Strange clutch problem

Wendell Crain wendell_crain at
Wed Jul 1 14:00:16 PDT 2009

I had this happen at the last round of racing. Went up for practice on Saturday. Took the bike out of the trailer and got it through inspection. Walked it back to the trailer and then was going to take it pit lane. Started it, waited for it to warm up, pulled in clutch and thought I had lost my mind or my grip. Looked at the cable. Tried to start it with the clutch in, but no joy. Walked it to pit lane. Went through the clutch adjustment and waited for the start of practice. Rode in practice for 15-20 minutes. Then coming down pit lane pulled the clutch in. I could tell that it hadn't disengaged. Tried to find neutral, but wasn't lucky. Ended up hitting the kill switch. Went through the clutch adjustment again. Rode in the next round of practice for 10 minutes, it behaved normally. Tried one more round of practice and put the bike up thinking my clutch plates were going to go and I had no spares with me. Next morning, did two 5 minute rounds of practice and had no issues. I then had a major get-off in the first race, so the clutch was no longer an issue. :(

> Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 13:01:41 -0700
> From: js at
> To: sv650 at; sv-dl-riders at
> Subject: Strange clutch problem
> Hi, guys -
> Last summer on a 3 day ride we had an odd problem first thing in the morning of 
> the second day.
> Ravi's SV 650 had a stuck clutch, just like a British bike. I've never seen this 
> before in a Japanese bike. After starting it in neutral and pulling in the 
> clutch, it wouldn't disengage. Just like my BSA. It had just been sitting overnight.
> I tried to break it loose by pulling in the clutch in second gear and cranking 
> the starter, but no good - the starter just pushed the bike across the parking 
> lot. Finally I started the engine in neutral, pulled in the clutch, gritted my 
> teeth and jammed the shift lever into first. Just like I have to do to my BSA.
> It worked, and the clutch behaved normally thereafter. No problem the next 
> morning, no problem since then.
> I want to emphasize that this wasn't a cable or linkage problem - the clutch 
> felt normal when I pulled on the lever. But the plates were stuck together even 
> though the spring pressure was removed.
> In a few days the bike's coming out to my place for a clutch inspection, but I'm 
> not inclined to replace the friction plates in a working clutch on a low-mileage 
> bike. Unless, of course, we find something wrong.
> Anyone else had this problem on an SV? Or any other modern bike?
> Suggestions welcome!

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