How to replace your clutch lever bushing


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:42 pm



This is a very simple maintenance item that most people don't even know about, until it starts causing them problems.

Inside the clutch lever is a cylindrical brass bushing with a hole drilled in the side of it. A pushrod fits into this hole, and that pushrod actuates the clutch master cylinder piston. The reason for the bushing is that the clutch lever is made of aluminum, and it would quickly wear through. Not that the brash bushing is immune to wear - over time, the thousands of clutch presses will also wear the brass bushing. Eventually, given enough time, this bushing will wear through, the pushrod will quickly wear a hole in the back of the clutch lever, and you'll find yourself stranded on the side of the road in need of both a clutch lever and a bushing. So obviously, the time to do this is before it gets to this stage!

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What are the symptoms of a worn bushing? Excess clutch lever play is one. If the bushing is worn, the clutch lever can flop around enough that the cruise control switch is activated. If your cruise control deactivates itself for what seems like no reason at all, your clutch lever bushing could be at fault.

Another symptom is hard shifting, or creeping in first gear. If the bushing is worn, the piston isn't being depressed far enough, which means the clutch isn't being fully declutched. This can cause stiff/hard shifting, or "creeping" when waiting at a stop light - not to mention excessive clutch wear!

So how much will this cost? Virtually nothing, and ten minutes of your time. I purchased my replacement bushing from Cyclemax for all of $8.50. The bushing part number for all GL1500's, regardless of year or model, is 22885-MB0-006.

1. The bushing is located at the inner portion of the clutch lever, embedded in the lever itself, as shown by the red arrow.

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2. Using a 10mm socket, remove the locknut from the bottom of the clutch lever assembly.

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3. Use a large flat blade screwdriver to back out the pivot screw holding the lever in place.

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4. Once loosened, remove the pivot screw. The screw is chromed, to prevent wear (chrome is extremely hard).

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5. Gently pull the clutch lever free of the clutch master cylinder. Note the plunger left in the master cylinder.

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6. Push the old bushing out of the clutch lever.

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7. My old bushing had significant internal wear - it was definitely time to be replaced. This bushing was likely original, with just over 60,000 miles on it.

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8. The back side of my bushing, where it pushed against the inside of my clutch lever was also quite scored and worn.

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9. I applied a light layer of lithium grease to my new bushing to help prevent future wear.

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10. Push the new bushing into the lever, making sure the hole in the side lines up with the slot as shown.

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11. Position the lever so that the pushrod fits into the hole in the bushing, then push the lever into place, making sure the pivot hole lines up.

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12. I coated my pivot screw with a light layer of lithium grease to help with wear and smoothness.

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13. Tighten the pivot screw into place.

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14. While holding the pivot screw with the screwdriver to prevent it from turning, tighten the locknut on the bottom of the lever.

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15. Make sure to test the clutch for full travel, and to ensure there is no binding.

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m2102
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby m2102 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:50 am

that is probably the easiest fix on a 1500.i'll have to check mine out.i mite be mistaken but on the 2000 1500 isn't it possible to start the engine in gear by engaging the clutch? if so, would this be a cause for it not to start,not fully engaging clutch? or,is their a switch gone bad?

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:33 pm

m2102 wrote:that is probably the easiest fix on a 1500.i'll have to check mine out.i mite be mistaken but on the 2000 1500 isn't it possible to start the engine in gear by engaging the clutch? if so, would this be a cause for it not to start,not fully engaging clutch? or,is their a switch gone bad?


Yes, you can start it in gear by pulling in the clutch (as long as the sidestand is up), however the switch that controls this is actuated by the lever, not by the clutch. That switch is actuated when the lever is pulled in fully (which is why thick grips can sometimes cause this switch to not be actuated). So even if the bushing is worn (meaning the clutch won't be fully actuated), the lever can still travel its full amount, which will actuate that switch.

The problem with the cruise disconnecting is that the cruise disconnect switch is actuated at the very beginning of the lever's travel, so if the bushing is worn, the lever can flop around enough to actuate that switch, disconnecting the cruise control.

