Stiff clutch pull

17 replies to this topic

Posted November 14, 2001 - 11:01 PM


My YZ's clutch pull is way harder than my friends WR (both 01's). Both cables were lubed with the same lube. Is there a difference in the two bikes or is this a sign that my clutch is getting worn out? It has become increasingly grabby lately. If anyone could tell me their opinion I would be grateful.

  • candlkirk

Posted November 15, 2001 - 04:10 AM


I can tell you how to fix your problem. First, go to your local motorcycle shop and get a new Yamaha clutch cable, not a aftermarket. Next call Honda of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Ok and tell them you want a RTC clutch lever, It takes a Honda clutch perch that you can buy anywhere. This will fix your problem.

  • bbeakley

Posted November 15, 2001 - 07:44 AM


Have they always had a big difference or has yours gotten more difficult lately? If they've always been different, look at the owners manual for both and see what the stock clutch spring rates are. You may find that the WR has lighter springs (maybe not). If the WR has lighter springs, that would explain much if not all the pull difference. If yours has gotten worse lately, I'd recommend a cursory check of the plates, springs, clutch boss, and basket. It's really quite easy to do, but you will need a torque wrench to re-assemble. Also, a good cleaning of the clutch cable (or replacement) will go a long way. I had trouble with mine and used carb cleaner/compressed air to clean it. I was amazed by how much crap could be held up in the cable housing. I re-lubed with Tri-Flow per recommendations from folks on this site and it works great now. If all these are okay, then you're probably ready for one of the aftermarket levers to reduce pull. (I've heard good things about the RTC lever, I personally went with an MSR Raptor because my local dealers carry the replacement levers if I ever get in a pinch).

I have noticed my clutch getting grabby when I'm past due on an oil change (probably due to particulates between the plates. It's always been cured by an oil change. The other thing that helped a lot on early morning grabbiness was to warm up the bike with the clutch lever pulled in. This flows oil through the basket as the bike warms up and greatly improves early ride clutch performance.

Hope some of this helps.

  • Boit

Posted November 15, 2001 - 06:46 PM


I also noticed a much harder lever pull on my bike as well. When I changed my clutch basket recently, I carefully greased the relay arm at the case and realized a much improved pull. The damn thing was dry when I removed it! This is the little arm where the bottom of the cable is attached to at the engine case. If you decide to lube this arm, be careful with the grease seal. It's a felt-like wiper and needs gentle handling. Don't over-grease this seal during re-installation. Follow the manual's description of replacing the clutch plates/basket for this relay arm if you want to try this fix.

  • yzfguy

Posted November 15, 2001 - 07:25 PM


can someone please tell me what a "RTC" lever is??? not sure i have ever heard of them... thanks alot


Posted November 15, 2001 - 09:13 PM


I checked and found different part numbers for YZ and WR springs. that could be why the WR's pull is easier. I think it's time to take mine apart and check it out anyway.

  • YZR426

Posted November 19, 2001 - 02:30 AM


I'm with YZFguy,

What's a RTC lever?

Can some one help. :)

  • yzfguy

Posted November 19, 2001 - 05:05 AM


i have called honda and they never heard of a "RTC" lever.... someone please help me out and tell me what this rtc lever is... my left hand is about to fall off from my stock clutch pull.... i am thinking about a "MSR" easy pull clutch... anyone try one of these?? thanks alot guys...

02426..with very hard clutch pull...
new t-2 cable, lubed after every ride...

  • MX_Tuner

Posted November 19, 2001 - 07:32 AM


YZFGuy, what are you using to lube the cable with?

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  • yzfguy

Posted November 19, 2001 - 03:01 PM


hi mx tuner,
i have used bel-ray 6-1.. and also i just tried the motion-pro cable lube.... i rode a crf 450 yesterday.. and i can use my baby finger on that clutch...very easy!!!!

