Kawasaki Concours Forum

The C-14, aka Kawasaki Concours-14, the new one :) => The Bike - C14/GTR 1400 => Topic started by: wtaylorc14 on January 18, 2019, 01:25:11 pm

Title: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on January 18, 2019, 01:25:11 pm
Hey folks!
I have a 2008 ABS thatI purchased back in August with 32k on it.. It's my daily driver.  Had zero issues with it.  Changed my coolant, brakes, tires, oil back in Nov and Dec.  Smoothest shifting bike that I have ever owned.  Rode cross town to drop off a birthday gift for my sister and halfway back, I just have half my clutch lever.  Not running or shifting right at all.  I get it home. Check clutch fluid.  Full, and looks good.  Take it around the block and runs like it always has.  Thoughts?  I appreciate it!
TG
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: VirginiaJim on January 18, 2019, 01:35:02 pm
When's the last time you changed the clutch fluid?
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: maxtog on January 18, 2019, 01:35:29 pm
That is typically caused by having air in the hydraulic lines.  Have you replaced the clutch fluid recently?
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: VirginiaJim on January 18, 2019, 01:36:25 pm
Didn't I just say that?   :rotflmao:
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on January 18, 2019, 01:39:02 pm
When's the last time you changed the clutch fluid?

I have not.  Bleeding anything stresses me out for some reason.  Probably because I don't quite get it.  It needs bleeding probably.  Gotta just suck it up I suppose!
Thanks!
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: VirginiaJim on January 18, 2019, 01:52:47 pm
Well don't drink the fluid that comes out.  It's not good for you.


The clutch can be troublesome to bleed and get all the air out assuming air is in it.  Some have success, some don't and have to use a pressure bleeder.


While you're at it do the brakes as well.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: Texas Concours14 on January 18, 2019, 01:57:32 pm
The biggest hassle in bleeding the clutch is that to get good access to the bleeder valve you have to take off some plastic on the left side of the bike. Be sure to cover nearby paint and plastic parts when you do the job because a drop of misplaced brake/clutch fluid will stain them.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: VirginiaJim on January 18, 2019, 02:23:34 pm
And don't forget the bleeder next to the clutch master.  Do that last.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: maxtog on January 18, 2019, 03:25:31 pm
Didn't I just say that?   :rotflmao:

Yeah, too funny.  We were both typing at the same time and posted seconds apart.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: maxtog on January 18, 2019, 03:30:14 pm
The clutch can be troublesome to bleed and get all the air out assuming air is in it.  Some have success, some don't and have to use a pressure bleeder.

I was lucky... it seems when I changed it, I must have not gotten any air in and everything went fine.  I didn't use a power bleeder, just one of those "speed bleeder" valve things.  Motionpro.

Quote
While you're at it do the brakes as well.

Yes, here comes the irony in ME saying so as well (being it took me, what, 7 years to get to it).  But if you don't know when it was last changed, it would be a good thing to do.

The biggest hassle in bleeding the clutch is that to get good access to the bleeder valve you have to take off some plastic on the left side of the bike.

Agreed.  Seems like a stupid place to put the slave bleeder; a little change of angle/direction would have made it much easier.  I think I actually managed to get to it without removing the plastics, but it was very difficult.
 
Quote
Be sure to cover nearby paint and plastic parts when you do the job because a drop of misplaced brake/clutch fluid will stain them.

You should have seen mine- I covered everything with plastic and then towels :)
Brake fluid is nasty stuff on paint AND plastics.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: gPink on January 18, 2019, 03:39:12 pm
The master is susceptible to the fluid return hole getting dirt in it and will act as yours did. Be sure to clean it, too.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on January 19, 2019, 09:20:14 am
It seems to be working OK now.. but I am sure its trash in the fluid.  Anyone know of a video online that shows the entire bleeding process on THIS bike, not a general video?  I have the manual and other printed directions but I generally cannot do things that way.. need to see it done.. reading about it doesn't click.  Hoping to get it done by Tuesday as I have to ride 70 miles each way to work and not looking forward to rolling the dice it won't happen again. Thanks
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: robertv on January 19, 2019, 09:59:00 am
I know Fred has DVD videos for sale which detail just about everything including brake/clutch fluid... http://www.angelridevideos.com/concours.html (http://www.angelridevideos.com/concours.html)

