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Discussion Starter #1
hey there everyone! i just joined and just recently got a 2006 Vulcan 500. haven't ridden it yet because i am having a problem with the clutch. when i start it up and put it in 1st gear it lurches forward and stalls. does anyone know what i need to do to get it running? a friend of mine told me i may need to adjust the clutch but i don't know where or how. do i need to adjust at the lever or further down the clutch line. there is a lot of play at the lever. almost 1/4 inch or more. any help will be greatly appreciated.
thanks
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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There should be 1/8"-1/4" free travel in the clutch lever before you feel any resistance to pulling it in. If you remove the free travel you take a chance of burning the clutch up. Depending on how much adjustment you need to do it can be done at the lever. If it takes a lot of adjustment you will have to do it on the side cover then make the fine adjustments at the leaver.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
how do i do it at the side cover? I don't have the manual and have not found a detailed how to guide. do you know of any on the net?
thanks
 

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I'm not familiar with the vulcan or if the newer bikes adjust the same as the antiques like I ride so I'll leave this one to someone that knows more about them. :biggrin:
 

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Patriot Guardian
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You should have an adjuster both at the perch and down on the engine.

Adjust the lever so that freeplay is just barely enough to slip a quarter into the gap between the lever and the perch.

It is somewhat normal for the bike to lurch when put in gear when it is cold.
Perhaps you are not letting it warm up enough? On mine, I let it run for a couple of minutes while I put on my jacket, helmet, and gloves, then, before putting it in gear, I "work" the clutch a couple of times, then while holding the clutch in (still in neutral) blip the throttle once or twice.

The clutch is covered in oil, and the plates will stick.
 

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+1 on the clutch lever adjuster. A 2006 shouldn't have much stretch in the cable at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i'm going to set up the lever at the correct play and make the adjustment at the engine end of the cable. is this adjustment as straightforward as doing it at the lever?
 

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You dont need to adjust it at the engine unless the lever adjuster is at its maximum. At least, at this point I usually replace the cables.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah it's at max at the lever and when i kick it into first gear it lurches forward and stalls despite having the clutch lever pulled all the way in.
 

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I have had the same problem on 2 different EN500's. Has your bike set up without you using it for a week or two? Seems like the the clutch wants to "stick". I found that if I go ahead and kick it into gear it usually unsticks after a try or two.
 

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Are you sure there isn't a kickstand switch problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
so far this is what is going on with the bike. when i start it and let it warm up for more than 10 minutes, the bike lurches forward and stalls once i kick it into first gear. i have made sure that the kickstand is up though i am not sure that there is any switch attached to it. there is a cable attached to the cluth lever assembly. i'm not quite sure what this is for as a i don't have the repair manual and this si my first bike.

I tried something else. with the bike turned off i put the bike into first gear with the clutch pulled in and it won't move. From what i know the pulling the clutch in should allow me to move the bike back and forth freely just as if it were in neutral. right? it seems obvious to me that there is a problem with the clutch adjustment. i tried the adjustment at the lever and then i tried the adjustment at the engine end of the clutch cable and nothing helped. i left the minimum amount of play at the lever and also left the minimum at the engine side but nothing has worked. I don't have the manual so i don't know exactly what is going on with the clutch or what other adjustments to make to it. anybody have any clues as to what i should do beyond what has already been suggested?
thanks to all!!
 

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It's not a problem with your clutch adjustment. It's a problem with the clutch plates "sticking" together. Have you tried kicking it into first more than once at a time? Try it a couple of times and it should come loose. Mine always does.
 

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It's not a problem with your clutch adjustment. It's a problem with the clutch plates "sticking" together. Have you tried kicking it into first more than once at a time? Try it a couple of times and it should come loose. Mine always does.
EDIT: I just read the bike won't move in first with the clutch pulled. My bad. Should read a little harder. Unless this problem has been brought on by him not adjusting the cable correctly (i.e. cable is now adjusted too tight)

I also dont understand why he can shift when the bike is turned off if the clutch is sticking.
 

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Patriot Guardian
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If the cable is too tight, that would cause the clutch to slip under load... should definitely release.

It's an '06... if it's still under warranty, I'd get it to the dealer.

If it were older, I might be inclined to think that the "fingers" in the basket were grooved... that will also cause the clutch to hang up, but unless the bike has got a LOT of hard miles on it, I don't see that as being the case.

The only other thing I can think of is if a previous owner installed new plates and they are thicker than stock, or MAYBE if the clutch has been overheated (really not easy to do on a wet clutch) then the steels are warped out of spec.
 

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I am by no means a mechanic, and all of the "terms" I am using are layman's word usage. My 500's would both do the same thing if I let them sit for about a week without using them. Especially if we had rainy weather (even though they were both garaged). I've even had a truck that did it twice after it had set for a month or so. After trying to kick them both into gear, the bike would lurch forward and cutoff. Not cutoff because of the sidestand switch, but cutoff because of the sudden forward motion with no throttle being applied. All this after a good 3 minute warmup. I don't think cable adjustment has anything to do with it. Mine were and still are fine. It just does it every once in a while. I've had a 1995 and still have a 2003 500 and both would do it occasionally if I let them sit up a week or two. I just restart the bike and kick it into gear a time or two until it "unsticks". Usually only takes a time or two. Don't have a problem after that until I let it sit up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I tried kicking it into first a couple of times after letting it warm up and it still does the same thing lurches forward and then stalls. i messed with the cable a bit to see if it was just simply not engaging the clutch but nothing. I can't take it in under warranty because i got this with a salvage title. You guys are probably going to kill me for not having mentioned this but the bike was given a salvage title because it was in a dealership in New York that got flooded and water went in the engine. the engine was flushed and it was recommended that i do this a couple of more times. I just got the bike recently and i am just trying to get into riding crusiers after not having anything other than a Dirtbike about 15 years ago. I want to get it going as I have to take it in for VIN verification to the DMV and have the lights certified so I can register it. Would the fact that it had water in the engine be affecting the clutch or is it something that is beyond an internet forum discussion and i'm gonna have to get checked out at the dealer or shop?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
oh another thing I forgot! The bike has zero miles on it as it was sitting in the crate at the dealer when the flood waters came in!
 

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Would the fact that it had water in the engine be affecting the clutch
Uhh.... ya... that would have been nice to have known a week ago :wink:

Water in an engine typically means it's time for a new engine... that's why it was given a salvage title. Simply flushing it out does not remove the rust and other contamination that is in there. That entire engine and gearbox should be torn down, inspected, and reassembled.

Quite likely, the clutch input shaft has seized to the output shaft. The engine drives a gear that is attached to the basket. This basket spins around another shaft that is attached to the inner basket. Lock those together and you have no clutch.
 
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