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Old 10-12-2006, 01:14 PM   #1
losiu OP
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LC4 2002 clutch problem

I have this stupid clutch problem with my 2002 SixDays. When the engine is cold and I want to take off from the traffic lights relatively fast (higher revvs) the bikes kinda jerks forward, makes a weird sound and stalls. The whole thing happens when releasing the clutch lever.

The oil level is OK, the mileage is around 13.000km and the clutch is stock.

Actually my wife's DUCATI MONSTER does a similar thing...but is less violent - it just makes a weird sound...

When I warm up the engine properly the problem seems to disapear. I didn't have that problem with my previous 2001 KTM LC4. A Buddy also reported a similar thing in his 2001 with a 2002 engine. In his 2001 engine the clutch bearing fell apart during a trip around Europe and before the clutch dissapeared completely, it acted in a similar way. The thing is that when his bearing was already missing balls (oops) the clutch basket was touching the clutch cover on the inside and THAT was making that weird sound and caused stalling. In his 2002 engine it just happens. The mileage on his 2002 - 10.000km.

In my bike it happens when the engine is cold and I noticed that when I used BEL RAY 20W50 THUMPER OIL once, it kinda stoped.

I already have a brand new clutch bearing waiting to be installed. I doubt that this is a problem, though. Any help will be appreciated.

Losiu
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Old 10-12-2006, 01:32 PM   #2
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Oil type makes a significant difference (except in the Ducati which I think runs a dry clutch). My 640's clutch was grabby with the OEM fill of Motorex but as smooth as silk with GoldenSpectro semi-syn.

You may also have some worn clutch plates or a funky basket. Only a disassembly will prove or disprove that...

I doubt if the mainshaft bearing would cause the sound as you describe it, but it warrants a look too.
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Old 10-12-2006, 01:46 PM   #3
losiu OP
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I also noticed that oil is important. Previously I used ARAL - German oil -very well known brand in Europe. My 2001 LC4 ran very well on that oil. My 2002 doesn't.

I don't really believe that there's anything wrong with the clutch basket or clutch plates. On my previous bike I did over 40.000km and there was NEVER a problem with clutch. This bike has 12.500km on it. Based on the way the clutch plates look, the material used by the factory is different from the 2001.

Does it mean that the clutch on a 2002 LC4 is generally crap???

BTW. The DUCATI is a 620S i.e. - fuel injected, wet clutch model.

The buddy I mentioned had around 60.000km on his KTM when the bearing failed. He had stock clutch plates - never replaced. They didn't need replacing cuz the cluth always worked fine. It's the 2002 that seems to be the problem...

Losiu
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losiu
Does it mean that the clutch on a 2002 LC4 is generally crap???
No, quite the opposite. LC4 clutches are known to be stout. Not sure where your noise is coming from. Try yet another oil and see what happens...
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC
No, quite the opposite. LC4 clutches are known to be stout. Not sure where your noise is coming from. Try yet another oil and see what happens...
ya'but why would it stall? note that this fella claims to wheelie from a stop thru all five gears so I guess he has throttle control down. I wonder why it stalls at'all... if the oil has friction modifiers it would slip, but not stall, right? can an oil be too grabby? how?

loisu, when you wind it out and release the clutch and it makes a noise and then stalls does the rear wheel lock up and drag after the bike jerks forward? What do you think causes it to stall?
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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Well, the wheel doesn't lock up and drag because as soon as I notice something weird happening, I pull the clutch lever again. Sometimes I manage to keep the engine running but because I'm in traffic, I try to take off fast again cuz cars are right behind me. It's really embarassing when the bike stalls again.... which happens.

Believe me... I have no problems controllong my throttle

If I believed in my clutch bearing failure I'd say that's what makes it stall. The thing is... It kinda stops happening when the engine is hot. So I don't believe it's the bearing. Last time when anyone messed with this clutch was back at the factory so I have no clue what the problem is...

Losiu
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:01 PM   #7
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only pulling the cover and taking the clutch apart will tell you anything. Don't think the worst till you disassemble it.

There is an internal adjustment to the clutch as well. There were some posts on how to do it.

