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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I am new to the forum and have something new to share "I think". I have the fZ09 with 1600 miles on it and have a ridiculous problem. So i was on my way home from work yesterday sitting it south Florida traffic, when the light turns green I pull in my clutch and feel a snap and my clutch engages with the slightest release of pressure on the clutch. I start to investigate as my clutch feels weird when all the sudden snap my bike engages gear I launch forward and almost hit a car. It stalls out and im in shock to what the hell is going on. Well my clutch cable snapped about 5 inches from my lever out of nowhere! Just took it in for a second service this past weekend and everything was good to go. WTF is this? Anyone heard of such a thing? This is my first street bike but i have been grew up on dirtbikes and my father has always had motorcycles. The shop says they will pick it up and fix, but what a major inconvenience as this is my only ride. Ill repost when i hear from the shop. I am very discouraged as the bike is brand new! Thanks for listening hope you all stay problem free.
 

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I've seen someone report on the cable freying at the lever.

Having it fail 5" from the lever is inside of the cable conduit.... is an odd place for it to fail?!
 

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That's not really unusual. Anywhere there's a bend with the rigid steel tubing there is a high wear area for the cable. I had a Triumph Sprint RS that had a similar bend. It went through 4 cables in 3 years. With R1100 BMWs, I'd carry one with me any time I traveled. On dirt bikes, I used to keep a replacement cable running alongside the working cable, ready to swap over in the event of a break. I have prematurely worn out a cable before. I replaced a cable, but failed to lube the pivot points. The cable broke right near the lever only a couple of months after install. I lube my cables with a cable lube attachment. Disconnect the cable at the lever, attach the luber, hook a can of cable lube to the luber. To avoid a mess, don't forget to place a rag on the low end.
 

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To me, that stems highly unusual, especially with the mileage being so low. I'm going to move this thread to the appropriate section also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone for your comments and apologies for my verbage as well as improper section. Wrote it quickly while getting a ride to work. The dealer has it now and is quite shocked. I am just glad I do not have to pay for it or wait for the part in the mail.
 

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30 years ago I would say your experience was pretty typical, regardless of mileage. The quality of wire and the poor design of the sleeve left a lot to be desired and they broke all the time. If you rode a 70s or older bike, you were wise to always carry a spare clutch cable or get good at riding without a clutch.

In the 80s bikes things got a little better. Since the 90s the quality of the cable and the lined sleeves (Teflon lining IIRC) makes clutch cable failures pretty rare.

Rare enough that if I were you, I would take the broken cable into the dealer and ask for and seriously expect a warranty replacement.

Just saw your last post: good for the dealer that they are fixing it under warranty!
 

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note to self - order a spare clutch cable. i've been having to adjust the cable slack on a regular basis. bike has about 8000 miles.
Yours might be ready to snap...

Mine actually broke in the same spot at ~6k miles. I thought maybe it was my clubman bars, but yeah, broke right at the bend. So now I'm going to get a spare clutch cable to hang around.
 

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Cable pull clutches are more prone to breakage due to the high stress and debris/contaminants in the housing. This is one of the reason why high end dirt bikes have hydraulic clutches. Motorcycles went with hydraulic brakes with the advent of disc brakes to avoid cable snaps. There are ways to help improve the life your clutch cable.

1) Adjust the play in your cable per factory specs; often new rider over adjust the cable with too much tension leading to premature wear.
2) Inspect your cable and housing once a month or every 1000 miles for damage or fraying.
3) Avoid long periods of clutch pulls when stopped; put the bike in neutral!
4) Avoid quick clutch pull shifting if possible or consider using an electronic quick shifter if you do a lot of performance shifting.
5) Lubricate your clutch cable often to reduce wear and damage from contaminants.

If following the above doesn't improve the life of you factory cable consider buying a high performance clutch cable from an aftermarket distributor like Motion Pro, Parts Unlimited, Magnum Shielding, etc. Remember that Yamaha was able to offer the FZ-09 at a lower price point by using standard parts at most secondary points such as clutch, brakes, suspension, etc. We got a great motor for the price, but some of the parts requiring upgrading to a higher performance piece.
 

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note to self - order a spare clutch cable. i've been having to adjust the cable slack on a regular basis. bike has about 8000 miles.
If you have been adjusting the cable on a regular basis you are putting too much tension in the cable. You should have a little play in the lever, i.e. space between lever end and housing. Do not try and take up all the slack as it will over stress the cable. Much like your chain must have some slack to allow for suspension movement, a cable must be able to fully relieve it's pressure when released.

I purchased my FZ-09 used from a 21 year new rider. Notice right away how tight he had the clutch cable so that there was pull pressure the instant you started to pull the lever!
 

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If you have been adjusting the cable on a regular basis you are putting too much tension in the cable. You should have a little play in the lever, i.e. space between lever end and housing. Do not try and take up all the slack as it will over stress the cable. Wrong Much like your chain must have some slack to allow for suspension movement Wrong again, a cable must be able to fully relieve it's pressure when released.

I purchased my FZ-09 used from a 21 year new rider. Notice right away how tight he had the clutch cable so that there was pull pressure the instant you started to pull the lever!
Taking up all the slack is wrong but it only changes the engagement point. A clutch cable is not in any way affected by suspension movement. It is affected by lock to lock movement of the handlebars.
 

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If you have been adjusting the cable on a regular basis you are putting too much tension in the cable. You should have a little play in the lever, i.e. space between lever end and housing.
it does have a bit of play at the lever. in fact, more than a little, as i usually like to keep the clutch lever on the loose side. i have to keep adjusting the cable on a regular basis because the play keeps getting larger and larger than that.
 

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I wonder how much fun it would be to route a new clutch cable on the side of the road. Better bring a comprehensive tool kit with you too I think. Maybe a piece of twine and some duct tape.
 

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Cable pull clutches are more prone to breakage due to the high stress and debris/contaminants in the housing. This is one of the reason why high end dirt bikes have hydraulic clutches. Motorcycles went with hydraulic brakes with the advent of disc brakes to avoid cable snaps. There are ways to help improve the life your clutch cable.

1) Adjust the play in your cable per factory specs; often new rider over adjust the cable with too much tension leading to premature wear.
2) Inspect your cable and housing once a month or every 1000 miles for damage or fraying.
3) Avoid long periods of clutch pulls when stopped; put the bike in neutral!
4) Avoid quick clutch pull shifting if possible or consider using an electronic quick shifter if you do a lot of performance shifting.
5) Lubricate your clutch cable often to reduce wear and damage from contaminants.

If following the above doesn't improve the life of you factory cable consider buying a high performance clutch cable from an aftermarket distributor like Motion Pro, Parts Unlimited, Magnum Shielding, etc. Remember that Yamaha was able to offer the FZ-09 at a lower price point by using standard parts at most secondary points such as clutch, brakes, suspension, etc. We got a great motor for the price, but some of the parts requiring upgrading to a higher performance piece.
All pretty good advice except #3! Clutch cable wear primarily comes from the back and forth movement of engaging and releasing the clutch....not holding it while stopped, provided that the clutch is adjusted properly. Putting a bike in neutral while stopped at a light is a very bad practice/habit to get into. You ALWAYS need to have the bike in gear and watching your mirrors.....just in case the car/truck/motorcycle/whatever, behind you can't get stopped or isn't paying attention and you become the bullseye that they are about to run into. Always have the bike in gear and know what your escape route is ....just in case!
 
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