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I have a 2012 N1K and if I go to take off from a dead stop and have the RPMs over 4K the bike makes a sound like it's fighting itself and then it tries to stall. I took it be the dealer and they gave me some crap about it being some sort of safety thing to keep the rider for flipping the bike and the noise is the trans reacting to the sudden torque. It's been a few years since I played with sport bikes and I know they have came a long way, but I've never had one do this and I don't have the ABS model so I also figured safeguards would be non-existent. Anyone else run into this or should I be finding a different Kawi shop to find the problem?
 

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Can I please have their name and address? I want to work there. I'm tired of trying to do a good job, and need a break in life. The stock bike is not set up very well, but it wont do that. There "really" are safeguards, but, again, not like that. When you launch this bike, at 4000rpm, your only problem should be the fecal matter left on the seat.
 

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Definitely take it elsewhere. That is not normal. Even in stock trim, this thing should launch at just about any RPM above idle. It's pretty tough to get this thing to stumble.
 

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I don't have the stalling problem but what I did/do experience is a shuddering when trying to launch carefully without enough RPM. It happened more of course when I was first learning the bike and didn't give it enough gas. Reving it more eliminates it completely but I have experienced occasionally since. This shuddering is coming from the clutch best I can tell. I suspect this might be normal but hearing about the stalling just reminded me to ask others to see if it is. Anybody?
 

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Sounds like the clutch, mine does that if i take off at higher rpms and ease off the clutch, my clutch likes to be released quick, i need to do the clutch mod this winter.
 

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Guys, this is where modifications start to figure into your plans, and the dealing with "Normal".

Normal, on our cars, is often something we have to live with. Safety and emissions items being how they are. Thats not so true with our motorcycles.

Drilling extra holes in the clutch, or having someone do it, stops mist of this noise and makes it feel better.

Dont accept "normal". If you dont like it, thats reason enough. Why? Holding the motorcycle to a higher standard makes you think at a higher level and might save you from an accident.
 

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Thanks for the feedback RC. I was just trying to find out if other people experience this on their Ninja's. It doesn't really bother me if it's normal. I realize I can avoid it by making sure the revs are up before releasing the clutch. It could be me just getting used to a high rev motor but figured I'd check with the group.
 

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That's interesting Mark. It seems to me mine does it less if I release the clutch slower. It's almost like lugging the engine but it feels like it's the clutch, not the engine.

Sounds like the clutch, mine does that if i take off at higher rpms and ease off the clutch, my clutch likes to be released quick, i need to do the clutch mod this winter.
 

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Check your clutch lever free play should be around 1/8", i just adjusted mine noticed it was like 1/2" and shifting rougher than usual, after adjusting it shifted smooth as silk and i didnt get the clutch noise on release at a higher rpm, try launching at 2000 rpms with an increase in throttle as soon as your off the clutch, mine will launch with hardly any throttle, but when i first got it i stalled it a few times untill i got used to it, ive seen several people stall the nk1. I have stalled mine if i started to go and had to back off because of traffic and started real quick again.if it dont get no better im wandering if the clutch is partly disengaging on higher rpms launches, might have to run it by the dealer and let them look at it, i think the slipper clutch is suppose to disengage to prevent wheel lock up, but could be sensing high rpm starts as a problem and slightly disengaging, hopefully you just need to get used to it
 

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Just went and did a couple of launches, at 2000 you should be going when releasing the clutch smoothly, dang i wish i would of checked my clutch lever free play sooner its a completely diiferent animal now, definately corrected my problems
 

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Thanks Mark, I just checked and I do have free play of about 1/2" measured at the end of the lever. Yes, I really think this bike just likes to start off with high revs and a slow clutch release. It makes sense with a high reving engine. I don't have a problem with it, was just curious, that's all.

Another thing I'm curious about but I don't think is a problem is when I first start the cold engine the revs oscillate for a minute until it warms up. I assume that's normal too but of course I wouldn't mind hearing it from others. :) Due to what I read in the manual I always wait until the revs at idle drop from 1500 to 1100 before I operate the bike.
 

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OK, I'll check this out when I get a chance.

Just went and did a couple of launches, at 2000 you should be going when releasing the clutch smoothly, dang i wish i would of checked my clutch lever free play sooner its a completely diiferent animal now, definately corrected my problems
 

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Yes it will ride up and down on the idle when its warming up, did you turn the wheel and take up the free play to 1/8" on the clutch lever? It will throw the engagement out being that far off made a big difference on mine when i adjusted it
 

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Thanks on the warm up confirmation Mark.

