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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have an '84 VT700C with a clutch problem, here are the symptoms I have noticed...

1. I usually start it in N to let it warm up before I ride, in the last month or so it has started slipping out of N and lurching the bike forward when I start it, this seems to be 50/50 (sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn't).

2. If I pull the clutch lever in and go from N to 1st there is a loud CLUNK and the bike slightly lurches forward but just a little.

3. If I pull the clutch lever in and slowly press the shift lever down to go from N to 1st it chatters and you can feel parts rubbing against each other and not wanting to smoothly mesh together.

4. Clutch fluid is turning brown, while this does need to be changed I don't think it is causing the problem.

5. Shift lever is very hard to shift when the engine is cold, once I have ridden a few miles it loosens up but is still hard to shift to the point where I have started kicking it with the back of my heel instead of crushing my toes.

6. Bike will sometimes not come out of gear unless I roll it forward a foot or two then it will come out of gear, this is rare and had only happened a few times.

Bike history:

Bought it in November of 2006, despite the cold Pacific NW weather I have been riding it when it is not raining (yeah I know, haha) and when it is above 34 degrees (F). Previous owner had it for 20 years he always kept it garaged and never rode in bad weather. Bike is in really good shape for its age, according to some info written in the owner's manual it started life in Irvine California.

Currently has 41k miles.

Oil and filter were changed in the middle of March using 10W40 motorcycle oil, both were purchased from a Honda Parts Dept. Oil seal for shifter was replaced as well (was dripping on the exhaust pipe).

Have had no other mechanical problems with it aside from the front brakes squeeking.

I am assuming that either something is stuck together or something needs adjusting, any suggestions?
 

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VT700 CLUTCH

THESE BIKES USE A DIAPHRAGM CLUTCH SPRING WHICH IS MARGINAL AND WAS EVENTUALLY REPLACED WITH CONVENTIONAL SPRINGS. UNDOUBTEDLY, YOUR CLUTCH PLATES ARE WORN, WHICH IS WHY YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS PUTTING IN GEAR. IF I REMEMBER MY 86 VT700 CORRECTLY , IT HAD A FULLY HYDRAULIC SYSTEM BUT YOU COULD MAKE SOME WEAR ADJUSTMENTS ON THE SCREW IN THE INSPECTION COVER ON RH SIDE OF CASES.
REPLACE THE WEAR PLATES AND CAREFULLY INSPECT THE SPRING FOR WEAR AROUND THE CENTER OPENING. IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE REPLACE ANYWAY, DUE TO AGE.
 

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1. I haven't had this happen to me before, but I've found that if you shift into neutral and roll the bike back and forth a few feet then let the clutch handle out you will not get a false neutral. The couple of times I have gotten them it has always fallen into gear within a foot or two of being pushed.

2. My gearbox is clunky any time I shift into 1st too. It lurches a bit when cold, which I hear is because the oil has been squeezed out of the plates while it has been sitting. It's much less noticeable after riding.

3. This happens to me too occassionally. It's like the gear just bounce off of each other. I don't have enough experience to say if it's normal or not. It's seems to do it less if I shift more deliberately. I wonder about this too, and I'll add that I was out the other day and found neutral in between gears 5 and 6! The engine just revved on me till I hit the shifter again. It may have been too gentle a shift, but it raised my eyebrow.

4. Probably should be changed, but probably not causing the problems. Just make sure the line is bled.

5. Again, my bike is the same way. I haven't had to kick it ever, but the colder it is the stickier those first two shifts are. I've ridden below freezing too and I know exactly what you're talking about.

6. This is pretty normal, they even teach you in the MSF course that you may need to roll the bike to get into neutral. This might tell you that you need to roll the bike a bit to help with number 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies from both of you...

I think I am just going to leave the bike alone except for changing the clutch fluid, apparently the bike is acting normal I just need to get used to its little quirks.

I forgot to mention it but I also found neutral between 5th and 6th gears the other day, I was kind of stunned and didn't see the N light on, kicked it again and she took off. I think I did the same thing and just didn't shift hard enough to full engage the gears, so apparently there isn't that much difference between the 1984 and 85 VT700C's.

One other thing is that the clutch lever engages the clutch about an inch away from the hand grip, from reading some other postings apparently this is normal as well and there is nothing to do about it.

I don't think the friction plates are slipping, once it is in gear it is fine, she has no problems going fast, above 70 degrees (F) when the fuel is vaporizing really nicely she puts out a lot more power than she does when it is cold and is hard to control at times so I just have to remember not to throttle as much when it is really warm outside.


Thanks again.

-Landon


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool, good to know, Thanks!

Well, I couldn't leave the bike alone and decided to repaint all the plastic trim pieces, they are all starting to get that dull black oxidized look to them.

I can't decide if I want to remove the left hand /choke/turn signal/horn switch/ housing and repaint it or just clear coat it, it is starting to turn whitish/black and looks really bad, I don't want to cover up the lettering but as it is it is barely readable anyway. I was thinking of going with semi-flat black.
 

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The left hand switch housing...is it plastic? if so, you may be able to get it back to standard by keeping it soaked for an hour or so in car interior reviver. In aus, we have a product called Armour-All, i have found some switches in my old car have come up quite well after keeping them wet with something like this for a while. You wont be able to paint it after though, it leaves a protective oily coating on the plastic- you would need to remove this with mineral turps or similar to paint it if this does not work.
Quote: 4. Clutch fluid is turning brown, while this does need to be changed I don't think it is causing the problem.

Do they have a separate gear box? I thought all Jap bikes shared engine oil?
Hope this helps

Nice ride by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi,

Yes we have Armour-All here too, I use it on my car and on the seat for the Shadow, makes it look quite nice, I'll give it a try on the switch housing (yes it is plastic).

Thanks for the compliment!



-Landon
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I talked to the Service Dept. at one of the Honda Dealers here in Portland, they said that it clunking and/or chattering while shifting out of N is not normal although he has seen other bikes do it before, but they don't work on anything older than 1990.

There is another Honda dealer in town that does work on the older bikes, I'm going to talk to them tomorrow for their spin on it, I need to drop by there to pick up a light bulb for the speedo anyway.


-Landon
 
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