Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum - Reply to Topic
Thread: Drive train lash anyone? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-05-2019 09:28 PM
SparkyMJ Aha!
We finally have some results!!

I got my clutch basket and new clutch hub in today. Slapped em in and took er for a spin. A couple things I noticed:
-The new clutch basket main gear also moves, just like the old one. It shifts back and forth, and the springs enclosed are also loose. Externally, it looked and felt identical to my old one. I was bummed.
-The ride is smooth(er) than before for sure.

I am fairly certain that the springs on the old basket were worn out. They didn't shrink or otherwise change appearance at all. In fact, the old and new basket look literally identical except for smooth spots where the tangs rub on the basket teeth. If you washed them both off, I would have a hard time determining which was which, for real. Even the amount of play in the springs and between the gear and basket is nearly identical. Made me really nervous when I got the new one...

Anyhow, I can now definitely feel the springs in the gear doing their job. My transmission has inherent lash by design, but also 30k miles of wear on it, and I am confident that now the only "lash" I am feeling is the normal lash of a higher mileage transmission. No knocking sounds anymore either, and the clutch action is butter smooth.

So although this didn't get me back to an OEM tolerance, fit and finish, it is a drastic improvement. Like I said, there is still lash, but no more does it cause the clutch to slip, knock shifting in and out of neutral, or 'buck' the bike when you roll on and off. It now feels just like a slight kick, which I think is just the natural feeling now.

So for anyone in the future experiencing my problem and hopefully finding this thread, replace your clutch basket regularly. The springs wear out and don't change appearance, and ruin the quality of the ride.

Now to take off these stupid lowering links, give her an oil change and a bath, and cleanup the chain and she'll be ready to hit the twisties tomorrow. I'll update how it feels when really getting on it and moving.

Thanks for the advice guys, woulda taken me a while longer to figure this one out without the input.

10-28-2019 09:17 AM
Originally Posted by Kennylxix View Post
The slipper clutch does two things. On deceleration it holds the clutch partially disengaged to prevent rear wheel lockup due to engine braking. On acceleration it increases the clamping force on the clutch plates. This allows for a lighter clutch pull.
It doesn't cause slipping during acceleration.
Exactly, not only does in not cause slipping when torque is applied, it clamps down harder making in even LESS likely to slip under acceleration (this is the 'assist' part of the 'slip-assist clutch'). That's why the 'technical' term for a slipper clutch is a "back-torque limiting clutch" because it limits the back-torque.
10-27-2019 05:40 PM
SparkyMJ Gah, parts will be a few more days before they're available. Bummer. Will keep you all update when I get them in.

10-25-2019 08:08 PM
Kennylxix The slipper clutch does two things. On deceleration it holds the clutch partially disengaged to prevent rear wheel lockup due to engine braking. On acceleration it increases the clamping force on the clutch plates. This allows for a lighter clutch pull.
It doesn't cause slipping during acceleration.
10-25-2019 06:51 PM
SparkyMJ I am pretty sure slipper clutch was only for preventing over engine-braking, it won't prevent dumping the clutch or trying to wheelie. the angled blocks in the hub spread the clutch open when you engine brake too hard, or over downshift was mu understanding.
10-25-2019 06:25 PM
Rogue A slipper clutch is exactly as it sounds - it allows the clutch to slip until the speeds match, where as a regular clutch dumps it into gear and can make for a fairly jerky experience if you're not used to a manual clutch. Since the slipper is designed to slip, there's usually not much indication that something is wrong with the springs until they're gone.

Think of it this way: the splined hub slides up the bearings when you engine brake in order to take some of the torque off the rear tire and causing it to not lose traction. Those are designed to slip. On a regular clutch, when it starts slipping, you notice it right away.

I think replacing your clutch pack is a good place to start. On the Panigale, the clutch plates looked great - hardly any wear. The springs and bearings on the other hand, were completely shot. We bought this bike used a couple of months ago, and while my husband knows the guy we bought it from, we've never actually seen him ride it. The STM clutch only had about 4K miles on it, so no idea how the heck he was riding it that he destroyed those parts so quickly, especially since he's not a track rider. Either way, bike is back together and running great now.
10-25-2019 01:42 PM
SparkyMJ I was naive, guys. But I did find that my actual clutch components were in great working order, the ones that would alter the actual feel of the lever and clutch use. Shoulda done what you all said and just pulled it off, haha.

At the end of the day, even if this wasn't the main cause of the issue (but I am pretty sure it is) then no harm done, it needed to be replaced anyway. So now the whole clutch will be new.
Rogue, its not the 'slipper clutch springs' that are my issue (those are just the normal clutch springs?) I am talking about the springs behind the clutch basket.

I still wonder how literally everyone else experiences this issue as "no change in performance", just noise or catastrophic failure. Why am I experiencing it as lash? I haven't tried squeezing the springs, maybe they are so softened that the torque placed on it by normal engine use just causes the springs to bottom out, which might then result in a hard knock. Everyone else just experiences noise...

Maybe the issue is the springs are worn out, not that there is play in the system. Gah, I am not sure.

More input please, I am feeling confident this will, at the literal worst, make my bike better riding.

10-25-2019 12:55 PM
Rogue If you think the springs going in the slipper clutch on the Ninja 300 is bad, have them completely go on Ducati Panigale 1199 that's had a STM wet to dry conversion done. Not cheap, not fun, and it gave no indication at all that it was going until it was time to upshift and nothing other than drifting to the side of the road and a tow home. Fun stuff... not really.
10-25-2019 10:37 AM
Kennylxix 30 years turning wrenches have to be good for something
10-25-2019 10:09 AM
Originally Posted by Kennylxix View Post
This was actually one of the first things I mentioned. If there is play in those springs it can cause the issues you mentioned. The springs are in just about every motorcycle clutch setup and they do wear out over time. Can't guarantee it's your problem but it's definitely a problem.
Hopefully replacing this fixes your issue!
Yes it was - back in post #8.(EDIT - actually you first mentioned it in post #6.)

You were more specific than I was in post #7, but we were both looking at the clutch basket assembly as a possible issue - but you nailed it.

Sure sounds like the problem to me.
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