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Chadman
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ride a 2001 Nomad 1500FI (41K miles) and got back last Saturday from a long-distance ride across Texas. We started in Texarkana and rode through TX, NM and just across the AZ state line, the clutch gives out. To be more exact, I'm cruising at 75mph and pull in the clutch lever for an upcoming exit ramp and the transmission doesn't disengage from the engine. I have read some posts about clutch slippage, but this clutch went from working correctly to nothing. After safely coming to a stop, I adjusted the clutch lever to the #1 position using the thumb wheel by the lever and had a small bit of clutch. It engaged when the lever was still very close to the grip. When I stopped for gas again, the lever pull would not disengage the transmission.
Could this just be the spring wearing out, seems kinda sudden for that answer. We are settling in for winter in KY, so I have some time to work on it before spring.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
That does not sound like normal wear at all. usually a clutch starting to go out shows itself by slipping under hard accelleration.

In this case, it sounds like the hydraulics. Check the fluid level and for leaks around the slave cylinder.

If not those things, then I'd suggest taking the engine cover off to check out the clutch. Any unusual noises going on? Anything rattling on the clutch side?

There's really not a whole lot of technology going on with the clutch. The slave cylinder will push a rod through the engine to push out the clutch basket. That's what disengages the tranny. If your fluid is low, then there won't be enough pressure to push the rod.
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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This unit has a hydraulic clutch.
OK, I didn't look up the parts breakdown for the model so you can shoot me now. :cry:

Either way, it doesn't sound like a normal symptom of clutch wear but more like a problem in the travel. I agree with Dave that it would sound more like it's loosing fluid or fluid is slipping past the piston in the master.
 

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Chadman
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all for your comments as you have given me a great place to start looking. To Dave's question, I did hear some rattling around at the time the problem happened. It sounded like a loud exhaust leak on the right-side of the engine.
 

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I ride a 2001 Nomad 1500FI (41K miles) and got back last Saturday from a long-distance ride across Texas. We started in Texarkana and rode through TX, NM and just across the AZ state line, the clutch gives out. To be more exact, I'm cruising at 75mph and pull in the clutch lever for an upcoming exit ramp and the transmission doesn't disengage from the engine. I have read some posts about clutch slippage, but this clutch went from working correctly to nothing. After safely coming to a stop, I adjusted the clutch lever to the #1 position using the thumb wheel by the lever and had a small bit of clutch. It engaged when the lever was still very close to the grip. When I stopped for gas again, the lever pull would not disengage the transmission.
Could this just be the spring wearing out, seems kinda sudden for that answer. We are settling in for winter in KY, so I have some time to work on it before spring.
Did you get this fixed, if so what did you find I am experiencing similar problems with mine?
 

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I ride a 2001 Nomad 1500FI (41K miles) and got back last Saturday from a long-distance ride across Texas. We started in Texarkana and rode through TX, NM and just across the AZ state line, the clutch gives out. To be more exact, I'm cruising at 75mph and pull in the clutch lever for an upcoming exit ramp and the transmission doesn't disengage from the engine. I have read some posts about clutch slippage, but this clutch went from working correctly to nothing. After safely coming to a stop, I adjusted the clutch lever to the #1 position using the thumb wheel by the lever and had a small bit of clutch. It engaged when the lever was still very close to the grip. When I stopped for gas again, the lever pull would not disengage the transmission.
Could this just be the spring wearing out, seems kinda sudden for that answer. We are settling in for winter in KY, so I have some time to work on it before spring.
I'm having the same problem with a 2002 Vulcan 1500FI. Anyone still reading after 10 years? I turned the bike off and let it sit for a few hours. When I went to take off, the clutch no longer disengaged. I didn't notice any sound. Removed the slave cylinder to look for obvious malfunction. None found, by my eye. Replaced the clutch fluid and bled it at the slave cylinder. No obvious leaks. Not sure about removing the engine cover on the clutch side. It looks like there is an oil seal there I'd have to brave.
 

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I'm having the same problem with a 2002 Vulcan 1500FI. Anyone still reading after 10 years? I turned the bike off and let it sit for a few hours. When I went to take off, the clutch no longer disengaged. I didn't notice any sound. Removed the slave cylinder to look for obvious malfunction. None found, by my eye. Replaced the clutch fluid and bled it at the slave cylinder. No obvious leaks. Not sure about removing the engine cover on the clutch side. It looks like there is an oil seal there I'd have to brave.
Theres a video of a guy on YouTube having the same issue. He found that his bleeding hole in the bottom of the reservoir was blocked, and as soon as he poked the hole out with a wire, it started working again.
43474
 

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My venture rear brake stopped working similar to your clutch and the problem was the diaphragm under the master cylinder cover had fallen to the bottom of the reservoir and was blocking the fluid to the pump. I had never seen that happen before.
 

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Most text books explaining basic hydraulics depict the system as closed. This makes sense when trying to explain hydraulic pressure distribution and the manipulation of force by altering piston sizes. However in the real world a closed system will not work. Fluid will expands with application of heat. If the system were closed the expanding fluid would have the same effect as stroking the master cylinder with the lever. The answer for very simple systems such as those in our motorcycles it to provide a compensation port. When the lever is released and the master cylinder piston is fully retracted a port is opened that allows fluid transfer between the reservoir and pressure portion of the system. The port allows expanding fluid to be pushed back into the reservoir and also allows for additional fluid to enter the system to compensate for wear. The port is very small and can easily be blocked by sediment from neglected hydraulic systems.
 
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