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Heavy clutch Thunderace / early R1s...???


Mr. B
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Hi all, I've owned a 96 Thunderace which I really like but.....the clutch is really heavy. 

Anyone else have this issue or am I just a real whimp?

I had an issue with not hitting neutral so replaced the clutch friction & steel plates, springs, seals at the business end of the push rod but although I can now hit neutral (most of the time) and despite all this, the clutch is as heavy as it ever was.

I'm assuming early R1s would have a similar clutch setup and wondered if anyone else out there either is more manly than I or has a solution.....???

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Them new springs  mustabeen heavy duty,  is it a cable on the ACE.,,   ?

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The Chunderace is a big old heavy bike, cant think for a minute the R1 would have the same clutch. If the springs are the correct ones and not heavy duty, then you might want to try lubricating the cable, and checking that the cable is routed correctly from the bars to the housing. Conversion to hydraulic is a possible solution if a kit is available

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17 hours ago, Alex said:

You can always fit an easy pull clutch device, obviously there are nicer ones than this one https://www.thirdgear.com.au/easy-pull-clutch-system take a look on ebay

I got one from China, £5 I think it was 

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the clutch on the Ace is hydraulic. they can get heavy if the pivot on the lever isnt greased [copper slip], if the slave cylinder is corroded or if the pushrod has corrosion on it. My money would be on the second one as that happens most frequently. Sort all three and it'll be as light as a feather.

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Spot on pilninggas - I should have put that it is a hydraulic clutch first...  I've had the pushrod out previously and that seemed ticketty-boo but maybe worth another look as when I bought the bike it had obviously had one careful owner.....  That turned out to be me unfortunately :(   Some penny-pincher hadn't bothered replacing the paper gasket over the drive sprocket cover and all sorts of nasty stuff was lodged in there.

There is no issue with the action as it is very smooth in operation - just blinking heavy.

It does amaze me that people refer to the big old beast of a Thunderace.

It's only 20kgs heavier than an R1 or Fireblade.  Now I could either be a big old bunter at 100kgs or the svelte person I am at 75kgs....... and the difference is.....bugger all! 

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  • 2 years later...

Mr B. I just got a 97 Thunderace with the heavy clutch problem. Did you solve your issues and if so what cured it? Cheers.

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Just service the parts, make sure everything moves nicely.
The Ace may not be the lightest of clutches, but it's hardly 'heavy'... Remember the power that clutch has to hold!

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