How to Adjust a Clutch on a Valkyrie Motorcycleby Chris Gilliland
Honda's Valkyrie cruiser motorcycle sets itself apart from the competition with its immense six-cylinder motor, borrowed from Honda's Goldwing. Keeping the motor under control is a hydraulically actuated clutch, powered by a master cylinder on the left handlebar that allows the clutch to be disengaged with little effort. Unfortunately, this system can be contaminated or trap air bubbles within the clutch line, creating problems ranging from clutch slippage to an ineffective, spongy feeling clutch lever pull. Removing any trapped air or contaminated fluid can resolve these problems.
Park the motorcycle on its kickstand. Turn the handlebars completely to the right to place the clutch master cylinder on the left handlebar in a level position.
Remove the pair of screws that secures the fluid reservoir cover to the clutch master cylinder with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the inner diaphragm and set plate out of the fluid reservoir. Using a syringe, suck out the old brake fluid from the master cylinder. Refill the fluid reservoir with fresh DOT 4 brake fluid.
Follow the clutch master cylinder's hydraulic line to the clutch slave cylinder on the motor. Place a length of clear plastic tubing over the tip of the slave cylinder's air bleed valve. Place the opposite end of the tubing into a container to collect used brake fluid.
Open the air bleed valve counterclockwise a half turn with a 9 mm wrench. Pull in the clutch lever to force a small amount of brake fluid our of the air bleed valve. Close the air bleed valve, turning it a half turn clockwise with a 9 mm wrench. Release the clutch lever slowly. Repeat as necessary until the brake fluid trapped in the plastic tubing is clear and free of air bubbles. The clutch lever should require a small amount of effort to disengage the clutch. Repeat this step if the clutch lever moves freely without resistance.
Top off the clutch master cylinder's fluid reservoir with fresh DOT 4 brake fluid. Wipe away any spilled fluid with a clean shop towel. Insert the set plate and diaphragm into the reservoir and place the cover over it. Insert and tighten the cover's screws with a Phillips screwdriver.
Remove the plastic tubing from the air bleed valve and wipe any spilled fluid away immediately with a clean shop towel. Tighten the air bleed valve with a 9 mm wrench.
- "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program"; Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
- "Honda Service Manual: GL1500C"; Honda Motor Co.; 1996
- Cover any painted surfaces with a towel or drop cloth to prevent paint damage from spilled brake fluid.
- Contact your local Honda dealership if clutch problems still exist after replacing the clutch fluid.
Things You'll Need
- Phillips screwdriver
- DOT 4 brake fluid
- Clear plastic tubing
- 9 mm wrench
- Shop towels
- Protective gloves
- Wear gloves and eye protection to prevent eye and skin irritations caused by caustic brake fluid.
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.