So can I assume my XR's clutch is toast?

After getting home from an adv meet last Summer I hosed it off after cooling a few hours and of course it wouldn't start. Fast forward to last week when as I'm cleaning out the garage, remorse sets in. So I trace the wires, clean with contact spray and apply liberal amounts of GM silicone where it looks like it might help, and lo and behold the thing fired right up!

So as I'm going through pre-flight I notice that the clutch is so bad I can't get it to roll forward in gear while engaged. After getting out the wrenches and adjusting it to have only the few mm free play at the lever specified it did not improve any and there was zero slack on the adjusting arm into the case. I'm figuring one too many beating sessions trying to compensate for too tall gears so my clutch has gone absent at 5k.

I assume I should just pony up and get a Barnett, but I might go EBC as well depending on price. I'm sure that either choice will be superior to OE in this particular case. I'd drop a tooth but 70 is already using about half a quart of oil every 200 miles ( normal for xrl's) with the poor thing wailing away as is.

So my question would be: Could sitting since last July have caused it at all? This IS a dry sump motor so where the oil might be located at any time is debatable when cold. Still it acts like the springs are sacked not slipping plates and I never smoked it that I know of. Maybe should just pull the thing and measure the springs, plates and steels and figure it out.

If you're out of adjustment at the perch, I'd open the cover up and inspect the frictions and drive plates. If you replace, do everything (frictions, drives (steel), and springs). What year is your XR650L?


IF, IF, IF the issue was caused by the bike sitting, it should resolve when good oil is circulated through the clutch pack.

Yep, that's pretty much what I was thinking. I'll know as soon as I get thickness and condition on the plates and springs. Oh well, just dropped the coin for a nice new EBC Carbon clutch for it as it's going to be my Son's mount for a while.

Just so the search engines might show it, I'll follow this up.

Turns out that I had forgotten that I had switched oils shortly before going on the Rally last Summer and the new oil formulation changed the composition of the plates resulting in progressively worsening clutch action without it affecting the adjustment at the perches or levers. There's a thread from back a few years on TT that describes exactly what happened to mine in terms of progressively worsening clutch action without the usual slippage but in fact less and less dis-engagement as the plates swelled and became basically locked.

And no, I was using SJ spec Moto oil just different brand from what I'd been running for most of it's life prior to this.

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