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I bled the clutch on my 4 day old 2012 tonight with 500 miles on it. It seemed to shift fine, but I did it anyway. I did not see any visible air come out, though it's hard to tell for sure due to the location of it.

I took it out for a ride afterwards. While it didn't shift bad before, it most certainly shifts better now, in all gears.

I'm starting to think some of the transmission problems folks are having may be a result of the transmission being shifted while it is still slightly loaded, and a clutch with air in it will prevent the clutch plates from fully separating so that the transmission is unloaded when you shift. While I can't say that all the transmission problem are the fault of the clutch, I believe it is a contributing factor and can accelerate wear if it isn't properly maintained.

Another thing to remember is to pull the clutch handle all the way to the bar every time you shift, so you get maximum movement of the clutch slave cylinder, and thus maximum release of the clutch plates. It will also help to set the clutch dial lever to 1, so you get the longest pull distance to the bar.

I'd also advise yearly changing of the clutch fluid and bleeding of the clutch slave cylinder. I believe every new GL1800 owner would be smart to bleed the clutch the day they bring the bike home from the dealer. I wish I hadn't even waited 4 days. Mine now shifts like butter, and I almost can't even feel it drop into the next gear. Its smooth as silk, and now it even shifts better than my Kawasaki, which is saying something.
 

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As always Thanks Fred.
 

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Not that I carry the same weight as you Fred, but I concur completely on the bleed, noticed that myself.

Also on using the full throw on the lever. Even with my short fingers I have moved the lever all the way out which has made a difference in the shift. Of course now I wear out the end of the middle finger of my left glove NOTICEABLY quicker. Bust the seams and punch through it in a couple of months every pair since moving the lever out.
 

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Regarding the difficulty in seeing the air purging from the clutch bleeder. Using the smallest diameter clear plastic tubing that will fit over the bleeder “nipple” helps. Use enough length to allow you to course it upward quite a bit before turning down to the collection bottle. Good bright light on the tubing helps too. But I once had a heck of a time getting that little bubble of air to come out of the bleeder. It was playing “ground hog” with me, or is it bashful turtle? I finally took a tool and tapped the side of the plastic tube close to the bleeder as I released the bleeder and the extra vibes got it float out and up the tube. It certainly does a make a difference, even a tiny bit of air.

prs
 

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I bleed my 08 clutch again the other day also and it helped as usual but I wonder if mother Honda should of gone with a slightly larger bore/piston on the master cylinder even though periodic bleeding will always be required. Wonder what the cc's displaced to cc's required is. Could be border line with good fluid?
 

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Changing Clutch oil

I have a 2002 GL, how do you change the clutch oil on this bike.
Thanks for any help.:bow:
 

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:agree: I have also found the same transmission issues on older bikes where owners don't do maintainence on the clutch lever mechanism.

Wayne
 

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Fred, as you know I lost my transmission and had it rebuilt. I also know that I changed my or drained my clutch every 10,000 miles give or take a thousand miles. My oil changes were done with blended oil every 3500 to 4000 miles. Coolant changes done on schedule and as anal as I am even changed out the air in the tires from summer to winter air (not really).

It does shift a bit better after each fluid change, I did notice the clunking would be less after each oil change.

I will tell you this, since the rebuild I have done one oil change at 1000 miles. The shifting is about the same or nothing that I noticed has changed. Today I down shifted from 5th to 4th while at highway speed and it was nice to let the clutch out watch the revs come up the engine just purrrr. No worries about shifting or feeling like the bike was going to drop out.

Not suggesting that eveyone spends thousands to have gears and engines rebuilt but damn it feels so nice.
 

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:agree: I have also found the same transmission issues on older bikes where owners don't do maintainence on the clutch lever mechanism.


There is NO specified maintenance for the clutch lever system. Not one mention of it in the shop manual, not one mention of t in our HOW TO wiki, and I don't recall any mention in Mr. Harmon's entertainment video's. I have an '02 and have little idea of what procedures (beyond annual cleanding and lubing if pivot screw and bushing) could be needed to my clutch lever mechanism. Perhaps you can describe in a step by step or even do an addition to our HOW TO?

prs
 

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I have a 2002 GL, how do you change the clutch oil on this bike.
Thanks for any help.:bow:
Um.....look at the front lower cowl, the piece that surrounds or is in place for the lower running lights, take it off.
You will see a little black round tin can, unbolt that move it to the side, you can hold it out of the way with a bungee cord.
Behind and up a bit you will see a bleed fitting on the slave cylinder, that is the bleed point.
Get a good vacuum or pressure bleeder and someone to help, hook it all up with the top of the clutch master open, make sure you pack rags around the master in case of a spill, working by oneself I simply very slightly crack the bleed valve, put the pressure bleeder on trigger lock so it pulls a vacuum constantly and stand there and pull fluid by slowly filling the master as the fluid is pulled. Once it runs clear and new you are done, after securing the bleed port, top the master off a bit , button it up and it is good. Just snug on the bleed port, no need to strip it out.

