Kawasaki Vulcan 500 Clutch Puzzlement - Please Help

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by Eric, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I recently bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 that my wife and I took for a
    week long trip in the Mountains. First motorcycle for me in 20+ years.
    I was really time pressed as we went from idea to riding in less than
    5 weeks, include motorcycle and gear selection/purchase, licensing,
    and limited planning.

    On buying the bike, I realized the clutch was messed up: with the
    cable properly adjusted, it engages just before the level is
    completely released with a _very_ short range of engagement. Said
    another way, when starting from a stand still in 1st gear you start to
    release clutch from 100% depressed and you get no engine pull to move
    the bike forward until the clutch 90% released. At that point it
    starts to engage and will move the bike. Then at ~92% released the
    clutch is completely engaged and cable has no tension.

    The clutch does _not_ slip and was able to pull me + my wife + luggage
    (total over 400 pounds) up some very steep hills in the Smokey
    Mountains with acceleration! The bike is a 1996 with 8000 miles.

    I figure 1 of 2 things is wrong and would love to have anyones comment
    on this or give me insight to the real problem.

    1) After hours of search here and elsewhere on the Internet, I found
    some indication that there are some Kawasaki's with an internal
    (inside the clutch case) adjustment for the clutch that controls the
    range of movement of the clutch friction plates for the amount of
    movement of the clutch level. But, I do not have a manual and cannot
    confirm my bike has this.

    2) Maybe the clutch lever has been replaced with the wrong lever -- a
    lever that moves the cable further than the right cable would for the
    amount of depression. The bike did have the wrong clutch cable. The
    more I think about this, I'm feeling this would be the first thing to
    check out.

    Please let me know your thoughts and happy and safe riding!

    Eric, Jun 23, 2007
  2. Eric

    OH- Guest


    The clutch cable adjustment in the manual is a starting point. If it
    works well for you, fine. In other cases, adjust.

    Something might be wrong with your bike but from the description
    you give of how the clutch works, I don't believe so. What you
    need to do is to increase the slack a little so that you get the lever
    in a more convenient position for good control.
    If you start hearing horrible sounds when putting the bike into
    first gear to get going, you overdid the slack and the clutch plates
    do not fully disengage.
    OH-, Jun 23, 2007
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.