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clutch chatter

3049 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Desmo Elmer
bike is a 03 800 with 3500 miles. I am the secnd owner, so although I am fairly confident about the previous owners intent, I am not sure about his knowledge.
Problem is; sometimes when accelerating out of stop, while releasing the clutch, I get a chatter and what appears to be a partial slippage. The slip part I am not sure of because I disengage pretty quickly at the beginning of the chatter and re-engage then successfully. Always when the bike is warmed up.
I was told at the time of my first oil change that some oils will cause cluth slip, so I was sure to buy correct oil.
The the miles so low I'm pretty confused.
While being away from bikes for a while, I have some years of motocross in my past and shift pretty smoothly and fast with not always a completed cluth compression. I don't beleave that is necessary though. The bike should be able to take that kind of shifting. It can't need a clutch already
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what is 'correct oil' ? ie, what oil did you put in there

check your slave cyl for leaking or other problems, how old is the clutch fluid, has it been bled lately? etc
Is it a slipper clutch? I rode a 620 with a slipper and it engages really weird. It starts out slipping and then it grabs and pulls the front wheel up. I found it more difficult to modulate than the dry clutch on my bike. I talked to a few mechanics and they said the factory slippers are like that.
Do you get a "honk" when the clutch chatters?

The M800s are unique in that they have an oddball clutch with springs mounted in the basket. The basket can actually slip or rotate on the primary gear a slight amount, engaging these springs. I was told the springs were put in there to relieve some strain on the gearbox. A "cushion" effect if you will. I have a sneaking suspicion that's what's giving you grief. It really looks to be a cheezy set-up if you ask me... the S2Rs, 620s went to slippers in '05.

I actually opened the case up to look at my clutch because, like you I had spent plenty of time on motocross bikes and Japanese street bikes and had never experienced this weird clutch behavior until I got the '04 M800, new.

I complained to the dealer when it was new but was told the clutch was "normal." This is the first Ducati I've owned so I accepted it as such. I used to get a lot more "honking" than I do now but I believe I have adapted my riding style to avoid the behavior. Attempts at drag strip type starts and clutching up wheelies will consistently produce the chatter/honk. Those "maneuvers" are not real important to me so I live with it, but it isn't ideal IMO.


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thanks for all the input. Oil is mobil one synthetic. I have notchanged the clutch fluid since I got the bike. With such low miles, didn't cross my mind.
let me see if I understand. A "slipper" cluthch is designed to slip under abrupt heavy loads to keep the front wheel on tjhe ground? is a slipper clutch the construction you mentioned with the basket mounted springs?
I also do not care for hole shot starts or wheelies, but it does occur sometimes under rapid riding mode with rolling stop/downshift/starts, and I am wondering what affect this will have if I venture out to a track day.
It does seem by your collective responces that it is normal and not harmfull to to cluth/tranny.
mobil 1 auto oil? You should try a motorcycle specific synthetic and see what happens

you can read the very very long, but very very informative oil thread below, but realize that auto oils can cause issues with a wet clutch...

Thanks again, but it was mobile motorcycle oil. I'm a little surprised at the few reponces to my inquiry. It makes me think the experience is unique and therefor something is wrong.
et me see if I understand. A "slipper" cluthch is designed to slip under abrupt heavy loads to keep the front wheel on tjhe ground?
No, no. A slipper is "supposed" to slip and prevent rear wheel hop or lockup when one downshifts at too high a speed. You do NOT have a slipper clutch in your '03 M800 anyway. (unless someone put in an aftermarket slipper clutch) '05 was the first year Ducati started using slipper clutches in the wet clutch S2R 800 and 620.

The springs I mentioned are mounted in the basket concentrically around the shaft. I tried to explain it in my first post but it's difficult to describe. The clutch basket is not fixed to the primary gear as is the case with most other clutches. The clutch basket rotates back and forth in relation to the primary gear a little bit and the springs act to stop the rotation and supposedly cushion the tranny.

There are quite a few posts on here about less than optimal clutch behavior. Especially the occasional "honking" or chatter experienced by owners of wet clutch bikes. Seems most people just learn to live with it. Mine has done it since new and I have 15,000+ miles on it now and it has not changed for the better or worse.
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