How to Adjust a Clutch on a Honda Motorcycle

by Justin Wash
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The clutch on a Honda motorcycle, when actuated, separates the driveline from the engine, effectively cutting power output to the rear wheel. This is an important feature, as it allows you to stop without turning off the engine, and also to switch gears while riding without damaging the gearbox of the motorcycle. However, if your clutch is not set up and adjusted properly, it may do damage to both the engine and the transmission, and make for a long afternoon of walking or towing your bike. Keep your motorcycle running properly by keeping the clutch in good adjustment.

Step 1

Take the motorcycle for a 10- or 20-minute test ride. Use this ride to determine if the clutch is actuating against the transmission too much or too little. For example, if you release the clutch lever and the motorcycle is low on power, the clutch is not actuating enough. On the other hand, if you pull in the clutch lever and it is difficult to shift, or the motorcycle continues to propel itself forward, it is actuating too much, and should be adjusted.

Step 2

Set the motorcycle on its kickstand or center stand so it will not tip or fall while being worked on.

Step 3

Loosen the clutch cable if the clutch needs to actuate more strongly and provide more power to the wheel. Loosen the clutch cable adjuster bolts near the crankcase using a 13 or 15 millimeter wrench until there is a small amount of play in the cable. You should be able to move the clutch lever a short distance with no change in the clutch's behavior.

Step 4

Tighten the clutch cable if you need the clutch to actuate less strongly. Tighten the cable at the crank case adjuster using a 13 or 15 millimeter wrench until there is only a small amount of play left in the cable. Pulling the lever from now on will make a much larger difference in clutch behavior and power transfer.

Step 5

Tighten the clutch cable adjusters near the crank case so that they will not loosen during normal clutch use.

Step 6

Take the motorcycle for a test ride. While riding, use your left hand to adjust the barrel adjuster where the cable housing meets the clutch lever, to fine-tune the adjustments made previously. Return to your work area and use a pair of pliers or robo-grips to tighten the barrel adjuster stop so that it will not loosen as you ride with your newly adjusted clutch cable.

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