Not sure if I've seen any YT video on this particular procedure on the C14 but the DVDs are super helpful and don't need to be online. :) 


It seems to be working OK now.. but I am sure its trash in the fluid.  Anyone know of a video online that shows the entire bleeding process on THIS bike, not a general video?  I have the manual and other printed directions but I generally cannot do things that way.. need to see it done.. reading about it doesn't click.  Hoping to get it done by Tuesday as I have to ride 70 miles each way to work and not looking forward to rolling the dice it won't happen again. Thanks
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on January 19, 2019, 11:05:52 am
I know Fred has DVD videos for sale which detail just about everything including brake/clutch fluid... [url]http://www.angelridevideos.com/concours.html[/url] ([url]http://www.angelridevideos.com/concours.html[/url])

Not sure if I've seen any YT video on this particular procedure on the C14 but the DVDs are super helpful and don't need to be online. :)


Those look good!  May have to just pray it doesn't happen again and buy those the end of February.  Those would be definitely helpful.  Hopefully it won't happen again and I can get those and maybe do a full bleed and replace first of March. Thanks!
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: MAN OF BLUES on January 19, 2019, 04:41:40 pm
another good option, would be to fill out your information and location data on your profile, and then, canvass the forum for someone that may live near you, to assist you and guide you thru the process...you might find that someone with great knowledge lives 5 miles from you... much more gratifying, and effective, having someone that has done this procedure standing there explaining what/why/how, and able to answer your immediate questions during said process... not to mention you get to meet interesting people, who may or may not have specific tools used for making the job a simpler, and more affordable experience...

It's kind of a COG thing many of us do, and promote, just because we all been thru the pain before in making stuff work.

best of luck,
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 15, 2019, 06:12:54 pm
Well, having more issues and wanted to spell out what's happening to get input here from some of you.  So, I had this random issue come up end of January as I said.  I ended up taking it the one real dealer here the end of February and they checked the clutch and vacuumed (said they did) the system, not just bled it, while I waited several hours.  Bike did great. 

Last Tuesday, May 7, I was running errands at peak traffic time here on the busiest road... lots of stop and start, miles of 50-100 yards and a light.  After a few miles, noticed clutch lever is floppy at the top half of the pull, and not tight as before.  After another few lights, I have lever pulled in and bike still wanting to go forward, had to say "screw traffic and lights" and run through traffic and lights to get onto open road... ran lights and around lines of cars for few miles and built up pressure.  Took to dealer and of course it's fine by the time I get there.  Left the bike as they made it sound like they would get to it tomorrow.  After a week and $$$$$ of Uber, I said I gotta have it back.  They were going to vacuum the system again(or the first time, who knows?) Said they couldnt duplicate my problem. 

So, picked up yesterday.  Rode fine.  Decided to do that original errand again today... and literally took same route and SAME thing happened at same locations and same red lights... lost lever then lost clutch and ran traffic and got on open side roads.  Took back to dealer to see if it would duplicate but had full clutch by the time I got back.  So, they are saying either master or slave cylinder and no way to know till getting in there.. if master... $350 for parts and probably $350 labor, and if slave, probably $150 parts and $500 labor. 

Right now, no way I can have that done and doing it myself isn't an option. Any thoughts what exactly it might be?  I was supposed to ride it to West Palm on Saturday for an interview but I'm not risking it.
Thanks
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: connie14boy on May 15, 2019, 08:02:14 pm
Well, having more issues and wanted to spell out what's happening to get input here from some of you.  So, I had this random issue come up end of January as I said.  I ended up taking it the one real dealer here the end of February and they checked the clutch and vacuumed (said they did) the system, not just bled it, while I waited several hours.  Bike did great. 

