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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I don't know why but my 03 620 dark needs a new clutch. It started slipping in 2nd about 500 miles ago and now slips in first, second and 3rd gear 70+ roll-ons. I'm about to take it in for it's 6,000 mile service so I have a couple questions:

1. If it is my fault - what am I doing wrong? I don't wheelie - maybe 5 total over 6,000+ miles. I power brake - but I thought that's what the clutch was designed to do.

2. If it's another problem I'd like to find out what it is before I put a new clutch in. A little history: I had a highside at about 40mph that bent the clutch handle and broke the little tab that engages the switch that lets you start the bike in gear. The coffin never leaked and the fluid never went low. So what else might be the problem?

3. I don't have alot of trust in my dealer so what might I expect thier reaction to be? I don't care about pushing a warranty issue - I just don't want them to use this as an excuse if they find another problem.

4. And last, I'll be putting the clutch in myself. Anything special to expect / be prepared for and what's a good replacement clutch? I want something streetable - I'm not a wannabe racer ( no offense to all you wannabes out there ;)) I'm after durability..

Thanks for any info -

jb
 

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Jim,
I can't remember if your model has a dry or wet clutch, but here are my .02 assuming it's dry - if it's wet, disregard what follows.

Check for clutch stuff at ca-cycleworks.com. Chris is a sponsor on here and only handles good products. I think he has steel and aluminum set ups in his catalog.

I can't think of why the clutch would be shot at about half of its "normal" life expectancy. Check the steel plates for bluing and warping. If they are, it may be a sign that your riding style has been overheating the clutch somehow. Measure the friction plates to see if they are worn down to minimum allowable thickness (I think that's 2.7mm, but not sure). If they still have plenty of thickness, and/or the steels are blued, then try to deglaze the friction material by sanding the surfaces and reassemble to test it out on the road. Also check the free length of the springs while it's all apart.

A couple of other things: 1) To ensure the pushrod isn't hanging and exerting any pressure that could help the clutch slip, pull the slave cyclinder and remove the pushrod from the left side of the engine. Check it for scoring and the condition of the o-rings. Lightly oil it and put back in. (Based on some discoveries by Chris at ca-cycleworks, this should be an annual check item) 2) When replacing the pressure plate, make sure the spring recess with the mark on each side is positioned over the boss with a corresponding mark.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Mark - wow thanks for the great info! Unfortunately it's a wet clutch :p Would any of that apply at all?

jb
 
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Discussion Starter #4
just curious, what kind of oil do use?

see if you can check the clutch lever somehow, to make sure the clutch isn't partiallt dissegaged..
??
 
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As the owner of an '02 620 here's my .02 worth:
Since your bike has a wet clutch the slipping can be caused by only a couple of factors, wear from use/abuse, or oil-related slippage. Some modern automotive oils will cause motorcycle wet clutches to slip because of the additives used in the oil. Stick to a good motorcycle oil that is recommended for use in wet clutch engines. Also, because the 620 is geared fairly tall it is likely that just from normal off-the-line use it could be worn to the point of slipping. The best thing is that it should be covered by warranty so if your dealer is of any caliber at all let them do it for free. That's what warrantys are for! Have fun on Ducati's dime for as long as you can.
 

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You don't have to use motorcycle oil. Just use synthetic car oil at a fraction of the cost. The important part is that you DO NOT want to use an oil that has friction modifiers in them - they will cause your clutch to slip.

Look at the back of the bottle and find the API rating circle. If it doesn't say EC or "Energy Conserving", you won't have a problem.

-R.
 

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I agree with the comments on oil as a possible suspect. I don't know anything about Ducati wet clutches specifically, but in general wet clutches are prone to slippage when the wrong oil/additives are in there.

For what it's worth, I just replaced the clutch in the YSR 50 because it was slipping like crazy. When I went into it I found the frictions in like new condition, stock springs which are notoriously weak but still had OK free length, and some seriously wrong oil. Even though I went ahead with a Barnett performance clutch and springs, I'm pretty sure that solvent cleaning the frictions and reassembling with the proper type of oil would have cured the slipping.
 
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I hope it's something as simple as that. Based on the owners manual, for my climate (florida), it suggests 20w-50. I use Castrol full synthetic 20-50. Anyone with any other suggestions? Price really isn't the issue - I used the Castrol because it was easy to get.

Thanks for all the feed-back.

jb
 

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I'm in So Cal. I use castrol 20-50 syn in my 750 with absolutely no problems. I'm sceptical that it is the oil that is suspect. 7000 miles/ 2 oil changes with no problems.
 

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That seems like low mileage to kill a clutch pack, but you never know...

I wouldn't think the damage to your MC would cause the problem. Usually, you'd get the opposite symptoms from that type of thing.

Since it is a bit of a PITA to get to the clutch, I'd check the slave and the push rod first. Also, I think the oil thing is a small possibillity and it's easy and cheap enough to dump the oil, fill it up with some dino juice and see if that makes any difference. (I've been using full-synth in my M750 since its first oil change with no problems, but it does say that it's formulated for use in wet clutch motorcycles.)

If the bike is under warranty, I'd let the dealership deal with it from there. If you do have to deal with it yourself, it's not that different from a dry clutch bike, except that you have to drain the oil and pull the entire cover. There is a little seal in there that guides oil to the crank that can be damaged if you don't pull the cover straight back, so just be gentle.

The Barnett clutches work wet or dry, and I don't there's much better on the market. If you're in there anyway, you might consider a new basket as well. Otherwise you may be doing it all again in another 6,000 miles.

--Fillmore
 

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Seems like very low miles, but Duc clutchs are not their strongest point. My clutch has close to 30K miles on it now. How? I barely use it. The bike seems to shift much smoother without the clutch. I geerally us it to take off from a light, then do a clutchless shift from 3 gear up. Up, down no clutch, the bike loves it. Not much metallic junk on the screen when I did the oil change either, which seems to indicate it's ok for the bike.

M
 
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Discussion Starter #12
An Update:

I got my bike from it's 6000 mi. service and the clutch is better. It still slips a little in second, though, on really hard accel. Maybe it was just the type of oil. Well Im gonna keep riding it and see how things progress. I'll be using the shell synth. oil the dealer used on the next change.

Thanks everyone for all the great support. :)

jb
 
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