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June 5th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #1
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Joined: Mar 2012
From: Wisconsin

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I Ride:
2002 FC 550 hard clutch.

Hey all,

I recently bought an '02 FC 550(my first motorcycle ever), and I seem to have buggered it.

When I bought it, the clutch lever was pretty easy to pull. It took two fingers, and wasn't too hard at that.

After my second ride, I changed the oil. The clutch cable got in the way of removing the oil filter, so I unscrewed it from the slave cylinder, and continued with the oil change. The cable leaked a bit of oil out, so I read the manual to see if I screwed something up. After checking it out, I realized that I needed to bleed it. I purchased a syringe kit and some mineral oil, and did a bottom up bleed. I ran fluid through it until I had 100 ml without any bubbles.

the lever was a little harder to pull after that, but not too bad.

A short while later, I fell over and broke the clutch lever. I purchased a new lever and installed it, and immediately the clutch lever was much easier to pull. I started the bike up, and realized that it was easier to pull because I had let air into the system.(not sure if it's normal for air to get in the master cylinder when changing the lever?)

Anyway, after I bled it again it was pretty much impossible to pull the lever(even using my whole hand it's REALLY hard to pull), so I made sure the air was out of the system by running another 50 ml through it. No bubbles, but still hard to pull. I then took the slave cylinder off to check if all was working properly, and discovered some sediment in the bottom of the cylinder. While cleaning it out, I noticed that the O-ring fit REALLY tightly, and that it was kind of scratched up by the sand(not sure if that's significant). I then took the clutch cover off, and checked everything out. Everything seemed shipshape, but it didn't have the axial needle bearing and washer that the other models have. I'm not sure if my bike has those though.

Is it possible that the clutch springs were overtightened? Maybe the slave cylinder gasket is larger than OEM and fits too tightly? Something up with the master cylinder?

Anybody out there have the same problem? I would greatly appreciate any help.

~Josiah
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