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Old 07-24-2012, 11:57 AM   #1
ediehl OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2006
Oddometer: 140
Clutch drag when hot---oil fix?

I've been through some threads on oil preferences here in OC-ville (lots of opinions---what a surprise!), and I've seen some references to my current issue, but I thought perhaps I could start a more focused oil thread.

Background: I just bought an 05.5 950 with 13K+ miles. Clean bike; runs great. When I start the bike up the clutch works perfectly, but after 10 minutes or so it starts dragging just a little. It doesn't shift quite so easily once hot, and at a stop in 1st gear I can feel it wanting to creep forward just a bit. I feel no slippage under power, but the clutch won't disengage 100%.

I dialed the clutch lever further out from the grip, and I cleaned the clutch oil jet. I had high hopes for the latter procedure, but while it may have improved the situation a bit, it still drags a little once up to full operating temp. I'm assuming my 05.5 has the improved clutch shaft, but I only read about that issue after I'd put everything back together. Sadly, I do not know what brand of oil is in the bike now, though the PO told me he'd just changed it, and it looks fresh. I have no problem changing it again, but if there's a brand that has been observed to eliminate the symptoms of hot-950-clutch-drag, I'd sure like to try that brand. I've seen reference to 'Ester' oils, but I don't know what that is, and am not sure if it's good or bad, relating to my clutch-drag symptoms.

I've been using Rotella T synth in my various bikes for a few years now, since it's not so expensive, easily available, and a highly regarded JASO-MA oil built for the tough conditions of diesel engines. As an aside, I was recently surprised with the results when I'd put Rotella T in the primary case of my Buell Ulysses. That should have been an acceptable choice, I'd thought, but I was experiencing grabbiness with clutch engagement, and that issue was rectified when I swapped it out for plain old Harley non-synth primary oil. That was a clutch-grabbiness issue, as opposed to a clutch-drag issue, but it did make me wonder about Rotella T and wet clutches.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has found a resolution for clutch-dragging symptoms such as what I described
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