Sticky Shifting

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by SauceSquatch, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. SauceSquatch

    SauceSquatch Been here awhile

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    I've been experiencing some sticky shifting recently, it's not terribly noticable but I am noticing it. I have just a month left on warranty so I'm also feeling keenly for any issues to be resolved.

    It's a 2010 990, about 15k miles on it. For oil I was using Motul 4T (10-50w), then I went to mobile 1 and really started to feel the sticky shifting, then changed oil after only 1k miles and went to AMSOIL 20-25w, that felt good.

    This bike is my daily commuter and trip bike so during heavy traffic I use a bunch of clutch, what is the expectancy on the clutch plates?

    I've heard of some slave cylinders going bad and I'm curious how you diagnose that, what signs am I looking for?

    At my 10k maintenance I cleaned the pilot jet, it was clean.
    #1
  2. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    Ever bleed the clutch?
    #2
  3. SauceSquatch

    SauceSquatch Been here awhile

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    nope.

    I'm googling how-to right now... got a good like to the procedure?
    #3
  4. AlxT

    AlxT Adventurer

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    +1 on bleeding the clutch and checking it's fluids status to see if there is any missing which would indicate failing slave cylinder.

    Wouldn't really worry about the plates, I have 38000 klm on mine and the just barely slip for the past few thousand kilometers. That's fairly easy to diagnose, does the bike rev up without actually gaining speed?
    #4
  5. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Just like bleeding brakes: open the nipple, squeeze the lever, close the nipple, release the lever- repeat until clean fluid comes out. Be sure to not let the reservoir run dry. (Yes, there are other ways, but you need only an 8mm wrench and a Phillips screwdriver to do it this way.)

    Or, to do a really thorough job, I take the cylinder apart to clean, because the way it is designed, old fluid and moisture can rest in the bottom.
    #5
  6. SauceSquatch

    SauceSquatch Been here awhile

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    You mean rev in neutral without it wanting to creep forward?

    Or do you mean when I'm moving from a stop light, do I rev the hell out of it and it feels like it doesn't go anywhere? If so, that's not the case.

    From the stop light to full speed it feels just fine, I haven't rev'd it in neutral in a while. But I am always looking for a reason to make all the other dads in the neighborhood jealous :lol3:lol3

    I'll get some mineral oil and bleed the clutch soon and report back.
    #6
  7. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    #7
  8. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    Make it fork oil :wink:
    #8
  9. ICERIDER

    ICERIDER Adventure Rider

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    To check for a failing slave cylinder, you may see a dribble of oil down there. You'll notice over a short (say 30 min) period an increasing drag on the clutch and the lever will come closer to tha bars when you want to disengage. Soon you'll have no clutch! i.e. the lever comes all the way to the bars, squashes the 3rd and 4th fingers that should be there, and you say to yourself "No! This is the kind of thing that happens to other people. Not ME" Thats worst case. There may be others in between working and not working.

    To check your clutch for slip...ride down a straight road in a high gear. Give yourself some space. Wind on some throttle to put it under load. Pull the clutch a little and release straight away. The revs will shoot up and when you dump the lever the clutch should grip and instantly bring the revs down again to fully engaged. If it doesn't fully engage, back off the power and investigate. Ensure you have free play at the lever.

    I must say if I was commuting in city traffic every day I would fit a Rekluse with new Slave cyl, and get gefr's stainless re-sleeve for the Master cyl. I'm doing that anyway :clap

    Other folk have found other ways around this but with the OEM system it's just a matter of time before you are stuck with no clutch.
    #9
  10. BoznBlack

    BoznBlack Go Big

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    I've found that the brand and type of engine oil makes a big difference on the stickiness of my bike's shifting. Tried some expensive Silkolene 15W-50 full synthetic ester based oil, and it was noticeable how sticky the shifting was. Currently running Castrol racing fully synthetic 10w-50 and quite happy with the smooth shifting. Pretty cheap on Amazon too. About half the cost. If you've been experimenting with different oils, might just be the cause.....
    #10
  11. SauceSquatch

    SauceSquatch Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I might ride this by the dealership and pop the master cylinder off in front of them and see if it is low on oil. Now that I'm reading about this and learning I think my slave was leaking a bit. I've been seeing oil in drops on the top of my skid plate. I thought it was coming from an oil extension hose I installed over chirstmas. Things are starting to make sense now.

    If it's low then I'm sure that oil was coming from the slave and it should be covered under warranty. That's my cheapest and best option at this point. Then I can start saving for the new slave + rekluse :wink:
    #11
  12. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

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    You guys use your clutch for shifting? Imagine that.
    #12
  13. SauceSquatch

    SauceSquatch Been here awhile

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    I use my foot sometimes too :eek1
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  14. Dusty

    Dusty Long timer

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    Just another one to ponder...
    I changed from motorex after a couple years then went to Castrol Power RS Racing 4T 100% Synthetic Oil - 10W50 for the last 3-4 years, i thought it improved the shifting.
    My last oil change i had to go back to motorex, i ran out of my Castorol... I was blown away how much better it shifted, it even seems to shift better without the clutch, i cant even feel it going into gear i just know my foot moved up, that fukin slick... it was a huge surprise to me, i never expected that. Oh and didnt clean the oil jet on that change.
    #14
  15. SauceSquatch

    SauceSquatch Been here awhile

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    Just thought I would bring some closure to this thread. Turned out to be a leaky clutch master cylinder which was covered under warranty. I didn't even see it until I went to bleed the clutch, removed the boot on the lever and saw oil everywhere. The leak down by the clutch slave was a bad o-ring (or gasket) on the neutral sensor (so i've been told by the dealership).

    Bike is still at the dealership and I'm pretty happy KTM backs their warranty throughly. That being said I'm pretty sure they are just doing a rebuild kit for the master cylinder, sounds like that will fail down the line as well, I'll be keeping an eye on it.
    #15
  16. SierraJeep

    SierraJeep It's toast

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    I had the same two issues with my 2010 990 and both were covered by my dealer under warranty. My clutch master cylinder's gasket (for the cover) had a small bubble that was formed in it during the manufacturing (we supposed) and once it was crushed some under pressure the bubble allowed small drips of oil to leak out the back side (which meant I didn't see it right away). Sounds like yours was the same sort of thing.

    The neutral sensor o-ring seal was simply replaced the first time I took it in for its required service (to maintain my warranty) so that never was an issue for me.
    #16