Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A fellow rider in an other forum I belong to was experiencing clutch cable problems while out on a trip. I had, several times in the past, preached to the riders in that forum that they should attempt to familiarize themselves with riding their bike without using the clutch. Generally, most people know they can upshift without the clutch, few people know that it is possible to downshift as well...and even fewer people realize that you can get your bike going from a dead stop, WITHOUT the clutch and WITHOUT grinding any gears. After explaining and explaining and explaining, I decided to make an impromptu video. In this video, I'm using a bike that will not start unless the neutral light is on, with the Goldwings, this is not an issue because you can pull the clutch in any gear and the starter will crank. But for the sake of clarity, I'll start anew:

Please note that for this to work, your CLUTCH must be functioning, this is a tutorial on how to move along when your clutch cable, hydraulic line, master cylinder, or slave cylinder has failed and left you without the use of your clutch. This is a handy ability that all bikers should at least try, perhaps even do it regularly (well, the shifting anyway.)

Consider this, you're out on an adventure ride, 100's of miles from home, perhaps even 100's of miles from the nearest town. Your clutch system fails. You now have a coupla options. Hope you have reception on your cellphone AND that you can contact someone to come pick you and your bike up, sit and wait for them....OR, ride your bike on to your destination, or back home, or to a shop. Take your pick, I will tell you that you can ride your bike, even from a dead stop, shifting up and down through all the gears, without so much as a single grind.

Procedure: Ensure the bike's engine is well warmed up, to the point where once it's shut off, it starts without effort. If your bike will crank regardless of the neutral light being on, put it in 1st and hit the start button, the bike will chug along on the starter motor until the engine is fired up and you'll ride along almost as normal. If the bike doesn't start when the neutral light is off, but will if you have the clutch disengaged, then put the bike in 1st, pull the lever all the way in (to activate its neutral safety switch,) and hit the start button...at this point, the bike will chug along on the starter until the engine fires up and you can ride on down the road.

Upshifting is easy, ride as normal and when it's time to shift, let off the throttle and toe the shifter up to the next gear. Ease back into the throttle and you'll have a smooth upshift with zero grinding. Downshifting may take some practice, but you'll want to get proficient with it. Off the throttle, slowing down, rest your foot on the shifter, slight downward pressure will suffice. As the engine RPM and the tranny's synchronizers' RPM approach a happy medium, the shifter will give way under your foot and the transmission will slip right into the next lower gear, without any grinding. If you burp the throttle on your way down through the gears, you'll be able to do this quicker.

Stopping: Should you find yourself in a traffic congestion that will require you to stop, like a red light over which you have no control, try slowing down and finding your way into 1st again. In this gear, at idle, the bike can literally come to a crawl. However, at some point, it is likely that you will have to stop...when that time comes, get the bike into NEUTRAL and leave it running. This will help keep you from draining the battery off from a lot of cranking of the starter motor. When the congestion has cleared and it's about time for you to go again (red light turns green,) turn the bike off, put it in 1st, start her up and ride on down the road.

There are some bikes that absolutely will not start unless the neutral light is on. This is not easily overcome when you're out in the middle of nowhere, but it is easily skirted. In this case, start the bike up, in neutral obviously. When you're ready to ride, simply walk the bike forward. It doesn't take much to get the pace up to the aforementioned crawl speed. At this point, step on the shifter and she'll go right into gear without any grinding, and away you go.

Here's a video I made using a smaller motorcycle...I've done this on my 1500 Goldwing, but I'm awful short and was trying to make an instructional video, not a comedy, so I used a much smaller bike:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Really good advice. However the link dosen't seem to work.

Steve
 

·
Village Whack Job...
Joined
·
7,908 Posts
I've done it on my 1100, twice.

My standard riding style is to shift without disengaging the clutch. I find that clutchless shipping is far smoother than the typical clutched method. Especially on hard acceleration.
 

·
GERIATRIC MEMBER
Joined
·
57,413 Posts



The only time I use the clutch on my neighbours 1800 is when moving off or stopping.....:wtf: That link is not working....:lash:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My apologies...link um...fixed.

