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Old 29-06-17, 01:03 PM   #1
Jayneflakes
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Default Clutch advice

Hello Darlings, I am after some advice in regards the clutch on my bike. There are no problems with it, it is silky smooth and works perfectly.

Me on the other hand, not so great! Arthritis is ruining my fingers, particularly on my left hand making using the clutch very painful, even on the soft clutch of the SV. My partners ZRX is now unridable for me because I cannot pull the clutch lever in.

I still run a full length lever, albeit one from our old friend at The Two Wheels and it is adjusted as well as it can be, but pain is making using it difficult to use. So I am now looking for an alternative.

The two options I am looking at are as follows. Hydraulic clutch conversion or the removal of clutch lever altogether.

The Hydraulic Clutch Conversion. This has been suggested to me as a possible way to make the lever movement easier on my left hand, but I have no idea what make is good or even if it will work. Can any of you suggest a good system that will work on my K3? I am not afraid of complicated jobs, I am mechanically capable and my other half is a former motorbike mechanic so can do the jobs I struggle with. I don't want cheap Chinese rubbish that will fail after a month of not riding, so it will have to be fairly resilient. It will also need to be able to run maybe a two or preferably three finger lever that is adjustable for an old bag with the twisted, crooked fingers of an eighty year old!

The other option I am thinking of is a little more complicated. Removing the gear linkage and replacing it with an air/electronic shifter and then making the gear lever into a clutch. I would still have the clutch for slow speed control and the like, but will be able to shift up and down using my thumb on a couple of buttons. Have any of you heard of or can recommend a system that works like this?

Cost will have to be a factor into what ever system I can make work for me, although my wonderful (yes, really) Mother in Law has offered to pay for it if we can find the right bits.

Medically, the GP is out of ideas and I have been through the pain clinic, but they just want to help me with counselling to help me come to terms with giving up bikes in favour of knitting and then surviving prison, as a result of the murder of medical professionals by knitting needles shoved up the their back passage!

I know that some of you gorgeous people have been down this path yourselves, so you are likely to have some great input. As for my bike, it is now so heavily modified, I could not bare to part with it, even if I end up not able to ride her anymore. I am very aware that the future holds for me the prospects of autoscooters and a life devoid of cool SV fun, but I am not there yet. To this end, I am currently experimenting with capsaicin cream on my fingers, but after putting that on my hands, I cannot even wipe my foo after a wee with out it stinging like I am sat on fire ants!
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Old 29-06-17, 01:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Clutch advice

Have you considered a DCT bike? You could pick up a 2013 Honda 700 DCT for about 4000 with no worries about having a heavily modified SV that few people could service.
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Old 29-06-17, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Clutch advice

A hydraulic clutch conversion may help, Venhill (Dorking Surrey IIRC) do them. However, you may want to ride a bike with an equivalent hydraulic clutch to see if the improvement is worth it.

The other thing you could do is change the lever ratio, make the clutch disengage less for the same lever movement. This could be done with a cable based ratio adaptor (old school MX bikes used to use them), or a longer lever on the clutch release mechanism. Both easier to achieve than your suggestions.

I don't think a foot operated clutch would be very usable, and certainly difficult to achieve mechanically.

How about a different bike, with a hydraulic clutch as standard? The Hayabusa has an exceptionally light clutch.
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Old 29-06-17, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Clutch advice

...that is an extremely different ride...

...they do have a light clutch, and if you are respectful, they are easy and forgiving to ride, for such a powerful heavy machine, but not at all lighthearted like the SV650...

...they can actually can make speed a bit boring...one may find one's self at 100mph quite by accident...

...unfortunately, all the laws physics still apply...
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Old 29-06-17, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Clutch advice

hydraulic clutches are a little easier but not by much as they still use the same worm gear. to make a hydraulic clutch easier it needs to be servo assisted like a car.

if you know a very good alloy welder (or use mechanically tapped and threaded bar) you could get the lever made longer and move the perch further down the bar. this will give longer lever ratio so easier to pull.

the routing and type of clutch cable make a huge difference, the less the inner is rubbing on the outer the less friction is needed, a straight cable (without the bent ferrule) routed properly should be easier to pull.

do some research on disabled trike mods, they might have an answer.
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Old 29-06-17, 02:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Clutch advice

Maybe it's a Silver K3 thing but my clutch is anything but light. I think I have arthritis on my left hand now caused by commuting on it. Still painful even tho I've been off it for over 3 weeks.
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Old 29-06-17, 04:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Clutch advice

Sorry, didn't mean to imply a Busa is in any way similar to an SV650.

My point was, clutches can be very light on bikes, the Busa has a spring assistance which really works. I am sure there will be other bikes with equally light clutches. The OP may find it better to just change bikes, rather than big mods to an SV650.

But yes, a Busa is surprisingly easy and light to ride, it is a joy in traffic (except for its width), the weight really does disappear. Conversely, it makes 100mph feel like 50, they are so damn fast and comfortable.
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Old 29-06-17, 05:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Clutch advice

Apparently there are normal clutches and a couple of other types, slipper clutches (designed to limit engine braking and stop rear tyre skidding, these have ramps that lift plates against normal spring pressure to limit friction when clutch is being driven the wrong way ) and slip assist clutches which have lighter springs and lever action but have 'ramps' within clutch mechanism that increase the pressure on plates when accelerating ( when engine is driving clutch ).
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Last edited by SV650rules; 29-06-17 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 29-06-17, 08:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Clutch advice

Slipper clutches aren't 'clutches' in the context of this conversation. As in, they don't replace your clutch.
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Old 29-06-17, 09:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Clutch advice

Bikes I've ridden with hydraulic clutches weren't noticeably lighter than cable. Bibio, they don't use the worm gear, they just have a slave piston that acts on the pushrod - the ones I've seen anyway.
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