Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Amarillo, TX, USA
Re: Strange clutch problem
I successfully bled the clutch on my '03 LT two days ago. I had to replace the clutch hose above the engine due to a fire. Yup, it melted the hose shut. The fire is a long story and you'll see it in a another posting when I get the photos organized.
Back to your clutch: I followed the advice on some postings that I found on this website and this is what worked well for me:
1) Buy a SpeedBleeder, #SB1010S. It's $7 for the bleeder and about that much for shipping. They will overnight it to you.
2) When the SpeedBleeder arrives, put the bike on the center stand, put the handlebars at full right position, put a 2x4 under the front tire, and remove enough tupperware (starboard engine cowling) to expose the bleeder fitting which is tie-wrapped to the frame underneath the fuel line fittings. The bleeder fitting has a soft rubber shroud around it.
3) remove the grub screw (must be German mech slang, what's a grub, anyway?)
4) Remove the fitting with the check ball carefully. It has quite a bit of red Loctite on the threads, so be patient.
5) Set the grub screw and the check ball fitting on your work bench. That's where mine are. I haven't thrown them away yet.
6) Wrap the SpeedBleeder threads with teflon tape, otherwise, air will be drawn back in when you release the clutch lever. Screw the SpeedBleeder into the bleeder hose fitting all the way, then back it off about a 1/3 of a turn.
7) Remove the clutch reservoir lid, and fill nearly to the top with DOT 4 brake fluid. Better put a few rags on all painted surfaces in case of a spill...
8) Assuming you already have put a short length of clear 1/4" vinyl tubing on the SpeedBleeder nipple, slowly pull in the clutch lever all the way, then release slowly. Repeat several times. I got the best results by orienting the vinyl tube vertically, rather than draining into a coffee can. That way, you can see the bubbles (or lack of) more easily.
Let us know how it works for you.