Sunday, August 9, 2020

Clutch Spring Replacement 03 Honda Shadow Spirit 750


Welcome to the XCIC %er Master Link. Today we'll be showing you how to replace the clutch springs on an 03 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750DC. This procedure will be relevant for many other models, though a few minor details may change. This is a 30 minute to 1 hour project depending on your comfort and skill set.

Rather than write this out step by step, I'm going to include some pictures to show you where we're going to be working and then add some information from This writeup by one of their forum members is detailed and includes part numbers for the springs you'll need. Keep in mind you'll also need to purchase a fresh set of exhaust compression gaskets as you'll have to remove the exhaust to get the clutch cover off. You may also want to order a clutch cover gasket, but I opted to just use black high heat RTV sealant on mine.

So, here's the pictures and the information you need to get started.

Here's the writeup on this that I followed while doing this job. It's excellently written and proved to be a big asset to me.

Last night I finally got around to changing out my clutch springs. I have noticed over the past several months that my clutch was slipping between first/second gears under hard acceleration and that in general the clutch is “weak” on take-off. The problem was especially noticeable after the change to a 38-tooth sprocket and riding two-up. So following the advice from another forum member MattyMatty, I finally decided I needed to get heavier clutch springs. A big thanks to MattyMatty for posting the original solution it made my job much easier.

Total time:
· Approximately 1 – 2 hours depending on your exhaust pipes
Total cost of the job:
· Approximately $ 38

1. 8mm – 17 mm sockets open end wrench, 3/8 ratchet with 6+ inch extension

1. 4 quarts 10-40w Honda Oil
2. Oil filter (optional – depending how long it’s been since your last oil change)
3. Right side crankcase gasket (optional cost $13 you shouldn’t have to replace it unless you tear it when you remove the case)
4. 2 crush gaskets for the exhaust ($8.50 pair)
5. Barnett M-5-4 Springs – comes with 5 springs you will only need 4 ($ 15)

From The Toolman

Parts and #'s needed to fix weak clutch

1-Barnett spring kit # MT-5-4 ($15 or less) Kit has 5-you only need 4

1-Honda right side case gasket # 11394-MV1-850 (about $20 I think)

2-Honda exhaust crush gaskets # 18291-MM5-860 (about $7 or 8 a peice)


1. Drain the oil – 17mm drain plug
Time: 5 minutes
2. Remove the right side cover, it will make it easier to get access to the back exhaust pipe acorn nuts
Time: 10 seconds
3. Remove the exhaust – 12mm Acorn nuts, I believe 14mm for the rear exhaust brackets
Time: 10 minutes
4. Remove the 2 bottom bolts for the right foot peg to the frame, I believe 12mm. We’re not going to remove the peg/brake assembly, removing the bolts gives you the ability to move it around to get to the bottom three bolts on the crankcase.
Time: 2 minutes
***Beer Break***
5. Loosen the tension spring on the rear brake which is on the bottom left looking at the right-side crankcase.
Time: 1 minute
6. Loosen the right side (looking at the crankcase) locking nut on the clutch cable on the top the crankcase, once it’s loose you can slide off the cable from the clutch lever.
Time: 2 minutes
7. Remove the 8mm bolts on the crankcase; there are approximately 14 of them.
Time: 8 minutes
8. Carefully remove the crankcase cover so to not damage the gasket, mine came off easily even though the bike has 8k miles on it.
Time: 5 minutes
9. Using a socket wrench remove the four bolts on the clutch plate lifter assembly…since this plate is under pressure from the springs, I loosened the bolts slowly and evenly a couple of turns at a time.
Time: 5 minutes
10. Replace the springs; hold the clutch plate lifter in place as you thread the 4 bolts. Starting in a criss-cross pattern begin tightening the bolts in half-turn racket increments to make sure the plate stays vertically level as you tighten the bolts. Although I should have used a torque wrench (the specs call for 9ft lbs), I was told by the local Honda mechanic to snug them first then go around and tighten each bolt until the clutch basket moves stop tightening and move to the next bolt.
Time: 15 minutes
11. Once the spring bolts are tightened, it's time to reassemble in reverse order. A couple of notes on reassembly. 
First make sure your clutch lever is in the proper tensioned position before you slide the crankcase cover back on the bike. Mine needed a gentle push to seat the crankcase properly. Tighten the crankcase bolts all to snug, and then tighten criss-cross fashion to 17 lbf-ft (23 N-m). (See Torque Specs
After each bolt is tightened do a double check by going around in a circle checking is bolt to be firmly tightened
12. Put in the oil drain plug and REFILL WITH OIL
Time: 10 minutes
13. Reinstall exhaust with new crush gaskets
Time: 45 minutes (damn DD Kickers!, stock pipes should be about 15 minutes tops)
14. Check your clutch lever free play, normal range should be ½ - ¾ free play on the lever.
15. Start your bike in neutral, let it warm up and then recheck your oil level.

