Disaster weekend...could use some advice on what to do next (DR650)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by skathe, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. skathe

    skathe Adventurer

    Jan 28, 2013
    Dunno where to put this, but it was quite a trip so I'm stickin it here. This is a crosspost from DRRiders as well.

    My boyfriend and I generally ride street (sv650s) but purchased two 2012 DRs in March. Mine is slightly lowered (because I am 5'4") but otherwise identical. We purchased them with the intention of doing longer camping trips and adventure touring stuff. I have had some issues with the clutch on mine being very touchy and I eventually bypassed the clutch safety switch because the bike kept refusing to start randomly (bypassing the safety did fix this issue). I had also noticed some slack in the clutch cable and some stripping where the adjusting bolt for the clutch cable screws into the perch. This wasn't causing problems though and the bike was running fine. Anyways, we have had some fun with them on logging roads and whatnot, but decided to take them up to Black River Falls, WI for the long weekend and camp and ride the single track trails and the atv trails.

    First of all, we figured out that the single track trails, which consisted of sand about 6 inches deep, were a bit advanced for us as well as our tires but we were pretty determined to make it through one of the trails (about 11 miles long I believe). I did drop the bike a couple times but not hard and I have acerbis handguards so no damage ever came to the clutch lever or the perch. So we are going along the trail with difficulty but nothing too bad, and then my clutch just stops. No power to the rear wheel whatsoever (so I guess the clutch didn't stop, it wouldn't disengage). we tried adjusting the cable near the perch and everything but couldn't get it to work...we managed to start it in neutral but it died immediately when put into gear. Some other riders came along the trail and stopped to help, and we ended up actually popping the clutch cable off of the mount on the engine and putting it back on in a new position so that less movement was required of the arm attached to the engine for the clutch to disengage. With some trial and error, we got it going at least to where there was some power to the rear wheel. I was still operating within the friction zone though, it was obvious that the clutch was not completely disengaged. We made it a bit farther along the trail (and the other riders took off) and then the clutch stopped working again. We tried to fix it with no success and ended up making the difficult decision to mark the location on the gps and leave the bike along the trail. I hiked out 6 miles in motorcycle boots and my boyfriend got the rest of the gear out. It was miserable.

    So the next day a very nice DNR officer helped us to retrieve the bike. We picked up a new perch and clutch lever and the battery from my boyfriend's DR and headed out into the woods. The DNR officer drove down the atv trail until we were within about a half mile of the bike and then the three of us hiked in, found the bike and replaced the perch. We also made sure that where the clutch cable attaches to the engine was back to the stock position (it had slipped back already anyways). So we get the perch on and everything, the cable is tight and whatnot. Still no power to the rear wheel. So we popped the clutch cable back off of the engine and attempted to start the bike (as an experiment). And the bike starts in gear, as if the clutch is engaged, when the cable is COMPLETELY unattached from the engine. Well that was discouraging. We adjusted and tweaked and whatnot until we got just the tiniest little lurch of power to the wheel. With me pushing from the back and my boyfriend pushing with his feet and revving and a fortunate downhill incline, we managed to get the damn thing through the woods to the DNR truck and we trailered both bikes back home today.

    So...now what? The bike is under warranty and I know that it wasn't a problem with the lever. Are my boyfriend and I missing some simple fix or is this a more serious issue? Any advice or similar problems? We are feeling very discouraged.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. smilin jack

    smilin jack Grandpa Adventurer

    May 8, 2008
    Lebanon Oregon
    Molly, sorry to hear about your clutch troubles etc. Long walks are great, but not in riding boots.

    It's good you have the bikes at home, so the dealer can sort out the problem. Sounds like the clutch got hot and/or burned from going slow, slipping it in the sand.

    Might get more replies in Thumpers\DR650 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=135295&page=5243

    Good Luck.
  3. Sidecar Jockey

    Sidecar Jockey Been here awhile

    Aug 1, 2012
    There is an 'internal' clutch adjustment, in addition to the cable. It is a screw (located behind the front sprocket cover) that sets the spring tension in the clutch basket, by pushing on the clutch releasing pushrod. Yours is too tight. The internal clutch adjustment is usually made with the cable completely slack, then the cable is adjusted last.

    I'm not very familiar with the DR650, but this 'internal' clutch adjustment is almost certainly your problem.

    My #1 advice is to buy the service manual, Amazon has it for about $40.

    If you buy the manual, it should be a 20 minute DIY job. The manual will tell you exactly how to adjust it and how many turns in/out the adjuster screw needs to be (plus, you'll have the manual for the next time something goes wrong). As the clutch wears, this often needs to be adjusted. This is what your bike needs... your adjuster screw is set too tight causing the clutch to slip. It does not have anything to do with your clutch cable.

    Good luck with the fix, its an easy one! (A clutch part could be broken and causing the problem... but 99.999% of the time, its the internal adjustment that is off)