DIY! How to Maintain Clutch Release to Prevent Hard Clutch

How to
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The first step is to clean and lubricate the clutch cable if the clutch lever will be harder to operate. If the symptoms still don't improve, take a step further and focus on the "clutch release" lubrication. A clutch release that converts the pulling force of the cable into a clutch disengagement force requires lubrication because it applies a large force. First, check the clutch release type of your motorcycle and perform proper maintenance before replacing parts.

The clutch release is located between the clutch cable and the clutch.

The force gripping the clutch lever pulls on the clutch cable, creating a gap between the friction plate and the clutch plate and causing the clutch to disengage. So, when lever operation is hard, put lubricant into the clutch cable to restore the lubricity, and the lever touch becomes lighter.

However, there is another component called "clutch release" between the clutch cable and the clutch body. This is a component that converts the force to pull the clutch cable into the force to disengage the clutch, and it is differentiated between push and pull types, and clutch release exists not only on cable type but also on hydraulic clutch motorcycles.

We will focus on the role of the cable type clutch release in this article since it is mainly cable type clutches that feel hard when operating the clutch.

The clutch release on the KAWASAKI KZ1000J is located behind the drive sprocket cover. When the clutch cable is pulled, the release arm is pushed up while rotating counterclockwise, pushing the pushrod in. This is a mechanism whereby the pressed pushrod pushes up the clutch hub to disengage the clutch.

  1. Clutch release exists in both cable clutches and hydraulic clutches.
  2. Checking the clutch release may be effective in case the clutch still feels hard after lubricating the clutch cable.

Grease-up is effective for camshaft bearing type release

The clutch release introduced here is the one of KAWASAKI KZ1000J and consists of three points of "camshaft", "bearing" and "clutch release body". The principle of operation is that when the clutch cable is pulled, the clutch release turns and rises on the bearings set between the release and the camshaft, pushing the pushrod to disengage the clutch.

Since the clutch release of KZ1000J is built into the drive sprocket cover on the left side of the engine, the scattered chain lube adheres, and if sand or dust is mixed with the chain lube, it becomes a clay-like foreign substance. When such dirt becomes resistance, the movement of the clutch release becomes bad, and the clutch lever becomes hard because it tries to move it forcibly, and it becomes more troublesome if the release is worn by the dirt attached to the operating part.

You can find out the condition of the clutch release by disconnecting the cable or in case of this motorcycle, unplugging the sprocket cover and moving the release independently. If you are experiencing resistance to movement, or if the release does not return smoothly after being pulled, take the release apart, clean, and grease up.

  1. The clutch release built into the sprocket cover is prone to dirt
  2. Poor lubrication of the clutch release can be easily understood when operating on its own

Remember the configuration of the parts before disassembling

The way to remove the clutch release may vary depending on the vehicle, but for the KZ1000J, clutch release can be removed by pulling up on the clutch body. The sprocket cover side has an oil seal that prevents dust and water from entering, so check the condition of the seal as well. The 3 steel balls fit in the back of the release as an integrated bearing, and when you remove them with the pickup tool, there is a camshaft at the far end. There is an arm to attach the clutch cable to the main body of the release, but if the angle of this arm is wrong, the cable will not reach or the cover will not be attached.

On the flip side, if the release is functioning properly when you restore it, you can determine that the assembly method is correct.

There are 3 grooves (recesses) in the release and camshaft that allow the bearing balls to enter. When you grip the clutch lever and the clutch release turns, the ball lifts over the groove and pushes the pushrod to disengage the clutch.

Therefore, resistance will be generated in the camshaft and the clutch release if there is insufficient lubrication of the bearing, which will not only make the clutch operation harder, but also the clutch will be disengaged poorly because the lift of the release will decrease if the groove is worn.

Once the clutch release and clutch bearings are removed, carefully remove the old grease and apply the new grease. If you have done your best to grease up the clutch release, it is also effective to pull out the pushrod that penetrates the inside of the crankcase from right to left, wipe off the dirt, and restore it by applying a thin layer of grease to prevent rust.

There are many owners who have relubricated the clutch cable but haven't paid attention to the maintenance of the clutch release, but it's good to know that the clutch release plays an important role in the smooth clutch operation.

The pushrod that interrupts the clutch enters the engine through the transmission cover and penetrates the input shaft to meet the clutch's operating plate. Check the lip of the oil seal for contact and the ends of the rod for wear.

  1. Check how the parts fit together when disassembling!
  2. Check the pushrod for cleaning and wear as well.

Maintenance of the clutch release affects the clutch operation. Check the push type release on a regular basis.

See KAWASAKI Moto Index Page
See Accessories for KAWASAKI Z1000J (KZ1000J)

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