I don't understand why adjusting free play would make much of a difference other than moving the friction point. Do you have any theories about what is happening to do this? I will certainly play with it but it will have to wait until Monday at the earliest.
 

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You need freeplay. Not much, but enough. A good rule is to be able to take a nickle and slide it between the and perch. Like this.

http://www.thisoldtractor.com/mg_images/clutch_adjustment_v700_lever.jpg

And thats it. End of story. You cannot use this as a distance adjustment.

As the plates warm up, they change shape, slightly. If you dont have enough freeplay, the plates cannot close completely. This will let the clutch slip and lead to premature wear.

If you dont like the distance we have from the lever, you need to switch to an adjustable lever.

If you take these pieces apart. The lower rod and actuator, you would be surprised at how little it moves to open and close the clutch. Lots of leverage used. For that reason, a small adjustment makes a huge difference.

Mark, the movement is so small, the adjustment range is VERY critical. What you figured out is dead on the money.
 

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Oh, oldrider...you have a 2016. The older bikes use a different clutch than we have.

Yours is a slipper, and the older ones did not have this. I converted my bike, so mine has seen both styles.

The old style, like Mark has, needs to be drilled to let more oil into it. Once you do that, its a great clutch. Smooth , nice release, and very consistent. If its not drilled, all bets are off. The plates run dry, and it might make some horrible noise.

Our slipper style has a VERY light pull, and not quite as nice release.. Its slightly more on/off feeling.

It improves as it wears in, for sure, but overall does not feel quite as nice as the old. Of course, that slipper feature is nice and worth having.

This is what we have, oldrider.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agTJDXsYIr0

Heres the older style. The guy in this video is funny, and its worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqKArAzKXNw
 

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Thanks for the clarification and information RC !

The picture helped me to see where I'm supposed to be measuring the movement, a very important point. Mine was too large as it started at about 1/4 inch so I adjusted to a nickle which is about 2 mm and the manual states it should be between 2 & 3 mm. I like the videos you linked to although the first one made me start thinking about the Yamaha Raider again as I was looking hard at that model not long ago (instead I got the HD Road Glide but spent a lot more money)

The guy in that 2nd video is quite the character and I found I had to skip through a bit as he shows the entire change out which conflicted with my ADD. :)

I found this video which shows the standard clutch in great detail and explains the operation better too. I'm fascinated by the mechanics of these things.

I should be able to road test it today if I can get out before the storms hit. It was the threat of those storms than canceled my other plans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d74A37h4v6c#t=692.398167

Regarding the slipper, with your help I finally became convinced mine has one and did realize the pull is lighter than most. I mentioned it to my sales guy and he didn't seem to interested one way or the other. I'm guessing that would make the experince Mark and I have very different, correct? And can you confirm there is no need to drill holes in mine, correct? Now that I see how the standard clutch is put together where would those holes be drilled, just for my knowledge? And is that to improve oil flow?

Thanks RC !


Oh, oldrider...you have a 2016. The older bikes use a different clutch than we have.

Yours is a slipper, and the older ones did not have this. I converted my bike, so mine has seen both styles.

The old style, like Mark has, needs to be drilled to let more oil into it. Once you do that, its a great clutch. Smooth , nice release, and very consistent. If its not drilled, all bets are off. The plates run dry, and it might make some horrible noise.

Our slipper style has a VERY light pull, and not quite as nice release.. Its slightly more on/off feeling.

It improves as it wears in, for sure, but overall does not feel quite as nice as the old. Of course, that slipper feature is nice and worth having.

This is what we have, oldrider.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agTJDXsYIr0

Heres the older style. The guy in this video is funny, and its worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqKArAzKXNw
 

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According to the service manual oldrider the free play at the lever has to do with adjustment on engaging and disengaging the clutch, if its not right it can cause the clutch to not fully disengage when you pull the lever, it also keeps the linkage that goes to the clutch housing to the correct angle which they show a 60 degree angle that also needs to be checked which is the flat bar going to the pivot point in the housing, this assures that the componants are where they need to be so when you pull the lever and let off then the clutch is activating like it should.Im not a clutch specialist by any means but i did stay at the holiday inn one time lol
 

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Thanks for the follow up Mark. That all makes sense. I'll have to check the 60 degree thing on the other end. I took it out a minute ago and I think everything is working fine right now. I can still force a little shudder if I try but I think it's less than when new. After watching those videos and becoming a Holiday Inn clutch expert myself my theory is that perhaps those friction rings have a little too much friction when new and will be super smooth as it wears in. :)
 
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