I am extremely happy with the results – the clutch is better, firm on take-off without being jerky; the slippage between gear changes is completely gone. You’ll notice a difference in pulling the clutch lever in but it’s not a big difference just a little more effort is required.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

How To Adjust A Clutch On A Yamaha V Star

2003 Yamaha V Star XVS1100

Welcome to The Masterlink! Today we will be discussing how to adjust the clutch on your Yamaha V Star 1100. My scoot is a 2003 Classic model, and while much of this will be specific to this bike, a lot of it will also apply to other motorcycles. So let's jump right in.

First, we need to lift the bike in order to be able to move the side stand out of the way for this job. In order to complete this task I actually made a lift myself for less than $20 and 15 minutes of my time. You can check our Mods, Mutants, & MoneyMakers blog for information on how to build this lift for yourself. That will be a future post over there. Here is a picture of the lift in action.

Now that we have the bike lifted it is time to get to work. This whole project takes about 20 minutes once you know the procedure.

First we need to adjust the handlebar adjustment for the clutch all the way in to set handle free play as loose as possible. To do this, just loosen the lock collar and twist the threaded end of the cable in a clockwise direction until it is seated against the clutch handle bracket.

Next we move to the lower left side covers. The two covers we need to remove are the ones near the rear wheel at the bottom of the frame. You will need a set of Allen wrenches to complete this part of the job. Loosen the bolts on the larger of the two covers, but remember you do not need to take out the top 2 bolts. They are not attached to the frame.

Note that you will have to move the side stand to the downward position to get to the bottom bolt in the middle. For the bottom bolt nearest the front of the bike, the side stand safety switch is directly in the way of getting to this area. You can either remove the switch, or simply depress the button that activates it and hold it out of the way. I chose not to remove the switch...this added a little frustration to the job but I was still able to remove the bolt.

Now remove the bolts in the smaller cover that was held in place by the rear cover. This will expose your clutch adjustment screws and the lower end of the clutch cable. As you can see in the pictures, this compartment had a little dirt and grime in it. A rag with a little carburetor cleaner sprayed on it wiped this clean in just a few seconds. Do not spray the cleaner directly into the compartment.

Use a 12mm box end wrench to loosen the nut on the clutch adjuster. No need to remove it, just loosen about 1/2 turn or so.

Now that the nut is loose we can actually adjust the clutch. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to rotate the screw in the center of the nut. Yamaha recommends turning the screw to the right, just until it feels like it makes contact. They say to then back it out 1/4 of a turn. I had to back mine out about 3/4 of a turn to get the contact I desired, because the previous owner apparently spent a lot of time riding his clutch.

Once you have the screw set where you feel it needs to be, place your box end wrench back on the nut, and then hold your screwdriver tightly against the screw. Hold the screw still while using the wrench to tighten the nut. This prevents the screw from being moved while you tighten the nut.

