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superhawk996

Which oil for smooth shifting in early Bird?

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I think I remember some talk about the early bikes with the 9 plate clutch being a little more picky about oil.  Mine has a lot of clutch drag; hard thunk into first, clunky shifts, and nearly impossible to get into neutral.  It is definitely clutch drag and not just user error, the bike tries to creep forward when in gear with the clutch lever fully squeezed.  I think it has Mobil1 15-50 in it now, or possibly 15-40 diesel oil.  While there could be a problem with the clutch or linkage (it has a cable clutch), I'd like to try the oil first.  Let me know your experiences/knowledge specifically with the early 9 plate bikes.

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Sounds like your steel clutch plates are warped. The bike spend a lot of time on the drag strip?

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Don't know.  The whole engine came out of CBRbear's whitebird, I think that's his name.  HIs bike was super farkled, no idea if he raced it.  My previous '97 was clunky on Rotella 15-40, others said they had the same experience with the early Birds and that oil and recommended a change.  From recollection that one didn't have much drag to it, just stiction.  The clutch actuator was kinda shitty and wouldn't fully disengage when I got the bike so it's possible that the clutch was overheated just from traffic driving and having it drag.

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I have run dino car oil in my 97 most of it's life but had a hard time finding the right weight so I have been running Mobil 1 15w-50.  While I have never rode a F.I. Bird to compare, it doesn't seem to drag a unusual amount.  Have you checked the clutch push rod?  Is this the bike without the hydo clutch slave unit?

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Mine is clunky when cold.  A warm up before riding really helps.

Blackhawkxx asks a valid question.

 

My 87 Magna, with hydraulic clutch started to do the same thing.  Warranty could never find anything except to bleed the clutch.

I finally replaced the slave cylinder, that had a small leak, and all was Honda smooth.

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Yup, mechanical clutch.  I adjusted it tight to get the most release, didn't help so I set it back to where I think it should be.  It doesn't start to engage 'till the lever is released a good amount so I don't think the mechanical actuator is the culprit.

All I've done with the pushrod is pull it out a little and clean the area that gets grimed up with chain lube & gunk.

Mine works a little better cold than hot, so did my previous '97.  I just checked and it has Mobil1 15-50 with 2,100 miles.  Even tho the miles are low, it's a couple years old so I'm gonna change it to feel good, and hope that it helps the clutch.  If it doesn't I'll take it apart and see what's up.

 

Before fixing & polishing it.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_82b.thumb.jpg.8bf2bb7b417c81b409d6793ba104a883.jpg

 

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_88a.thumb.jpg.d0fdc3c89800829220ee1e9c205a7420.jpg

 

 

 

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I have been running Mobile 1 15-50 for a few years in my 01 with no issues and a few drag strip passed under her belt and 65,000 miles strong.
It is a little clunkier as compared to my newer 16 FJR1300 but I thought most all of the Birds clunked into gear fairly hard?

]

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Your '01 has a different clutch than the earlier models, specifically changed to reduce the clunk.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, superhawk996 said:

Your '01 has a different clutch than the earlier models, specifically changed to reduce the clunk.

I am aware that the 01 is suppose to be improved to reduce the clunk, I was just throwing my opinion out there as it still has a much more noticable clunk into gear than does my FJR or my GSXR or my SV650 or or or..... 
I personally just settled with the fact that the Bird has a very clunky shifter. I have not been easy on the clutch with multiple trips to Pennsylvania and doing over 30 passes on the drag strip there and then returning home to Florida. 
I assume yours is eceptionally loud and clunky since it is not a factory set up to begin with.

 

Over the years I have tried many different oils with the same results. I even spent he money on fancy Repsol MotoGP oil one time! I think I paid about $16 a quart just to see if it made a difference? It did not. tried Amsoil, Honda OEM, Yamalube, Mobile 1, Castrol, etc and always seem to return to whatever is on sale in the correct viscosity range and full synthetic and change it out at approx 4000 mile intervals. I could go a lot longer interval but my piece of mind says 4000 works for me. Being in South Florida heat I like to run a viscosity of either 10/15/20 - 50.

 

 

 

Edited by John01XX

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Try holding the clutch 1-2 seconds before pressing the shifter, you might find that it has very little clunk.

 

My aftermarket linkage should have no effect, as long as it's giving a complete stroke on the pushrod.  But, it's possible that the clutch assembly itself has some custom stuff too.

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3 minutes ago, superhawk996 said:

Try holding the clutch 1-2 seconds before pressing the shifter, you might find that it has very little clunk.

 

My aftermarket linkage should have no effect, as long as it's giving a complete stroke on the pushrod.  But, it's possible that the clutch assembly itself has some custom stuff too.

 I will consciously do that the next ride to see if it still clunks as bad.

Good tip to try.

 

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From very old memory; the clutch on Carlos' '00 would completely stop spinning if you held the clutch a couple seconds, to the point that you'd sometimes have to let the handle off a hair for the gear to click in.  Kinda like pressing the shifter with the motor off, sometimes they'll click into gear, sometimes not.

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Accurate.  My brain just learned to shift about one second after pulling it.

 

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Oscar, I was going to say that it sounds to me like your oil is just too thick, but you said it's better when cold.  I got nothing.

Wait, maybe the bike just doesn't like you. 🙂

 

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22 hours ago, superhawk996 said:

Yup, mechanical clutch.  I adjusted it tight to get the most release, didn't help so I set it back to where I think it should be.  It doesn't start to engage 'till the lever is released a good amount so I don't think the mechanical actuator is the culprit.

All I've done with the pushrod is pull it out a little and clean the area that gets grimed up with chain lube & gunk.

Mine works a little better cold than hot, so did my previous '97.  I just checked and it has Mobil1 15-50 with 2,100 miles.  Even tho the miles are low, it's a couple years old so I'm gonna change it to feel good, and hope that it helps the clutch.  If it doesn't I'll take it apart and see what's up.

 

Before fixing & polishing it.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_82b.thumb.jpg.8bf2bb7b417c81b409d6793ba104a883.jpg

 

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_88a.thumb.jpg.d0fdc3c89800829220ee1e9c205a7420.jpg

 

 

 

damn she looks good

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I run dino Rotel and my 97 shifts smooth as glass. I haven't done any drag strip passes. But have launched it hard on the street. Not that is even close to dedicated 1/4 mile abuse.

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