Is there any chance the bike sat for a long time? I have heard of this problem on bikes that did sit. The plates tend to stick. Cleaning them with a solvent supposedly cures the problem.
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:33 PM   #8
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My 04 SMC does this, but my 99 enduro doesn't. I think the friction material on my 04 bike does this when the clutch is dry after an overnight sit.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:13 PM   #9
losiu OP
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OK - I see we're getting somewhere... my bike did sit but that was before I bouht it. I brought the bike from Germany in, what looked like PERFECT condition. It had 1500km on it being 3 years old.

The bad thing is that somebody washed it (very well) and put it in the garage for a long time. I had to take apart and lube half the bike.

Since then, I've done over 10.000km and the clutch seems to piss me off now more than ever. I have no idea whether it has anything to do with the fact that it was once sitting for a long time.

Another thing is the sticking after the night. That'd be kinda weird too because it'll happen during the first 10 - 15 minutes of riding. Over and over again. Not just once - ??? !!!

Losiu

P.S. Internal adjustment???
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:19 PM   #10
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change oil and check disks

Same thing lc4 00.
I used motul 300v 15w-50 which is perfect BTW.
I Opened the clutch and I fund the steel disks burned (the mechanic in a previous clutch opening didn't change them -only the fiber)
I didn't find motul that day and I put shell advance(also synthetic 10w-40).
The problem stopped.
I don't know yet which of the two variables caused it but next week I will change oil to motul and I will find out
Do not hesitate to open it. Not a big deal.
And with the way you drive it.... sooner or later you gonna do it.
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:31 PM   #11
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I've had my 02 with 13K (miles) do the same slipping when cold (within 2 blocks of home and no warm up), but I haven't had any extra noises. Perhaps a peek inside is in order.

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Old 10-13-2006, 12:39 PM   #12
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Pissed

Thanks guys.
Actually I HAVE taken the clutch cover off but that was a long time ago and I didn't see anything suspicious.
The work itself doesn't scare me - I've replaced things like timing chains on LC4 so it's no big deal. I'll be working on the clutch bearing replacement soon so I'll have a chance to look at the clutch.

I used ARAL 10W40 and switched to BEL RAY 20W50 THUMPER oil when it started happening. The problem kina disappeared but then one day my oil level was low and decided to add a little bit of that ARAL (which in my previous 2001 LC4 was never a problem). I shouldn't have mixed those two oils but I had no extra BEL RAY left. Anyway - I only put a little bit of ARAL in the engine and the damn thing seems to have come back.

Maybe it IS an oil issue.

Losiu
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:04 PM   #13
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Cool2

OK. I took the clutch apart and..... looks brand new

Here's my conclusion:
Based on the way the clutch plates look, the manufacturer changed the friction material for bikes made in 2002 which is now much more sensitive to the kind of oil one uses. Clutch plates in my 2001 looked different and never caused problems.

There is nothing wrong with my clutch based on the way it looks on the inside. Looked at every single plate and part. No marks of the clutch basket ever touching anything (which would explain the noise) and the bearing is fine.

If anybody has a similar problem, I'd recommend looking for oil that will work. Right now I have no other explanation...

cheers,
Losiu
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:16 AM   #14
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Losiu,

Take a look at the clutch release shaft. If you remove the lever that the clutch cable attaches to and remove two screws holding the retaining plate you should be able to lift the release shaft out with little effort. I recently had some clutch problems which I traced to this. the release shaft plus the two bearing races it rides in were seriously corroded. It was almost completely stuck! Repeated doses of WD40 and vise grip pliers got it out. The bearing races required a puller. Still can't figure out how it got that corroded? Good Luck

Mike
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:39 AM   #15
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mmrevolver, thanks - I guess since the bike sat for a long time I should take a look at it. The problem I have with the clutch, though seems like something different. From what you described, the clutch probably didn't operate smoothly. At least that's how I understand it. The whole thing is weird. I bought new filters and BEL RAY THUMPER OIL and am waiting for the right mood to change it.

I have maybe a month of riding left because of the temperatures here so I was thinking about killing two birds with one stone and replacing the clutch bearing before I put new the oil in when it gets too cold to ride. Then I'll put it all together nicely and put BEL RAY in the engine and see what happens.

Losiu
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