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  • 1 Post By MarvTravis
  • 1 Post By Red Label Moto
  • 1 Post By take risks
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May 13th 2017, 03:37 PM   #1
 take risks's Avatar
  Jan 2016

Honda Nighthawk Clutch wont disengage

Got an old nighthawk and clutches aren't my thing.

The lever has zero pressure to the bar, but I feel a spring push it back to standard position. I put the bike in first and push the bike forward then pull in the clutch. The bike stops as the clutch did not accomplish anything.

It is hydraulic so I bled it from the slave with a mighty vac and got all the air bubbles out. Looked at the master and did not see a bleed nipple up there.

Traced the line and everything looks okay.

Watched some YouTube and my next guess is to buy master and slave rebuild kits?

I'd like some input if this sounds like the right path. Definitely learning as I go here.

May 13th 2017, 07:32 PM   #2
 MarvTravis's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Kirkland, WA

  Kawasaki ZX-14
Does the bike roll when in neutral? If not, the clutch plates are stuck together, and are not releasing, even though the actuating rod is trying to separate them. Try forcefully rocking the bike forward and back while the transmission is in neutral to see if they'll break loose.

If you're getting absolutely no resistance when pulling the clutch lever to the grip, AND you're certain there is no air in the system, AND you have no hydraulic leaks in the hose or at the slave cylinder, I'd suspect the clutch master cylinder, rather than the slave cylinder.

That would indicate that the master cylinder is bypassing fluid internally, and isn't pushing fluid down the line. Is there a possibility the rod between the slave cylinder and the clutch is missing? Has the clutch system ever worked since you've had the bike?

Are you absolutely certain the system has been properly bled, and there's no air in the system? If there's air in the system, you'll get no clutch activation. See the Delboy's Garage video on changing clutch fluid, (and manually bleeding the system),

Let us know how you fare.
Quinndog likes this.

Edited by MarvTravis on May 13th 2017 at 08:59 PM Reason: Added trouble-shooting thoughts.
May 14th 2017, 07:24 AM   #3
 SilvieFox's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  welches, Oregon

  08Kawasaki Versys(Sylvester),72Suzuki RV90(vanvan),81Honda TwinStar(Bobber),Yamaha225,Honda Shadow
has it been sitting for a long period of time? my ATK clutch would get sticky if it sat for months unused... i found holding the rear brake hard , pulling in the clutch , kick it into first and rev it a bit... after that it was good till its next long nap..

tho the ATK didnt have a hydrolic clutch just the basic cable clutch
May 14th 2017, 07:51 AM   #4
 DocB's Avatar
  Feb 2016
  Poulsbo, WA

  Aprilia RSV Mille, CB77 (AMA Nat'l landspeed record holder), CB750K, CB750F
I'm with Marv on this, probably a bad master cylinder. If you try bleeding out the slave by pumping the lever rather than pulling vacuum you might verify that the master seals are shot. Or just undo the line at the master - see if it pumps out fluid when you squeeze (gently, and with a big rag handy!).
May 14th 2017, 12:23 PM   #5
 PeteN95's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Muklilteo, WA

  Suzuki DL1000, Honda XR650R, KTM 250 XC-W
Originally Posted by MarvTravis
Does the bike roll when in neutral? If not, the clutch plates are stuck together, and are not releasing, even though the actuating rod is trying to separate them.
No, the clutch is between the engine and the transmission, not the trans and the rear wheel. If the trans is in neutral, the bike will roll regardless of whether the clutch is stuck.

Edited by PeteN95 on May 14th 2017 at 12:30 PM
May 14th 2017, 02:07 PM   #6
 MarvTravis's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Kirkland, WA

  Kawasaki ZX-14
Originally Posted by PeteN95
No, the clutch is between the engine and the transmission, not the trans and the rear wheel. If the trans is in neutral, the bike will roll regardless of whether the clutch is stuck.
Think you're right about that...

Try pulling in the clutch and forcefully rocking the bike forward and back while the transmission is in gear to see if the clutch plates will break loose.

Edited by MarvTravis on May 14th 2017 at 06:06 PM
May 15th 2017, 07:11 AM   #7
 Red Label Moto's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  all of them
Sometimes with a clutch master cylinder there is air in the system that won't bleed out via the slave cylinder no matter how hard you try.

