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Thread: Clutch Questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member mmcn49's Avatar
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    Clutch Questions

    After having Hand/Wrist surgery in March would like to find a way to reduce the force needed to pull the clutch lever. I've reduced clutch lever travel to the minimum but still need to reduce pull force.

    Searching the web I found several items for Buell's & HD's that reduce clutch lever pull force but have no experience with them.

    Any suggestions as to what I can do to reduce clutch pull force? All comments and suggestions greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmcn49 View Post
    After having Hand/Wrist surgery in March would like to find a way to reduce the force needed to pull the clutch lever. I've reduced clutch lever travel to the minimum but still need to reduce pull force.

    Searching the web I found several items for Buell's & HD's that reduce clutch lever pull force but have no experience with them.

    Any suggestions as to what I can do to reduce clutch pull force? All comments and suggestions greatly appreciated.
    Magura Hymec

  3. #3
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Ed: whether it's muller....kirkland...clutchlite...whatever......i' ve never found any appreciable improvement and lowered lever pull effort with any of those devices; but i have found that by their very nature, clutch "drag" and complaints increase exponentially. what DOES vastly improve lever effort is: new clutch cable LUBRICATED with 3-in-1 oil prior to installation....replacing OEM curly-Q with upgraded factory clutch cable bracket.....PROPER room temp cable and pack adjustment....complete check-over and lube of perch/lever/pin assemblies. huge improvement when all performed together.

    if still too challenging then go hydraulic as Aaron suggested.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 07-14-2019 at 11:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silverrider's Avatar
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    Good luck with ur surgery, Take time and work with therapy building ur grip back. Buells clutch working properly is a easy pull.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    Ed: whether it's muller....kirkland...clutchlite...whatever......i' ve never found any appreciable improvement and lowered lever pull effort with any of those devices; but i have found that by their very nature, clutch "drag" and complaints increase exponentially. what DOES vastly improve lever effort is: new clutch cable LUBRICATED with 3-in-1 oil prior to installation....replacing OEM curly-Q with upgraded factory clutch cable bracket.....PROPER room temp cable and pack adjustment....complete check-over and lube of perch/lever/pin assemblies. huge improvement when all performed together.
    FWIW, I have tried a Mueller power clutch and while it was nice (but with its own compromises), lunatics advice netted the better result. I replaced all above specified parts on my XB12SS... and then installed as lunatic instructed and it was much nicer.

    The advice to do the Magura was mostly based around the idea that you should be able to play with different MC (and piston sizes) and may be able to decrease pull and travel through customization. You may want to do a search on here for the thread where they discuss changing the master cylinder size on the rear brake and the different effects of the different piston sizes.

    Just be sure to be very mindful of routing the hydraulic hose.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lusiphur's Avatar
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    What year bike do you have?

    I originally owned a 2003 XB9SX and loved everything about it, except for the clutch. I added the Muller power clutch and can attest to what LunaticFringe states. It only made a small difference but it still shifted and had the hard pull of a typical HD. It was a complete pita to get it into neutral. The clutch was the sole reason I got rid of that Buell.

    When I test drove the Buell I currently own, I was blown away with how much better it was. It's a 2006. They made pretty significant changes to the Buells, this year including a new transmission. The difference in lever pull and smoothness of the shifting is night and day. I only need 2 fingers to pull it in and shifting is like a hot knife through butter.
    Here is the original description of the upgrades
    *******
    A New Transmission, Lighter Clutch, Stronger Belt
    A redesigned transmission for all Buell XB models offers reduced mass and improved shift quality, quieter operation and extended service intervals. This transmission replaces moving/sliding gears with thin steel "dog rings" that slide to cause gear changes, a design commonly used in automotive racing gear boxes. Because the dog rings have less mass than gears, shifting is quicker. New heli-cal-cut gears are smoother and quieter than straight-cut gears. The new transmission requires Buell Formula + Oil, and the oil change interval for the primary/transmission case is extended from 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles. Clutch effort has been reduced by 15 percent (on 984cc powertrain) and 22 percent (on 1203cc powertrain) due to a lighter spring. Finally, a new Goodyear Hibrex final drive belt with Flexten Plus technology has been reinforced for enhanced durability. The new belt weighs just over one pound, compared to drive chains that can weigh up to five pounds, a significant contribution to the Buell philosophy of minimizing unsprung weight.
    *******

    If you have a 2005 or older Buell, There really isn't much you can do to improve it, shy of perfect cable maintenance.
    Last edited by Lusiphur; 07-12-2019 at 12:04 AM.
    Jack-O-Lantern
    2006 Buell XBRS LightningBolt
    http://www.buellxb.com/forum/album.php?albumid=129

  7. #7
    Senior Member mmcn49's Avatar
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    Hey everyone thanks for the great responses, believe me I appreciate them. Without going into a lot of boring detail I had a large cyst removed from my left wrist. I'm 70 and have both Osteo & RA damage in the wrist.

