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Sportster clutch problem

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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 05:59 PM     #1
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Sportster clutch problem

Hi everybody I am new here and am hoping someone might have some suggestions or an answer to my problem, well actually it is my wife's problem but you know what they say, "if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy".

Just bought her a 2009 XL 1200L and the clutch is really stiff when you pull in the lever and when you let the lever out it is jerky and the clutch is either disengaged or engaged there really is no middle ground.

This is making it really hard for her to take off from a stop since she can't slip the clutch.

The dealership says that the clutch is adjusted properly but it just doesn't seem right to me. I have ridden quite a few different bikes and this clutch even gives me problems

I ride a 2007 Heritage and my clutch is really smooth on the release.

I have thought about installing a Muller power clutch to help her with the issue of the hard pull but I don't know if that will help her with being able to slip the clutch when starting out.

Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:03 PM     #2
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

I would start with an oil change, it's possible that the oil is old in there and the plates are grabbing.After the service take it out and give it a good run using the clutch often to loosen things up. If that doesn't make a difference then the next step is to trouble shoot the system and cable.

Skip the Muller power clutch, the problem with them is in the mechanism where you have two eccentric wheels with a spring and until you get the spring over the center point, the pull is not reduced but actually a bit stiffer.

Check this unit out.

E Z Pull Clutch for Sportsters - Harley Davidson Community (E Z Pull Clutch for Sportsters)
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:14 PM     #3
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

Glider I appreciate the quick response. The bike only has 1300 miles on it and had just been serviced when we bought it so I don't think it is a problem with the oil. My understanding of the Muller power clutch is that it basically replaces the ball and ramp assembly which makes disengaging the clutch easier. Is this not the case?

I saw another post on here where you said the same thing about the concentric wheels and a spring in reference to a different product which I believe was the AMP product that is installed on the bar at the clutch lever.
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:17 PM     #4
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

You're correct there I got them mixed up. The ball and ramp setup is similar to the one HD offers for the big twins .It has a different degree setting in the ramps. It should lessen the pull on the clutch a bit. I used the lite clutch and it made a very noticable difference.

As for the clutch, do you know for sure the service was done with new oil or did they just bless it? If the bike was sitting unused for a while the plates could be a bit gummed up and a good run that would heat things up may loosen it up.
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:28 PM     #5
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

MY opinion; EVERY 1200 sportster is a Bugger with the Clutch and mainly it is the High ratio of the LOW gear..

I have found that the Other bikes I have been on (like you),, Can't be compared to a 1200 sport. They are ALL, MUCH smoother and do not present the 1200 problem in take-off and clutch work...

This is why a lot of riders especially Women Like the 883 better in a sport bike and then Hubby can soup it up to a 1200 and Keep the NICE Lower LOW Geared, smoother take off of the 883... It is Just That Way.

I would bet IF your wife could ride a Dyna or a Low Rider or a Softail... she would NO -Way go back to the 1200 sport.. An 883 YES.

I don't know IF all the 1200 sports are the same in clutch action today or IF anything Can be done to elevate the Harshness I even feel in mine.

I would think the gear ratio in Low is the "main factor".. between my 883 and now my 1200 sport R she would pick the 883.

Hobbit May come in here as he rides the sport bikes, as does a couple of the Moderators.. Aye

just a few things above that may help.. Some other things May be suggested here also by the others.

signed....BUBBIE

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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:30 PM     #6
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Well you got me there as far as the oil goes. No I don't know for sure but this is a dealer that I have been using for years and have a very good relationship with so I am assuming that they are shooting straight with me, although they are telling me there is nothing wrong with this clutch.

The bike was originally bought in May 2010 and traded back in in October 2010 because the guy wanted a bigger bike so it isn't like it had been sitting for months when we bought it.

I lubricated the cable today and adjusted the free play because it seem a little tight and that actually seemed to make the grab worse when engaging the clutch.

I am a rider coach and we teach people to use the "friction zone" but with this bike it is next to impossible to find it, the clutch is either disengaged or engaged.

Maybe I should go ahead and change the oil, it will only cost me the price of the oil and a new filter and it sure won't hurt it to have fresh oil.

================================================

Bubbie, she can operate the clutch on my bike with ease. I stored a 2007 883 Low for a friend of mine and rode it to my place, and now that I think of it the clutch on that one did operate much smoother.


I have tried to convince her that she could handle a bigger bike and she has ridden my Heritage, but this is the bike she wanted to start with so I need to figure out a way to make it work for her.

I appreciate all of the suggestions that you and Glider have given me.

Thanks

.

Last edited by Dr. Dolittle; Mar 27th, 2011 at 09:21 PM. Reason: merged posts
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:41 PM     #7
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

IF she Isn't a hot -rod which I think Not, The clutch Can be changed out to the 883,,,,,, NOW IF Lighter, I don't know this as fact but I think it is Less in Heavy Pull like the 1200 is.. Just a THOUGHT..

If the 883 is Lighter and the clutch is the Big problem I would ask around and see if that would be a FIX..

signed....BUBBIE

Hahaha DO you still have that 883 stored?? you get my drift.......
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 06:53 PM     #8
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

I would change the lube in the primary/ tranny and check the primary chain adjustment first
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 09:01 PM     #9
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

Quote: Originally Posted by fskeil View Post
My understanding of the Muller power clutch is that it basically replaces the ball and ramp assembly which makes disengaging the clutch easier. Is this not the case?
We put the Mueller in Mz Bling's bike and it did make a difference in the ease of pull. (51,000 + plus miles and the Queen's Happy...) Interesting: we ended up using the 3 balls from her original which were slightly bigger than the ones that came with the Mueller. A little experimenting helped with that. We also had her original clutch lever heated , bent in a little and chromed to fit her small hand better. People are amazed at the ease of pull for it being a XL1200.
Hope this helps,
Craig
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Old Mar 28th, 2011, 10:28 AM     #10
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Re: Sportster clutch problem

Try another 1200 and see if it is the same. If so then try the easy pull clutch conversion. lighter spring and different ramp. By the way the clutch on the sporty is easier to adjust than the big twin. Derby cover keeps the adjuyster in place not a set nut.

Now one thought, what handlbar levers on on the bike? Have they been changed to an aftermarket lever? Friend bought used bike with am levers and they were not right, you could bottom out the brake and the clutch was odd. Changed back to hd levers and all problems went away. If levers are OEM then wonder if defective?
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