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby m2102 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:03 pm

thanks WingAdmin,i new it was suppsosed to start in gear ab\nd now no it wont because of my grips

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby bellboy40 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:43 pm

Hi m2102. My buddy's 2000 1500 got to where it would not start when pulling the clutch in with it in gear. I went over to help him with it and we found that it would start fine in gear if we had the switch off the bars and operated the switch by hand. He had recently put on some thicker handgrips and the clutch lever did not pull back far enough to operate that switch. We solved the problem by cutting off a piece of stick on wheel weight and applied it to the surface that touches the switch when you pull the clutch in. Now the lever can reach the switch with the extra thickness off the piece of wheel weight.

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby m2102 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:17 am

thanks bellboy i was thinking of chamging my grips but not sure now. would it be possible to post a picture on what you did?

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby bellboy40 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:50 am

Sorry, I didn't take any pictures. If you remove the clutch lever and examine where the switch is you can see where the surface on the lever is that touches the switch button to operate it. It just needs a little something on there so it can reach the switch sooner.
Having said that, I installed some Kuryakyn handgrips on mine along with some of their chrome levers and everything still works fine. Mine is a 94 model so not sure if there is any difference in the levers on the 2000 model like his. I got my grips and levers from Cyclemax.

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby m2102 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:29 am

thanks bellboy40,all i need to do is decide how i want to fix,new grips or take lever off. thanks for info

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby jod4810 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:54 pm

Thanks, I just replaced mine on my 95 A that has 165k on it and now my cruise control works and it shifts smooth again. My bushing had worn through and was starting to put a hole in the clutch handle !
Great DIY fix for all riders.
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby sam3043 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:47 pm

Awesome post!! I just bought a 96 se and I have learned so much just from reading all your popsts. My cruise was not working unless i held the clutch in place and changing this bushing in about 10 mins fixed the cruise and teh clutch feels so much better. I have changed this bushing, my timing belts and the rear tire all with the use of your posts!!!

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby markg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:34 pm

Thanks guys for the info. My 1200 started creeping today. I pulled it apart. the bushing was completely worn out, with a hole in it and a hole almost all the way through the lever. I had put a BB in the hole previously knowing there was extra play but didnt know why. Now it all makes sense. I filled the hole in the lever with some JB weld and the new bushing is on order.

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby MasterDaniel904 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:25 pm

Sorry I'm late to the party, but this article directly addresses several issues I've been having with my '96 GL1500I. I can't start in gear when depressing the clutch handle, and the cruise control only works if I smack several times on the end of the handle in the direction of the dashboard, and that has become less successful recently.

I have a few questions that perhaps someone could answer before I start ordering too many parts! First, I went to an OEM parts page (they all use the same blow up) and looked up some of the other parts involved with the clutch handle. If someone wants to look, they are on the "Clutch Master Cylinder" detail. First, the bush number is the same as quoted in this post, so I was relieved to believe I was in the right place! My bush(ing?) is VERY worn, although it has not punched through yet. I'll replace that.

Here are my questions: First, my push rod looks VERY different. Your photo, and the drawing, are exactly the same. My push rod has/had a rubber gasket in the center instead of the two donuts. The rubber is torn and worn. Is this some aftermarket part my Honda dealer put in after an accident several years ago? Should/can I replace it with the shown OEM part ? (22884-MB0-006)

Next, there is some up/down play in the handle, about 1/8" at the end, which matches the right handle. Will replacing #19, "Bolt, Handle Lever" (90114-MG9-951) take that out, or do I need to replace the whole handle, or is the play normal?

Continuing on, there are two switches shown. #6, "Switch Assy, Clutch" (35331-MB0-003) which mounts on the outside of the handle, seems to be the switch that controls the cruise and allows the bike to start in gear. On my bike there is almost a 3/16" gap between the Lever and the button! Is this normal? There seems to be no way to move the switch closer. Do I need to replace this? If I poke a screwdriver into that space, manually depressing the button, the bike will start in gear (which it hasn't for several months) which makes me think the switch is okay. But is it worn down?

