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Clutch Problems

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by Mark Fechtel, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Mark Fechtel

    Mark Fechtel Just got it firing!

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    Has anyone experienced clutch slippage on the 1400 Californias? I have a 2014 purchased new in October 2015, and it now has 7700 miles on it. It has been serviced by the dealer at 500 and 6200 miles, and has no engine mods or abusive riding. I went out Sunday in the afternoon heat (105+ in the Phoenix area), and the clutch started slipping after about 30 minutes when going up any incline or with increased throttle. Barely made it home that day. Needless to say, it is back at the dealership today. Clutch play and function feels normal when cold, and the hydraulic reservoir is filled. The dealer says dry clutches are susceptible to slippage in the heat, but I'm not sure I buy that.
     
  2. James Chance

    James Chance Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Here in Texas, it may not quite get to your level of heat all the time, but we have our moments (usually in August). Anyway, 2014 Cal 1400 Custom, no clutch issues in the heat (although I think I've smelled it a few times)...

    Jim
     
  3. groundhog105

    groundhog105 Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Something is wrong. It should not slip.
     
  4. John L

    John L Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    I have 24,000kms on my Eldo and no signs of clutch slip. It will smell a bit if I take off hard but that's normal for a dry clutch.
     
  5. Mark Fechtel

    Mark Fechtel Just got it firing!

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    The dealer was finally able to duplicate the slippage issued once the bike got hot enough (i.e, driving on the freeway in the afternoon at 110+degrees for 20-30 minutes). Apparently some water may have seeped into the hydraulic fluid in the clutch master cylinder, although it had never been opened to my knowledge. In the extreme heat, the water boils and pressurizes the clutch line, causing the clutch to partially disengage. MG is replacing the clutch master cylinder and covering all labor associated with troubleshooting and repair.
     
  6. Raven

    Raven High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Glad to hear they found the problem. It seems odd there would be water infiltration in a place as dry as Arizona, maybe Oregon or Washington. Pressure washer perhaps?
    What about your clutch plates? They must have taken some pretty severe abuse with all the slipping. I think a full clutch replacement might be a good gesture by MG.
     
    Mark Fechtel likes this.
  7. Trevor Richey

    Trevor Richey Just got it firing!

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    Has anyone worn a clutch out in a C1400 yet?
     
  8. Chet Van Aken

    Chet Van Aken Tuned and Synch'ed

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    No issues at almost 17000 miles, it is hot and wet in Mississippi.
     
  9. Mark Fechtel

    Mark Fechtel Just got it firing!

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    You hear about this happening in hydraulic brake lines occasionally, so it can happen in clutch lines too. I have never pressure washed it--heck, I rarely wash it at all, I'd rather be out riding it! The clutch plate was fine, and neither the dealer or I noticed any burnt clutch smell. I was really babying it to get home so actual slippage was minimal. I was just lucky I didn't have any hills to go up on the way home.
     
  10. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    No issues in humid ridden North Carolina even at 100˚ so far with 18696 miles on my custom.
     
  11. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Thank goodness it was only the clutch fluid and not the brake fluid - that would have been entertaining (not !!!) Seriously though, and this question is aimed at all you long term Guzzi owners, how long should a clutch last. I know, I know - it depends on abuse and City vs Highway driving etc. but I read somewhere that it's an "engine out" job and therefore labour expensive. No issues with mine as it's only covered 6000Km and I'm careful away at the lights - just wondering
     
  12. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Paul, it really is a "how she is treated thing". That is, assuming no mechanical issues with the throwout bearing, transmission, or a hanging clutch master cylinder. The mileage depends on carried weight, mods, passengers, heat and humidity, etc. Literally dozens of variables.

    That said, there is one piece of maintenance that all of us should be doing, and that is changing brake AND clutch fluid regularly. Both are hygroscopic, in that they will absorb water from the air. Not much mind you, the above example not with standing. But the presence of water in the brake and /or clutch system is not a good thing, just from a corrosion standpoint. If it gets bad it IS noticeable in the braking action (or lack thereof) and that is not a good feeling.
    I change both yearly in the late fall with a vacuum brake bleeder and "MOTUL RBF 600" DOT 4 fluid. It is cheap insurance.
     
  13. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Good advice - brakes for sure. There's not much info or advice I can find on changing/bleeding the clutch even in the service manual - they only recommend inspection for the life of the bike (leaks and low fluid) - there's no change out mileage listed. I wouldn't expect the clutch fluid to get as hot as brakes and therefore less likely to "boil" but I could see how air could get in if it's not all tight.

    I seem to recall a previous discussion about the clutch bleed screw being at the end of the flexible braided line that disappears into the Battery cover under the seat. At least Guzzi have made it easy for us.
     

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