If in fact air is the problem, another approach is to use the banjo bolt at the master cylinder as a bleeder.

First, make sure the bolts clamping the master to the handle bar are snug and tight. I like to temporarily reposition the master on the bar so the fluid level with the cap off is as level as possible. Then very carefully loosen the banjo bolt holding the line to the master. It will probably be real tight. Then tighten it just barely snug.

Put rags everywhere. Then bleed the holy heck out of it by using the banjo bolt as a bleeder. Squeeze the lever 3 or 4 times and hold. While holding break the banjo free and let the juices flow. Resnug the banjo while still holding the lever. Repeat numerous times while ensuring the fluid level in the master remains over 1/3 full.

With any luck air will escape and you'll get a firm lever. Then bleed the slave again. Don't forget to retighten the banjo at the master.
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Edited by Red Label Moto on May 15th 2017 at 11:57 AM
May 15th 2017, 08:14 PM   #8
 take risks's Avatar
  Jan 2016

Thank you for all the suggestions.
I'm pretty stoked to start trying them.

My money is on air in the master.
Hopefully that is the ticket.
I'll post the results as soon as I get to it.

Answers to other questions:
The bike rolls freely when the transmission is in neutral.
I did put it in gear, pull in he clutch lever, and did my best to give it shaken baby syndrome. No luck

Maybe it's time we make some pnwmoto stickers.
Anybody heard from grant?
May 20th 2017, 05:08 PM   #9
 take risks's Avatar
  Jan 2016

Update as promised.

So here is how it went down... or up.
I read all the comments and was pumped to try bleeding it from the master.
First I open the master and unbolted the banjo.
I gave the clutch some squeezes and fluid came out the master. Good news.
Then I could not figure out how to bleed from the banjo. WTF is that nonsense.
Anyway Kie's comments stuck with me and I unbolted the master from the handler bar and turned it all kinds of cray trying to get any air bubbles to float up into the master.
No luck.

So I bleed it some more. OG and mityvac style. I went back to going Gundam style on the master and shaking the shit out of it.

I kept thinking about how can I make the air trapped in the line move. Bleed. Bleed. Bleed. Dammit.

Googled bleed clutch from master cylinder.
This video came up.

Holy shit that's my bike. Feel better about my problem since there is a goddamn video titled extreme and its my bike. Alright, fuck you Honda engineers of the early 80s. There is air trapped in the line under the gas tank. Fucking dumb.

Who the fuck hooks up a shop vac. You sir are probably a better mechanic than I will ever be, or you are dumb as fuck. Mechanical skills aside, I still think you are dumb as fuck. Fucking vacuum. Scoffing and talking to myself. Swear words.

Wiggle some hoses. Bleed. Nothing.
Shake the bike and wiggle harder. Nothing.

Fuck this shit. Push this heavy ass bike up a hill so those lines are pointed slightly up towards the master cylinder. Almost drop the bike.

Shake. Wiggle. Bleed. Swear. Anticipation.
Hmmmm. The lever feels like there is some pressure. No FUCKING WAY.
This sir is going to work! Yep, I can smell it.

I need to move the bike, but I am going to drop it. Get a neighbor for added stability. Explain my problem so he knows why and feels better about me interrupting his sunny ass afternoon that he is spending inside. No, I am not judging him. Really. Probably 40, lives with his mom at her house and she does all the work around it. Ungrateful.

Move the bike which is now on some steep shit. Shake... Wiggle... Bleed....
Get the neighbor.

Get it to a manageable grade, put the bike in gear and push the bike.
Pull the clutch in and...

That mother fucker rolls, it rolls better than my wife does when its my turn!
Fuck you air bubbles.

Thanks for helping me figure this out.
There is a backseat if anybody wants to get on it with me.
Sincerely. Thank you.
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Edited by take risks on May 20th 2017 at 05:17 PM Reason: My dick hit the keyboard while I was typing so I had to edit some misspelling.
May 24th 2017, 05:40 AM   #10
 Red Label Moto's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  all of them
Good gawd man! Lol. Glad it worked out.

  PNW Moto > PNW Moto > Mechanical and Technical

clutch, disengage, honda, nighthawk

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