Clutch cable broke, lever won't move


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halcombrick
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Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by halcombrick »



Hey guys, I was out on a ride today, about twenty miles from home. My clutch cable breaks at the lever. I think, no big deal, I'll just clamp my vice grips on and shift that way to get home. But no matter how much I pulled I couldn't get the clutch arm to move any. Some say I just need a cable because I can't pull hard enough with vice grips to engage the clutch and that it just takes to much force and I don't have leverage. What do you guys think? It had been giving me a little trouble popping out of gear, but I think that was just my heel toe shifter. Sorry its so long. Thanks guys! Rick.


Rick, 82 GL1100 Interstate
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Corkster52
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Corkster52 »

I saw a guy do a video the other day shifting through the gears without using the clutch for just such occasions. I tried it one time and it worked!
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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Aussie81Interstate »

You can change up and down without using the clutch - the problem is getting the bike into and out of neutral when coming to a stop lol..
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Corkster52
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Corkster52 »

I see your point. That would be pretty tough to do.
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Maz »

Corkster52 wrote:I see your point. That would be pretty tough to do.
It is purely the fact that you have no leverage with Vice grips that prevents you from disengaging the clutch. I'm sure I read one of Wingadmins replies to a similar post and he actually gave figures for the amount of pull required and the amount of leverage given by a standard clutch lever. I'm no geek, but it made interesting reading! :roll:

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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by BlueThunder »

Corkster52 wrote:I saw a guy do a video the other day shifting through the gears without using the clutch for just such occasions. I tried it one time and it worked!
Yes, it works -its called power shifting. Problem is that you risk bending your shift gear forks. If you think changing your clutch was a pain, try splitting the cases to replace the shift forks. :o
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by brettchallenger »

I see your point. That would be pretty tough to do.
Managed it once but that was on a 125cc scooter. Riding through a city was hard, had to jump off at each red traffic light and when it turned green, run pushing the scoot, jump back on when I had some speed and clunk it into first. Hard work on a scooter, impossible I should think on a 'wing.
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by WingAdmin »

Maz wrote:
Corkster52 wrote:I see your point. That would be pretty tough to do.
It is purely the fact that you have no leverage with Vice grips that prevents you from disengaging the clutch. I'm sure I read one of Wingadmins replies to a similar post and he actually gave figures for the amount of pull required and the amount of leverage given by a standard clutch lever. I'm no geek, but it made interesting reading! :roll:

Maz
This was the post: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=33649

I didn't do the math, but I made a rough guesstimate at a 100 lb minimum pull.

Take the force (in pounds) that it takes to pull the clutch lever in normally - usually around 20 lbs for most bikes. Measure the distance the clutch lever moves at the end of the lever, call it 4 inches. Measure the distance that the clutch lever pulls the cable out of the sheath - I'm guessing from remote memory it's about 0.75 inches. Divide the lever end movement by the clutch cable movement, 4 / 0.75 = 5.333. Multiply that by the force to pull in the lever: 5.333 x 20 lbs = 106 lbs. So my wild guess of 100 lbs probably wasn't too far off.
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Corkster52 »

I wasn't meaning to sound like I was in favor of shifting without the clutch, but was just surprised how easily it could be...nothing more.
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halcombrick
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by halcombrick »

Thanks for all the help guys, I'm on the road agsin, with an extra clutch cable in the saddlebag lol.
Rick, 82 GL1100 Interstate
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Solina Dave »

I always carry a spare cable on my '78 GL. It came in handy, many years ago on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but was definitely a challenge for me to change it at the time.
Now I still carry a spare cable in case the shop doesn't have one in stock, but I also have CAA/AAA roadside service to get me home or to a shop somewhere. I've used that service on a couple of occasions. Once again for a broken clutch cable, and once for a flat rear tire. I retain the roadside service for my car anyway, and just pay a bit extra for motorcycle coverage. There's some extra features with the extended coverage, including some financial assistance in long distance transport of a totally disabled bike. But the big one for me is the availability for free transport, up to 200 kms., four times a year if necessary. There's additional charges per km. if it's over 200 kms.
It's very comforting to know that I have that option if I need it. Works for me!

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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by jeffcosmo »

Shifting without a clutch is something that my father taught me when I was learning to drive.
As a semi-truck driver, it was necessary, as those transmissions do not use synchros.
On a motorcycle, it can be done using similar rev-matching, but it is easier with a transmission that uses a face cam to hold gear, rather than a star wheel. Japanese transmissions generally use star wheels, whereas the typical European, Italian, American transmissions use face cams.
Put simply (as if I was not already way beyond simple), it is easily possible to pause between gears with a face cam, and nearly impossible with a star wheel.

And I Have ridden home without a clutch cable, popping into neutral before arriving at the light, and pushing a bit before popping into gear.

Cosmo
Last edited by jeffcosmo on Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jeffcosmo
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by jeffcosmo »

Solina Dave wrote: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:39 am I always carry a spare cable on my '78 GL. It came in handy, many years ago on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but was definitely a challenge for me to change it at the time.
Now I still carry a spare cable in case the shop doesn't have one in stock.

Dave
Enduro riders frequently tape the spare alongside the original clutch cable. Makes routing an already done thing.

Cosmo
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by Overdog »

Solina Dave wrote: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:39 am I always carry a spare cable on my '78 GL. It came in handy, many years ago on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but was definitely a challenge for me to change it at the time.
Now I still carry a spare cable in case the shop doesn't have one in stock, but I also have CAA/AAA roadside service to get me home or to a shop somewhere. I've used that service on a couple of occasions. Once again for a broken clutch cable, and once for a flat rear tire. I retain the roadside service for my car anyway, and just pay a bit extra for motorcycle coverage. There's some extra features with the extended coverage, including some financial assistance in long distance transport of a totally disabled bike. But the big one for me is the availability for free transport, up to 200 kms., four times a year if necessary. There's additional charges per km. if it's over 200 kms.
It's very comforting to know that I have that option if I need it. Works for me!

Dave
Carry a roll of electrical tape as well... Disconnect the old cable from the arm...pull the slack out of the new cable so you have nothing but cable at the top end....tape the new cable to the bottom of the old cable so that there is nothing to snag, then pull the old cable out from the top....new cable is routed exactly the same as the old one...connect the ends and GO
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Re: Clutch cable broke, lever won't move

Post by bellboy40 »

jeffcosmo wrote: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:58 pm snip....
And I Have ridden home without a clutch cable, popping into neutral before arriving at the light, and pushing a bit before popping into gear.

Cosmo
Several years ago a group of us was on a dinner ride. We were about 1 1/2 hours from home. I was riding a 81 Interstate at the time and when we left the restaurant my clutch cable broke. I got on it and dog-paddled it to get it rolling and then shifted into first gear and away we went. You can shift rather smoothly without a clutch. Only problem is when you have to stop. Then you have to find neutral before it quits rolling... not too hard to do after a little practice. On one of the small towns we went through, one of my riding buddies went ahead and blocked traffic at the red light and I just cruised on through without stopping! Good thing the police were not around. We made it back home without any trouble.


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