Now move back to the handlebar and tighten the free play in the handle to take up any slack in the cable. You will want to test your clutch to be sure it is adjusted properly. I left my scoot on the lift for this step, but it is safer to take it down.

Start the bike in neutral, and shift into 1st gear keeping the clutch depressed. If your bike is still on the lift, the rear wheel may be turning. Add pressure to the rear brake and then release it to see if the wheel starts turning again. If it does, you need to tighten the set screw a little bit more. If it doesn't, slowly let out on the clutch lever. Watch for the wheel to begin to rotate and take note of the clutch lever position. You may need to alter your adjustment a couple of times to get it perfect, but this task is fairly simple.

Put your side covers back on, take the bike off the lift and go get some wind therapy.

There you have it! Now you know how to adjust the clutch on your Yamaha V Star 1100!

Be sure to check out our Facebook group, the XCIX %ers, as well as our website here. Comment and share this post with your friends so they can learn too!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Changing & Balancing A Motorcycle Tire

In this article we will show you how to change and balance a motorcycle tire without having to pay a shop upwards of $50 to complete this 30 minute task.

We've all been there - our tire is starting to show wear and the tread is getting thin. So, typically we either ride our bike to the shop and pay $50 to $75 to get them to take the wheel off and install a new tire, or we take the wheel off the bike ourselves and drop it off to have the new tire mounted. Note, this doesn't include the cost of the tire itself, just the labor to perform the task.

Recently I needed to change the front tire and tube on my 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit 750. I decided I would call around and get prices on having the tire I had already purchased on Facebook Marketplace mounted. My local Cycle Gear told me I had to remove the wheel at home and drop it off overnight. The price would be $50 to mount and balance the new tire, since I did not purchase it from them. You do not even want to know what the local Harley dealership wanted to charge me.

I decided I would mount and balance the tire myself. I picked up a few items to make the job a little easier and then set to work.

These steps are specific to a Honda Shadow, but should be very similar on almost all motorcycles. I made my motorcycle lift myself for about $20 with parts from Lowes.

First, we need to raise the front (or rear) wheel off the ground, and it needs to be high enough to roll the tire out from under the fender. My lift worked great for this and I will post an article on how to build it on our Mods Mutants & MoneyMakers blog.

Once our wheel is off the ground, secure the front forks with 2 bungee cords to hold the front wheel straight. These can go back to your crash bars or frame, the main thing is to have enough pressure equally on both sides of the forks to hold the wheel straight.

Next, remove the brake caliper from the front forks. On a Honda Shadow, this required a 10mm socket to remove the cable clamp leading to the caliper. I used a 12mm socket to remove the 2 mount bolts for the caliper itself. One note here is to use a 3rd bungee cord to hold the caliper back out of your way. I didn't do this and it resulted in the caliper constantly moving around when I was ready to balance my new tire.

Now that the brake caliper is out of the way, we need to get ready to remove the axle. Using a 22mm box end wrench, loosen the axle bolt on the right side of the front forks. You may need a long Phillips head screwdriver inserted through the holes on the left side of the axle to keep it from spinning as you loosen the bolt. Do not take it all the way out, as we will use it to bump the axle through.

Once that is loosened we need to loosen the fork bolts. There are 2 on each fork, located on the front at the bottom. These required an allen wrench to break free. Again, no need to remove them, just back them out about 1/4 of an inch or so.

Now, bump the bolt with a hammer. Don't hit it to hard or you could damage the threads in the axle. We just want to bump it free and get the axle loose. Once it is loose you can back the axle bolt out. Give the screwdriver on the left side a good tug and your axle will slide out, leaving your front wheel free to roll away.

Now that we have the wheel off, we can begin removing the worn out tire. Use a valve stem removal tool, take the valve stem out and let all of the air out of your tire. Position 2 2x4 inch boards wide enough apart on the ground that your tire can lay on them without the rim hitting the ground. (Lay the wheel with the brake disc facing upwards.)

