My wrist hurts:lighter action clutch. Any alternatives?

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I have somewhat bad wrists. I had surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome in my right wrist already and my left wrist is starting to act up and surgery in that one is probably a year or two away.

The clutch lever on my MkIII is pretty damn hard to pull and I am wondering what can be done to lighten the load on my wrist and making the lever easier to pull back. Please enlighten me people.
 

MichaelB

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1. Check www.oldbritts.com/ link to tech, then to clutch.
It'll explain clutch stack heights.

2. Lube the cable, or replace with nylon lined.
 

Ron L

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First of all, make sure the cable is routed with no sharp bends. A nylon lined cable offers somewhat easier action.

Measure your clutch stack. Total height for a stock 4 plate clutch is 1.167" and for a 5 plate clutch is 1.172". As the plates wear this obviously will decrease. Since the Commando clutch spring is a diaphragm, you want the clutch spring near neutral for easy operation. If your plates are worn, start with new friction plates. If this does not give easy enough action, add spacer plates (available from Old Britts) to bring the clutch spring out and more flat. Don't go overboard or you could have clutch slip. If you have a pre-73 750 you could replace your 4 plate clutch with a 5 plate (with the thinner pressure plate) to get more surface area and shim the spring out further before slippage.
 
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It's a 1975 MkIII. The cable seems a bit old and the routing isn't the best or smoothest. I bought the bike over a month ago but it just showed up yesterday, just in time for winter so over the past month or so I've massing parts to get cracking on it this winter. The shift arm seems a bit loose as well. Not where it bolts onto the splined arm, but it seems it is moving around a bit inside the primary cover and should seem to be a tighter fit. But that clutch lever is really damn hard to pull back and I can see it giving me some grief in the wrists.
 

L.A.B.

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Coco said:
The shift arm seems a bit loose as well. Not where it bolts onto the splined arm, but it seems it is moving around a bit inside the primary cover and should seem to be a tighter fit.

That is generally caused by an accumulation of wear in the cross shaft splines and splined connector, the pawl carrier splines, the shaft bush, lever shaft bush and the fit of the gear on the cross shaft, and wear between the shaft gears themselves, a little wear in each component adds up to a lot in the complete assembly. Although the slop isn't serious it can make gear selection and particularly neutral selection difficult.
A new shaft, connector (and possibly a new pawl carrier?), two new shaft bushes and the two gears rotated so that new teeth are meshed together should reduce the amount of lever slack considerably.

http://www.bsa-regal.co.uk/norton/parts ... &Plate=010

http://www.bsa-regal.co.uk/norton/parts ... &Plate=011

http://www.bsa-regal.co.uk/norton/parts ... &Plate=007
 
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I have just fitted a new, correct length cable to mine. I'm not sure if it's nylon lined or not, but I got it from Mick Hemmings, so a genuine Norton part, but it has made a huge difference, and that was after oiling the old one. The clutch is now very light and easy. Apart from around the headstock and around the front of the tank, there are no tight corners.

Another consideration could be if the clutch centre is severely notched. That will not help, but having said that, there is some slight notching on mine, and as I said it's really good now, so it would probably have to be quite bad before affecting the action. I haven't measured the stack height, but I know that the previous owner fitted a set of fibre clutch plates from the Norvil M/C co. not long before I bought the bike.

Hope this may help.
 
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L.A.B. said:
Coco said:
The shift arm seems a bit loose as well. Not where it bolts onto the splined arm, but it seems it is moving around a bit inside the primary cover and should seem to be a tighter fit.

That is generally caused by an accumulation of wear in the cross shaft splines and splined connector, the pawl carrier splines, the shaft bush, lever shaft bush and the fit of the gear on the cross shaft, and wear between the shaft gears themselves, a little wear in each component adds up to a lot in the complete assembly. Although the slop isn't serious it can make gear selection and particularly neutral selection difficult.
A new shaft, connector (and possibly a new pawl carrier?), two new shaft bushes and the two gears rotated so that new teeth are meshed together should reduce the amount of lever slack considerably.

http://www.bsa-regal.co.uk/norton/parts ... &Plate=010

http://www.bsa-regal.co.uk/norton/parts ... &Plate=011

http://www.bsa-regal.co.uk/norton/parts ... &Plate=007

Thanks. Yes, it seems the whole shaft has some play on not just simply the shift lever. Shifting isn't bad at all, not yet anyway, but the bike did have around $1800 CDN worth of work done to it last summer and I have every single reciet for work the former owner did to it. I have all the original paperwork, owners manual and service log too.

Damn this thing! I just got the S.O.B. and already my brain is working overtime trying to suss out what to do over the winter.
 

MichaelB

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Coco said:
Damn this thing! I just got the S.O.B. and already my brain is working overtime trying to suss out what to do over the winter.


