crazy experience - clutchless commute - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-18-2008, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
Tirone
 
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crazy experience - clutchless commute

so i was riding my 919 to the office this morning, doing about 85 in 6th on the freeway, approaching my exit i moved over to the right and prepared to slow down... i tried to grab the clutch for my first downshift, and it wasn't there.

the clutch lever was still attached, but it was just flapping back and forth - no cable tension at all.

i got slowed down somewhat, got over to the shoulder, slowed down to where the engine was choking from lack of speed, and then cut the engine and rolled to a very noisy stop (engine rotating, chain thwacking, rear wheel jerking).

wow. scary.

at first, i thought something in the clutch broke, and i was about to call aaa, but after i calmed down a bit i looked at the bike more carefully and saw that the clutch cable adjuster (at the engine) was completely unthreaded. i was able to hand-thread it back in just enough to ride the rest of the way to work, and i'm about to go down to the garage with some tools to get it adjusted correctly and tightened down.

i was the last person to work on my clutch cable, so i have nobody to blame but myself. but i'm shocked at how quickly it came loose. the clutch adjustment hasn't moved at all in the last 4 months (since i got my bike back together), but between shifting into 6th when i entered the freeway and my exit (about 5 miles) it came completely loose (i'm guessing about 30 turns of the thread nut).

in hindsight i think i reacted to the problem correctly. i could have tried clutchless downshifting as i slowed down, but that would have left me with more wheel torque that i couldn't disengage - it was probably better to try to stop in 6th than a lower gear. i didn't panic, and i got out of traffic quickly.

was there a better way out of the situation?

and i think this weekend would be a good time to go over all the nuts and bolts to make sure everything is torqued down correctly

...j919

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post #2 of 13 Old 07-18-2008, 03:37 PM
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The method you used will bring you to a stop, but as the engine is lugging just before stopping the plain bearing loads are very high and oil pressure is minimal, so there is the possibility of bearing damage. In this sort of situation it is preferable to clutchless downshift in a manner similar to upshifting, except, of course, you will give the throttle a quick snap open to facilitate the shift. As long as you are smooth and don't apply too much throttle it will be fairly smooth. The tricky part is to only allow partial shifter movement between 2nd and 1st. The easiest way to do this is apply just enough throttle to keep the trans locked up in 2nd while applying pressure to the shifter, then slowly roll the throttle off until the shifter starts to move. If you are deliberate enough with the throttle the trans will drop into the neutral detent without trying to engage 1st. I had to do this once on the track, for exactly the same reason as yours, and made the last 9 laps of the race without the clutch, pulled into the pits after winning, and rolled to a stop as smooth as you please. I wouldn't make a habit of it, but it's nice to know how.

Rob

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On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-18-2008, 03:50 PM
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Thumbs up Nice save!

I think you did an admirable job of reeling things in W/O a crash or tip over. Kudos
If you're REALLY paranoid now, you can drill and safety wire. But I'm thinking proper torque ought to do the trick. That and the habit of looking things over from time to time. Wash time is usually best for this activity.

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post #4 of 13 Old 07-18-2008, 03:50 PM
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dude

wow is all i can say, add that tidbit to the "use locktite" section





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post #5 of 13 Old 07-18-2008, 03:54 PM
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on my old 79 xs400 the shifter fell off while going down the freeway. it took some creative traffic handling to get home without coming to a stop.

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-19-2008, 09:06 AM
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I had lots of things fall off from my '78 XS400! Fuses liked to pop out mostly. There's nothing like I-5 traffic after dark on a Friday night when all of the sudden your main power fuse decides to leave you. Lights out!

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post #7 of 13 Old 07-19-2008, 03:24 PM
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ha ha i had one of the original fuses go out on a freeway off ramp. one that had something to do with running the bike because it shut down. i found an aluminum juice can on the side of the road and ripped a rectangular shaped piece and wrapped it around the old fuse. started back up and got me to the nearest auto zone. lol

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-20-2008, 06:04 AM
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glad you got whoaed up without incident. Not a bad thing to know how to do. Years ago my friends clutch cable broke on his 1982 Nighthawk 750 and he used the clutchless downshifting method to get home.

Four wheels move the body ... two wheels move the soul.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-20-2008, 06:54 AM
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Whoaed up?

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-20-2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
Whoaed up?
Well, it's tough to spell a fake word, LOL!
I meant like you whoa a horse.

Four wheels move the body ... two wheels move the soul.
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-21-2008, 10:23 AM
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funny: remember when we used to sneak illicit rides on dirtbikes on the street? remember how uncomfortable? how much vibration? how much stuff didn't work right and how that ruined those rides?

me neither.

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post #12 of 13 Old 07-21-2008, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for all of the responses. i did consider trying to downshift, but trying to get all the way to neutral without a clutch didn't even occur to me... but i knew i would learn something by posting this here...

...j919

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post #13 of 13 Old 07-21-2008, 11:18 AM
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I practice clutchless downshift time to time, not really cause I plan to use it consistantly but just to know I can...for situations like this. A little blip as you go & it will downshift alright.

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