81 XS400 Special, Clutch Question

Tony Simmers

XS400 New Member
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So my question is about how to diagnose if your clutch discs are worn out? Despite the obvious things, pieces in oil, slipping, etc. The bike does not slip at any speed/RPM. Just doesn't feel as if there is a whole lot of travel from "disengaged" to "engaged" ie: (Lever in vs. Lever out) It is like within 1/8" of travel it is either fully engaged, or not at all. This doesn't bother me so much, but the lady I am restoring this bike for is a new rider and is having a problem feathering the clutch to start out from a stop or to smoothly transition between gears without jerking. I would not describe myself as an "experienced" rider or an "experienced" motorcycle mechanic, but I have ridden plenty of other bikes and this doesn't feel quite right...Clutch springs perhaps? I have adjusted the cable every which way from Sunday from no disengagement when lever is pulled, to bike rolls when in gear, and I can't seem to find a happy medium...Stretchy/worn cable maybe? I want to properly diagnose this before I spend her $$ (or my own) on something unnecessary. Thanks in advance for the help.