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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The clutch on my ZX-6R is starting to get a bit sketchy. I am at least partly to blame. Also, I am the second owner, and I don't know how the PO treated the bike.

Late last season the clutch cable was frayed (the barrel end was frozen in the lever and from kinking on use the cable eventually frayed) and may not have been fully engaging the clutch when the lever was released. I replaced the cable when I noticed. I should have noticed it earlier.

This year, I installed shorty levers and adjusted the cable (at both ends) to provide the specified slack at the lever. However, a couple of weeks ago, after a fairly decent ride on a hot day, the clutch felt like it slipped between fifth and sixth gears. Once when I downshifted and accelerated to pass a car, and another time shortly after that accelerating on the highway. I checked and found that the cable was snug, so I adjusted the cable to give proper slack. I resumed riding about 20-30 minutes later (the bike cooled down a bit) and babied it home - I didn't detect any further clutch slip.

A few days later, it slipped again after riding for an hour or more. I accelerated from a stop sign and the clutch seemed to slip in 2nd and 3rd gears. I parked the bike and checked the cable slack - it was fine. I let the bike cool down for a while and then headed home. I took it easy and I did not detect any slipping. I don't know if it is a coincidence, but it seems to happen after a longer period of riding.

Just to add another bit of information, the PO purchased the bike in 2007 and it appears that he rode it that season but not much in 2008 or 2009 (the plate was not renewed for those years). It had 5,000km on it when I picked it up in early Spring 2010. It showed signs of neglect. I cleaned it up and went over almost everything on the bike that I could. I made several upgrades/mods. Also, ever since I owned the bike, I have been running AMSoil. The bike had a new filter and oil change about 3,500km ago (so I tend to think the clutch issue is not related to dirty/degraded oil).

Anyway, now I am considering replacing the clutch. I wasn't sure whether to buy an OEM or aftermarket clutch kit. A little research on some of the Kawi Forums indicates that the Barnett clutches seem to have poor reviews, mainly about the thickness of the assembly differing from OEM and also some negative performance threads.

I checked with one local shop so far. They recommended an EBC kit for about $200, but it is back-ordered and it will be 30+ days before it arrives. Plus, they want me to remove my clutch plates to identify the plates used in the OEM assembly before they place the order - I thought the clutch assembly would be standard in a given bike model/year, but apparently not. Does anyone have experience with this?

I am considering doing the dismantle as they recommended. I guess it will confirm the state of the clutch, plus I can identify the plate thicknesses, etc. However, given the long delivery time for parts, I may re-assemble it so I can ride in the meantime.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a good clutch kit and an online source so that I can get it earlier? Also, is there a less expensive alternative to the "special" Kawi gasket sealant? Thanks.
 

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The Indifference Engine
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New gasket is about $30 in Canada if memory serves.

I've had pretty decent luck just buying used parts out of a wrecked bike, I picked up a complete clutch for $100 plus shipping, there were a few little nicks on the basket but otherwise it was in tip top shape.

Which amsoil are you running? If it has friction modifiers (teflon based addititives) it can contaminate the clutch and cause it to slip.
 

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My opinion.

Change the clutch friction plates with OEM. The steel plates should be fine. only change them if you find one cracked.

Sounds like the clutch wasn't fully disengaging and you burned up the plates. It happens more when the bike is hot because the oil gets thinner and thinner (in essence) as it gets hotter and you ride longer.

Clutch replacement is simple, I do it trackside in about 20 minutes. No need to even drop the oil. Although it sounds like the oil needs to be changed anyway so i would.

Amsoil IMHO is the best oil on the market, no friction modifiers as long as you are using their motorcycle oils.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
New gasket is about $30 in Canada if memory serves.

I've had pretty decent luck just buying used parts out of a wrecked bike, I picked up a complete clutch for $100 plus shipping, there were a few little nicks on the basket but otherwise it was in tip top shape.

Which amsoil are you running? If it has friction modifiers (teflon based addititives) it can contaminate the clutch and cause it to slip.

Thanks Sev.

The clutch parts are very expensive from a local shop, but surprisingly, the gasket is about $15. I had a line on a lightly used clutch from NY, but the shipping cost was very high - it made me reconsider new.

For oil, I use SAE 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCF).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My opinion.

Change the clutch friction plates with OEM. The steel plates should be fine. only change them if you find one cracked.

Sounds like the clutch wasn't fully disengaging and you burned up the plates. It happens more when the bike is hot because the oil gets thinner and thinner (in essence) as it gets hotter and you ride longer.

Clutch replacement is simple, I do it trackside in about 20 minutes. No need to even drop the oil. Although it sounds like the oil needs to be changed anyway so i would.

Amsoil IMHO is the best oil on the market, no friction modifiers as long as you are using their motorcycle oils.
Thank you Trackdaze. I am leaning toward replacing the friction plates only, and I plan to do it myself. I haven't replaced clutch plates on a motorcycle, but from the Service Manual, it does not look to be difficult on the ZX6R. I looked at the Ron Ayers site; am I looking for eight friction plates, 2 x 13088-0025 (inboard and outboard) and 6 x 13088-0003 (internal)? Would you think the springs (92145-0486) or any other parts need to be replaced as part of the job?

I agree with your explanation of the problem. Between the PO and myself, we prematurely burned up the friction plates. And, it makes sense to me that it could happen easier when the bike is warm.

As I mentioned to Sev, I use AMSoil SAE 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil. Even though it is not necessary to drain the oil, it is getting close enough to a routine change, so I will likely change the oil & filter at the same time.

Thanks again.
 

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Yup, you got it.

Springs are so cheap I would replace them also.

Don't forget the gasket

Seriously clutch replacement is CAKE,. on a scale of 1-10 I consider this a 3 at the most in difficulty.
 

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The Indifference Engine
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
KAWASAKI NINJA ZX6R ZX6 COMPLETE CLUTCH ASSEMBLY 07-08 | eBay

08 ZX6R Engine Motor Clutch Assembly 07 ZX-6R | eBay

ZX6 Ninja ZX6R Clutch Basket Plates 07-08 Kawasaki ZX6R | eBay

Three options I found fairly quickly. I like having spares, so I usually just buy a complete assembly then take the best bits out of all the ones I have.

Currently have 3 transmissions and 2 clutches ahaha.
Thanks for the links. I have a local shop pricing the new friction plates, springs and a gasket and I checked Ron Ayers site to get an idea on prices. Based on what I found, I could buy a used unit shipped to me for about the same price as new OEM friction plates and springs. It looks like buying a lightly used complete clutch assembly is an option, plus I would have some spare pieces, as you said. Thanks again.
 
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