Clutch Replacement (Update 10/2005):
At 50,000 miles, I noticed that with hard acceleration particularly in top gear, the engine rpms increased but nothing would happen
for a second or two before the bike finally accelerated. It was not noticeable in lower gears but I figured the clutch was starting
to go. So I decided to change out the clutch and to do it myself since it looked fairly easy. I did some research and got a few
tips from the Shadow Forum and read a few articles on the web:
To replace the clutch, there are several replacement and/or part options you will want to consider:
1. Clutch cover gasket - This is needed no matter what. I ordered mine from the dealer for about $9.00.
2. Replace friction plates only. This is the cheapest solution. There are 9 plates. The dealer / Partsfish / Bikebandit all charge
around $16-17 apiece. The inner and outer plates are a different color (black) versus the other 7 (brown) and are made of
different material. One dealer told me they sometimes don't change the black ones but I checked the thickness of all disks
and they were all about the same and pretty close to the lower limit (~3.1 mm) so replacing all is probably a prudent thing to do.
If you want to get plates a little cheaper yet, Dennis Kirk or Bikebandit sell aftermarket EBC or Vesrah plates for between
$80 and $110 per set, respectively. If you go this route, make sure you check the steel disks for discoloration and warping. If
they look ok, you can reuse them. Also, check the springs, though a set of stock springs are less than $20 so it's probably
worth replacing them. The steel disks are around $10 a piece from the dealer. Barnett also sells all the parts and they were
recommended as a good replacement. See the next option.
3. Replace everything. This is the option I chose. I figured since I had opened it all up, I would replace everything. The clutch
basket looked brand new so I decided to go with the Barnett set. I ordered direct from Barnett and the cost was $161 for
the plates, disks and springs ($99 for the 9 plates, $40 for the 8 steel disks and $14 for the springs + $8 S&H). So for the
price of the stock plates, I basically got a complete replacement. I could have reused the steel disks and springs since they
looked in good shape but decided to do the whole thing.
The Barnett parts fit fine and everything went back together without problem. The pictures below show the process of disassembly
and reassembly. One thing I did notice, is that the Barnett springs are definitely stiffer than stock (after 5 years of use, though).
Once I got it all together and took the bike for a short test ride, I could not shift into neutral with the engine running.
However, after another ride of about 5 miles, everything shifted fine. The only difference I notice now apart from the proper
acceleration in top gear, is that the clutch lever feels a lot stiffer which is due to the stiffer springs.
These are the parts I ordered.
The front exhaust pipe will have to be removed to get at the clutch cover and drain the engine oil.
Clutch cover removed showing inside of cover with old gasket.
Clutch springs loosened before removal.
Clutch plate removal.
Clutch lifter rod. Note the orientation of the rod. The black end goes to the outside.
Clutch plate and lifter rod assembly as it must be installed. Check the clutch plate bearing for wear.
This shows the plates and disks before removal. Note that the first disk (A-ring) is oriented one slot over
compared to the other disks. I carefully removed the disks and plates and kept them in order but
it really didn't matter since I was replacing them all anyway.
Close-up of the A-disk (left-black) and B-disks (brown) and steel plates. There are two A-disks and
seven B-disks and eight steel plates. The A-disks are the inner and outer disks and are apparently
made of different material, hence the different colors. I checked the thickness of the disks and they all were
just barely above the lower limit (3.1 mm) according to the manual. The steel plates all looked ok but
I decided to replace them anyway since I had everything opened up.
Disks and plates removed. Check the clutch basket for wear in the grooves.
The Barnett steel disk.
The stock (left) and Barnett steel disk. The disks are stamped plates and therefore have a rounded edge on
one side and a "sharp" edge on the other. Reading up on this the theories seem to vary. Barnett told me it
makes no difference whether they are installed sharp edge in or out but one of the articles I read said they
should all be installed the same way. I installed them all with the sharp edge out (towards the clutch cover).
The stock (left) and Barnett friction plate. Before installation of the plates, I soaked them in oil as
recommended in the manual and other articles.
Installation of the first friction plate. Note the alignment of the tabs. It's basically impossible to get wrong
since they won't install all the way otherwise.
Steel disk installation.
Installation of the last friction plate. Note the alignment of the tabs. The last plate is off-set. There is no
A or B plate with the Barnett plates.
Installation of the lifter rod. Note orientation. Black end is out.
Don't forget the lifter adaptor.
Pressure plate and springs installed and torqued. Reinstall clutch cover with new gasket, fill with oil and
adjust the clutch cable play before the first test drive.
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