Excessive Clutch Adjustment...

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May 29, 2001
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#1
I ride a '96 KX125 & I've been experiencing lots of clutch problems this season. The initial basis of my problem was general wear & tear so earlier this season (5-10 rides ago) I completed an overhaul of my clutch- new cable, pressure plate, springs, barnett frictions/steels & hinson basket. I'm really pleased with the 'internal' feel of the clutch - no clutch chatter, smooth shifting, etc., but I'm having trouble getting good feeling at the lever. Here are my problems:

1. Excessive Break-in stretch - I figured I would have to adjust my cable every ride for the first few as the cable stretched & the rest of the parts broke in. I've definately needed to do this, but I'm almost totally out of adjustment already (at both adjustment points - perch & a few inches in on the cable) & the break in stretch doesn't seem to be ending - every ride I need turn out the adjuster by another 1/2 - 3/4 turn to snug up the freeplay. I've been adjusting the freeplay to about 2mm - by the end of the ride my cluch lever is flopping around & I have about 5mm freeplay. I don't have much more room for adjusting & I'm worried about any premature wear this might be doing on my plates/springs/basket....


2. Stiff lever pull... My clutch has always been stiff & itl is better now that I've replaced all the parts, but it still feels quite stiff - especially when you compare it to my husband's 90 YZ250 which can be pulled in with one finger. Are KX125's known for having stiff clutch pulls? If so what can be done to improve this problem? Could the problem be the clutch springs? The ones I put in were part of the barnett clutch kit (kevlar frictions, steels & springs)... I can't tell if these springs are 'heavy duty' ones, if so would replacing them with stock Kawi ones help?

Any advice, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. BTW, I'm a 130lbs female rider & although I ride quite aggressive X-Country I'm pretty easy on my clutch - plus my weight shouldn't create much stress on the clutch anyway. Thanks for the help...
 

70 marlin

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#2
I concur, on the spring's

was the cable a OEM part ? I've found the the aftermarket cables of lower quality©
 
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#3
Yup, the cable was factory OEM. What is the chance of the push rod being collapsed causing the excessive cable adjustment??? The pushrod looked fine when I examined it - but there has to be something inside that's out by a 1 or 2 mm causing the difference at the cable (in terms of adjustment amount, not tension). I've pulled the whole thing apart just to make sure all the spacers/washers are in the correct order/positions. There are no measurements for the pushrod so how can I tell if it's worn?

I'm pretty sure I can correct the stiffness easy enough - 90% sure its just the springs. If not I can try a different lever/perch. On the same note though, when i installed the Barnett fibers into the Hinson basket the first 2 fibers were very difficult to install - its a very, very tight fit. After I got the first few in, the rest were no problem. I assume this will cause increased tension as well - is there a problem with the plates/basket or do the aftermarket parts fit real tight?

Thanks again.
 
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#4
The various aftermarket cables like terminator (motion pro I think) or some other silly name work real well due to their construction as they don’t tend to act like a spring. Cheaper aftermarket ones aren’t so good.

Yes you could increase your leverage with an expensive lever assembly.

But the cheap way of doing exactly the same thing on the other end is lengthen the actuator arm. I put an extra 8-10mm in my kdx arm which helped a lot & actually improved the angle of the cable.

Cost; an offcut & a 10 min welding job.

The Barnett springs will be stiffer than std. Try resting one of each in a vice -end on, & measure both. Tighten the vice a bit & measure again. A weaker one will shorten quicker. Be a bit careful, wear some safety glasses.

The excessive wear is interesting, but the tight fit of the first couple of plates means they may be moving in a bit into their intended position as the wear a bit. They really shouldn’t be tight as they are supposed to move when they release so I suspect this is the drama.
 

70 marlin

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#5
inspect rod

I'd first make sure that the rod is straight and that the contact point shape is uniformed with no gauling© as for mixing and matching clutch baskets and plates they should slide freely! I'd start with a close inspection looking for a slight bur or a casting rough edge© the plates and disc's should be tight but slide freely and not bind© find where they bind and sart from there© do you still have your stock spring's still ? if you do pop them in and check to see if that changes the feel any© good luck©
 
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#6
The fibres start binding immediately... the first one will only slide on 1/2 cm... at that point I need to "force" it down a few mm at a time uniformly until its all the way down. No problem putting on the steel. Second fiber goes on a bit easier, after that they all slide on easily - tight fit, but they don't bind. I inspected the fibres & the edges look smooth & don't have any burrs... Do I need to file the fibres to stop them from binding????

The old fibres slide freely in the new basket, but that doesn't surprise 'cause they were definately worn (ie. hooked due to notches in worn basket). Any chance that factory ones will fit better?
 
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#7
Well it could be the aftermarket fibres are a bit bigger than std & the after market hub is a bit narrower than std possibly the bottoms of the fingers are narrower than the tops either in diameter or in the circumference (ie they are tight in the fingers or on the insides of the fingers). I would custom file the plates to fit & use them in that order.
 
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#8
Thanks... Sounds like some more custom work is in order... any suggstions on the easiest/most accurate way to file. I'm a assuming a small mill ******* file would do the trick but maybe there is a better way? Due to the way its binding it looks like I need to file the edges of the fibre notches (vs. inbetween the notches)...Is it better to file on the 'non-drive' side? Any other precaustions... other than filling too much off :eek:
 

70 marlin

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#9
Be cool on the filing !

I'd start with a 320 sanding cloth© and just clean up the sharp edge's© put the puppy together and run the crap out of it a few times to see if it loosen's up any, these aftermarket clutch's are rather pricey and I'd hate to ruin it with filing© buy the way did you give hinson or barnett call? they might have some helpfull info on dialing in your clutch!