Last Tuesday, May 7, I was running errands at peak traffic time here on the busiest road... lots of stop and start, miles of 50-100 yards and a light.  After a few miles, noticed clutch lever is floppy at the top half of the pull, and not tight as before.  After another few lights, I have lever pulled in and bike still wanting to go forward, had to say "screw traffic and lights" and run through traffic and lights to get onto open road... ran lights and around lines of cars for few miles and built up pressure.  Took to dealer and of course it's fine by the time I get there.  Left the bike as they made it sound like they would get to it tomorrow.  After a week and $$$$$ of Uber, I said I gotta have it back.  They were going to vacuum the system again(or the first time, who knows?) Said they couldnt duplicate my problem. 

So, picked up yesterday.  Rode fine.  Decided to do that original errand again today... and literally took same route and SAME thing happened at same locations and same red lights... lost lever then lost clutch and ran traffic and got on open side roads.  Took back to dealer to see if it would duplicate but had full clutch by the time I got back.  So, they are saying either master or slave cylinder and no way to know till getting in there.. if master... $350 for parts and probably $350 labor, and if slave, probably $150 parts and $500 labor. 

Right now, no way I can have that done and doing it myself isn't an option. Any thoughts what exactly it might be?  I was supposed to ride it to West Palm on Saturday for an interview but I'm not risking it.
Thanks

The hydraulic clutch is very sensitive to any bubbles of air-even really tiny ones that are at first hard to see. When I first bled mine, it took 2 trips to Autozoo and 2 quarts of DOT 4 to get any clutch reaction. Get a quality speed bleeder like a MityVac and lots of DOT 4, and bleed it from the master cylinder. Ask for your money back from the stealer- they obviously are not capable of good results, and may even damage something in the process. Learn the basic maintenance items so you are not at anyone's mercy, and it's healthy for your pocketbook and head.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: gPink on May 15, 2019, 08:17:36 pm
Might be blockage in the master cylinder fluid return hole in the bottom of the master. Just pulling fluid through the system from the bottom bleeder will not clean this area.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 15, 2019, 09:01:33 pm
Might be blockage in the master cylinder fluid return hole in the bottom of the master. Just pulling fluid through the system from the bottom bleeder will not clean this area.

I've paid them $106 the end of Feb and another $106 on Tuesday to vacuum out the system and replace the fluid.  Of course, I have no way to know.  Would it not take care of trash in there?  The thing that gets me is that it doesn't seem to act up in normal traffic.  Both times it was in the heaviest traffic in lunch rush on the worst road... drive 100 yards and stop, over and over for miles and miles. Does that have any bearing here or was it just coincidence?
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: Boomer on May 16, 2019, 04:53:00 am
2 things happen in heavy traffic.
1- The motor gets hot.
2- The clutch gets a workout.

Chances are the problem is being caused by small amounts of air expanding when they get hot and making the clutch feel spongier.
The ONLY way to get rid of that air is to push DOT4 into the system from the slave cylinder end.
I use a syringe and am very careful to make certain that no air gets in the system.
Once you have pushed enough in, you need to bleed the master cylinder in the normal way.
It is a beyotch of a system to bleed all the air out of.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: turbojoe78 on May 16, 2019, 05:54:50 am
Might be blockage in the master cylinder fluid return hole in the bottom of the master. Just pulling fluid through the system from the bottom bleeder will not clean this area.

This sounds like it makes a lot of sense to me.  When your system is getting used the most, and when it's hot, things expand.
Be it air, or brake fluid I think the return hole in the master is supposed to release that pressure.  If it's not, it's activating your
clutch on it's own and it can't release it until it cools down.

I would open the reservoir up and carefully remove the fluid in there, get a small strand of wire and carefully try to clean out the smallest of the two holes in the bottom of the reservoir.  Don't touch the clutch lever at all when doing that and when done refill the reservoir half way and then try using the clutch lever slowly so no fluid splashes out. (should put some rags or such all around and under the reservoir when doing anything with the cover off)  When pulling and releasing the clutch slowly, see if you can spot any fluid coming back out the return hole when releasing the lever.

It won't cost you anything but a little brake fluid, and just may help.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: Conrad on May 16, 2019, 07:11:14 am
The biggest hassle in bleeding the clutch is that to get good access to the bleeder valve you have to take off some plastic on the left side of the bike. Be sure to cover nearby paint and plastic parts when you do the job because a drop of misplaced brake/clutch fluid will stain them.

