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Thread: how to adjust clutch on F650GS twin

  1. #1
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    how to adjust clutch on F650GS twin

    I am getting some slip when trying to accelerate quickly in all gears (ie I increase throttle, engine revs increase, but no acceleration) and wondering if I should try adjusting the clutch to see if that takes care of the problem. Would appreciate any information on how to do it properly (photos if possible).

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'm traveling and do not have ready access to any pictures but it is important NOT to have the clutch slipping during normal operation - the plates will wear out very quickly and as they wear they cause the clutch to wear even more quickly...resulting in an expensive repair!

    If there is no "slop" in the clutch lever (that is if when you start to pull it in it seems to be doing work immediately) adjustment is needed.

    I'll take a stab at trying to explain it, but if you are not comfortable with it I would wait for a clearer explanation with pics. or have the dealer do it, but do NOT ride with the clutch slipping.

    The clutch is on the left side of the bike. If you look at the transmission housing below the cylinders you will see the cable housing coming down the side of the engine. there is a short metal arm that holds the end of the housing. From the far end of the housing the raw cable exits and pulls on the clutch arm.

    There are two nuts threaded onto the end of the housing - one on each side of the arm. BE CAREFUL here, some folks have busted the arm it's apparently not as heavy-duty as it looks. You need to loosen the bottom nut - to do this without putting stress on the mounting arm I got two open-end wrenches of the proper size held the top nut held it with one wrench and then loosened the one closer to the end of the cable. You can put a dab of white-out on the top nut so you can tell if it has turned or not - the top nut is the one that controls the adjustment the other nut just holds everything tight. On my bike I think I found that 1/2" English wrenches worked best (this is from memory).

    What you want is a little slop in the cable so that the first 2mm or 3mm of pull at the lever don't do anything and that after the lever has traveled that far you feel it starting to "do some work". To get more slack in the cable you will turn the top nut counter-clockwise. You will probably only have to turn it a fraction of a turn. Recheck the "slack" with handlebars in full-left and full-right turn to confirm you still have enough slack.

    Once it feels right, hold the top nut in place and tighten the bottom nut - tight but not TOO tight.

    Sorry I can't do better right now, I'm on the road ... again if this sounds confusing get assistance; once you've seen it done it's easy but the adjustment needs to be done correctly and you don't want to break that little arm off

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbob59 View Post
    Sorry I can't do better right now, I'm on the road ... again if this sounds confusing get assistance; once you've seen it done it's easy but the adjustment needs to be done correctly and you don't want to break that little arm off
    Thanks.. You described it well: I can picture exactly what you mean. I will check it out tonight after work.

  4. #4
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    Were you able to adjust the cable? My early '09 F650GS twin had the same problem. You may need to find out if your cable is the right length. BMW replaced mine with the correct length.

  5. #5
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    here's a link to how the clutch lever works now.. think thats too much play before it kicks in?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/nomads67.../0/ULSSRXMUf0M

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Looks about right to me.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Looks about right to me.
    Still working fine after another 500 miles.

  8. #8
    Registered User Slablog's Avatar
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    Manual says 1mm of play with bars all the way left. The play increases when you turn the bars back straight.

  9. #9
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    free play

    There was mention made on a thread at ADVRider (might not be true) that BMW had increased the specified clearance to 5mm. I think that would be a more reasonable value.

    It would not take much wear to go thru 1mm of clearance at which point the clutch would no longer be completely DISENGAGING when the lever was out and would then fail quickly if the condition went un-noticed.

  10. #10
    Riding for the SON
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    Quote Originally Posted by DamonS View Post
    Still working fine after another 500 miles.
    Are you using oil rated for wet clutch. M2 I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roybarnes View Post
    Are you using oil rated for wet clutch. M2 I think.
    not sure.. the dealer has done all my service so far so I imagine it is whatever BMW recommends.

  12. #12
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    Is cable routed correctly?

    My clutch cable was routed incorrectly and caused much frustration. Check to see yours is visible all the way and not hidden behind the air box.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36679 View Post
    My clutch cable was routed incorrectly and caused much frustration. Check to see yours is visible all the way and not hidden behind the air box.
    Yes. It was not rerouted when they installed bar risers. Was just tight enough to cause the problem. I rerouted and adjusted and it is still working fine.

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