2001 RM125 Clutch Problem

21 replies to this topic
  • DRock9

Posted May 23, 2009 - 04:35 PM


Hey I just bought a new to me 2001 RM125 and I noticed a small issue with the clutch. Here is what happens:

1. I start the bike in neutral and pull the clutch all the way.
2. With the clutch still in all the way I shift into first and the bike jumps forward and dies.

Obviously the clutch is not disengaging all the way because I can't start the bike in first with the clutch all the way down. I have tried adjusting it on the perch and putting the adjuster out all the way for maximum disengagement but it still jumps forward. I can give it a little gas when I start going and it works but it is annoying to have to start it in neutral every time.

Anyone know what is going on? This is my first dirtbike so I have no idea what to even begin to look at, I am mainly a car guy.


  • killerdwarf77

Posted May 23, 2009 - 07:36 PM


Do a search in this forum for rm clutch. I'm sure you'll get a couple of days worth of reading!

  • DRock9

Posted May 24, 2009 - 06:54 AM


I have read about the KX250 clutches being used in the RM250 bikes, can the KX125 clutches be used in the RM125 aswell?

I don't know where to begin with taking stuff off to see if the basket is scored or if the friction plates are good or even how much oil to fill it back up with, can anyone give me some insight here?


  • killerdwarf77

Posted May 24, 2009 - 07:50 AM


You will need to first get a manual for the bike, or get someone around you who knows what to do. Too much damage can be done by inexperience.

  • redline873

Posted May 24, 2009 - 08:17 AM


my bike just had this problem. if you adjusted the cable and that didnt work its probably the clutch. i replaced mine with a new tusk clutch kit and that fixed my problem.

  • DRock9

Posted May 24, 2009 - 12:01 PM


I am going to throw in some ATF Type F and see if that cures the problem, I know it may be a band-aid but if it cures it I don't care. I don't feel like dropping $300 for a new basket + clutch right now when I just bought the bike.

Anyone know if i can put in a KX125 clutch though?

EDIT: Just put in the ATF, I tried starting it in 1st for a couple minutes right after and it didn't work. I am going to give it a day of riding or so to work out any kinks and if it still won't start in first I am just going to deal with it. It can idle in first just fine with the clutch in all the way but it will not start at all.

  • drmcook

Posted May 26, 2009 - 07:25 AM


Had the same issue with my 01 Rm 125. Took the cover off and noticed 2 things. Plates were sticking and the basket was pretty notched. Put in a new clutch kit and filed down the notches on the basket. Works well for now. Hope it helps.

  • DRock9

Posted May 26, 2009 - 03:31 PM


I am going to start out with that and if it doesn't fix it I am going to have to put on a new basket, what does a notched basket look like?

  • carajean

Posted May 27, 2009 - 06:52 AM


Not to steal but I have the same bike and was wondering when you said all the way out, which one?? The one with the lock nut or the other one? And by all the way out which direction left or right?? I have the same problem but I do not know what those 2 turn knobs do so im lost as to how to help myself.

Any clarification would be most appreciated.

  • drmcook

Posted May 28, 2009 - 06:36 AM


you should see the U or V shaped notches where the "ears" from friction plates seat. It stops the plates from moving free. It is pretty easy to file it down because it is aluminum. However, it will not be a permanent fiX, but it might last for a while depending on your riding type. I had to do the same because of the income issues. It still works great afer 4 rides. It could also be that your clutch plates are worn out and all you would have to do is to replace it. Or it could be that plates are still good and the basked is nothced. In my case it was both.

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  • drmcook

Posted May 28, 2009 - 06:39 AM


also try to search on line for images as the pictures would explain it better. I just typed "notched clutch basket" in the yahoo images search, and it gives me a few results. Oh, by the way, your hub could be notched to, but do not file it down. Make sure that your cable has play in it.

