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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone noticed their clutch being "grabby" when the bike is first cranked? The clutch in my VTX is just as smooth when first cranked or after it's been ridden all day. My XC seems to line out after 10 to 15 minutes of riding, but it is annoying up to that point.

When taking off, it grabs some, then releases a bit, then repeats. The first time I noticed it I actually wondered if the belt/pulleys had become screwed up. It results in lurching when taking off.
 

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Mine's the same.
 

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Is it the clutch or the clutch cable? On mine the clutch "pulses" a little when I first let it out for the day's ride. After that it's good. I've had my clutch cable get grabby and used the Dupont lube to take care of it. Still working great after a couple months so I rekon it's good to go.
 

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Has anyone noticed their clutch being "grabby" when the bike is first cranked? The clutch in my VTX is just as smooth when first cranked or after it's been ridden all day. My XC seems to line out after 10 to 15 minutes of riding, but it is annoying up to that point.

When taking off, it grabs some, then releases a bit, then repeats. The first time I noticed it I actually wondered if the belt/pulleys had become screwed up. It results in lurching when taking off.
My VTX 1800F was also very smooth always. But my 2011 X/C has acted just as yours. I can,t say I notice it any more. I don't know if I just got used to it as being the nature of the bike, or its not doing it anymore. I distinctly remember it when I first got the bike, now I'm going have to get on it in the morning and see if it does it anymore. The only thing thats been changed since I first got the bike is I changed the oil to Amsoil on the 500 mile srevice ( sorry I mentioned the 3 letter word O_L ) but now you got me curious.
 

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My XC does the very same before it gets warmed up. Only 800 miles so not sure if it will go away in time. Once moving it's fine and doesn't seem to happen again.
 

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I noticed the same thing. Just out of curiousity, I tightened the clutch as far as I could just to see if it put more tension on the cable for a smoother release. Still the same problem.
 

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I believe its in the clutch plates. When you come home from a ride the oil and plates are hot. So when every thing cools off there is oil between the plates and its thicker and cause the plates to stick together.
So as you ride the oil heats up and goes away.
In the manual it tells you to start the bike in neutral and hold the brake while putting in gear.
There are some law suites cause riders calmed it jumped into cars. Needless to say no one collected any money cause they did not follow proper starting procedures.
 

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There is very little lash in the drivetrain; if you clutch isn't perfectly adjusted and you start in gear you'll feel a little lurch.

As far as riding goes the clutch will act differently than some bikes because it is a wet clutch. Once the clutch/oil warms up it should go away.
 

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My bike does it as well but just when it's cold. It will hunch, lurch whatever you want to call it when I'm trying to turn around and head up the driveway. Once to operating temps it doesn't do it. I had heavy duty clutches in a bike i built one time and it done this. I would prefer it didn't, it annoyed me to start with but the bike is so damn sweet I've got used to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys.

After a little engineering "think time" I believe I know what the real situation is. Due to the torque and engine displacement, there is a high demand on the clutch to engage and stay that way. There are two ways to accomplish this; one is to have a clutch with a lot of surface area that requires a moderate closure pressure, the other is to have a limited amount of surface area and a high closure pressure. The Vic is the former, the VTX 1800 is the latter. With the VTX, a hydraulic clutch actuation is used in order to deal with the high clutch closure pressure from the springs. The springs are a high rate design, and even so, the VTX clutch is prone to slip. The fix for this is very high rate springs and a clutch disk set that has an even higher coefficient of friction. I had to go this route with mine. The Vic has a little less torque to deal with (not much less, but less), and I'm guessing that there's more surface area in the clutch design that allows for lighter springs and avoids the requirement of a hydraulic clutch actuation. The downside of this set-up is that the oil viscosity (and thereby changes in the viscosity) has a greater effect on operation than does the VTX design.

Of course, the Vic is designed to operate at "steady state" conditions, which includes hot oil, as this is the coolant for the engine. Cold oil is much more viscous (viscous=thick/heavyl) than hot oil. The cold oil on start-up is what is causing the grabbing; as the oil warms up, it becomes "thinner" which allows the clutch to work much smoother.

I'm just going to have to re-do my riding prep. The VTX will foul the spark plugs (there are 4 of them) if you let it idle very long; you crank it and ride it right away. The Vic will have to be cranked and allowed to reach a stable temperature before riding, much like a diesel truck requires.
 

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haven't noticed this a bit....mine is peachy...but i will pay some attention to things in the morning...i start in neutral though and make it a habit to sit a bit to equalize the head temps...as i picked up here and elsewhere....
 

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...The Vic will have to be cranked and allowed to reach a stable temperature before riding, much like a diesel truck requires.
That won't work - You're not supposed to crank it when it's cold (so say the experts), and idling alone won't do it. I am one of the few coo-coo heads around here who warms up the bike for 5 minutes each morning and it still does it. Just as described by the others, it only pulsates for the first few minutes of riding - I notice it as I pull off my driveway - after that it's gone 'till next time I ride it.

haven't noticed this a bit....mine is peachy...but i will pay some attention to things in the morning...i start in neutral though and make it a habit to sit a bit to equalize the head temps...as i picked up here and elsewhere....
If you don't ride super slow (partially engaged clutch) you will never notice it. It's only if you're trying to go super slow - walking pace.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You're not supposed to crank it when it's cold (so say the experts)
I know you didn't mean what you wrote; that would require keeping warming blankets on the engine or an oil heater active in the engine block to keep the engine from becoming "cold" over night, or leaving the engine idling overnight like a Freightliner in a blizzard. :p

I guess it could also be taken to mean that there's no riding the Vic from October through March; that would make a lot of us unhappy. :(
 

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I have never noticed any grabby clutch. Cold or Hot. I ride all winter and start the bike in an unheated garage. When it is below 30* I will let the bike idle for a minute or two before riding. It works fine:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It may have nothing to do with any of this, but I've noticed that the owners of 2011 models are acknowledging a grabby cold start clutch, and the owners of 2010 models are saying that they have no such problem.
 

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It may have nothing to do with any of this, but I've noticed that the owners of 2011 models are acknowledging a grabby cold start clutch, and the owners of 2010 models are saying that they have no such problem.
I think the difference might be if you can crank and go (after warmup) or weather you have to use the clutch a little to turn it around out of a tight spot. If I back my bike in so I can just drive off I don't notice it but if I'm trying to work the bike around with the clutch just by barely engaging thats when I feel it. If I can fully engage it right away I don't notice it.
 

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Mine does it too. Now that I realize this is an issue, I am pissed:D
 

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Sticky clutch.

My 2011 vegas does it also. Only just after start at first ride of day. I usualy pump clutch a few times whislt motor is warming up as i did on other motorcycles to help lubricate but it makes no difference. I at least know that there will be no clutch slipping. Clutch is sort of dry and has not fully lubricated. Realy I have far bigger issues happening with my bike!
 

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My 2011 vegas does it also. Only just after start at first ride of day. I usualy pump clutch a few times whislt motor is warming up as i did on other motorcycles to help lubricate but it makes no difference. I at least know that there will be no clutch slipping. Clutch is sort of dry and has not fully lubricated. Realy I have far bigger issues happening with my bike!
Like what mate?
 
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