  • bbeakley

Posted November 19, 2001 - 03:23 PM


YZF Guy,

I cleaned then lubed my cable with Tri-Flo (per recommendations from this board) and I also have the MSR Raptor lever and the '01 parts on my otherwise stock '00. The pull is easier with the MSR, but nowhere near the 325% less they advertise (how can you have 325% less anyway? Wouldn't that be negative force required? I guess marketing folks don't have to take Algebra anymore...) It's definitely worth the $40. Also, I had heard about the RTC lever. It's basically a reworked Honda lever with a stock Honda perch that is meant to reduce pull. Haven't seen a pic, but I imagine they employ the same basics as the MSR lever. I'd like to try one out to compare side/side. I chose the MSR because my local dealer carries replacement levers whereas the RTC has to be ordered from Tulsa each time. I guess if you order some spares to start with it wouldn't be a showstopper.

  • yzfguy

Posted November 19, 2001 - 04:31 PM


thanks bbeakly!
i am going to try a msr clutch tomorrow... but i have one question... with more leverage(easier pull) does your clutch engage all the way?? does the clutch lever need to be pulled all the way in to engage the clutch?? if not does the clutch drag?? if not.. i will be VERY happy!

02 426
dubach pipe
dubach hot start (it rules)
lots of titanium

  • JohnnyG

Posted November 19, 2001 - 06:47 PM


I dont know much, but I do know how to make a YZF clutch easier, here we go:

1. Get any CR style clutch perch/lever combo.

2. If you dont want any CR parts on your beloved Yamaha, then there is that old trick to put an XT350 clutch lever on (and it is only like $7). I believe it is black in color and it is longer than YZ lever. It definetly makes the pull easier since it is longer. Dont forget to move your perch inboard somewhat.

3. Trash that stock cable and get a Pro Motion Terminator cable (like $20). It is wound different and I believe teflon lined. Its da bomb.

4. Lube cable EVERYTIME you ride with something slimey. Yes, I said everytime.

5. Lastly, you can take off the radiator cap and place a YZ250F underneath it and turn clockwise. The clutch is real easy after that, but there is less power for some reason ;-)

Seriously, replace the perch and/or lever, change cable and lube. You honestly will have a relative easy clutch after that, even easier than hydraulic.

  • mxcowboy

Posted November 19, 2001 - 07:10 PM


Two words------Hebo Hydraulic........
You can replace levers, buy cable lube and then start over when that doesn't work. When you can spend 200.00 and have one finger clutch for the rest of your life. If you change bikes take it with you and let the new owner ask the same question here.

  • bbeakley

Posted November 20, 2001 - 10:34 PM


YZF Guy: I did the '01 clutch parts replacement on mine the same time I installed the Raptor lever and I had to fiddle with different settings of the lever adjuster and the adjuster on the engine casing for the clutch, but I finally found a sweet spot where it will engage fully when let out and disengage when pulled in with two fingers without crushing my other two. I have the slightest amount of drag when pulled in, but not enough to stall the bike or cause annoying lurching. It may in fact be the break in of the new '01 clutch parts (which are so sweet, no more chatter or grabbiness!!!) not the clutch lever.

Only downside to the Raptor lever I can see is that the stock rubber boot doesn't really fit well on it so the cable may get dirtier faster.

P.S. I'm with MXcowboy, when the wife frees up the purse strings enough, I'll be investing in a Hebo clutch!! But these tips work for those of us on a tighter budget.


Posted November 20, 2001 - 03:54 PM


I ordered the MSR Raptor today. It seems like the cheapest way to go right now. I think someday I'll go hydraulic when I have the cash.

  • yzfguy

Posted November 20, 2001 - 05:31 PM


i just installed a "msr raptor" man.. what a nice pull!! i sure hope it does not drag... i called honda of tulsa about there 'rtc" lever, and they are out of stock.. he said maybe next week..
thanks for all the help guys!!!

  • Rusty

Posted November 25, 2001 - 06:25 AM


I went with a good cable cleaning/lube and a Fly Racing lever. It's a knockoff of the MSR. Apparently so close that they're currently in litigation with MSR. Price was right at $29.00 and it works great. I've cut the ball end off so there is just enough lever to get two fingers on it and not pinch the third under the lever. It definitely helps out and it's great to be able to still have two fingers and a thumb on the bars while being able to fully actuate the clutch.

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