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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this is a repeat question. I have a 2002 Vulcan 800 classic that I have been getting a really acrid burning/melting rubber smell. There was a skunk killed near my house and at first I thought I might have gotten some of the stinky bugger on my tires, but that doesn't seem to be the case. My rear brakes look like they're almost out of the usable indicator window. I was going to put it off until spring, but now I'm wondering if it's that or something else. Any ideas?

BTW the smell is very faint and when I got down on all fours I couldn't locate it again. I smell it after stopping the bike and getting off. I had to make sure I hadn't melted my overpants to the pipe. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I get that too on my 1600 Classic. I keep thinking that one of my wires is burning. I think it's just the way it smells. I have yet to find a burned wire or hose or cable. I would think that the rear brake wouldn't smell too bad because the wind would be pushing the smell behind you already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't catch the smell when I'm riding, just when I get off the bike. It's not strong and nothing looks burnt, melted or smoking. That's why I figured it might be the rear brakes.
 

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Just the visual of you down on all fours like a dog sniffin' around anothers backside HAD to get someone laughin'- did you hike a leg on your tire ?!?!? Funny --to me anyway ! Hope you get your brakes fixed- before some BAKER acts you !! Hope ya keep the garage door closed !!! ;~)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It probably was very funny, I was still all geared up, except for the helmet. At first I thought the tires might be rubbing on something. They are both relatively new. I haven't had a problem all summer long, that's why I think it's the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No it's not a belt, but I have noticed that shifting hasn't been the smoothest lately. It seems a bit sticky at times. I just chalked that up to the morning cold here. I wonder now if it's the plates.
 

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Sometimes ( especially if worn out ) if you run it hard through the gears, the clutch slips too much andwill leave that stink. If it's really cold out it may slip a little more, if your clutch is worn out then -- ? Try riding it really easy for a 5-10 mile ride or so, no hard shifts, no gassin' it, leave stops easy, etc. and see if it smells. Doesn't mean the clutch is fine, but it may be spinning without noticing it too much. If your clutch is slipping, you should be able to feel it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No I haven't felt it slip, but the morning commute can sometimes strain things. I'm usually pretty good with sensing when to shift so you just get that little click. I don't usually gas it or jump off the line from a stop. I'll take the long way home from work today and see if that does it.
 

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Sometimes ( especially if worn out ) if you run it hard through the gears, the clutch slips too much andwill leave that stink. If it's really cold out it may slip a little more, if your clutch is worn out then -- ? Try riding it really easy for a 5-10 mile ride or so, no hard shifts, no gassin' it, leave stops easy, etc. and see if it smells. Doesn't mean the clutch is fine, but it may be spinning without noticing it too much. If your clutch is slipping, you should be able to feel it.
How does a slipping clutch feel?
 

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anti freeze/coolant? You may want to try and lean the inside of the engine and clutch plates. and easy way is to use Sea foam per direcdtions, change the oil, and ride a hundred miles then change it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I might try that. I have a NAPA right across the street from me so i have a close supply of the Seafoam. That clutch does have +17k on it. Anyone know when they start to go bad?
 

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When the clutch is engaged (lever out) the rpms should rise (when throttle is turned) relative to the speed (mph) increase. This is how it SHOULD feel. If the clutch is slipping, when engaged, the motor will rev (rpms up ) but, NO speed increase until you back off the gas and the clutch 'hooks up' then the 'normal feel will ( should ) be there. Also if you are cruisin' and nail the gas, the motor will spin (rev) and no hook-up (speed )untill you back off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, thanks. I haven't had that happen, at least not regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions. Rode a bit last night and didn't get that smell. Maybe I did ride through something. With the amount of road kill recently it's possible something was burning off my pipes.
 
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