Clunky engaging gear with cold engine. 10W40 to 5W40?

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Clunky engaging gear with cold engine. 10W40 to 5W40?

Post by Sadanorakman »

Hi all, I'm in the UK.

When its cold-ish (lets say 6°C, 43°F) My 2000 GL1500 SE gearbox makes hell of a clunk from Neutral to 1st at initial engine start. It's clear there's some clutch drag happening, yet otherwise when warmed for a minute or two, the clutch operates completely normally, and had a slave cylinder overhaul and fresh clutch fluid two years ago. The bike only has 14,400 miles on her from new.

I used to run her for several minutes to warm up, which of course then eases that initial gear engagement, but due to the exhaust fumes I've taken to starting her in 1st with the clutch pulled in, then riding straight off with a cold engine. This works pretty well, but it feels like the starter is now working against a much increased load due to the clutch dragging in cold oil. I don;t want to knacker the starter, or put undue load on the battery (brand new Motobatt)

I need to do an oil change over Christmas, so wondered if it was worth moving from a 10W40 fully Synthetic to a 5W40 fully synthetic to see if that would ease matters, or I think the JASO MA2 spec means for grippier clutch surfaces, so perhaps go for a less grippy non MA2 oil? (NOT an oil with friction modifiers in of course).

What is your experience with initial clutch drag in cold oil?

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Re: Clunky engaging gear with cold engine. 10W40 to 5W40?

Post by tamathumper »

I know what you mean about the fumes. I used to hate warming up the Magna because it ran so rich for the first few minutes and I'd smell like bike exhaust the rest of the day.

It's worth a shot with the 5W, and IIRC the recommendation bands are pretty wide and overlap a lot on the temperature scale.
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Re: Clunky engaging gear with cold engine. 10W40 to 5W40?

Post by Rambozo »

The starter is used for reverse. A little extra oil & clutch load is not going to bother it at all.
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Re: Clunky engaging gear with cold engine. 10W40 to 5W40?

Post by landisr »

Try breaking it free before starting. Put the bike in gear, pull in the clutch lever and rock the bike forward and back. I can't say as I have tried it personally because I'm not experiencing the problem.

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