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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!!

So on and off my clutch lever goes really sticky, worst case I have had to actually push the clutch out again when riding, worst first thing in the morning when it's cold and the bike hasn't moved for 12 hours...

I often spray both ends with white grease and it's better for a period, before getting worse again - is this a case of new cable and swap it out..? I'd guess so but don't want to waste £35 and an hour, rather than asking for advice!

2016 bike 14k miles ish

Thanks
 

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If it happens to be due for an oil change I'd try that first, maybe a different oil could help? The fact that it mostly occurs when cold is an indication that it's oil related in my opinion...
If that doesn't do it, then try the cable.

I don't know in what condition the bike is being ridden and/or stored, but in normal conditions, I wouldn't expect a cable to be worn after 6 years and 14K miles... My other bike is still on it's first cable after 15 years and 20K miles.
 

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just out of curiosity, what oil did you have in before the change?
I have heard of stiff gear changes but not stiff clutch (not returning). Wouldn't that make it slip? :unsure:
I agree, if oil was able to keep the clutch from releasing it would clearly affect other parts of the engine. Just doesn't make mechanical sense knowing how the clutch mechanically works. The only way I could see a problem would be if the clutch release mechanism on the side case was sticking or malfunctioning. And simply pushing the lever would not push a stuck releae arm back, nor would it force the clutch to engage if stuck.



I would say put on a new cable and quit lubricating it. I am guessing that Yamaha is using a lined cable, it has a Teflon lining inside the cable housing that does not need lubrication and possibly lubricating it could make it bind. If you want to be certain about the cable lining, after you put your new one on cut your old one and see if it is lined. I'm betting it will.

Here is where I got one source with credibility beyond my "guy on the internet" status. Mark Zimmerman with the U.S. motorcycle magazine wrote a Tech Tip on cable lubing. Click here to see it, this is what it said:
Control cables come in two basic flavors. The first is the plain old multi-stranded wire surrounded by a spring steel-cover-style cable that's been around since day one. The second is the high-tech plastic, or more accurately Teflon-lined, variety.
In the main, the Teflon-lined cable needs no lubrication, and in fact oiling one may be detrimental to its health. Check your owner's or shop manual as to what, if any, type of lube is recommended.

Yamaha does list a cable lube, but I doubt it is necessary. They don't list lubing cables in their maintenance list, only later in the manual is it mentioned. I've run my Kawasaki dual sports without cable lube for 50,000 miles on one and around 10,000 miles on the other and never lubed the cables.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So the garage put the oil in last time around, and so I'm not sure what it would have been!

This time it was Yamalube 10w40, it's still a little stiff so I'll fit the new clutch cable anyways as I have it!
 

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I agree, if oil was able to keep the clutch from releasing it would clearly affect other parts of the engine. Just doesn't make mechanical sense knowing how the clutch mechanically works. The only way I could see a problem would be if the clutch release mechanism on the side case was sticking or malfunctioning. And simply pushing the lever would not push a stuck releae arm back, nor would it force the clutch to engage if stuck.



I would say put on a new cable and quit lubricating it. I am guessing that Yamaha is using a lined cable, it has a Teflon lining inside the cable housing that does not need lubrication and possibly lubricating it could make it bind. If you want to be certain about the cable lining, after you put your new one on cut your old one and see if it is lined. I'm betting it will.

Here is where I got one source with credibility beyond my "guy on the internet" status. Mark Zimmerman with the U.S. motorcycle magazine wrote a Tech Tip on cable lubing. Click here to see it, this is what it said:
Control cables come in two basic flavors. The first is the plain old multi-stranded wire surrounded by a spring steel-cover-style cable that's been around since day one. The second is the high-tech plastic, or more accurately Teflon-lined, variety.
In the main, the Teflon-lined cable needs no lubrication, and in fact oiling one may be detrimental to its health. Check your owner's or shop manual as to what, if any, type of lube is recommended.

Yamaha does list a cable lube, but I doubt it is necessary. They don't list lubing cables in their maintenance list, only later in the manual is it mentioned. I've run my Kawasaki dual sports without cable lube for 50,000 miles on one and around 10,000 miles on the other and never lubed the cables.

in my previous life I used to be a race mechanic for DH bicycles.
Not sure how that relates to motorcycle clutch cables but there were two types of gear shifter cables: one lined with HDPE plastic tubing (kind of clear white stuff) and then the stupid-expensive Gore-tex ones (Teflon) lined.
The Teflon lined worked wonderfully at the beginning but soon some crub would make it past the seal and the lining started to come apart and clog.
We stopped using the expensive stuff and went back to the proven simple (but quality) HDPE lined.

Now it makes me think that moto clutch cables would probably have a similar lining, unless the motorcycle is really old
I never lube mine and I have 95K Km on one clutch cable.

To have the lever NOT return to its resting position at the bars it must mean that there is some serious crub/blockage in the line of the cable, or as @KickStartEU states, the oil must have been molasses like?
Actually, the latter would simply give a sloppy cable/lever if the clutch would disingage and then the arm not return.

My money is on the cable
 

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I knew it was some kind of plastic and went with the one mentioned in the article. I also worked with bicycles at a shop, no racing or anything, and the old style unlined wound housing was the norm. Didn't take much to get the U shaped bend in a cable at the front derailleur mount or the rear brake on a mixte or step-thru frame rusted solid. We eventually got what I believe was originally named "elephant cables" with the plastic lining. The other trick was stainless cable and housing I think... don't remember very well, it was nearly 50 years ago. Now I really feel old!

One other thing that I don't know if it was mentioned. A newer rider might make the mistake of tightening the levers a bit too tight in the pivot. I don't know if that's possible, but I just thought of it last night. I pretty much always have them mostly loose if it is like that. But I think the XSR has bushings in the levers that might not allow the levers to be too tight.
 
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