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Motorcycle Repair/77 Honda xl350


My bike won't kick over and my clutch won't engage appears to be stuck it has good compresion and already cleaned carburetor why won't it kick over and what's with my clutch

GEO, do you mean that the clutch won't disengage?

If the bike won't "kick over" how can you tell that it has good compression?

Do you mean "won't kick over," as in it won't start or won't turn over?

Sorry, your question is somewhat vague, so I am having to read between the lines.

Best guess answers to your question are:

If you have 150+ psi compression after adjusting the valves and a clean carburetor, then the ignition point contact faces need to be cleaned, then adjusted so that they maximum gap is about .014-.016" and then the backing plate moved so that the points just OPEN at the F mark alignment on the rotor. Put in a fresh spark plug. If you have intermittent spark, the condenser may be failing. Check spark plug cap for excess resistance... resistor caps have 5k ohms.

If the clutch is hard and not disengaging then the clutch cover has to come off so you can get the plates unstuck. When bikes sit for years, the oil squeezes out between the plates and they get glued together. Peel them apart, lightly sand the friction plates, put the steel plates on a wire wheel to get the rust/friction material off and then check them to be sure that they are all very flat. Warped plates will cause clutch disengagement issues.

If your clutch lever is soft and the clutch isn't engaging, then the plates may be fried, requiring a fresh set of friction disks, steel plates and perhaps springs. So, in either case, the clutch cover needs to come off for inspection and repairs. Plan on new gaskets, seals for wherever you work on.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Bill Silver

Motorcycle Repair

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Bill Silver


Need help with vintage Hondas from the 1960s? I am an expert with 250-305cc bikes in particular and most all of the other pre-91 models, in general. I do NOT claim to have a great deal of experience on Gold Wings, Cruisers, ATC/ATVs and dirt bikes.


I have owned/ridden/maintained Honda motorcycles for 35 years. I have written five books on Honda repairs and collecting. I was a service manager for two Honda shops back in the 1980s.

VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club) of North America

VJMC newsletter, as editor for two years and as contributing editor currently.

3 years auto shop in high school, teacher's aide in Automotive Technology in Jr. College, Diesel mechanic course in college, self-taught mechanic and automotive writer.

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