The video is now embedded in the O.P.
 

·
GERIATRIC MEMBER
Joined
·
57,413 Posts



Thats it fixed.....that is fairly common with lazy riders.....:ssshh:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,765 Posts
I, too, only use the clutch to start and stop. I can upshift faster and smoother without the clutch. Down shifting, depending on the speed can be smoother, but does tend to lurch a little on down shift. Goldwing transmissions have what is called spur cut gears. They look like what most people think gears should look like. On most automobile standard transmissions, they tend to have what is called helicut gears. The gears spiral around the shaft. Helicut gears are much harder to shift without the clutch but they too can be shifted clutchless. The difference between the cuts is helicut gears tend to have a smoother engagement of the gear teeth, and more teeth carry load at a given time so they tend to be more efficient for a given size and they also tend to be quieter than spur cut gears.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,232 Posts
Great effort on the video and should be truly beneficial to some of the members. Definitely worth practicing for any riders that haven't tried the clutch less method. I personally wouldn't of thought of using the push off method to conserve power and starter motor.:claps::claps::thumbsup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
593 Posts
I imagine pushing off with a Goldwing can be a little difficult. But if you're out in the middle of no where, being able to at least keep going and possible get going can be a saver.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,303 Posts
I drove a VW rabbit some 50 plus miles with a non operating clutch peddle.

Starting out from every stop sign and light was sure fun, everyone got out and pushed like mad until I would pop her into gear and then slow down almost to a stall by holding it back with the brake peddle whilst they ran up and jumped into the still moving vehicle. Four of us in that little car too!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I personally wouldn't of thought of using the push off method to conserve power and starter motor.:claps::claps::thumbsup:
I think you missed the point of my doing the push-off in the video. I chose this bike for the vid BECAUSE it simply will NOT crank unless the neutral light is on. For this reason, if the rider has become clutchless on the road (without means to jump the solenoid whilst sitting on the saddle,) it is quite easy to walk the bike up to a pace sufficient enough to slip the transmission right into gear and ride off as 'normal.'
The point here is that the push-off isn't to conserve battery life, it's a necessity in the case that your bike won't crank if it's in gear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I drove a VW rabbit some 50 plus miles with a non operating clutch peddle.

Starting out from every stop sign and light was sure fun, everyone got out and pushed like mad until I would pop her into gear and then slow down almost to a stall by holding it back with the brake peddle whilst they ran up and jumped into the still moving vehicle. Four of us in that little car too!
Well, I think y'all worked a little too hard for that trip! There is a neutral safety switch that resides on the clutch pedal itself. You may notice the car won't crank if it's in gear unless you push the clutch pedal down. I explained in the opening post how to work it if the vehicle does crank with the clutch activated. Here's what you do next time:
Have the engine completely warmed up, to to the point where it starts with a small amount of cranking. Turn the engine off, put the tranny in 1st gear, depress the clutch pedal (pull the clutch lever.) Knowing full well that your clutch is useless, the pedal/lever will allow the engine to crank in gear, and she WILL. And you'll be driving(riding) on down the road without having grinded any gears.
If you have to stop in transit, find neutral as you roll to your stop, leave the engine running. Time comes to go, turn engine off, put in 1st, activate clutch, start the engine, ....down the road you go...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
27,898 Posts
I rode my first motorcycle, a 64 150 dream, quite a while with a broken clutch cable. Got used to it pretty quickly, wasn't even noticeable to others what I was doing. Just a little shove off and pop it in gear. It would start in gear but I preferred to use the push off method. I would just put it in neutral from 2nd when slowing down to stop, I still have that habit 46 years later.
 

·
Postpubescent member
Joined
·
36,382 Posts
Yep, it's a good technique to learn, I've had the experience of a broken clutch cable more than once over the years. It was a lot easier on my old Triumph on the desert when I was a teen than just a few years ago on a GL1100 in Tacoma traffic. It's funny how things that happen to you that seem like a real pain lead to learning how to work around problems to keep going.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top