    Recovery was long and horrendously painful. Hand Surgeon believes my wrist was borderline Carpel Tunnel presurgery and that the resulting scar tissue pushed the issue over the top. Having an EMG test on Thursday to confirm his diagnosis.

    Have been seeing a hand therapist in occupational therapy for almost two months with no improvement in symptoms. My Primary Care Doc Prescribed Gabapentin for Nerve Pain. It has given me my life back. Went for two rides last weekend with no pain.

    I own two, 07, XB12STT Buell's and a 12, DR650 Suzuki. Clutch and throttle cables have always been well lubed and adjusted on all three of my bikes. I have the replacement clutch cable holder on both Buell's. When I pull the clutch levers with my right hand they all feel great, not so much with the left hand.

    With RA I'm limited in the types of strengthening exercises I can do. Though I can pull the clutch lever OK with the left hand I was looking for something to help reduce the effort required.

    Lunatic I never heard of using 3in 1 oil to lube a clutch cable. Yesterday I bought a bottle and will start lubing the cables today. Thanks for the suggestion.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lusiphur View Post
    What year bike do you have?

    I originally owned a 2003 XB9SX and loved everything about it, except for the clutch. I added the Muller power clutch and can attest to what LunaticFringe states. It only made a small difference but it still shifted and had the hard pull of a typical HD. It was a complete pita to get it into neutral. The clutch was the sole reason I got rid of that Buell.

    When I test drove the Buell I currently own, I was blown away with how much better it was. It's a 2006. They made pretty significant changes to the Buells, this year including a new transmission. The difference in lever pull and smoothness of the shifting is night and day. I only need 2 fingers to pull it in and shifting is like a hot knife through butter.
    Here is the original description of the upgrades
    *******
    A New Transmission, Lighter Clutch, Stronger Belt
    A redesigned transmission for all Buell XB models offers reduced mass and improved shift quality, quieter operation and extended service intervals. This transmission replaces moving/sliding gears with thin steel "dog rings" that slide to cause gear changes, a design commonly used in automotive racing gear boxes. Because the dog rings have less mass than gears, shifting is quicker. New heli-cal-cut gears are smoother and quieter than straight-cut gears. The new transmission requires Buell Formula + Oil, and the oil change interval for the primary/transmission case is extended from 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles. Clutch effort has been reduced by 15 percent (on 984cc powertrain) and 22 percent (on 1203cc powertrain) due to a lighter spring. Finally, a new Goodyear Hibrex final drive belt with Flexten Plus technology has been reinforced for enhanced durability. The new belt weighs just over one pound, compared to drive chains that can weigh up to five pounds, a significant contribution to the Buell philosophy of minimizing unsprung weight.
    *******

    If you have a 2005 or older Buell, There really isn't much you can do to improve it, shy of perfect cable maintenance.
    I had a 2004 XBS and had the same experience as Lucyfur. I also added a Muller power clutch, and noticed a bit less clutch pull effort, but it was a bit more finicky than the stock setup.

    Now, my 2006 XBSS was much nicer all around, especially after I replaced the clutch cable and lever. It shifted MUCH smoother (compared to the 2004), and the clutch was a bit lighter than the 2004 XBS with the Muller.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mmcn49's Avatar
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    In my search for finding something to reduce clutch pull force I came across this: http://efmautoclutch.com/ anyone know anything about them?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lusiphur's Avatar
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    That sounds very promising and if it works as advertised seems to be exactly what you need.

    I wonder if you could search some Harley Forums to see if anyone has one and get their thoughts.
    Or
    Ask them for some references.

    If it was me, I'd give it a shot.


    Jack-O-Lantern
    2006 Buell XBRS LightningBolt
    http://www.buellxb.com/forum/album.php?albumid=129

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