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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

Glad to have found this active community with lots of interesting discussions.

I create this post since I am having an issue with my clutch. Since a few days, it has been almost impossible for me to find neutral when when stopped at trafic lights. The foot lever is way too stiff. The only way I can find neutral is with the motorcycle still at 7-8km/h before stopping of when switching the engine off.

I began documenting on the internet and understood that this is a symptom of clutch drag and a possible solution to the problem could be clutch adjustment.
I tried to decrease the amount of free play thanks too the adjuster next to the hand lever but this did not solve my problem - even with no free play at all I cannot find neutral.

Here comes my first question :
1) there is clearly a change on free play when adjusting the clutch. However, the "freeplay zone" is quite stiff (and I am pretty sure it has always been). Is it normal ?

I also noticed (this could be an older problem that I haven't noticed before - I am totally new to mechanics :) ) that when cold, my bike tends to pull forward in 1st even though my clutch lever is totally pulled. This problem however disappears after a few minutes.
Apart from that, my gear box is smooth when riding.

Before taking it to a Ducati specialist I am planning to change oil since I read that bad oil can be a cause for clutch problems.
Current oil has been changed 6 months ago for the annual service and I have driven for 3000kms since then with a 2 month break.
I have checked the kind of oil that the mechanic put and its Yamalube 4T FS 15W50. According to what I found on the internet, this oil does not satisfy the minimum recommandation since it is API SG instead of SM (the mechanic however is an official Ducati retailer :mad:)

So here comes my second question :
2) Is there any chance that my problems can be solved by using a better oil ? What could be the effect of having API SG instead of SM ? Could this oil really damage my engine and clutch ?

Thank you in advance for reading this (long) message !
 

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Question 1. Decreasing the free play in the cable will tend to increase the amount of clutch drag not decrease it. Get your mechanic to do the adjusting don't fiddle if you do not know what you are doing.
Question 2. The oil may make a small difference but won’t magically cure the issue.

When you are stopped with the engine running and can’t find neutral try this.
Grab a handful of front brake.
Let the clutch lever out slowly until the clutch tries to disengage and the bike wants to move forward.
Pull the clutch lever in again
Move the gear lever into neutral.

it is common on motorcycle gearboxes for the gears to not mesh correctly when coming to a stat still thus making it difficult to find neutral. This is not a Ducati issue. This happens on all brands from time to time. The procedure I described above puts things back in line and should allow you to find neutral it is a standard procedure to follow on motorcycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot for your response K1W1 !

About my first question :
Thank you for correcting me :), this shows how bad my knowings are ahah.
I really understood that not enough free play could cause clutch slipping. And, since I understood that slipping and draging are opposite effects, it would be a good idea to decrease free play.

About neutral :
I'll try this solution tomorrow. Hopefully it works !
I'll keep you posted.
 

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Too little clutch free play will cause a clutch to slip (i.e., no free play is like pulling in the clutch slightly while riding, which causes slippage). Too much free play causes clutch drag (i.e., you can't pull the clutch far enough due to too much free play which means your clutch is still dragging/grabbing a bit).

As for not finding neutral, well that is common on many motorcycles and not a problem at all for others. Some brands/models are more prone to this than others. I usually find neutral while still rolling a bit on all 5 of my motorcycles (three brands), but sometimes you have no choice but to play the neutral dance at a stoplight.

Fun fact: If you play the neutral dance at a stoplight, the light will turn green faster!

-0260
 

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I increased my clutch free play there is a gap of 5mm between the cable and lever, this improved the clutch drag issue but it did not solve it completely. I had similar issues with my scrambler icon 800 (2015), when the engine is cold the bike tends to move forward after engaging 1s gear and this issue disappears when the engine is hot.

I have clocked around 27k kms in my scrambler and the Ducati mechanic says I need to replace my clutch plates and basket. I use my bike more in the city, this might be the reason but still I have used other bikes before like my honda I never had to replace my clutch and I clocked around 75k on it.

Early clutch wear out, seems to be a known issue for scramblers as per other discussion threads in this forum (you may search with the keyword 'Clutch') hopefully you should find some answers here. Its better to take care of your clutch, replacing costs you a bomb!

Refer article- Clutch adjustment how-to (800 Scrambler)
 

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I increased my clutch free play there is a gap of 5mm between the cable and lever, this improved the clutch drag issue but it did not solve it completely. I had similar issues with my scrambler icon 800 (2015), when the engine is cold the bike tends to move forward after engaging 1s gear and this issue disappears when the engine is hot.

I have clocked around 27k kms in my scrambler and the Ducati mechanic says I need to replace my clutch plates and basket. I use my bike more in the city, this might be the reason but still I have used other bikes before like my honda I never had to replace my clutch and I clocked around 75k on it.

Early clutch wear out, seems to be a known issue for scramblers as per other discussion threads in this forum (you may search with the keyword 'Clutch') hopefully you should find some answers here. Its better to take care of your clutch, replacing costs you a bomb!

Refer article- Clutch adjustment how-to (800 Scrambler)
A motorcycle clutch lifespan is directly related to how it is used and maintained. You can burn out a clutch after a few miles of burnouts or a few thousand miles of riding with poor adjustments. The incorrect oil can toast a clutch too. I never worry about my clutches in motorcycles since they are relatively easy to change and not that expensive. I do lots of clutch wheelies and I slip the clutch often when backing into corners or just wiggling the rear end coming to a quick stop for fun. The slipper clutch does its fair share of slipping for me too. Note that although I don't worry about my clutches, I do adjust them properly. I just don't worry about abusing them or replacing them after a few thousand miles (anywhere less than 10K).

Grabby clutches when the engine is cold is usually a thick oil issue. Once the oil warms up, it is thin enough that the clutch plates can push it out of the way instead of getting dragged by its thickness. It can also be caused by some plates being reversed and getting hung on other plates until they warm up. Air in the hydraulic clutch line can also cause a grabby clutch.

My XDiavel had a nice clutch when it was stock, but I changed out the clutch slave to a larger Oberon to help with sitting at long red lights (since neutral is in witness protection sometimes). Since the clutch slave change, the clutch on my XD is crazy grabby when cold, which can give you a fright considering the 170+ HP and 100+ torque (race pipe and remapped) makes even parking lot clutch grabs feel like you used the red DPL button (Ducati Power Launch), LOL. I live with it and it goes away within a few blocks of using the clutch with warm oil.

My clutches are ready to be changed by 8-10K miles, and I'm fine with that. They serve their purpose of launching me and slipping my way into corners. My Honda Grom needs a new clutch and only has about 2500 miles on it. I am good with that too since it is my abuse bike. I have had other bikes that ran their clutches until I sold them (18K, maybe), but the fun ones get more abuse and put more smiles on my face.

Summary: Clutches are wear items. Use them the way you want and pay the price of admission (which really isn't that much on a motorcycle).

Funny:

-0260
 
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