to get the bike out, start building up ride endurance and go see this big wide country of ours.

                          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                          • #14
                            Glad you got it worked out. Fred's videos have been invaluable to me and now I do all of my own maintenance except for the valve check.

                            I too just installed speed bleeders a couple weeks ago. ChrisE has a video here somewhere about the install. I installed all the bleeders in propper sequence then went back and bled brakes in sequence. What a pleasure it was to just pump the brake levers while keeping and eye on the fluid level. Installed one in the clutch too.

                            Dan
                            2007 dark blue Navi
                            Traxxion "Mega Monty"
                            IBA 54656

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                            • #15
                              Out of curiosity, which of the "issues" do you folks think contribute more to the air and/or condition of the fluid - the 55,000+ miles, or the 11+ year age of the bike?
                              2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper



                              Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

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                              • #16
                                Given the two choices you gave us, it is...without a doubt...the 11+ years age of the bike.

                                Comment: (For off-topic replies)

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