My bead seal broke free as soon as I let the air out of my tire, but if yours is stuck tight, you can watch this video on how to quickly and easily break a bead seal.

I highly recommend you purchase a set of rim protectors for the next steps as they will keep you from bending or scratching your rims.

Once your bead seal is free wet the bead area with Windex. This will help your tire slide off the rim. Work your tire iron (or in my case flathead screwdriver and a flat bar from the hardware store) under the lip of the tire. Be sure to rest your iron on the rim protector. Work that section of the tire over the rim, then slide your second iron in just a couple inches to one side. Work your way around the tire a little at a time. Taking big bites will leave you hot, sweaty, frustrated and more than happy to give Cycle Gear the $50 they want to do this job.

Once you have the first edge free, pull your old inner tube out and discard it. Spray your wheel with Windex again and repeat the process with the second side of the tire.

This is a good time to clean your wheel as you have full access to the whole thing. I also recommend that if you have spoke wheels you remove the liner inside the rim and replace it with electrical or duct tape. If you do not see a liner, but instead see tape, don't get worried, it just means that someone who knows what they're doing has been here already. I usually add 2 or 3 wraps over the spoke heads to prevent them from chafing through the tube.

Now we are ready to mount the new tire. Make sure your tread pattern is facing the right direction as it is very frustrating to mount a tire only to realize you have mounted it backwards and have to go through the whole process again. Use Windex to lube the new tire and help it slip on to your rim.

Once the first bead edge is on the rim, rotate the tire to where the red dot on the side wall is exactly opposite of the hole in your rim for the valve stem. Next, you are ready to install the new tube. To make this easier and to prevent you from tearing the tube while you're seating the second bead, inflate it just enough for it to take shape. This requires less than 1lb of air pressure. Take your tube and work it onto the rim, making sure the tire doesn't rotate the red dot from its position. Slip the valve stem through the hole in the rim and if it has a lock nut, thread that down tightly.

Now, lube the second bead on the new tire and work it onto the rim. You should be able to use your hands and knees to get most of it on. Use your iron for the last few inches, being careful not to jab a hole in the new tube.

Double check to be sure your tire is still properly positioned with the red dot opposite the valve stem. Now you can fill the tire to the PSI your bike's manual calls for. On the Shadow I believe it was 29 PSI.

Reassemble the front wheel and axle assembly, but do not put the brake caliper on. We are going to balance the tire on the front fork. Make sure your bungees holding the fork have it as straight as possible. Give the wheel a gentle push. If you spin it too hard you may as well go make a sandwich because it will be a while before it stops.

When the tire stops make a mark at the 6 o clock position on the tire with a piece of chalk. Give it another gentle spin and see if it stops in the same position. If it does, then that spot is heavy and you need to add weight exactly opposite of that position. On my wheel the valve stem was the heavy spot. Once you determine which spot is heavy, rotate that spot to 3 o clock. Let go of the wheel and see if it drops. If it does, then add weight to the 9 0 clock position. I picked up some self adhesive weights from a local tire shop. Add 1 oz to start, and test again. If it still drops but is slower, add another 1/2 oz. Be sure to add weights evenly to both sides of the rim as close to the center as possible. Once you get it to where the tire doesn't rotate when you let it go with the heavy spot at 3 o clock, it is balanced. If you can't get it perfectly balanced, then err on the side of less weight. I would also recommend adding a strip of tape over the weights for the first few days to give the adhesive time to bond with the rim.

Now, you can attach your brake caliper and ride off into the sunset! This whole process will take about an hour or so your first time. The second time, it should be a 3 minute ordeal as you will have a better understanding of what you're doing and how to apply the proper techniques.

I hope this has been helpful! Be sure to comment and let us know how this process went for you!

Clutch Spring Replacement 03 Honda Shadow Spirit 750

  Welcome to the XCIC %er Master Link. Today we'll be showing you how to replace the clutch springs on an 03 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750DC...