Welcome to the dark side. :wink:
 
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Coco,

I have done all the good things to the clutch on my mk11 850 and can say the correctly set up commando clutch would be one of the lightest in the business. Stack height with a obviously good cable equals a sweet easy pull. Reminds me of the clutch feel on a 50cc bike, not a stonking great 850cc.
Cheers Richard
 
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I'll simply add a quote from Dave Degens ( of Dresda Autos) when he was in a 24 hour race, his partner complained of the heavy clutch, Degens said

" I only use it twice per ride, once to start, once to stop".
 
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MichaelB said:
Coco said:
Damn this thing! I just got the S.O.B. and already my brain is working overtime trying to suss out what to do over the winter.


Welcome to the dark side. :wink:

I assume you said what you did with your very best Darth Vader voice. :D

I tend to jump in with both feet when I do something so I want to make sure everything on my bike is how I envision it in my head right now. Only some things can be done this winter like new wheel set and tires and to deal with that heavy feeling clutch, which I assume a new teflon lined cable and cleaner routing will solve. I'm going to completely redo the brake system as well. 11" Brembo system on the front and newer master cylinder on the rear and throw on a drilled, stainless rotor on the rear to match the front one, stainless brake hoses all around as well.

Next winter I'll rip the whole thing apart and have at it with a frame powdercoat, various polishing of aluminum and a re paint of the body work.

Who wants to lend me some money?
 
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Coco said:
I have somewhat bad wrists. I had surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome in my right wrist already and my left wrist is starting to act up and surgery in that one is probably a year or two away.

The clutch lever on my MkIII is pretty damn hard to pull and I am wondering what can be done to lighten the load on my wrist and making the lever easier to pull back. Please enlighten me people.

I have seen a clutch package marketed by CNW that they call "Easy Pull". Appears to be the 750 clutch package (Barnett I think) with an extra smooth plate and a modified pressure plate. I have no experience with it and don't know anyone who has installed one so can't say if it makes a difference over a well set up 850 clutch with proper stack height and a good smooth operating cable etc.

Here's the link: http://www.coloradonortonworks.com/catalog/drive.asp
 
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tpeever said:
Coco said:
I have somewhat bad wrists. I had surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome in my right wrist already and my left wrist is starting to act up and surgery in that one is probably a year or two away.

The clutch lever on my MkIII is pretty damn hard to pull and I am wondering what can be done to lighten the load on my wrist and making the lever easier to pull back. Please enlighten me people.

I have seen a clutch package marketed by CNW that they call "Easy Pull". Appears to be the 750 clutch package (Barnett I think) with an extra smooth plate and a modified pressure plate. I have no experience with it and don't know anyone who has installed one so can't say if it makes a difference over a well set up 850 clutch with proper stack height and a good smooth operating cable etc.

Here's the link: http://www.coloradonortonworks.com/catalog/drive.asp

Thanks! I talk to Matt there every once in a while and I am ordering some parts from there very soon so I'll ask about that "easy pull" clutch, but I don't think it will work with an 850, but maybe I can buy just the modified pressure plate. I will try a new cable first as that is the cheapest and easiest solution.
 
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www.mapcycle.com offers a teflon lined cable and www.rockypointcycle.com has a magura clutch lever to match the master cylinder you need anyway and if your scoot is like mine, you can pull in the clutch with two fingers... oh yes, these levers make BOTH sides two fingure operations
 
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Captain said:
www.mapcycle.com offers a teflon lined cable and www.rockypointcycle.com has a magura clutch lever to match the master cylinder you need anyway and if your scoot is like mine, you can pull in the clutch with two fingers... oh yes, these levers make BOTH sides two fingure operations

I'm getting the maugura lever as to sort of match the Brembo lever and front disc system I'm putting on. I figure I'll try the teflon lined cable and go from there. If I'm still whining about a sore wrist I'll persue another route. Thanks for the responses so far.
 
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Coco,

For what it's worth I lubed my cable which improved the action a fair bit, however, I put some grease on the cable nipple and on the lever bolt and it really came good!
 
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Geoffrey, that is awesome and thanks for the link. Where did you mount the master cylinder? I am trying to have the least amount of stuff on my front end as possible and would love to find an internal throttle kit for 7/8" bars if one exists. That lever will look exactly like the brembo one I am putting on for my new front disc brakes.
 
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I still have not solved this issue. I squeeze the clutch lever about 3 times and my wrist feels like it is going to explode so I need to get this sorted before I break out the 850 for the first time when Spring arrives in 3 1/2 months.

Will using a thicker Aluminum pressure plate, as sold by RGM, really convert my clutch to 1 finger action as described in their catalog? If it is true, I definitely need that upgrade.
 
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