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Neutral to First Needs 2 De-Clutchings

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Tornado, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. ashman


    Jul 11, 2010
    Lots of talk about broken clutch cables and getting off course from the OP question but I solved my problems with broken clutch cables and owning my Norton for over 43 years now since new I use to go through clutch cables every few months in the first 5 years and they always broke up at the lever end, never down the GB end, all I did to stop them breaking at the lever end was so simple it funny, just a dab of grease on the cable where it runs through the adjuster and lever and haven't broken one now for 38 years and every time I do a oil change the cable gets a fresh dab of grease on it.
    The only time I have had troubles with my gears selection has always been from a clutch problem from just a slight adjustment to a worn part in the clutch, as well I am still running my orginal clutch plates from the factory with over 160k miles on them and my clutch has always been light, one finger operation if I wanted to, the only thing I have replaced in the clutch in all these years has been the clutch centre once and the pressure plate once, I have run the stock plates wet as well dry and find the stock plates work great whether wet or dry, but they bite a bit quicker when running dry, and never over fill the primary, between 5 to 7 floz is all that is needed in the primary and ATF F oil.

  2. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Feb 10, 2009

    I am not going to put my bike in gear on the centre stand at red traffic lights.

    It hasn’t got a centre stand.
  3. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    I agree with Bill (post 59)! I've never heard of a transmission that couldn't sit there idling in neutral with no problem at all until the bike runs out of gas!

    At stoplights I routinely use both options (in gear/in neutral) depending on the situation. FWIW, in many MANY years of motorcycle riding, I don't recall ever breaking a clutch cable. In the pre-teflon cable days, I lubed them regularly with cable disconnected, oil draining through the length of the cable. Maybe that's why I never had a failure or maybe I've just been lucky. Heck I'll take lucky any time! :)
  4. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Dec 28, 2008
    Virtually all the broken clutch cables I have seen abrade/fray/break at the handlebar, rarely, but not unheard of, at the transmission, especially if the parts are properly aligned. Clutch cables rarely just snap, they abrade/fray over time; a clutch cable will show visible signs of impending failure well in advance of the failure; it should not come as a surprise to any rider who does the proper pre-ride checks. If clutch cable failure strikes you as an intergalactic phenomena or a random act of bad luck you can always run a spare cable with the operational cable as enduro and adventure riders do.

    Setting your clutch plate stack to the point where the retaining ring can just be fitted will greatly reduce the load on the cable, as been mentioned earlier. Making sure that the cable "drum" on the handlebar end fits freely in the lever and gets regular inspection/cleaning/lubrication will greatly reduce the incidence of binding that causes the cable to pull at an unnatural angle stressing the attachment of the cable to the "drum" and bringing the cable into contact with the adjuster. I recommend that the slot in the cable adjuster barrel be positioned to face rearward which will give the cable a modicum of additional clearance as it is operated.

    Once you come to terms with clutch cable breakage and put a plan in place for inspection/maintenance/worst case middle-of-nowhere replacement you may begin to realize that your motorcycle has scores of other sleeping maladies that can wake up and help you get some real value out of your chosen foot wear...

  5. Niagara850


    Jul 7, 2010
    I rebuilt my gear box in July after a sleeve gear bearing failure and it shifts better than before. Snicks thru the gears nicely. First to neutral to first no drama. Not sure what kind of layshaft bearing you have but if its a roller maybe the end play is too tight? Mine is set at 8 thou. As far as "in gear" or "neutral" at lights it depends on how long the red light. I click into neutral for the long ones and stretch a bit. Out in the intersection for a left it's in gear.

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