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'98 GL1500 SE
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Discussion Starter #1
When in gear, the clutch lever has to be almost all the way out to engage the clutch. I've only ridden the bike, a '98 GL1500, a few miles. I've read there is no adjustment to change the engagement /disengagement position in the lever travel. Could the small pushrod for the master cylinder be shortened slightly to move the engagement point closer to the handlebar? Are there other issues to consider here?
 

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No, shortening the rod would cause the slave piston to adjust to it and you would have the same results.
 

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When in gear, the clutch lever has to be almost all the way out to engage the clutch. I've only ridden the bike, a '98 GL1500, a few miles. I've read there is no adjustment to change the engagement /disengagement position in the lever travel. Could the small pushrod for the master cylinder be shortened slightly to move the engagement point closer to the handlebar? Are there other issues to consider here?
As long as the clutch is completely engaged and not slipping, just ride it and get used to it. Probably some normal clutch wear is responsible for moving the engagement point.
 

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2012 GL1800
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440 Posts
If this is a new to you bike, the first thing to try is bleed the clutch.
 

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'98 GL1500 SE
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. I sold my Softail to get a better bike for touring with the missus. It had a hand clutch lever and a foot pedal clutch with a Rekluse centrifugal clutch.. So lots of getting used to here..... Bleeding the clutch will be a good idea; the previous maintenance on the bike was iffy....
 

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Doubtful bleeding will change the clutch engage/release point, if there were any air in the system the clutch would release with lever closer to the handlebar, or not at all.

Having said that, flushing the fluid on a new-to-you bike is still a good idea considering the maintenance.... Brakes, too.... :)
 

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Thanks everyone. I sold my Softail to get a better bike for touring with the missus. It had a hand clutch lever and a foot pedal clutch with a Rekluse centrifugal clutch.. So lots of getting used to here..... Bleeding the clutch will be a good idea; the previous maintenance on the bike was iffy....
Would love to have a Rekluse clutch in me 1800. Unfortunately they don't offer one for Goldwings.
 

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2012 GL1800
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440 Posts
Doubtful bleeding will change the clutch engage/release point, if there were any air in the system the clutch would release with lever closer to the handlebar, or not at all.

Having said that, flushing the fluid on a new-to-you bike is still a good idea considering the maintenance.... Brakes, too.... :)
May not be air in the line. The return port to the master cylinder may be partially blocked.
 

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'98 GL1500 SE
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Blockage I the return port? That makes a lot of sense. But I would think it would release over time or the clutch wouldn't engage at all.... The disengagement point doesn't change; it's always close to the beginning of the travel. I was thinking of reshaping the clutch lever in about 3/4 of an inch if everything else failed........
. Yes, the Rekluse clutch is a worthwhile investment, great in traffic or starting off on a hill riding two up. Installation on the separate primary drive on a Harley is a breeze.
 

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Blockage I the return port? That makes a lot of sense. But I would think it would release over time or the clutch wouldn't engage at all.... The disengagement point doesn't change; it's always close to the beginning of the travel. I was thinking of reshaping the clutch lever in about 3/4 of an inch if everything else failed........
. Yes, the Rekluse clutch is a worthwhile investment, great in traffic or starting off on a hill riding two up. Installation on the separate primary drive on a Harley is a breeze.
There is not an issue. You are not the first or last to ask. It is just the nature of the beast. Hydraulic clutches work that way. :)
 

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Mine got that way and when In 5 gear pulling out to pass the clutch would slip,cleaning the hole out fixed it.
 

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'98 GL1500 SE
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Discussion Starter #12
Mine got that way and when In 5 gear pulling out to pass the clutch would slip,cleaning the hole out fixed it.
Yes, if the clutch disengaged a little further out, it would be slipping. Did the master cylinder require disassembly when you cleaned out the return hole? I never thought about where it would be located....
 

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You don't have to disassemble the master cylinder to get to the return hole. Just take off the cover, the rubber bellows, and a float under there and down at the bottom of the master cylinder is a little cover over the hole. Just pop out the cover and the return hole will be under it. The hole is very tiny. Just need a single piece from a wire brush to stick down in it to clear it out.
 

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And change the fluid
 

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2012 GL1800
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You don't have to disassemble the master cylinder to get to the return hole. Just take off the cover, the rubber bellows, and a float under there and down at the bottom of the master cylinder is a little cover over the hole. Just pop out the cover and the return hole will be under it. The hole is very tiny. Just need a single piece from a wire brush to stick down in it to clear it out.
Suck the fluid out of the master cylinder first. You'll see the small metal cover over the hole. Probably a lot of gunk laying in the bottom. I use a few q tips to get the gunk out. then use the piece of wire.DO NOT touch the clutch lever until you are ready to bleed the system.
 

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'98 GL1500 SE
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Discussion Starter #16
Suck the fluid out of the master cylinder first. You'll see the small metal cover over the hole. Probably a lot of gunk laying in the bottom. I use a few q tips to get the gunk out. then use the piece of wire.DO NOT touch the clutch lever until you are ready to bleed the system.
Thank you for the info, cihib, and everyone else.... Riding season hasn't really started here (its snowing here at an island on the coast of Maine), so I have plenty of time to work on it.
 

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A mighty vac is great for the clutch service,
 

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Better that way than having to fight to keep your bike from creeping forward,if it doesn`t slip then that`s where you want it to engage.
 

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If this is new, then you should replace the timing belts ASAP (unless they were done in the last couple of years AND the bike has been getting its exercise), and bleed everything. From all of my research as a new GW owner, those two things will prevent most of your potential problems.

If you feather your clutch in slow riding, you will get used to the new friction point pretty quickly.
 
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