There's no need to remove any plastic on the superior first gen C-14. All the bleeders are accessible with the plastic in place.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 16, 2019, 07:41:20 am
I appreciate all this information. It certainly SOUNDS good and that you all would be able to tackle it.  Unfortunately, I find when reading anything about hydraulics and this sort that about 5 words in it all becomes Mandarine Chinese.  I just can't get my head around any of it which is why i was scouring the area for a backyard mechanic to do it (all refused due to it being a Kawasaki and not a Harley) and was left going to the dealer.  I have always needed to watch someone do something closely before I can grasp something.  Reading a manual is an exercise in futility!

I just quite literally have no comprehension of it and can't afford to get in there fooling around and tinkering and stranded for any period of time.  Hoping it will keep me going as far as getting around town till I can get in a position to take it to someone that works on them and maybe pay them to do a complete once-over on the bike.  Like I said, it seems to only be an issue when I get into a lot of stop and go over an extended period in the heat.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: connie14boy on May 16, 2019, 10:52:46 am
I appreciate all this information. It certainly SOUNDS good and that you all would be able to tackle it.  Unfortunately, I find when reading anything about hydraulics and this sort that about 5 words in it all becomes Mandarine Chinese.  I just can't get my head around any of it which is why i was scouring the area for a backyard mechanic to do it (all refused due to it being a Kawasaki and not a Harley) and was left going to the dealer.  I have always needed to watch someone do something closely before I can grasp something.  Reading a manual is an exercise in futility!

I just quite literally have no comprehension of it and can't afford to get in there fooling around and tinkering and stranded for any period of time.  Hoping it will keep me going as far as getting around town till I can get in a position to take it to someone that works on them and maybe pay them to do a complete once-over on the bike.  Like I said, it seems to only be an issue when I get into a lot of stop and go over an extended period in the heat.

If you have no other option than going back to the dealer, tell them no mo dinero and do the procedure the correct way by spending the appropriate time and fluid it will take to fix a routine maintenance job. Don't let them tell you it needs a master cylinder or clutch.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: PH14 on May 16, 2019, 11:50:10 am
If you have no other option than going back to the dealer, tell them no mo dinero and do the procedure the correct way by spending the appropriate time and fluid it will take to fix a routine maintenance job. Don't let them tell you it needs a master cylinder or clutch.

I had the problem the other day. I got the bike out after having sat for a while, to take to get a new front tire, tire and for Pennsylvania inspection. I had no lever action at all, it went right to the bar and didn't disengage the clutch. No amount of pumping did anything. I was able to get it started in gear, with the lever pulled in, and was able to ride. The clutch began to work. I suspected a little dirt in the line, and air. I changed the fluid last about 2 1/2 years ago.

After installing my tire and inspecting the bike, we took the cover off the reservoir and I saw some dirt. He vacuumed it out, and then fully vacuumed the line with fresh fluid. It's working well now, and still is after two days.

So he cleaned it out, changed my fluid, and they did not charge me. It's why I go to him.  He is a good mechanic, and honest. I just wish they were a Kawasaki dealer, I would have had my front tires pressure sensor changed under warranty. The sell Suzuki, Yamaha and KTM.   I hesitate to do it at the Kawasaki dealer, since when they replaced the rotors, or tire sensors in the past, they destroyed the heads of the caliper bolts. When they were done with them, they looked like they used  Torx bit.

I'm hoping I just had dirt and air in the system, otherwise I will be changing a cylinder soon.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 16, 2019, 12:52:48 pm
After installing my tire and inspecting the bike, we took the cover off the reservoir and I saw some dirt. He vacuumed it out, and then fully vacuumed the line with fresh fluid. It's working well now, and still is after two days.

