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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't used the bike much last year and when I took it out today the clutch will not release . The bike surges ahead even with the clutch lever pulled in . I checked my engine oil level and it seemed to be a little over the top mark on the dip stick so I drained off 1/2 guart . It is now on the lower mark but the clutch is the same . The clutch fluid sight glass is showing just above the low level mark . Could it be that I have air in the clutch hydraulic system ? I couldn't find any place to bleed the clutch . Thanks . Barry
 

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Plates are frozen. Try riding it to free up the plates. There is a post here about riding with out a clutch releasing which is really good ( video link)
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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23,326 Posts
It's very common for the plates to stick a little, especially when a bike is abused as yours has been. If you can't sit on the bike and hold it as it goes in gear, then put it on the center stand and put it in gear. Apply some rear brake and all will be well in a matter of seconds.
Pop the top off the reservoir to look at the fluid level.
I suspect it's time for you to take the bike to a reputable shop and have all the fluids changed. (rear drive, both brakes, clutch, radiator and of course, engine oil)
 

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Junior Grue
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The clutch bleeder is on the rear of the engine just behind the left foot peg but hidden by a black plastic tank.

Your suspicion about air in the lines is likely correct as the sight glass lies and once you can see the level the bleed back hole is at or above the fluid level when the bars are turned to the left.

With the bike upright or leaning to the right a bit fill the reservoir, turn the bars to the right and pump the lever which will flush the air back into the reservoir.

Also check the brass pusher bushing in the lever as excess wear can cause those symptoms too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I removed the cover and the resevoir was lower . The site glass was not showing the correct level . It says DOT 4 brake fluid but I only can get DOT 3 . Walmart had DOT 4 in synthetic but I am not sure if it is ok to mix it with what is in there .
 

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Junior Grue
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Dot3 will be fine, the only reasons Honda says Dot4 for the clutch is that you only need one bottle for both brakes and clutch plus they only had to make one cover to fit both sides.

Try the pumping method before loosening the banjo, I've yet to see it fail.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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Try the pumping method before loosening the banjo, I've yet to see it fail.
I've seen it fail.... On my bike when I first got her running....

But then again.... I don't know the first thing about an '85 Ltd Ed......
 

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I've seen it fail.... On my bike when I first got her running....

But then again.... I don't know the first thing about an '85 Ltd Ed......
Then why don't you just stay out of it and let the experts fix it?!:ROFL:
 

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1985 GL1200 A
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953 Posts
Then why don't you just stay out of it and let the experts fix it?!:ROFL:
Now that's HARSH!:ROFL:

Since your oil level is already on the lower end of the range, why not put in 2-4 ounces of Seafoam or Startron in the crankcase to help the clutch plates loosen up and clean up? As they say in New York, "It couldn't hoit!":raspberry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The clutch resevoir had a lot of that nasty crud so I decided my best bet was to drain the system and put new fluid in . Now the clutch is a little harder to pull in but if I put it in 1'st gear with the clutch pulled in the wheel still turns . When I put it in 2'nd gear the wheel stops . This is with it on the center stand . It is raining here today so I can't get it outside to test . I am wondering if it might still have some air in the system .
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Just rev it up and step on the brake. The sticking plates had nothing to do with the fluid being low. It's a common condition caused by the bike sitting for long periods of time.
Most just hold the front brake when they put the bike in gear and the plates break free. If yours won't do that, then do it on the center stand with the rear brake.
 

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Vintage Rider
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To bleed the clutch on a 1200, all you need to do is loosen the bleeder screw until the fluid starts dribbling, then keep the master cylinder full. Let it dribble for a while, to flush out the old fluid, then with the master cylinder nearly full, tighten the bleeder screw. That should do it.

Be glad you still have a sight glass, They are actually made out of plastic not glass, mine rotted from exposure to the sun, and just crumbled and fell out. I disassembled the master cylinder, cleaned it really good, and filled the hole with JB Weld. It is still holding over a year later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think I have it fixed now . When the weather clears up I will give it a run . The wheel stopped when I applied the rear brakes with it on the center stand . I did bleed the clutch using the bleeding screw or valve in behind the black plastic tank . The black plastic tank was full of water so I emptied it . Where did all that water come from ? Is it supposed to be full or should I have emptied it out ? Also I should have removed the brass pusher bushing and greased it when I had the clutch resevoir empty .
 

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Junior Grue
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8,153 Posts
The tank collects the water and oil expelled from your crankcase vent and Honda recommends emptying it every oil change.

The brass bushing in the lever can be lubed/changed in less than five minutes and doesn't involve losing or dripping brake fluid.
If it's worn noticeably oblong change it as it only takes 2mm of wear for it to fail.
 
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