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Motorcycle Repair/Clutch Engagement


2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic
History: Replaced clutch plates and discs 2 yrs ago. Recently began engaging harshly, would jerk violently when releasing clutch handle and sometimes wouldn't engage at all. Disassembled clutch and found clutch nut had loosened and back off which ruined the torque washers. Replaced these items and reassembled. Clutch operated correctly in that it engages and releasee as it should.
Problem: The distance the clutch lever travels in the "Friction Zone" is less than .25" and the engagement is very solid. I disassembled the clutch again and checked each component thoroughly. The only questionable part is the Clutch Housing Comp(ensator)??? (Name of part in parts diagram/ exploded view). The springs( 5 or 6) in this component are collapsed to the point they have about .25" play when you move(left to right) the clutch basket portion of the component. Could this be causing the very thin friction zone as well as the solid lock up I'm feeling?
Thank you for your time.

Dave Morris

Clutch exploded view
Clutch exploded view  
Hello Dave,

Could you please, take a couple of pictures of the clutch housing (I don't remember what "Comp" stands for, but it prescribes an assembly that can/should not be disassembled), both sides and upload it, so I can see for myself?

Anyway, the freeplay you mention, should not cause these symptoms.
A common mistake is to loose/misplace a washer that goes in the clutch operating plate (washer P/N:92022-1463, red arrow in picture) which leads to reduced clutch level travel.

Due to the Back-Torque-Limiter system, the clutch of your bike is too complicated to describe in words, without you having the service manual in hand.

Also, you need special tools, to properly tighten the clutch hub, which is mandatory for trouble-free operation.

I'm more than willing to help you anyway I can, but you need to find/download the manual.
(I am not allowed to upload, and I'm strictly controlled on what I do upload).

Best Regards,

Motorcycle Repair

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Lazaros Ampatzidis


I can help you on EVERY issue involving POST-1980 Japanese Motorcycles plus KTM and Husaberg. My field of expertise includes Engine, Transmission, Fuel system (carburation & EFI),Electrics and Electronics. Maintenance, repair and tuning. Road and off-road suspension tuning. Please don't ask me about non-Japanese Motorcycle, especially American built on which I have low to zero experience.


I'm a rider and hobbyist since childhood. 25 years motorcycle workshop mechanic.15 years motorcycle racing mechanic. In order of experience high to low:Kawasaki,Suzuki,Honda,Yamaha,KTM,Husaberg.

Hellenic (Greek) Technical School.Internal Combustion Engines Engineer. Automotive Electronics.

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