Clutch not releasing - Clutch lever not soft

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:50 am
Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1987 Goldwing

Clutch not releasing - Clutch lever not soft

Post by nzkobussaaiman@yahoo » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:37 am

Need Help..... My trusted old 87's clutch stopped working after It was standing for 5 months over the winter. The clutch lever is not soft and feels normal (hopefully rules out air in the pipes). The reservoir is also nearly at top level. Is it possible that the clutch plates could have rusted together?

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Don A
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:41 am
Location: Villa Ridge, Illinois
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Clutch not releasing - Clutch lever not soft

Post by Don A » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:50 am

Mine did something similar. Turned out it was the slave cyl. Rebuilt that and the clutch master cyl while I was at it. Works perfect now.

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Re: Clutch not releasing - Clutch lever not soft

Post by thrasherg » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:31 pm

I have had something similar happen on other bikes. The plates can rust and stick together, on other bikes we put the bike into second or third gear, attached a tow rope and pulled the bike with a car. We would get the engine to start as we pulled it along, drop the rope get the engine revs upto 6k RPM and then pull in the clutch lever and apply the rear brake, whilst keeping the throttle open. The act of the rear wheel trying to stop whilst the engine is trying to accelerate, will usually get the clutch plates to let go. Then we would just do a few starts from a standstill in second or third gear to get some heat into the plates and to clean up the surfaces of the plates. A wing is much heavier than a lot of other bikes and there is no easy way to attach a tow rope, so I have no idea how well this might work.

An alternative would be to put the bike on its center stand, put it in third gear, pull the clutch lever in and start the engine, the rear wheel will obviously turn. Then once the engine has started, rev it up a bit and try applying the rear brake (whilst the clutch lever is pulled in) and see if the plates will let go.. Much safer than the way we used to do it.. :D


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