Interceptor VF500R

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by AB, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. AB

    AB Guest

    Hi, I have an 84 Honda Interceptor VF500R that was running just fine
    in the fall when I winterized it to store it for the winter. After
    getting it out from storage, there seams to be a problem. It starts
    just fine, but when I try to shift it from neutral to first gear, it
    stalls. When shifting, the clutch is pulled in, but when I shift from
    neutral to first, it shifts to first but instantly stalls as if the
    clutch is not engaged.
    Any ideas?
    AB, Mar 26, 2007
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  2. Check the wiring diagram in your owners manual to see if the ignition
    circuit runs through the sidestand switch.

    Possibly the sidestand switch isn't making good contact.

    Kawasakis and Yamahas have a weird safety interlock system that will
    kill the engine if you put the tranmission in gear with the sidestand

    Suzuki just used the sidestand switch for a sidestand warning light.
    Potage St. Germaine, Mar 26, 2007
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  3. AB

    Mike W. Guest

    I'll second that this sounds like side stand behavior.


    Mike W.
    96 XR400
    99 KZ1000P
    70 CT70
    71 KG 100 (Hodaka-powered)
    Mike W., Mar 26, 2007
  4. As others say, either a sidestand ignition cut-out (if fitted) that's
    gone AWOL or, equally likely, given the lay-up, a clutch that needs
    freeing off. Put the bike into gear, engine off, and rock it forward.

    Then try. If it still conks out, it's the switch.
    chateau.murray, Mar 26, 2007
  5. AB

    Jack Hunt Guest

    Or you could ask someone who has a 500 Interceptor sitting in the driveway...

    <lifts cover>

    No sidestand switch.

    You may need to bleed the clutch actuator system. It's hydraulic, like your
    front brakes. If there's air in the system or a seal has failed, your clutch is
    not releasing when you pull the lever.
    Jack Hunt, Mar 26, 2007
  6. Heh. I'm glad I added the caveat 'if fitted'. I sold my VF500 a few
    weeks ago and it had no switch, but one of those rubber sidestand
    extensions (always the simplest and neatest solution, I think). I had
    no idea whether US models had a switch or not.

    Could be duff hydraulics, but I reckon it's just a good old-fashioned
    sticking clutch.

    <Happy sigh and memories of freeing off the clutch on old British
    chateau.murray, Mar 26, 2007
  7. The OP's description gave me the impression that the engine *suddenly*
    stopped when he released the clutch. He said that he could get the
    motorcycle into gear, but he wouldn't need the clutch for that.

    Possibly the problem *is* a clutch that doesn't release because of
    sticky plates, or air in the hydraulic system.

    The OP would likely be able to get the transmission in gear if the
    motorcycle was on a centerstand or a work stand and the engine should
    keep running if the carburetor's idle circuits passed enough gasoline
    to carry the relatively small load of spinning the rear wheel.

    But, if the idle circuits are dirty, the engine might wheeze to a stop
    on fuel starvation.

    I wonder what happens if he tries to put the transmission in gear when
    the engine is still running on the "choke".
    Potage St. Germaine, Mar 26, 2007
  8. There's more to motorcycles than carburettors, tha' knows....
    The Older Gentleman, Mar 26, 2007
  9. AB

    AB Guest

    Hey Guys, thanks for all your help so far, but I may not have
    explained the problem well.
    If the bike is NOT running and I put the bike in first gear and pull
    in the clutch, the bike will not move.
    If the bike is running, and I pull in the clutch and try to shift into
    first gear, it stalls.
    The bike responds as if I do not have the clutch handle pulled in.

    I have tried putting the bike in gear and rocking it, but this has not
    solved the problem.
    Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    AB, Mar 27, 2007
  10. Maybe a lot of your clutch fluid wept out, around the
    seal on the piston of the slave cylinder.

    You'd never notice leakage because the seal side faces the
    transmission, unless maybe there was puddle of clutch fluid under the

    And you might tend to blame that on your cat...

    Is there a sight glass on the master cylinder, so you can see how much
    clutch fluid you have?

    I decided that a clutch fluid change was long overdue on my GSXR, so I
    disconnected the clutch hose and drained the system into a container.

    I removed the slave clinder and turned it upside down and drained it
    too. Then I reassembled eveything and filled the master cylinder with
    nice fresh clean fluid and started pumping the lever and working the
    clutch lever and opening and closing the air bleeder screw while
    holding the clutch lever in.

