Clutch Engagement/Advice Needed - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch Engagement/Advice Needed

2nd and 3rd rides this weekend on my 00 RC51. It's a beast.

There are a few items I would like to address; I'll post separately so it can be searched easier later.

Clutch.. is it me or is a bit touchy to on starts and stops. Seems that I have to pull the clutch fairly hard and then the engagement is very short. Coordinating throttle and clutch doesn't seem to be consistent either. This is the first bike I've had with a hydraulic clutch, I would think it would be a bit more effortless and consistent. In short, it take me a considerable about of time to start from a stop (relative). Shifting at speed is fine and no false neutrals.

I have removed and cleaned the old grease and crap from the clutch lever. The spring loaded adjustment tensioner does not reliably push anymore so new clutch (and brake) levers are in the future. Actuator pin and bushing is showing signs of needing replacing as well.

Bike is a 2000 RC-51; 32K miles and I'm the third owner. Kid owned it previously and there is some question to his maintenance methods.

I would like to take a check and see approach to this from easy/inexpensive to intrusive. What do the experienced RC51 owners recommend as a path ahead?

If there is a clutch stack that needs replacing, what is the recommended OEM/aftermarket set knowing that I commute to work and ride it for a few hours on Sundays (I'm no Colin Edwards!)?

SubSailor: shipmate? What you got in the bag?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 01:06 AM
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I must say the RC51 clutch for me is very light, although it has a quick engagement you have to get used to.

I'd check to make sure the bushing for the lever is clean and lubricated.
I'd then check that the clutch fluid is fresh.
Brake/clutch fluid is hydroscopic and is designed to absorb and hold moisture in suspension.
If the fluid is not periodically flushed, it will start to thicken into a sludge.
That sludge does not move as well as clean fluid.

I found that out on my old 'Busa due to the shop not fitting the correct diaphragm onto the master cylinder.
I didn't ride the bike that often, so it absorbed moisture out of the air.
When I did go to ride it, I too noticed the clutch was harder to pull than normal and it didn't want to return as quick either. This caused difficult shifting.

I went to bleed the brakes and clutch and found it was practically black from moisture discoloration.
It was very difficult to flush from the consistency. My Mity-Vac basically gave up.
I had to resort to the old method and just squeeze it out.
Took me quite a while to flush it all out, clean the reservoir, and install a new diaphragm.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 08:54 PM
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I also found the clutch took a little getting used to. The beauty of hydraulic clutch, it engages right now. You should have a adjustment dial where you can adjust it where it would engage.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Replace fluids.

Yep, a good 'freshly fill and treat' for the clutch is in order. I'll pick up some DOT 4 and sundry items tomorrow on my way back from work. More later.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 11:56 PM
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The RC has one of the "touchiest" (If there is such a word...) pressure points in the bike world. I found it helpful to just nudge the idle rpms closer to 1500 and have had little to no issues. 1300 rpm puts the bike right on the edge of dying. It sounds good hearing that gear drive

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Another weekend..

I didn't get much of a chance to ride this Sunday; did the clutch flush instead.

Wow. It was mud! flushed it until clear and bled it out. Did both brakes while I was at it.

Definite improvement in both shifting and ease of pull. The lever still needs to be replaced, but that is another matter.

Clutch engagement is still a bit sharp, but more controlled and predictable.

Thanks for the advice.
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