  • jackson409

Posted March 17, 2010 - 11:39 AM


also try to search on line for images as the pictures would explain it better. I just typed "notched clutch basket" in the yahoo images search, and it gives me a few results. Oh, by the way, your hub could be notched to, but do not file it down. Make sure that your cable has play in it.

why not file down the hub? I am not questioning your knowledge. I am wandering why what will happen? I have an 01 250 that I just got and it is really jumpy when letting off the clutch. I am hoping some ATF will help but if not I am going in the side cover. I am in the same boat financially since I ust dumped a grand in the bike. I can't go to the wife and say oh I need to spend another 2 or 3 hundred. Kids got to eat too.lol

  • drmcook

Posted March 17, 2010 - 12:40 PM


You can actually file down both, but it will create a lot of empty space between the plates, basket and the hub which can damage the clutch assembly even more. Mine was very jumpy too untill I did all that. It's the second season and the clutch is very smooth. The ATF will only help if your bike is stalling when put in gear. I would inspect the clutch first. If yours is not stalling when put in first gear, it is most likely that the the plates are getting worn out or it might have heavy duty springs.

  • jackson409

Posted March 17, 2010 - 12:55 PM


Well it kinda does both. I have ridden it very little since I just got it and I don't have a helmet yet. I like my brains the way they are even if they are not the greatest.LOL. I start it up let it warm up a bit then pull the clutch in put it in gear and bam...I get a big jerk stays running though. I let out on the clutch and gets about half way out and jerky very jerky. I then proceed to give it gas goes on out. When I coming to a stop I pull the clutch in and right when I get stopped it stalls out like the clutch is still trying to pull the bike.

  • jackson409

Posted March 17, 2010 - 12:59 PM


Oh and as far as heavy duty springs?? I would say this is the factory clutch cause the guy I bought it from said he never used the bike and never been inside the engine at all. Not even top end. I looked at the bolts and I can't find a tool mark on any engine bolt.

  • drmcook

Posted March 17, 2010 - 02:53 PM


Take it apart and inspect everything. It is an easy job. Most likely you will have to file down the basket, and replace the clutch kit since the previous owner never touched it. OEM baskets on the RMs are known to wear out fast.

  • Vince_m_97

Posted March 17, 2010 - 03:14 PM


I have an 04 RM250 and had a similiar problem, Found a neat trick that wr riders do. I tried and it worked. Get 6mm ID washers from the hardware store and place them on the clutch bolts that hold the pressure plate. Make sure they fit inside the clutch springs. Seems thet when the clutch is pulled in the springs get bound up and prevent the pressure plate from disengaging completly. The washers give a little more room. My bike no longer creeps in gear. I can start it in gear and it also idles just like it was in nuetral. I tried all the fixes and this is the simple one that worked. Try it you'll like it. Make sure the washers are all around .065 thick.

  • jackson409

Posted March 18, 2010 - 05:27 AM


I went with to quick fix try last night and mixed half and half 20w and aft last night becuase of daylight time running short just to see if it would help. No help it still acted the same. I do believe it is the basket or hub. I will pull the cover this weekend look inside. I did noticed though when comming to a stop if when I pull the clutch in a little sooner and coast a bit longer before stopping it doesn't pull and stall out when I stop. It seems it gives it a little more time to release the plates from the fibers to allow it to free spin.

  • LCrm250

Posted March 18, 2010 - 05:14 PM


Same thing just happened to my 02, filed basket and new plates on the way hope this fixes mine too.Also good idea on the washers!

  • jackson409

Posted March 19, 2010 - 06:01 AM


Okay, I pulled the cover last night and yes the basket was notched pretty bad. The hub wasn't though. I mean you could see where the plates have been but couldn't feel any notches. So I filed down the basket and it fixed the jerking when letting out on the clutch. I still have one issue with it though. When coming to a stop it still stalls because the clutch plates still seem to be engaged. I found out that if I pull in the clutch and give it a couple of quick revs it will free up and stop fine but if I don't rev it after I pull in the clutch it will stall when I stop because it is still trying to pull itself.


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