    Half an hour later, I was still pumping the lever, but wasn't building
    up any pressure.

    So I removed the slave cylinder again and pushed the
    piston all the way in to push air out of the slave cylinder so it
    could rise up the clutch hose to the master cylinder.

    I reinstalled the slave cylinder. Then I started pumping the lever and
    pressure immediately started rising.

    Clutch fluid and brake fluid are the same thing, they are glycol based
    and they will damage painted surfaces, so have some clean rags and
    water handy to wipe up any fluid spills.

    If your slave cylinder leaks badly though, you'll have to replace the
    seal. And, be careful with any hose fittings and banjo bolts. It's
    easy to screw up an expen$ive aluminum casting by tightening a fine-
    threaded steel bolt too much.

    Don't ask how I know that.
    Potage St. Germaine, Mar 27, 2007
  11. AB

    Wudsracer Guest

    It sounds like you need to bleed the air out of your clutch system,
    between the master cylinder and slave cylinder.
    A complete change of fluid will probably give even better results.

    If you can't get your desired results, try bleeding the system by
    pressuring up on the slave cylinder and push the air back up into the
    master cylinder. Be careful not to let the brake fluid in the clutch
    system get on your painted surfaces.

    Wudsracer/Jim Cook
    Smackover Racing
    '06 Gas Gas DE300
    '82 Husqvarna XC250
    Team LAGNAF
    Wudsracer, Mar 27, 2007
  12. Right. Well, it does sound like the clutch system needs purging and/or
    new fluid and/or seals. Have you tried pumping the clutch lever half a
    dozen times, to see if it builds up some pressure? If it does, then
    yes, it's the hydraulics.
    chateau.murray, Mar 27, 2007
  13. AB

    Gene Cash Guest

    Except for the fact that they DON'T WORK.

    Gene Cash, Mar 28, 2007
  14. Heh. Worked the one time I needed it to, but I can easily see a
    situation in which they'd be seriously overloaded, as it were.

    I remember when Kawasaki had that dreadful lock-down sidestand linked to
    the clutch cable via a secondary cable. That didn't work either, after a
    while. Come to think of it, I'd have three Kawasakis conk out from
    sidestand switch failure as well...
    The Older Gentleman, Mar 28, 2007
  15. OK, general question here. Why hydraulic clutches at all? OK, so they're
    supposedly low maintenance, but when they do give trouble they give a
    lot. And the fluid needs changing rather more often than a cable does.

    And they're supposedly self-adjusting, but I've never found giving a
    twiddle to a handlebar adjuster much of a chore.

    And I can only assume that they're more expensive to make (master
    cylinder, slave cylinder, reservoir, piping, etc, instead of... um, a
    cable and an adjuster at either end).

    So why hydraulic clutches?
    The Older Gentleman, Mar 28, 2007
  16. AB

    AB Guest

    Hey Everyone, thanks for your help.
    We changed the clutch fluid and everything is working great now.
    AB, Mar 28, 2007
  17. AB

    Mark Olson Guest

    I've had more experience with cable operated clutches than hydraulic,
    but I've had clutch cables break and I've never yet had a hydraulic
    clutch that failed outright in the middle of a ride.

    Hydraulic clutches can be designed to give you more mechanical advantage
    since you don't have to design in any extra motion to allow for an
    out-of-adjustment cable. Less friction, too.

    I've never had to scrabble around in the dirt looking for all the little
    3mm balls that fell out of the ball screw from a hydraulic clutch
    actuator, either.
    Mark Olson, Mar 28, 2007
  18. Yes, that's true. Mind you, you can always get home without a clutch -
    and decent maintenance will show you if a clutch cable is starting to
    I don't think that's really relevant. There are some powerful bikes that
    cope quite well with cable clutches (my K1100LT, for one). And modern
    cables are super-slippery.
    Ah, yes, well here you hit the nail on the head :).
    The Older Gentleman, Mar 28, 2007
  19. You're welcome.....
    The Older Gentleman, Mar 28, 2007
  20. AB

    Wudsracer Guest

    That's great.
    Ride safe.

    Wudsracer/Jim Cook
    Smackover Racing
    '06 Gas Gas DE300
    '82 Husqvarna XC250
    Team LAGNAF
    Wudsracer, Mar 28, 2007
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