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Clutch Question

Old 07-17-2010, 06:51 PM
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Default Clutch Question

First off I have owned a CBR 600 F4i for about 2 months now. I have about 1 thousand miles under my belt. So far I've just been riding it around out in the country (where I live) and after I finish the MSF course (tomorrow) I plan on starting to bring it in to town.

My question refers to the bike I am using to take the MSF course. whenever I try to slowly pull in or let out the clutch it comes and goes in chunks. Meaning I can't smoothly let it in and out unless it's 1 quick movement. I've never experienced anything like this on my f4i so I'm not sure if this is normal. I mentioned something to the instructor but he didn't seem to take much notice.

What do you guys think. Its been making it really hard to play around in the friction zone on the bike for some of the exercises. Does this sound Normal or could this bike possibly need some clutch work. I'd really appreciate any answers since I'd hate to fail the class because I screwed something up due to a faulty clutch.

Old 07-17-2010, 07:05 PM
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The MSF bikes have been beaten to hell. Guaranteed every single one of those bikes gets dropped at least twice per season. During my BRC a guy dropped his 5 times (but not during the tests so he passed).

So quick answer: Yes, most likely something is fuggered on the BRC bike. Ask to swap for another bike (or get there early and choose another one). Dunno how strict they are at your location. But when it came test time at my location the instructor stated plainly:

There are only 3 ways to fail
  1. Drop the bike
  2. Stunt
  3. Run me over

They weren't expecting mastery. They were just making sure we had a grasp of the concepts and weren't likely to splatter ourselves 15 min after the class (I rode my F3 to the classes).
Old 07-17-2010, 08:03 PM
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Unfortunately unless I can actually show him something is wrong with it I'm stuck with the bike. At the beginning of the class we were given a bike with a number on it and that is the only bike we are supposed to use. If I think it might get in the way of something I'll bring it up again. I'm not too worried about dropping the bike seeing how small it is although I'm sure it could happen.

Just got back from riding the f4i and it is amazing how much nicer and even more fun it is to ride my bike. O well, it's all for learning and it's only 1 more day.

Thanks for the input
Old 07-17-2010, 08:56 PM
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yeah, something is probably messed up with the clutch. One thing to look at though. Many times, if the person riding the bike before you had small hands, they will loosen the clutch up a bit to get the clutch lever closer to the bar in the freeplay position. The closer to the bar the clutch is in the released position, the less engagement window the bike will have. Check the the clutches freeplay and make sure its not too much. Not sure what bike your using, so Im not sure on the exact freeplay the clutch is suppose to have, but you shouldn't be able to move the clutch very much at all in the released position. If it moves quite a bit, adjust it until you can get a better feel with it.

Unfortunately, most instructors I've met are not very well informed themselves. Honestly, I'm not sure where they get them. I think they volunteer, so you get what you pay for.. But at the very least, the instructor should let you see if the other bikes are the same or not. The other problem is most instructors think people there are complete noobs and have no idea what they are talking about.

I actually sat in on my wifes classes, ( just for the fun of it), and I could not believe half of the stuff that came from the instructors mount. One of them actually told my wife that she wan't using enough rear brake for the type of bike she would be riding.. which was an R6 at the time. He told her sportbikes use 60 percent rear brake. I told her later on that he was wrong and dont listen to him. Guess who she chose to listen too.... not me.. she ended up locking up the rear brake and sliding through a signal light. Luckily, she didnt drop the bike, but she ended up leaving a 50 foot black mark. She said... well the instructor told me to use more rear brake than front. thats when I realized people put too much faith in what these instructors tell them. You have to decide what advice is solid and what advice is not. Remember, most instructors are not riding sportbikes, and they truly don't understand the machines at all. I know, a little off topic, but just saying..

Last edited by justasquid; 07-17-2010 at 09:07 PM.
Old 07-18-2010, 05:37 PM
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Well everything ended up ok. We had one person in our group that backed out early this morning so after she left I talked to a instructor again. This time he rode the bike and understood what I was talking about. Apparently it definitely did have a bad clutch lever. So he let me use the newly available bike. O my was the ride so much smoother, now I could actually play around in the friction zone. And to make everything even better I passed the class.

Thanks again for the input.
Old 07-18-2010, 06:08 PM
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:14 PM
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Glad it all worked out and congratulations on passing!!
Btw, I've experienced a similar thing on a dirtbike clutch once.
I would let the clutch out slowly and all the sudden it just took off. This was on a brand new bike, though. It was a very odd thing, and I've never experienced it again. I figured it was just since it was a new bike the clutch needed worn in... maybe lubed, but I still don't know what was wrong with it. I can understand why you wouldn't want to ride it like that.

Remember, most instructors are not riding sportbikes, and they truly don't understand the machines at all.
Yep, I met one at a bike night and he knew less than most of the peeps I was with. Very nice guy, but just didn't seem like he knew enough to be instructing. This is why I always recommend that people also read some good books on riding techniques. They were always very valuable to me as a hard resource to go back on.
Old 07-18-2010, 06:31 PM
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During the ERC the instructor kept chastising me for using only 2 fingers on the front brake. He said I wouldn't be able to put enough pressure on the brake with only 2 fingers. And that my other 2 fingers would prevent the lever from full travel The fact that I consistently stopped my bike far quicker than the other riders and had more control over my stopping was beside the point.

The discussion on rear braking during turns and maneuvering we'll leave for another day
Old 07-26-2010, 03:26 AM
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since im a noob im not exactly sure but i think i have a similar problem with my clutch. i have a 95 600 f3 and when im starting from a stop i cant seem to apply the gas at the right time of letting out the clutch and the bike lurches forward and stalls almost every time. is that what it is called, is the friction zone? and i dont know how to adjust my clutch lever... is it just that little disk on the clutch line? im very confused at what i need to do to fix this problem. its really holding back my progression.
Old 07-26-2010, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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I was lucky, the instructor at my course track rode a Ducati Monster like every available weekend he had haha. Really nice dude, knew a lot about motorcycling in general. Just like anything else, some guys are in it because they love it and some just gather the paycheck.

Angel... what do you mean by you can't apply the gas at the same time you let out the clutch? That sounds like something you're doing wrong, not the bike.

Something to try. (This is what you'll learn if you take the MSF course). Sit on the bike, 1st gear. Put your legs out infront of you, and using the power of the bike rock back and forth on your feet. In other words, use the friction zone (where the clutch starts to grab) to walk the bike forward and then use your legs to roll it back. Do that for a while, then try a few powerwalks (power the bike with the friction zone but don't put your feet up). You should be able to keep fairly constant throttle and use the clutch to move the bike faster or slower.

I say try those first because you said you are new. It will get you used to using the clutch and working through the engagement. Just something to try before blaming the bike honestly. Don't want to tear it all apart trying to fix a problem that's not there lol.

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