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"Bearing feel" when release clutch in neutral?

Old 08-17-2013, 12:52 PM
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"Bearing feel" when release clutch in neutral?

My first post, guys. Glad you're maintaining this forum I appreciate all the information.

I am considering a 1998 (well, '97 maybe). It has a few minor issues I'd want to deal with, some sooner than later, but in riding it again today I noticed something I'm concerned about. You guys may know it's totally normal and nothing unusual at all.

I am one of those who arrives at stop light or other "long" stop and pops the bike into neutral. Today, I stopped on this bike (not quite 18,000 miles) which in a general sense seems quite nice and tight and in what I'd call condition approximating what I'd expect with the mileage reading.

However, when I stopped and released the clutch I immediately noticed what I'd call a "bearing feeling" coming from low in the bike, so tranny is my thought. Possibly clutch, but feels heavier than I'd think any clutch malady would indicate, and I didn't notice any coincident sound, just the feel. Maybe the D&D cans had something to do with that!

I have never sat on this kind of bike at all, my history is almost totally in the dirt. The only "road" bike I've purchased is the one I ride today, a 2008 XR650L, so my experience with liter bikes is flat nil.

Is this normal, which I'm doubting. Should I shy totally away?

THANKS in advance for any assistance!

John
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:29 PM
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Bear in mind the clutch is hydraulic. With that milage and the age of the bike it could possibly be the original fluid depending on how well the owner has serviced the bike. What colour was the fluid? if dark it'll need changing and bleeding.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:37 PM
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I don't know about a "bearing feeling" or what exactly you mean by that but the hydraulic clutch does feel a lot different than what you (or I was for that matter) would be used to coming off a bike with a cable clutch.

I'm interested if you could give a little better description as to what you felt though, did you feel it in the lever itself, or in the seat of your pants kind of thing?
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for getting back, guys. It's not the "hydraulic" element of the clutch, that's for sure. I'm pretty familiar with hydraulic clutches from time with my KTM 300 E/XC.

No, this is something down low, beneath the seat, mechanical. I noticed it when I released the clutch, while in neutral, engine running.

It's very much like being beneath a running car which is up on a hoist, engine idling and a guy's sitting in the driver's seat. If he depresses the clutch and the vehicle has much in the way of mileage you'll realize that the mild "transmission noise" you were hearing stops as the tranny gears and bearing quit turning. If he releases the clutch it starts up again.

On this VTR today I couldn't hear anything because of the exhaust and having my helmet on, but I could sure feel it. It felt to me like a bearing was "gall'd", in other words rough instead of smooth. Not like "grinding", but definitely "there."

Wish you guys would check your own bikes a time or two and see if you notice anything like it.

My fear is that I buy this thing and am suddenly faced with split cases and a couple thousand dollars work, right?

Thanks for any help!

John
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:01 PM
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I was out on my bike all morning and all I noticed was the way there is no feel in the hydraulic clutch vs what I could feel in the cable one

I think I know what you mean now though. I had an 01 chevy silverado with a 5spd with 330K on it and the previous owner changed out the pressure plate when it needed it but left the throwout bearing in it (probably because chevy thinks they are made of gold and want $300 just for the throwout bearing ) and it had a clunk to it that you could feel.

Unfortunately I am new to the bike myself and dont know of any quarks in the transmission that it could be. Mine has 33K on it and compared to my poor YZF (that had 60K on it when I let it go) the transmission is A LOT more solid. The YZF600R is pretty well known to eat 2nd and 6th gear. Gear dogs get worn because sloppy shifts from 1st to 2nd are particularly easy on it and it was real easy to grind going into 2nd.

