Lighter clutch pull please!

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May 27, 2005
Hi all. Is there a clutch kit that will lessen the heavy pull of my clutch? I am getting a left forearm like the Hulk! What is involved in making it more user-friendly? Other Mk2 850s I have tried are not so heavy at the lever.
Have you ever checked if you have there all the plates there should be in the clutch?
The other only person I know who owns a Commando in Spain lives at some 200 miles away from me ( in Zaragoza). He rides it without the pressure plate in the clutch (don't ask me why...) and I'm not able to ride it because of the strength you have to apply on the lever...

Just re fitted my 850 clutch and found the stack height of the plates were low, I have fibre plates, so I purchased a extra steel plate, this was inserted between the last fibre and the pressure plate (big steel plate on the outside) this made the plate pack coincide with the splines height of the clutch drum. And the lever pull is very light.

The trick is to get the diaphragm to just go over centre, and not get drawn out too far from it's natural state.

Cheers Richard :p
That's what i did and ended up with a truly light finger operation (really!)with a Nylocable....but it never released cleanly till I replaced the spring which was warped and even then I did have to keep zero clearance on the pushrod to get neutral at a stop. The trick to the lightness turned out to be a Dominator clutch housing lever the bike came with (it's a bitsa). Most of my "Commando" box is late 50's Dommie and it wasn't till I bought a set of proper Commando covers and spare housing from ebay that I noticed the levers were different. It's not a lot but basically the Dommie part gives more leverage and less travel, not a lot (maybe only 30 thou) but just enough less to screw up an otherwise perfect setup..... Set alongside each other it's not easy to spot the different profile but they are.
Playing with the plate stack distance can make a big difference. There are a couple of different thicknesses of pressure plate available to allow a bit of adjustment. Cable lubrication and routing is also critical and finally I believe Nortons have a different leverage ratio at the handlebar lever than other British bikes, therefore if you have a triumph clutch lever perch it may not be correct for a Norton although it looks the same.
It may also be worth noting that the 1973-on Commandos had a different clutch lever pivot casting that positioned the pivot bolt further away (inboard) of the rider's hand in relation to the position of the switch unit (about central to the switch casting) that reduced the amount of lever effort required without needing to move the earlier pivot/switch assembly an inch away from the handlebar grip.
This 'swan neck' casting (part 063678) I think becoming unavailable some years ago, and due to wear or damage is normally replaced on 73-on models with the more commonly available (probably because it was also used on Triumphs/BSA's?) earlier natural alloy finish part 063372 drum brake model unit,
1972 disc models using the same shape but black coloured unit (part 063374) to match the black master cylinder.

The 850 MkIII unit kept the late pivot point position, but the casting is different, the clutch pivot casting becoming integral with the lower half of the (by then horizontally split) switch housing.
One thing that seems to help: If you have a selection of clutch cables, pick the one with the heaviest internal cable, or find a shop that makes them. A large diameter inner cable seems to have less drag, especially as they age, compared to the light ones.
'Course, a stiff, heavy jacket that doesn't want to bend tight will help.
Also, it helps if the barrel end is free floating instead of being directly attached to the cable.
And, the barrel must be lubricated inside the lever. (tend to break cables about an inch away if you don't.)
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