My final question regards the switch located on the bottom of the handle. On the OEM detail it is shown as #7, but there is no listing for it down in the parts. The list jumps from 5 to 5 to 6 to 8. Anyone know what this switch does, and where it shows up on the OEM details elsewhere? Does this (also) effect the cruise control, which is what actually started this entire investigation!

Thank you kindly for any answers that might be found!
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:45 pm

MasterDaniel904 wrote:Sorry I'm late to the party, but this article directly addresses several issues I've been having with my '96 GL1500I. I can't start in gear when depressing the clutch handle, and the cruise control only works if I smack several times on the end of the handle in the direction of the dashboard, and that has become less successful recently.


Definitely sounds like a worn bushing issue.

MasterDaniel904 wrote:I have a few questions that perhaps someone could answer before I start ordering too many parts! First, I went to an OEM parts page (they all use the same blow up) and looked up some of the other parts involved with the clutch handle. If someone wants to look, they are on the "Clutch Master Cylinder" detail. First, the bush number is the same as quoted in this post, so I was relieved to believe I was in the right place! My bush(ing?) is VERY worn, although it has not punched through yet. I'll replace that.


That same bushing is used in quite a few different Honda motorcycles, so you won't have a problem there.

MasterDaniel904 wrote:Here are my questions: First, my push rod looks VERY different. Your photo, and the drawing, are exactly the same. My push rod has/had a rubber gasket in the center instead of the two donuts. The rubber is torn and worn. Is this some aftermarket part my Honda dealer put in after an accident several years ago? Should/can I replace it with the shown OEM part ? (22884-MB0-006)


There is a rubber gasket that is part of the master cylinder. It goes over the piston end:

Image

Image

(those pictures are from a GL1100, which looks a bit different but it's the same idea). Its job is to keep dirt and grit out of the piston area, and from collecting on the shaft. It's part number 9 in the diagram below:

GL1500 Clutch Master Cylinder
GL1500 Clutch Master Cylinder


MasterDaniel904 wrote:Next, there is some up/down play in the handle, about 1/8" at the end, which matches the right handle. Will replacing #19, "Bolt, Handle Lever" (90114-MG9-951) take that out, or do I need to replace the whole handle, or is the play normal?


That play is normal. The screw actually threads into the lever, which does not tighten down on the lever - tightening the screw does not make the lever tighter:

Image

The nut on the bottom also does not tighten it up, it is used as a locknut to keep the screw from working loose:

Image

MasterDaniel904 wrote:Continuing on, there are two switches shown. #6, "Switch Assy, Clutch" (35331-MB0-003) which mounts on the outside of the handle, seems to be the switch that controls the cruise and allows the bike to start in gear. On my bike there is almost a 3/16" gap between the Lever and the button! Is this normal? There seems to be no way to move the switch closer. Do I need to replace this? If I poke a screwdriver into that space, manually depressing the button, the bike will start in gear (which it hasn't for several months) which makes me think the switch is okay. But is it worn down?

My final question regards the switch located on the bottom of the handle. On the OEM detail it is shown as #7, but there is no listing for it down in the parts. The list jumps from 5 to 5 to 6 to 8. Anyone know what this switch does, and where it shows up on the OEM details elsewhere? Does this (also) effect the cruise control, which is what actually started this entire investigation!


There are two switches: One clicks as soon as the lever travel begins, and is used to switch the cruise control off. The other clicks when the lever is pulled all the way in, and is used to allow the bike to start in gear. The switch clearances are preset and non-adjustable. When the lever is in the correct position (which it will not be if the bushing is worn), then it will work perfectly with the switches in their normal positions.

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby MasterDaniel904 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:31 am

What a thoughtful response! Thank you so very much! I'll look inside and see if that rubber seal is missing or damaged.

So the bottom switch effects the cruise control. Good to know. Hopefully the bushing will solve the entire problem, but if not, do you know the part number for that switch?

Thanks again.
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:48 am

MasterDaniel904 wrote:What a thoughtful response! Thank you so very much! I'll look inside and see if that rubber seal is missing or damaged.

