Clutch not finding neutral

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by mike.l, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. mike.l

    mike.l Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Mid West Ireland
    Replaced the the slave+backing plate with new Oberon kit and it's working well except
    I still can't get neutral when I'm stopped in traffic. What else should I be looking to fix
    this problem...possibly the clutch itself or push rod.
    Any ideas would be a help!
    #1
  2. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,582
    Location:
    Bottom left hand side of OZ
    I have been going through a similar thing.
    Check,
    Clutch rod, clutch pack for wear etc, leaks in MC, bleed, bleed, bleed.
    Hope this helps.

    Also search function.
    Cheers
    #2
  3. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,281
    Location:
    Santa Maria, CA
    The clutch would seem to be dragging, just ever so slightly. It needs to be disengages just a little bit more.
    #3
  4. bigkuri

    bigkuri Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    958
    Location:
    London, but am a Kiwi
    This happened to me when I fitted the Oberon. I ended up buying a brake-line vacuum bleeder (always wanted one...) and it fixed it.
    #4
  5. thugdog

    thugdog Druid Revisionist

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    396
    Eight years ago, this forum shared how a pesky neutral was most often due to the OIL JET...perhaps it's clogged (or perhaps modified too large)?

    Both, too much and too little oil FLOW can cause finding neutral problematic, and so on.

    ~
    #5
  6. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,594
    A LOT of bikes do this, and the easy workaround is to find neutral just before you come to a complete stop. :1drink
    #6
  7. mike.l

    mike.l Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Mid West Ireland
    Ok thanks. I'm going to change the pushrod to see if that helps...at 37,000 miles (late '05 950)
    it's probably a good idea anyway. The oil jet is a new one on me... Where is it and how do I fix it?
    The gear change is loads better since changing to the Oberon slave, though not getting neutral when
    stop/start in traffic is a pain.
    #7
  8. AdvGa

    AdvGa Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,320
    Location:
    Atlanta Metro
  9. bloc

    bloc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Does your low oil pressure light flicker at idle when the bike is hot? Noisy cam chains?

    My bike was bad about missing neutral under these conditions and almost never has the issue now that I addressed the oil pressure regulator. Just like a clogged jet will restrict oil flow to the clutch, low oil pressure at idle can do the same thing.

    Mine is a 2004 950 with 30k miles, for the record.
    #9
  10. K2m

    K2m ....58....

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Tell us more bloc............ you replace the oil reg. with the latest incarnation of the unit ????

    Sounds like a big improvement ????? Improves idle cam rattle when hot ???

    What year did you do it?

    I will add......... there is one more factor to the clutch. As we know the oil jet puts oil to the centre of the clutch pack. This lubricates the clutch plates. To big an oil jet puts to much oil in to the pack making it hard to select neutral due to drag on the plates having to much oil. Some will be aware that the Feliciani mod to Meoni's clutch allows oil to escape the clutch pack quicker by increasing the oil removal holes......thus allowing a larger oil jet to be used to give better lubrication to the plates.......... So what I am suggesting is to do the Feliciani mod to the basket..... Then play around with your jet size. I have Dellorto jets (EBay) #30, #60, #90, #120.

    "You can have your cake and eat it to" Hot knife through butter.......

    Add a short FB leaver at the handle bar and you have the best clutch possible........ simply brilliant :freaky

    http://www.ktm950.info/how/Orange Garage/Engine/clutch/Feliciani Mods/feliciani_clutch_mods.html
    #10
  11. bloc

    bloc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, updated oil pressure regulator assembly, not just the piston. I did it recently and it totally stopped the flickering oil pressure light, made the cam chain tensioners pump up more quickly, and made the cam chain rattle FAR less noticeable. I did do cam chains at the same time as mine were out of spec, but new ones didn't change the spec much. The biggest difference was from the regulator, by far. And like I said, it fixed a serious problem finding neutral when the oil was hot.

    All of this may be a moot point if the OP doesn't have a flickering light or any difference from warm to cold.

