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bornagainbiker

Clutch Lever Free Play Adjustment--Hot or Cold?

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bornagainbiker

This is one of those things that have always made me go hmm? 

 

I am very familiar with adjusting clutch lever free play, but in all the years that I have read motorcycle owner's manuals, I don't ever remember any mention of whether the clutch lever free play should be adjusted with the engine warmed up or cold.  I have noticed that the free play increases a bit when the engine warms up so I have always erred on the side of caution and adjusted it cold, as adjusting it hot could leave you with minimal play when the engine is warming up. 

 

Does anyone out there have any insight on this one?

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r1limited

Doesnt matter, reason is there is not expansion of the clutch that effects the lever pull or draw.  The Cable is simply there to actuate the arm and engage the lever the only consideration you need to take is the age of the cable and if it is streatched or frayed

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markstertt

I subconsciously check the clutch free play & feel, throttle slack and front brake feel the first 2 seconds I get on any bike and I bet most riders including you do also, you just don't think about it. If you've ridden much, especially dirt, you will also be noting the clutch free play and adjusting as you ride as the clutch pack heats up...in the dirt I'll notice the change more and adjust for it

,more so than on the street...for me this isn't an adjust once and forget kind of thing, it's just a monitored situation I guess. 

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rick

The bike in my avatar had a single plate, dry clutch. That clutch never changed. I currently have 2 bikes with wet clutches, one with a cable, one that's hydraulic.

 

Even if the clutch pack changed ( w/ heat or even wear) on the aprilia with a hydraulic master and slave, there would be no way to feel it at the lever as the fluid results in the system self-adjusting, the same way the hydraulics self- adjust a brake lever when pads wear. The fluid just fills in behind 

 

 It takes a couple of shifts to clear muscle memory when switching from one bike to the other, but that's me, not the bikes. Maybe it happens, but don't think I've ever noticed any cable operated clutch free play change, hot or cold. 

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peteinpa

Every cable clutch I've owned ( own) has more slack when hot. Only hydraulic clutches don't change. Most of the time the clutch cable runs along the engine so maybe it gets hot from the engine and expands. IDK.

 

Since you never want zero slack, adjust it cold.

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bornagainbiker
2 hours ago, peteinpa said:

Every cable clutch I've owned ( own) has more slack when hot. Only hydraulic clutches don't change. Most of the time the clutch cable runs along the engine so maybe it gets hot from the engine and expands. IDK.

 

Since you never want zero slack, adjust it cold.

This is the way I've always looked at it. ;)

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r1limited

I am not so sure I can agree with that hot thing.  True heat causes expansion, cold causes shrinkage.  However the routing of cables are as engineered as anything else on a bike.  Length, thickness, ease of maintenance all contribute to how a cable is routed JIMO.  The only time I have ever encountered any cable fade is sitting on a grid on a Bultaco Astro or the Husky and the clutch starts getting hot.  Cables will stretch, cables will fray over time as I will add the heating of a cable IMO again would be OD as well as length.  Either way no reason to poke an eye out all answers are good and the best is to have slack hot or cold :)

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