So the bottom switch effects the cruise control. Good to know. Hopefully the bushing will solve the entire problem, but if not, do you know the part number for that switch?

Thanks again.


Ordering them from a parts house by part number will take a week or more for them to order and get in before they ship. They can be bought from Cyclemax, who keeps them in stock, and at the same price you'll get from a parts house:

http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/clutch_ ... 129/198261

http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/clutch_ ... 129/201582

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby MasterDaniel904 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:21 am

Thanks again! I do have an account with Cyclemax, and I see they list the part as in stock. It's always the shipping that kills, so I will probably order the whole handful of parts anyway, as the bike is 18 y/o and I ride year around here in New Mexico. Dust and sand gets into everything and accelerates wear. For $50 or so I can cover all of the possible points of contention! Except for the handle bolt, as it seems in good shape. I'll update after I finish the repair!
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby MasterDaniel904 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:02 pm

Well, I decided to order from Partzilla.com, and they had the parts to me in three days USPS. Can't argue with that given I live in the middle of absolutely nowhere, New Mexico!

I pulled the grip apart again and pulled the rubber gasket out with a pair of needle nose pliers. The push rod was lightly corroded, so I went ahead and replaced that and the rubber gasket. The switches looked about the same, so they went in the drawer for future use. The bushing was just trashed. Comparing the new to the old, I'm amazed I could still pull the clutch at all!

This solved the cruise control issue. As for starting in gear, I discovered if I pulled in and UP I could engage the switch. So I pulled it all apart again and a close look at the brass bushing around the bolt told me what was wrong. That bushing (which is pressed in and will require replacement of the entire lever) is worn oval, with more than enough play to prevent the lever from reaching the switch! I put three layers of 10 mil PVC plumbing tape on the lever, remounted it, and solved the problem for the moment! I'll order a lever during my next round of maintenance.

Thank you so much for the information and assistance. Once again I can be on the road safely and comfortably!
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:43 am

MasterDaniel904 wrote:This solved the cruise control issue. As for starting in gear, I discovered if I pulled in and UP I could engage the switch. So I pulled it all apart again and a close look at the brass bushing around the bolt told me what was wrong. That bushing (which is pressed in and will require replacement of the entire lever) is worn oval, with more than enough play to prevent the lever from reaching the switch! I put three layers of 10 mil PVC plumbing tape on the lever, remounted it, and solved the problem for the moment! I'll order a lever during my next round of maintenance.

Thank you so much for the information and assistance. Once again I can be on the road safely and comfortably!


Glad you're up and running. That worn lever will definitely cause that. I clean and lubricate the pivots in the levers each year with some light lithium grease to try to prevent that from happening.

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby texwing » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:04 pm

My first post here, first thanks to all for the valuable information.
This easy job had a small obstacle for me - when I took the lever off to replace the bushing (also in hopes in might engage my cruise control) I found that the whole push rod came out with the lever. I cannot get that thing out! It apparently has been in there since 1988??? Is there a safe solution to soak this in to get that push rod out of the lever so I can proceed with this "simple" job? Any ideas much appreciated. :?:
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby MasterDaniel904 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:54 pm

Honestly, I discovered how critical all the tolerances are here. For about $50 you could replace the grip, bushing, push rod, boot, etc. a piece at a time, or just order the whole piston set for $40 and the grip and bushing for $30. Less expensive than a new tire, and will last you another 25 years!
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m2102
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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby m2102 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:00 pm

first welcome to the forum. you mite try some CRC cleaner, PB blaster, wd40 or penetrating oil. really anything that will help loosen it up. once out clean it out as best as you can and like WingAdmin suggested put a little lithium grease on it to help prevent it happening again. good luck. let us know how it goes

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Re: How to replace your clutch lever bushing

Postby texwing » Fri May 01, 2015 10:40 pm

Thanks for the replies...been hitting it with WD40, no luck so far. Looked at the Partzilla schematic, makes sense to replace those old parts. Especially if it will get the cruise up and running again. (Same problem as others have posted, cruise light comes ON, but will not set.)
Guess this will be my next project. Thanks again to all.


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