Or you can get someone to help you, hook a section of clear hose to the bleed port and do it manually by pumping the clutch lever.

The important thing is do not let the fluid get low or get below the bottom hole in the master, or ya will have to start all over.

Kit
 

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There is NO specified maintenance for the clutch lever system. Not one mention of it in the shop manual, not one mention of t in our HOW TO wiki, and I don't recall any mention in Mr. Harmon's entertainment video's. I have an '02 and have little idea of what procedures (beyond annual cleanding and lubing if pivot screw and bushing) could be needed to my clutch lever mechanism. Perhaps you can describe in a step by step or even do an addition to our HOW TO?

prs
The annual cleaning and lubing of the pivot screw and (2) bushings is what I was refering to. I had one just last week where the bushing with the side hole for the push rod was worn so bad it had to be replaced. The owner says the bike shifts much better after replacing and greasing those parts. I don't have Freds videos however is cleaning and lubing these parts not listed?

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't have Freds videos however is cleaning and lubing these parts not listed?

Wayne
Yes, I covered both greasing the clutch pivot bushing and pivot bolt and replacing the clutch fluid and bleeding the system in my videos. I believe both should be done annually.
 

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If there is no air, then the only thing that was changed is assembly lube was flushed from the system. Did you see plenty of lube on the rod pushing on the m/c? There is usually plenty of lube there at first.

When pulling an engine, the clutch system has to be rebleed. So the theory doesn't match why some that are repaired under warrentee have reoccuring transmission failure.

You did the right thing by checking stuff like that since your new Wing probably got a "new bike prep" that had the value of a "head nod." Also, remove the back part of the front fender. I come across many that are cracked and that never had a fender extender and often wonder if they are delivered new to us that way.
 

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Yes, I covered both greasing the clutch pivot bushing and pivot bolt and replacing the clutch fluid and bleeding the system in my videos. I believe both should be done annually.
Fred: I agree with you all the way. Grease is still cheaper than replacement parts. I think I will add the clutch flush to my yearly maintainence list.

Wayne
 

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Fred,
What are your thoughts on clutch-less shifting?
Have a '77 R100/7 that was just fine with it, most dirt bikes clutch is only required when a complete stop is needed. Otherwise a quick blip of the throttle to slack the trans and shift
I do know that all trans are not equal, by design some may tolerate and others may not.
I do know that a couple of times moving my foot around on the peg I have indivertibly put downward pressure on the shift level and it drops a gear without hesitation. This was not under load of course, just a steady speed with minimal pressure in the drive train.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Fred,
What are your thoughts on clutch-less shifting?
Have a '77 R100/7 that was just fine with it, most dirt bikes clutch is only required when a complete stop is needed. Otherwise a quick blip of the throttle to slack the trans and shift
I do know that all trans are not equal, by design some may tolerate and others may not.
I do know that a couple of times moving my foot around on the peg I have indivertibly put downward pressure on the shift level and it drops a gear without hesitation. This was not under load of course, just a steady speed with minimal pressure in the drive train.

I think folks who try to shift without using the clutch are asking for transmission problems.
 

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Yes, I covered both greasing the clutch pivot bushing and pivot bolt and replacing the clutch fluid and bleeding the system in my videos. I believe both should be done annually.
I got confused, not unusual. I do recall you showing the cleaning and lubing of the pivot bolt and pivot bushing in the lever; and maybe that is all ET was recommending. I thought there might be some recommended service of the parts beyond the hand lever, the push rod going into the master and some bushing that may be in there. That is were I have not done any service.

PigeonRoost Slim
 

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I think folks who try to shift without using the clutch are asking for transmission problems.
:agree: ... I'm always looking forward to meeting them later on :)
 

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I got confused, not unusual. I do recall you showing the cleaning and lubing of the pivot bolt and pivot bushing in the lever; and maybe that is all ET was recommending. I thought there might be some recommended service of the parts beyond the hand lever, the push rod going into the master and some bushing that may be in there. That is were I have not done any service.

PigeonRoost Slim
Pull the rod out. Check the boot that is sits in, it is usually torn so have one handy. Then lube both ends of the rod with silicone paste, just like the Service Manual says to do. Silicone gel works good too, but the paste is better at least in my climate.
 
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