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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
I was out for a ride a week ago and began to notice I wasn't getting the acceleration or top speed that I used to, especially going uphill. Friday I took it for another ride and it was definitely a little worse but was able to still hit 65. when I tried to take it out yesterday I wasn't able to get it above 30 and it was pretty much useless. I nursed it back home for about 30 min at 20 mph with as little acceleration, deceleration, shifting as possible.

From what I've read it sounds like a clutch problem but before I start ordering parts I wanted to see if there's anything else I could try.

There is a little play in the clutch cable before it stiffens and everything felt pretty smooth up to now.

I did start taking the bike to work. I live in NYC so there's definitely a lot of start/stop more recently.

I had a small drop on some gravel the end of last summer on the clutch/shift of the bike that snapped a mirror off but it seemed to ride well.

Lastly, I could use an oil change but it's not that overdue. I figure I'll change it with whatever other work I might need to do to solve this issue.

Thanks in advance for any tips or advice.
-FullumFest
 

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If the engine revs but speed doesn't increase, especially in the higher gears, more than likely, it's the clutch.
 

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Adjust it so there is a 1/8" gap between the lever and the perch, and then see what happens. That much clearance means there is no possibility of the cable being to tight. If it still does it, you need to replace some clutch parts. However, I would pull the cover off before ordering parts. Unless it's been slipping for a long time, the metal plates are probably still ok, and all you need are the friction plates. Check the metal plates for warpage by laying them on a glass surface (I use an old medicine cabinet door) There should be no gaps between the plates and the glass all the way around. If you have a micrometer, check the thickness of the metal plates and compare it to the specs in the service manual. You can get a decent micrometer at Harbor Freight for $10-$12. And remember new friction plates (the brown fiber ones) need to be soaked in oil overnight before installation.
 

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concur, double check you have 1/4-1/2 inch of play in the clutch lever where you only feel the return spring before the cam makes contact and starts pushing the clutch open. (is cable binding up somewhere and not going slack like it should).

How long ago did you last do an oil change and is it possible that "energy conserving additives" oil was accidentally used, or accidentally used to 'top off' the oil? or added as a means of sabotage by an evil-angry-ex?

How many miles on this clutch?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got the bike at around 11k miles and put on another 3.5k since.

To be honest I’ve been a little lazy and it’s been about 1.5k since my last oil change but I’m fairly certain it was not the energy conserving oil. Castrol 03094 GTX 10W-40 Is what I got. It’s been one of those “I’ll do it this weekend” but put it off things and now I’m probably paying the price.

I’m assuming this is the original clutch. The guy I purchased it from said it was the bike his whole family learned on then I did the same so perhaps it’s just been beaten up.

I’ll check the clutch cable again to see that it has that slack you’ve all mentioned. Fingers crossed that’s it. Although pulling the thing apart sounds a lot more fun than anything on the old honey-do list.
 

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Only 1,500 miles between oil changes shouldn't hurt anything
It definitely won't hurt anything, the owners manual calls for 4K mile intervals.
 

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Which IMO is crazy for an air cooled engine with no oil filter. My liquid cooled VN750 has an air filter and the recommended interval is 3,000 miles.

I wonder how long a Rebel engine with 4,000 mile interval oil changes would last.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was seeing people changing their oil at 1000 mile intervals so here I was thinking I was being irresponsible. Good to know.
 

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I change mine every 1,000 miles, but don't recommend going more than 1,500 between changes if possible.

At least one member here put over 100,000 miles on his Rebel, but he changed the oil every 1,250-1,500 miles. For me, it's easy to remember to change it every time the odometer hits another 1,000 miles.
 

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I don't want to start the oil debate again, but I may have some 'possibly' bad news for you...
Castrol 03094 (10W40 GTX) is API SN oil, which 'could probably' cause some clutch issues.
You should use nothing higher than API SJ oil without the energy conserving tag, which doesn't have any of the new API spec additives for energy/fuel/resource conserving that contaminate a clutch...


The conventional wisdom was to avoid "energy conserving" in the bottom of the API donut, but googling this queston for you and I discovered that API SM Energy Conserving labels were discontinued Dec 2016, anything on the shelf that says "API SM energy conserving" was packaged before that date. SM is still allowed, they just don't put the "energy conserving" tag on it anymore ...:surprise:
Under the SN rating the tag 'usually' says "resource conserving" which is even more anti-wear additives than SM was.....


15,000 miles on a clutch is not excessive, but it could be worn out...



I played it safe and bit the bullet to pay extra for oil labeled for 'motorcycles' just in case..SJ still has the plain-jane-without and energy conserving labels allowed...



If you want, you could try changing the oil, working at getting 50 miles of stop and go (lots of clutch), and change it again, on the outside chance it is the oil and on the outside chance that the contamination could be flushed away, or just jump right in and pull the clutch cover....
 
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That's good to know, kryton.

I can tell you from personal experience that once the energy/resource conserving oil gets into the clutch plates, the only solution is new fiber plates. The metal plates should still be good.

Shell Rotella oil does not have energy conserving additives, provides good lubrication, and is cheaper than motorcycle specific oils.
 

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It was an eye-opener that you can't rely on the API donut's bottom part anymore. API SN oil has to be more anti-wear/anti-sludge/anti-deposit than SM was, and API SN+RC has to protect turbochargers/E85 compatible/Emissions control/, not sure I can trust any of it on a wet clutch.
API SM no longer differentiates between energy conserving or not,they stopped licensing that bonus tag Dec 2016.
--AND re-checking API-SJ - I was wrong - the licensing for Energy Conserving for the SJ oil was also pulled Dec 2016, meaning you can't trust that label anymore either...its no longer licensed to allow easy distinguishing between the types...



We are sort of left with SN+RC is guaranteed death for a wet clutch, anything else can be a gamble if it is not labeled specifically for motorcycles. (documented successes noted above excluded while supplies last :wink2:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Welp, it was simply the clutch cable. When I adjusted it worked perfectly. I'll be changing the oil soon too. Thank you all for the info regarding what to look for when purchasing oil since I thought I did my research but obviously not well enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I spoke too soon. was riding with the lady today and the bike began to slip. loosened the cable some more but it didn't improve. Just placed an order for parts and tools:

Bike Bandit
EBC CK Series Clutch Plates
EBC CSK Clutch Spring Kit
Gasket, R. Crankcase Cover
Motion Pro Oil Filter & Clutch Hub Spanner
Clutch Lock Nut 16MM

Amazon
ACDelco ARM602-4 1/2” Digital Torque Adapter (4-147.6 ft-lbs) with Audible Alert
Castrol 06112 POWER 1 4T 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil, 1 Quart Bottle, 6 Pack

I'm currently trying to track down my manual but is there anything I'm missing or tips for getting the job done? I'm hoping it shouldn't be too bad and I'll be back on the road soon. Thanks everyone for your help.
 
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