Clutch problem just appeared

Good afternoon learned collective.

I have a clutch problem that has just manifested itself.

I finally rode it last weekend. All was good except for a screeching speedo.

I’ve finally had time to look at it, found the fault and rebuilt it.

I then attempted to ride it and see if the screech had gone.

Now to the issue.

I replaced the clutch master cylinder with one I’d rebuilt. It was fully bled and worked perfectly on the test ride on which the screeching speedo was discovered.

On attempting to ride it just now, the bike lurches forwards, killing the engine, when the clutch is disengaged and first gear is selected.

Cranking the starter results in it being dragged forwards with the clutch lever held in.

It has done this several times today, indeed every time, suggesting that the clutch isn’t disengaging.

Given that all was fine a week ago when it was last ridden, there’s fluid in the system, it’s been bled and it was working fine, and I can hear the clutch plates actuating when the lever’s squeezed, I’m at a loss regarding where to start fault finding.

I heard a sort of “twang” noise after I started it, before trying to put it in gear. I don’t know if that’s significant.

Any ideas what’s happened?

As side info it was parked for the last week on the side stand, if that makes any difference.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

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Mine did this last year after not being used for a couple of weeks and I had to remove clutch case and disassemble the clutch and clean the plates though you may get away with removing cover and pulling lever then prising the plates apart with a screwdriver though I would recommend giving it a full clean if you can.

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Thanks, Gary.

It’s a new clutch, all was well with it. I then changed the master cylinder for one I’d refurbished. Post cylinder replacement all was good.

Now a week later, it’s dragging.

Is it plausible that the clutch itself could be the fault? I can hear it actuating, but can’t confirm if it’s actuating far enough.

I’m beginning to think that the master cylinder is the issue, everything else is unaltered since the clutch was replaced less than 500 miles ago.

The master cylinders can give problems and the system can be very difficult to bleed correctly, I’ve removed the entire master and slave cylinders plus hose from the bike and bled it when it was off so I could raise the slave above the master because it would not bleed. I now use a flexible hose instead of the solid pipe so it is easier to get slave above master so air bubbles are easier to get out.

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Out of interest,was it your Aussie mechanic that fitted the clutch?
I have had one clutch that wouldn’t disengage and one of the driven plates had got jammed between the two clutch centres(incorrect assembly)

No, the clutch was fitted by an Aussie Honda dealer. It was all fine out there.

The eejit that fecked it up was the guy who did the refurb on the paintwork. He didn’t touch the engine other than to paint the covers.

I changed the clutch master cylinder with one I’d overhauled. I’m beginning to think the replacement master cylinder is the problem.

It bled ok, and was working perfectly last week. Now the clutch won’t disengage, so, as nothing else has been disturbed I’m beginning to think it’s a hydraulic, rather than clutch, problem.

By the way, it was an EBC clutch, and the steel plates were also replaced.

Hi if you heard a “twang” then I would suggest that something mechanical has let go.
If it was me I would check all the mechanicals before something else gets destroyed. Do you use a special MC oil with no additives that could stick the clutch plates together? Once all the mechanicals are right then do what garyb suggested and bleed the clutch. No point bleeding the clutch if it is mechanical and it could save you more damage and cost.

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Thanks, John.

I’ve not had a chance to get out to the garage to start the trouble shooting process yet, but:

The “twang” was definitely spring related. It sounded like it came from under the bike somewhere. It didn’t sound like it was muffled by a casing, so I’m doubtful if it’s the clutch itself. Early days in the investigation, though.

Thinking about it, my mate (with whom I planned to go for a ride) is adamant that the twang sound was coincident with putting it onto the centre stand before it was even started. That would make sense.

That’s an area that needs to be checked before I rip the clutch cover off, I think.


After much bleeding and swearing, using various methods and with varying degrees of success, the clutch is now working perfectly.

There wasn’t any evidence of bubbles in the tubing using any of the methods, so your guess is as good as mine as to what the problem actually was.

Thanks for your assistance, all.