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Old 15th September 2011, 20:29   #1
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Default Thunderbird Clutch Issue

I've a 4 year old thunderbird and it's giving clutch issue since last 6 months approx. Problem is whenever there is high traffic clutch gives up due to high usage of clutch. But it does not give any issue if i do not use clutch much. I've replaced clutch at 3 times in RE service center, Bannerghatta Road.
Not sure what's happening. Need expert advice here.

I'd situations when i had to push my bike in heavy traffic due to this issue.

Moderators, searched for similar issue, but could not find any.
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Old 15th September 2011, 20:49   #2
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Whenever you want to wait for more than 10-15 secs just shift to Neutral and wait. That way the Friction of Clutch Plates will be less and dont heat.
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Old 15th September 2011, 20:55   #3
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoXLGrandDi View Post
Whenever you want to wait for more than 10-15 secs just shift to Neutral and wait. That way the Friction of Clutch Plates will be less and dont heat.

I always try to do that, however the damn gear does not go to neutral and when it does not(mostly) i face this issue.
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Old 15th September 2011, 20:55   #4
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Hey I do face same problem with my TB. When my clutch cable goes off, I always buy 2-3 wires to have it as "stock".

As you mentioned, I do use clutch minimal. Also, except 1st, any other gear doesn't need full clutch, just half will do the job.

Waiting for inputs from others.
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Old 16th September 2011, 13:01   #5
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Hey guys, for those riding the city traffic, periodic lubing of clutch cables and routing them in such a way that lesser bends and consequently least resistance between the cable and the sleeve occurs would increase the life of the cables. I have seen guys routing clutch cables out of the casquette to reduce friction.
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Old 16th September 2011, 13:24   #6
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

I have done routing to reduce bends and eventually this saves time to replace cable too .

Can anyone confirm on lubing of clutch cables please? I mean I thought of doing so as I remember my father doing so in his Rajdoot but so far everyone told not to do since now we get cable with sleeve. I mean old days we used to get metallic cable which used to be replaced by lubing it with the older sleeve. But as I was told not to do so, I have never tried with my TB.

Thanks,
Pradip.
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Old 16th September 2011, 13:51   #7
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Hi pradipk, Unfortunately, we have no supply of cable lubing tools in India ( I have not seen them in any shops in Trivandrum). I have tried to lube the cable using hypodemic syringe, but failed. The needle goes between the sleeve and the cable at the clutch lever end ( you have to get some ones help to keep the lever in the grabbed possition) but you have to push the plunger like hell to get a minute amount of oil inside. I think the method stated in the service manual for the CI bullet still works the best.
Remove the cable at the lever end and tie a plastic cover around the end of the sleeve so that it will look like a funnel. Now you can pour motor oil into this and keep it for some time and the oil will seep in slowly. When the oil flows out throught the other end you can reassemble the cable. Refer to the service manual, it is described in detail with pictrures. I also lube the lever end of the cable with silicone grease (Anabond 662) which doesnot dry out /water has no effect on it and it also doesnot cause the rubber elements to swell.
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Last edited by adrian : 16th September 2011 at 13:56.
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Old 16th September 2011, 13:59   #8
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Note from the Team-BHP Support : Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this. Thanks

Dear All....
Royal Enfields are air cooled engines which heat rapidly when stationary.
The golden rule is, if you have to wait more than 5 seconds, shift to neutral.
Before costing to a stop, shift to neutral when approaching a stop line. If the traffic is moving very slowly, shut the engine and use your feet......it will also give you much needed exercise, apart from saving precious fuel and engine components.
In summers, try using a little higher viscosity oil......what else.......if I remember anything else will get back to you.

By the way, what's the fun in using half clutch... ??

Last edited by GTO : 16th September 2011 at 17:27. Reason: Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this.
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Old 16th September 2011, 18:41   #9
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradhey View Post
... If the traffic is moving very slowly, shut the engine and use your feet......it will also give you much needed exercise, ...
+ right?

You should practice crawling at idle rpm in 1st gear with clutch fully engaged ie., no slipping half clutch. Enfields are good at this but you need to gain confidence in riding so as not to stall engine. Also shift to neutral as you stop. Clutch drag cant be eliminated on these bikes. Some suggest lighter oil & more qty to cut drag & heat.

Last edited by Rennjit : 16th September 2011 at 18:42.
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Old 17th September 2011, 03:53   #10
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

pradipk

I think the people who advised not to lubricate the clutch cable are in the business of selling replacement clutch cables? (LOL)

Cables are still cables with steel inner and outer parts. Without lubrication they will soon drag and wear themselves out.
Also, without lube, rust will invade the parts rapidly destroying them.

I am surprised that there are no motorcycle cable lubrication "tools" available in India.
On the web I found many sites that sell this tool
Amazon.com: Motorcycle inline spray lubricant cable luber tool: Automotive

It does require removing the upper end of the cable from the throttle or the grip. The loose end of the cable is then inserted into it and the clamp screw lightly tightened. This seals a rubber sleeve around the end of the cable.
This tool also requires that a aerosol can of lube with a plastic tube (that comes with the can of lube) be inserted into a small hole.
Pushing the aerosol button then injects the lubricant throughout the length of the cable.

Here is a short video showing the use of the tool.
You might also note that the "cable lubricant" is not a thick, highly viscous fluid. A thin oil will work just as well and it will be easier to get it to flow down thru the restrictive area between the cable and the inside of the cable sheath.

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Old 18th September 2011, 21:15   #11
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and they are helpful.
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Old 18th September 2011, 22:44   #12
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Although i'm currently not facing this issue with my TB but i'm surely scared that i might start facing due to lot of clutch usage as my travel is mostly for short distances.

One issue that im facing is rusting :(
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Old 19th September 2011, 11:57   #13
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Although i'm currently not facing this issue with my TB but i'm surely scared that i might start facing due to lot of clutch usage as my travel is mostly for short distances.

One issue that im facing is rusting :(
Harish, clutch is meant and must only be used to shift gears. It is not be used to hold the bike as in neutral at any given point. If you get into this habbit, your clutch will last you twice more.

Rusting....you simply need to clean your bike yourself and that is the only way to prevent this demon called rust
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Old 19th September 2011, 13:06   #14
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradhey View Post
Harish, clutch is meant and must only be used to shift gears. It is not be used to hold the bike as in neutral at any given point. If you get into this habbit, your clutch will last you twice more.

Rusting....you simply need to clean your bike yourself and that is the only way to prevent this demon called rust
Im getting there as far as the clutch usage is concerned. As much as i would like to clean it myself its practically not possible except on Sundays. For now i've used the sand paper to remove rust, have rub dried the Bull and have covered it with a waterproof Bike cover as i don't use it from Mon - Fri.
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Old 19th September 2011, 16:13   #15
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Default Re: Thunderbird Clutch Issue

@Harishnayak:Hi friend, the water proof cover does more damage than good. It retains moisture, fumes from the battery etc inside and accelarates the rusting procedure. It is always good to park the vehicle in a place with good air circulation away from rain and the sun.
Regards Adrian
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