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How to Adjust the Clutch for a Katana Motorcycle

by Chris Gilliland

You Suzuki Katana's transmission relies on a cable to actuate its clutch. Over time, the clutch cable stretches and creates excessive slack that will prevent the clutch from disengaging completely when the clutch lever is pulled in. Cable slack is measured through the clutch lever's free play, the amount the lever can move before pulling the cable. Adjusting the cable's tension to compensate for the increase in slack is done using the adjuster knob behind the clutch lever's perch on the left handlebar. However, a secondary adjuster near the motor can be used to make further adjustments as needed.

Standard Adjustments

Place a ruler at the end of the left handlebar and align it with the clutch lever. Gently pull the clutch lever in until it begins to pull the clutch cable. Hold the lever in place and take a measurement of the lever's travel, or free play, with the ruler. Ideally, the clutch lever should have a free play of 10 to 15 mm. You will need to loosen the clutch cable if the lever has less than 10 mmof free play, or tighten the clutch cable if the free play is greater than 15 mm.

Pull the rubber dust cover off of the clutch lever perch and the cable adjuster. Loosen the large round lock nut on the clutch cable adjuster behind the clutch lever perch.

Twist the adjuster clockwise to loosen the clutch cable or counterclockwise to tighten the cable. Adjust the cable as needed, using the measurements taken earlier.

Check the clutch lever's free play again with a ruler and make adjustments as needed. If the clutch lever's free play is within the 10 to 15 mm range, tighten the round lock nut against the clutch lever perch and reinstall the rubber dust cover. If the clutch lever's free play cannot be adjusted within the specified range, twist the adjuster clockwise until it is seated completely against the perch and continue to Section 2.

Secondary Adjustments

Remove the left side fairing panel bolts, using a 4 mm Allen wrench. Pull the fairing panel away from the motorcycle and unplug the left front turn signal. Set the fairing panel aside.

Pry the round cap off of the sprocket cover on the left side of the motor with a small flat-head screwdriver to access the clutch release mechanism.

Loosen the clutch release mechanism's lock nut a half of a turn with a 10 mm offset wrench. Hold the lock nut in place with the wrench. Turn the small adjuster screw in the center of the release mechanism counterclockwise two to three full turns, using a small flat-head screwdriver, to release the clutch cable's tension.

Hold the lock nut in place with the wrench and turn the adjuster screw clockwise with the small flat-head screwdriver until a slight amount of resistance is felt. Turn the adjuster screw counterclockwise a 1/4 turn, then hold it in place with the screwdriver. Tighten the lock nut with the 10 mm offset wrench. Press the round cap over the clutch release mechanism.

Measure the clutch lever's free play as shown in Section 1. Stop here if the clutch lever's free play is within the specified 10 to 15 mm range.

Pull the rubber dust boot off of the clutch cable's adjuster, positioned above the motor's sprocket cover. Loosen the adjuster's lock nut with a 10 mm combination wrench. Turn the adjuster clockwise to loosen the cable and increase the lever's free play, or counterclockwise to tighten the cable and decrease the free play.

Tighten the lock nut against the cable adjuster with a 10 mm combination wrench. Pull the rubber dust boot over the adjuster. Reinstall the left side fairing panel and reconnect the left front turn signal.

Tip

  • Replace the clutch cable if the proper clutch lever free play range cannot be obtained using either method, or if the cable does not move smoothly when pulled or released.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

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