Did you ask the seller if it was possibly an aftermarket clutch? and does it do it only when warm or does it do it when you first start it as well? could just be the oil is thinning and needs replacing. I know too many guys who ride that won't change their oil every 3 months if they don't put a couple thousand miles on it. 500 miles in a few heat cycles in a motorcycle is enough to have it start breaking down and need replacement after those three months (especially if your not running a synthetic)
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:11 PM
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I can help! Mine felt the same until last week...a slight shutter, almost like a torque converter shutter in a car. Change the fluid. Mine was like a watered down coffee color and the shutter went away as soon as the fluid was good again.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:39 PM
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Bearing feel in tranny

Chikinlady, are you saying that you had a "feeling" beneath the seat until you changed the fluid in the hydraulic clutch? That seems amazing. Or, are you referring to a feeling in the clutch lever itself? Hope to hear from you on this.

Insulin....yes, I think you're onto it. Turns out I'd forgotten my sunglasses so I rode my XR back down to pick them up this evening. In fact, the seller told me he'd been thinking about what I was saying and had realized he'd heard his own car making a similar sound when in his garage. He has a very late model Acura with manual transmission. He started it, in neutral, and when he released the clutch the sound of a "rotating transmission" was instantly recognizable.

This is what I'm talking about, but in the VTR I could "feel" it in.....under me.

Actually, in nearly every sense this bike felt very good to me today. Granted, one of the calipers has a seal problem and the outside of the right front rotor is literally wet with fluid, but that's a "maintenance" thing. I can understand and deal with that. What I don't want is a major bill to perform transmission work, right?

Thanks once again to all who comment!

John
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:42 AM
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No noise, just feeling. Clutch lever out it was fine. Pulled in, strong shutter/vibration.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:16 AM
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Ok, thanks for clarification, CL.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:20 PM
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Mine does the same thing. I thought it was the throwout bearing. Not sure if I should worry about it or not. My 5 spd Pathfinder did the same thing for 90k miles and my5 spd Tacoma does the same thing now. When I do the clutch I will replace the throwout bearing and see what happens.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by OldnInTheWoods View Post
My first post, guys. Glad you're maintaining this forum I appreciate all the information.

I am considering a 1998 (well, '97 maybe). It has a few minor issues I'd want to deal with, some sooner than later, but in riding it again today I noticed something I'm concerned about. You guys may know it's totally normal and nothing unusual at all.

I am one of those who arrives at stop light or other "long" stop and pops the bike into neutral. Today, I stopped on this bike (not quite 18,000 miles) which in a general sense seems quite nice and tight and in what I'd call condition approximating what I'd expect with the mileage reading.

However, when I stopped and released the clutch I immediately noticed what I'd call a "bearing feeling" coming from low in the bike, so tranny is my thought. Possibly clutch, but feels heavier than I'd think any clutch malady would indicate, and I didn't notice any coincident sound, just the feel. Maybe the D&D cans had something to do with that!

I have never sat on this kind of bike at all, my history is almost totally in the dirt. The only "road" bike I've purchased is the one I ride today, a 2008 XR650L, so my experience with liter bikes is flat nil.

Is this normal, which I'm doubting. Should I shy totally away?

THANKS in advance for any assistance!

John

All 3 hawks that I have ridden ZX7R have always had a very slight noise/vibration both felt and heard when the clutch is out in neutral. IMO this is probably a normal sound/feeling that you're thinking alittle bit too much about because you're looking to buy the bike.

Best of luck with the purchase.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:09 AM
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Thanks so much for all your replies. In fact, I ended up letting this 1998 go for a number of reasons, but have set up purchase of a 2001. Going to take Amtrak out to a town east of Denver, meet the seller and make sure the bike's what it appears and is represented to be in terms of condition, etc., and if it is ride it the 450 miles home.

Is nearly all stock except for manual CCT's and double-bubble windscreen.

John
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:20 AM
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Hey John my '03 does this
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:17 PM
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My 98 with 33k miles does this. I noticed it most when I first bought it. But I only just remembered that it makes a slight noise almost like a slight vibration feeling with the clutch out. I think its normal.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:09 AM
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My 01 with 22,000 does this as well. Bike running clutch in no noise at all, let clutch out and a clatter/chatter from the trans is noticeable. I think it is fairly normal just the sound of all the gears, plates and bearings spinning as you "engage" the transmission, though it is in neutral things are still spinning inside. A fluid change is a good idea though, i'll be doing that this winter. Good luck
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