Versys Forum

Please login or register.

News: Join Now ! Members have access to areas that guests cannot see.

Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] [NO] [MY] Topic: Clutch lever gone very stiff and now clutch will not disengage?  (Read 1172 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jungle Jim

  • Versys Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Bike: Versys 650
  • City / Town: Salisbury
  • Country: gb
Hello all,

I am new to the forum, so hello to everyone. I am also a motorbike novice as my (new to me) shiny 2008 one-owner Versys is my first bike since I owned a Yamaha FS1E (ask your Dad  :001:) back when God was a lad.

The previous owner gave me a full run-down on the bike, but as this went on for a long time I've forgotten half of what he said. He did say something about the clutch cable but I can't remember what. I rode about 90 miles on Sunday, no problems, and garaged the bike. I got it out this afternoon and thought the clutch lever was really hard to pull, and didn't seem to return to its full rest position. It is moving the clutch arm at the other end, I wiggled the cable along its length and the routing seems fine. Having no confidence that it was working, I put the bike up on a workshop stand, started it, pulled the clutch in and selected first gear, at which point the engine stopped.

I've searched the threads here and see that the clutch cable has been the cause of some problems, so my assumption is the cable has frayed internally. I'll order a new one anyway, but can I ask the many experts on here am I on the right lines with my diagnosis or should I be looking for anything else? Also is there a good aftermarket brand I should be looking for, or do I need to buy a Kawasaki cable?

Also what is likely to have happened if the cable had failed on the road? I assume at some point I would try and come to a halt and wonder why I wasn't slowing down. I assume that applying enough brake will stall the engine. Is it also like a car, that it is still possible to change down through the gears if you match the revs to the road speed? Or will a loud graunching noise at the first gear change give me a big hint that all is not well?


  • Versys God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • Bike: versys 650
  • City / Town: stoke
a clean and lube should sort it

Offline Oldplodder

  • Versys God
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
  • still lovin' it
  • Bike: F850GS - GL1800
  • City / Town: Buckley
  • Country: wales
Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to hear of your woes with your 'new to you' bike.
Have you tried moving the clutch lever at the engine end, using a long bar or screwdriver, to check that the clutch is actually okay? It should be fairly easy to move and return easily and freely.
My first though was the cable had frayed, but you then mention it appears loose and moved the lever at the engine end.
Hopefully it will be the cable being frayed, in which case I would recommend the Kawasaki replacement, as it is the one designed for the bike by the manufacturer.

Keep us posted.

Dave T
Lord, Please make me into the person my dog thinks I am.

Online Stewie

  • Versys Mega God
  • ******
  • Posts: 7178
  • No longer The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Bike: Honda CB1000RA
  • City / Town: Barwell, Leics.
  • Country: gb
If the side stand was down when you released the clutch the engine will stop.

Its a safety feature on most bikes.

With the side stand up and the bike on a stand you should be able to run though the gears with the rear tyre spinning in the air.

If you didn't notice any issues with changing gear when you rode it before then the cable is likely OK.
But confidence is a strange mistress and now it is in your head as an issue you will have to change it or remove it and lube it or you will always be worried about it.

Offline jdoyle

  • Versys Pro
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Bike: Versys 650 Mk1
  • City / Town: Wicklow
  • Country: ie
Did you by any chance have the side stand down when you selected first gear with the bike up on the paddock stand

As I think that would cause it to cut out mine does there is a switch on the stand to prevent you driving off with it down
I think it acts with the switch on the clutch mine may be broken
but maybe your clutch was not in far enough if its acting up

also replacing the clutch cable is straight forward did mine last week

EDIT : too slow typing looks like Stewie beat me to it :-)
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2020, 08:57 PM by jdoyle »

Offline uralrob

  • Versys Mega God
  • ******
  • Posts: 10452
  • Bike: 14 V 650 15 V1k
  • City / Town: Bridgewater NS
  • Country: ca

 Welcome, J.J.

 The engine may have stopped because the kick stand was down or because the clutch lockout switch, activated by the clutch lever, was in cut out position.

 Try disconnecting the cable from both it's top and bottom ends. Check that the lever is moving absolutely freely. The lever pivot can easily be cleaned up and lightly greased. Then check that the inner cable is also moving freely freely. If not, try spraying the inner cable with silicone lube/WD40 etc  via a cable luber or by feathering a rattle can straw with a sharp knife and inserting the feathered end between inner and outer cable to force lube into the cable.
 If necessary order a new cable from Kawi. They're not expensive.  Part # 54011-0082.
 While you're at it unplug the clutch lockout switch and clean up it's terminals and shoot some WD40 into it's innards where possible. That has nothing to do with your clutch activation not working but can result in engine cutting out or not starting.

 For the record you have THE classic Mk1 Versys 650. None better. Treat it right and it will love you forever.

 Let us know how you get on.


Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline Jungle Jim

  • Versys Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Bike: Versys 650
  • City / Town: Salisbury
  • Country: gb
Ah, thank you for being gentle with me, rookie error, yes the side stand was still down  :006: I'll try again tomorrow.

I did lever the lower arm and it moved and returned OK, but it seemed like it needed a lot of force considering the size of the spring I could see. However I have never moved it before so don't know if it is normal.

Edit: Thank you for the tip on the clutch lockout, I'll give that a seeing-to while I am looking at the cable.
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2020, 08:53 PM by Jungle Jim »

Offline TowerMan

  • Information Guru
  • Versys Mega God
  • *
  • Posts: 8255
  • V.I.G.S. rules OK
  • Bike: Mk1V650 + Mk2V1k
  • City / Town: Biggar, Scotland
  • Country: scotland
The routing of the clutch cable on the Mk1 especially round the headstock and down under the tank is a bit tortuous.  :023:

I achieved a better / smoother pull in my Mk1 by rerouting a new cable with a few loose cable ties and not restraining it in the metal clips around the headstock area  :028:
Richard    :001: 

Online 2WheelDev

  • Versys Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Bike: 2007 Versys 650
  • City / Town: Teddington
  • Country: gb
I actually recently fitted a Venhill Feather Light clutch cable, wasn't cheap.... But significantly better than what was there before! (Which got pointed out to me by the mechanic changing my front tyre!)

Offline Jungle Jim

  • Versys Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Bike: Versys 650
  • City / Town: Salisbury
  • Country: gb
Thank you all for your input, you are indeed Versys Gods  :020:

A quick look at the cable shows that the outer sheath has a cut on the tight turn round the headstock, so a new cable has been ordered in any case. I had a slight panic moment as I checked the link that 2WheelDev posted after I had ordered and the description says '2007 KAWASAKI KLE 650 VERSYS (NON-ABS)'. I have the abs version, I didn't realise there might be a difference. Top marks to Wemoto, who responded to my email immediately and checked through the part numbers, confirming it's the same cable for both.

I'll let you know the results once I've changed it over, next week hopefully.