    That said, making certain the slave is bled as well as possible is critical.. I like compressing the lever as much as possible then opening the bleeder. This way the volume of fluid that is pushed into the slave cyl when the lever is pulled, hopefully stirring up some bubbles with it, is pushed back out the bleeder screw once cracked. This should get any air bubbles trapped in the top of the slave cylinder. It also fixes the problem of fluid going from the lever straight out the screw if it is opened before actually pulling the lever.
    #11
  12. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Team Orange

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,548
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    That's what I did for about seven years with a Ducati ST2 that didn't seem to want to release the clutch 100%.

    I also found that rolling forward a couple of inches while looking for neutral often worked. I would let the clutch out just enough to move the bike, pull the clutch back in, then it would usually go into neutral.

    After so many years of not being able to always shift directly to neutral when stopped, I just use one of the other methods and don't give it a second thought. I don't even know for sure if my two current bikes always like to get into neutral at a stop or not. :lol3
    #12
  13. K2m

    K2m ....58....

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    Sydney Australia

    You can also kill the motor, select neutral, and start it up. It is a dame nuisance tho. Much better to fix the thing if you can.
    #13
  14. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,582
    Location:
    Bottom left hand side of OZ
    Is there a way of telling if the oil pressure reg assembly has been upgraded withouth pulling the spring out and measuring? Is there a difference in the housing etc? I would like to check mine but not too sure what to look for.
    I have had it a bit noisy on start up a couple times and finding neutral is a biatch right now. I have a new slave on its way. The rest of the clutch / oil jet, checks out.
    Cheers.
    #14
  15. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,515
    Location:
    Westby Wisconsin
    Mine does the same thing every once in a while. It won't stop in neutral when you try to shift it while parked, but when you kill the motor it goes right into neutral.
    #15
  16. K2m

    K2m ....58....

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    What forced me to find a solution was arriving at a meeting point for a Sunday ride, with people looking on I struggled with the gear leaver. I guess it really hadn't bothered me up to then up to then as like the commenter before me I snick neutral before stopping. This time I was jammed with 100 bikes and riders............ It was very embarrassing for me and the KTM.

    I have the aftermarket slave, steel 2005> rod, ability to bleed correctly.

    The solution was to drill the clutch basket.
    #16
  17. mike.l

    mike.l Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Mid West Ireland
    Right ok...I do change into neutral before coming to a stop( it's a pain in the ass
    when you're hiccuping through traffic). Point is I should be able to get neutral when
    stopped. I was able to, up until a few months ago. I've changed the slave and
    back plate. Now I gonna change the pushrod and clean the jet. If still no joy, then I'll
    look at the booster, clutch basket and like you suggested, drill the clutch basket
    (sounds a bit severe!).
    #17
  18. bloc

    bloc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The updated housing doesn't have a snapring to remove the spring, it just has a recessed hole the size of the spring with a washer in it. The whole housing must be removed and a washer slid out of a slot on the engine side of the housing to get the spring out.

    Removing the big clutch cover, just as you would to remove the snapring and inspect the spring, should get you in far enough to see which housing you have.

    It is possible you have the old housing but the upgraded piston and/or spring.. no way to check for that without removing the whole housing, IIRC. Other than the different spring retention setup, I'm not sure if there is any advantage to the newer housing as long as the spring and piston are updated.

    For the record, my apparently OEM 2004 spring came in only .5mm under spec.. but it clearly wasn't doing its job adequately.
    #18
  19. K2m

    K2m ....58....

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    I understand. I did it with the intention off using a larger oil jet but I did not get around to changing it when I needed the bike. I just could not believe the difference. Never did fit a bigger oil jet........... Left the #30 in it.

    Bloc you are the second person to say this about the new valve....... good enough for me I'll order one in. The 04s were early in the production..... I love mine :1drink
    #19
  20. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    823
    Location:
    Finally made it to Fruita!
    K2m, I also did the Meoni mod to my clutch basket with the intent to install a larger oil jet.
    When I drilled mine out to .50mm, the clutch drag when warm was TERRIBLE!
    I think the additional holes in the clutch basket exacerbate the oil drag for any given oil jet
    size. I tried .40mm and .36mm, and it was still impossible to find neutral.
    Went back to the .30, and can happily find neutral when stopped again!
    #20