The sportster clutch issues found me!

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by jterby, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. jterby

    jterby Member

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    Hi everyone.
    I just thought I'd post a quick...look what happened to my bike message. I had some clutch adjustment issues recently, and have now found the problem. I did the typical stuff that is suggested on this site. I bought the service manual. I watched the how to videos posted here and YouTube. It still wasn't getting better. My problem started when riding the fwy to work and noticed slipping in 5th gear, when giving it the throttle. More noise, no go! Tried all the adjustments, changed fluids and fluid level, nothing really worked. I couldn't afford a dearler visit, as my bike was just out of warranty last month.
    My bike is a 2008 Nightster and my issues started between 15,??? -16,200 miles on the Od. I took it to a smaller custom barely shop, to try and save some $$$. They said they would try the adjustments first and if nothing improved would look inside. I checked inside previously a few times, but didn't go so far as to take the clutch pack out & apart. I did change out the clutch cable to make sure it wasn't that, during my adjustments. So, the shop got in there and gave me a phone call. Those spring plates or rivets people have mentioned, broke inside and tore up everything.. The bearing is shot, plates gone,etc! So, I went from a simple job, to having to replace my whole clutch and out of warranty! I know I should have done it myself with the manual, but I'm afraid to make mistakes as this is my first bike.
    Ive been stressing over this all for a month or more. Not enough money, etc. I just thought I should give the heads up to everyone to watch out for slipping or dragging on the stock clutches. If it does, get in there and change out those weak parts to steel or whatever and move on. It'll be cheap at that point...like $40.
    I don't feel I rode it too hard...yes I speed a bit, riding 80mph on the freeway, no burn outs or anything. I do downshift as I was taught in my MSF class.so, lesson leqnred on my part. Thank God for credit cards! I just cant wait to get back to riding my (EDIT) bike.

    John
    Well, trying to end my long story...I'm having the Barnett Clutch put in and should finally get my bike back tomorrow. It's going to run me just over $1k total, parts & labor.

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  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Wow. Great Heads Up information. Just sorry it was such a costly repair on a two year old bike. Would really like to see the invoice break down. Parts vs labor costs just to see if doing it yourself would have been practical.

    Hope it runs better than New for you.
     
  3. jterby

    jterby Member

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    Thanks! I am really excited to get it back. It was supposed to be today(Friday) But I haven't received any word from the shop. I've been so stressed and bummed out not being able to ride my bike to work, etc. I guess nothing worse than a Harley rider without his Harley. I mean, it's cool if I decide to drive my car,but only because I want to & not because I don't have a choice, you know? Its been about a month or more of no riding for me. I've been missing all my HOG Chapter rides & stuff with friends.
    So, i am looking forward to a great working clutch! I can't go on experience yet, but I hear and read good things about the parts I am getting installed. So I'll post some followup to let people know if all that money was worth it in my situation.

    Oh, sorry about the language infraction in my post... I was ignorant to that rule, but now I know.

    John
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  4. Painter61

    Painter61 Member

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    You might try to find out if any other similar bikes have the same problem, I an 06 sportster and I ride it hard and have about 60k of mles on it if you changed the oil in regularly your clutch should of not given out. If there many others there maybe a factory fault with the clutch.
     
  5. jterby

    jterby Member

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    Painter61, I did all my services at the dealership where i purchased the bike and at the required intervals. Actually I changed the fluids even more frequently on my own, in bewtwewen required services.. If you search a bit online and on this site you'll start to find reference to this issue. So, I did find others experiencing this issue, it's how i found out about it! The people before me credit the poor design of the brass rivets in the spring plates to make for an easier clutch pull, to be the culprit. The design was started on I believe the 2007 model years and up( mine 2008).
    In my research of my issue, it's when I saw guys recommending changing the inner plates to steel, Kevlar,etc...aftermarket plates and going with a non-rivet setup and the issue won't get ya. At this point, my bike was already damaged and I didn't know it.
    Obvioulsy it hasnt happened to enough people to become a recall. Although, maybe dealers have changed out parts showing wear,before total failure occurred. Obvioulsy, my dealership missed the signs of a clutch issue in the last 3 or 4 services. That is why my repair is being performed at an independent Harley shop.

    John
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  6. beeromite

    beeromite New Member

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    wow im i just had the same thing hapen to me. Doing 80mph the clucth sliped . That was last week. Only got 14900 miles on my 09 sporty. Is the a comon prob?
     
  7. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you better get it Back In and let the HD look at it.. don't wait!

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Is this another on the cheap from the MOCO. I dont remember seeing so many clutch problems before?
     
  9. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Ain't that the Truth! Probably more comn' like swatting Flies on the wall... hit one and two take it's place. Jack, PM me the answer please. Did the clutch starter ring guy get ahold of you? ANOTHER Cheap by HD? think?

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  10. jterby

    jterby Member

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    Jack, same thing with me man. I first noticed the slipping in fifth gear on the FWY. when I tried to adjust the clutch, change the cable, etc, it all kept getting worse & quickly. I was commuting to work & home. I didn't ride it as much and it's been waiting for parts in a shop, for four weeks. I'm supposed to get it back tomorrow but Ill believe that whenthephone rings. Wait a hassle this has all been.missing so much riding in this SoCal weather for a month!
    I will post up the details of my pain when I get a look at the invoice.
    Take your bike to the dealer Jack, before you end up where I am,now.

    John
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