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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So recently my 2004 Vulcan 800 has begun to stall when I release the clutch slowly into first gear. I've done a lot of digging online and I don't think its the side stand switch since the bike lurches forward then dies. I can get it to go forward if I open throttle way more than necessary, but it shudders a whole bunch when doing this and doesn't sound great. Once I get moving though the problem goes away and only seems to happen in first gear. I have already adjusted the clutch cable tension and set the idle speed to factory spec as well. My plan is to put in new spark plugs, clean my carbs, and have a look over the clutch plates to see if they need to be replaced. If y'all have any other suggestions I would appreciate it.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
Any chance you can post of video with a sound track? Sounds like your clutch plates are grabbing suddenly rather than giving you a smooth engagement. Or something in the clutch release is not working smoothly and is dumping your clutch suddenly.
 

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My ZN700 clutch would not release at first and then bam would release and kill the engine. The problem was the cable adjustment pulling the clutch too apart.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I've adjusted the clutch cable free play to what was recommended in the service manual. Also here are two videos of what's going on. One of the videos is of me just letting off the clutch with no throttle (which I used to be able to do just fine).The other is me letting of the clutch while giving it some gas and in that video you can sorta here the high pitched whirring noise and it did shake some. It wasn't that bad in that video, but if I ride around for longer the problem worsens to the point that I have to give it a ton of gas to take off from a stop.

With throttle: With throttle.MOV
Without throttle: Without throttle.MOV
 

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Thanks for the vids. The cable seems to have an odd twist to it as if someone rotated the cable itself instead of the adjuster. It could be an optical illusion. The cable when it leave the handlebar clutch lever should have one smooth arc whereas yours seems to have a weird double twist.

If the cable is twisted or not routed properly, then it can bind and I think that could be the source of your problem.
Is this bike new to you? How old is the clutch cable?
 

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Did you change oil recently? Almost sounds like maybe a friction problem? If you did, verify the container has the MA or MA2 wet clutch spec on it.
 

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Or,,, did you change exhaust? The open exhaust kills the low and mid-range power,,, might require more throttle on take-off now if so. (The 2nd video does sound like I'd expect a faulty side stand switch to act though.)

Edit: I do remember having issues with my 800A side stand pivot bolt wearing. causing the spring to be looser than normal and letting the stand flop and trip the switch sometimes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah the cable does look strange in that video I'll include a photo of what it looks like from another angle. The bike is new to me I bought a couple months ago and it only has a little over 3,000 miles on it. The previous owner did change the exhaust and jetting (both cobra). However up until this problem started I didn't have to give it any throttle to take off as log as the clutch was let out slowly enough. When I got it I did change the all the fluids in the bike and the oil I used has the JASO MA2 spec. The side stand doesn't have any issue with falling down at least that I've noticed, and I have also cleaned/lubed the switch. However I've tried starting the bike with switch down and the way it stalls feels different. With the switch down it feels like the bike just shuts off, like I am hitting the engine kill switch. Compared to trying to move forward and then stalling when the stand up is up, which jerks the bike forward.

Clutch cable:
 

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I realize it's the design of the cable but I don't like the almost 90 degree turn it makes right off the lever. Most of the bikes I am used to, the lever exit is straight and then has a long, smooth arc down to the fuel tank.

Can we get a side pic of the cable? Need two views to establish the 3D shape.

How does the clutch feel when operated with the engine off and with engine running in netural? Does it feel really stiff?
Is the engage disengage smooth?

And final question, did you adjust all clutch settings for the cable and the clutch release mechanism as per the manual?
Which of the many Vulcan 800's do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took a few more pictures, with the last showing how much slack I have in the clutch handle before it starts to engage. As far as feel goes, it doesn't really feel abnormal or particularly hard to pull in when the engine is off and when it is idling in neutral. When I disengage the clutch the it doesn't feel clunky as far as the handle feel goes. The only time it seems to make any strange noises is when it engages in first gear. As far as I can tell I have it adjusted to the specs listed in the service manual (2-3mm of slack). The bike is a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan VN800A specifically.

I forgot to mention this, but my problems began when I went to ride the bike after having been out of town for a few days. I came back and noticed that the clutch lever was extremely loose for seemingly no reason and it started having the issue of wanting to stall in first gear. After noticing this I adjusted the clutch cable back to what it should have been, but the problem still persisted.

Pictures:
 

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I took a few more pictures, with the last showing how much slack I have in the clutch handle before it starts to engage. As far as feel goes, it doesn't really feel abnormal or particularly hard to pull in when the engine is off and when it is idling in neutral. When I disengage the clutch the it doesn't feel clunky as far as the handle feel goes. The only time it seems to make any strange noises is when it engages in first gear. As far as I can tell I have it adjusted to the specs listed in the service manual (2-3mm of slack). The bike is a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan VN800A specifically.

I forgot to mention this, but my problems began when I went to ride the bike after having been out of town for a few days. I came back and noticed that the clutch lever was extremely loose for seemingly no reason and it started having the issue of wanting to stall in first gear. After noticing this I adjusted the clutch cable back to what it should have been, but the problem still persisted.

Pictures:
hi I no its the 800 mines a900 2008 my cable does not have that metal bend on , as the cable been changed
 

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Thanks for those pictures. Based on the pictures and your last post, I think we can rule out the cable as the problem.

Your last clue made me wonder. You left town and when you came back the clutch was loose. Is there any chance that someone else took it for a joy ride?
 

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Nice, 800A with the kawasaki accessory T bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't think anyone in my household would have taken it for a joy ride or anything like that. In a couple of days I will give the carbs a good cleaning and change my spark plugs when I have a little bit more time. And if that doesn't solve it I'll take a look at the clutch assembly itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I have a bit of an update. I cleaned the carbs and changed the spark plugs and now it is no longer stalling. However it stills judders and shakes when releasing the clutch. So my guess is it still is having some sort of issue with the friction plates or some part of the clutch assembly.
 

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How much have you been riding it? If it has been setting a lot you might just need to ride it and let everything get un stuck and lubed up again. When I got my 82 gpz550 the clutch was locked after the first winter of non use. After I got it freed up and started riding it, now it works much better. You might try that before you rip and replace parts.
 
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