Yep, sounds like the same problem to me.  Thanks.  I am going to keep looking for someone that's just a mechanic that might be able to help do the above to mine.  I am hoping that's all it needs.  They are telling me they vacuumed the system but I have zero way of knowing or faith that they did.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: VirginiaJim on May 16, 2019, 01:30:50 pm
In what general area are you located?
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 16, 2019, 05:47:17 pm
In what general area are you located?
I'm in South Mississippi close to NOLA. Rode this afternoon doing bunch of errands in low traffic and it's perfect.  Seems to only happen under worst traffic and heat conditions.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: VirginiaJim on May 17, 2019, 10:14:03 am
I was asking in case one of our members was close to you and might assist.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 17, 2019, 01:15:06 pm
I was asking in case one of our members was close to you and might assist.
Thanks. I rode all over the county today. Not an issue.  Moderate traffic.  Think I am going to get a speed bleeder and just try to find someone that can walk me through.  I know there are those DVDs but I don't think they cover replacing the slave, etc.  But they do cover bleeding.  Anyone know if they are still available for purchase? 
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: connie14boy on May 17, 2019, 02:55:55 pm
Thanks. I road all over the county today. Not an issue.  Moderate traffic.  Think I am going to get a speed bleeder and just try to find someone that can walk me through.  I know there are those DVDs but I don't think they cover replacing the slave, etc.  But they do cover bleeding.  Anyone know if they are still available for purchase?

If and when you buy a MityVac and DVD, don't forget to also do new brake fluid-and there are 2 bleeders at the rear brake-both are important to service every 2 years or so.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: lather on May 17, 2019, 04:49:18 pm
A motion Pro bleeder is better than speed bleeders. I have no problem bleeding the brake or clutch with it.
https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0143 (https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0143)
Are you in Stone or Harrison county? I am in Louisiana about 120 miles from Biloxi. Might be able to get over there to help.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: wtaylorc14 on May 17, 2019, 05:08:34 pm
A motion Pro bleeder is better than speed bleeders. I have no problem bleeding the brake or clutch with it.
https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0143 (https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0143)
Are you in Stone or Harrison county? I am in Louisiana about 120 miles from Biloxi. Might be able to get over there to help.
You must be close to Baton Rouge?  Heck, that bleeder is cheap. I'd be willing to buy one of those sometime and ride to you to walk through proper use.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: maxtog on May 17, 2019, 07:05:16 pm
Heck, that bleeder is cheap. I'd be willing to buy one of those

That is the bleeder I used and have had no problems with air bubbles.  It made the job pretty fast, too.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: lather on May 17, 2019, 07:54:43 pm
I'm in St. Francisville, 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. You are more than welcome to use mine but it is a cheap tool every rider should have. I  am starting 2 to 4 weeks of pt on Monday but should be free on weekends (but not this Saturday - track day.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: MAN OF BLUES on May 17, 2019, 09:20:15 pm
A motion Pro bleeder is better than speed bleeders. I have no problem bleeding the brake or clutch with it.
https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0143 (https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0143)
Are you in Stone or Harrison county? I am in Louisiana about 120 miles from Biloxi. Might be able to get over there to help.

IMHO that is better on all aspects, than the expected outcome on speedbleeders/  don't get me wrong, they work for many people, but sometimes they don't... and that lies on "user installation/usage"... I don't use them, I bleed manually. Just ;ike my grandpa did.... takes time, but again, I ain't posting things about how someone "vacuuumed" my system, and I don't have clutch or brake function..  and not saying the S/B's made a differ, when people suck fluids from a master, to a slave bleeder.... (someone posted issues recently... I say force fluids back up to a master, as bubbles flow up, and forcing fluids upwards, moves them, and the bubbles.. to exit at tha top...)... mmmmkay?


by far, just make sure to fill and purge the hoses, and bleeder check valve prior and during use... no connection with the product, I just trust it much more
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: maxtog on May 18, 2019, 05:46:22 am
and that lies on "user installation/usage"... [...] by far, just make sure to fill and purge the hoses, and bleeder check valve prior and during use...

Yep, like with most things, the procedure and method is just as important as the equipment used.
Title: Re: Clutch question
Post by: route66tc on May 19, 2019, 07:37:38 am
This might take a little of the mystery out of master cylinder work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njKRhPwHOaM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njKRhPwHOaM)