How to Adjust Clutch on Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

Every Harley motorcycle owner needs to know how to adjust the clutch on Harley. It’s something that you need to know to keep your bike running smoothly and safely for years. What if you just bought an H-D and didn’t even have the slightest clue about adjusting a motorcycle clutch? Scroll below now and get tips from experts!

Why Consider Clutch Adjustment?

Before explaining how here is why you should consider clutch adjustment of your Harley:

  • When you’re a new rider, it is risky to run a powerful and big motorbike-like Harley without proper clutch adjustment.
  • When you’re on routine motorcycle maintenance, it’s better to do the possible tasks by yourself and save money.
  • When you suddenly notice that the clutch cannot be fully disengaged while pulling the lever.
  • When the clutch starts slipping (often signaled by burning oil smell or unusual sounds).
  • When you feel riding slow, dragging and unresponsive.

Does All Harley Need Clutch Adjustment?

Not necessarily, as many Harleys come with a hydraulic clutch. You don’t need to panic about adjusting hydraulic clutches as they are mostly self-adjusting, provided you maintain the right level of fluids. The H-D models with a clutch cable require adjustment for the cable being prone to shifting and pulling. The presence or absence of a master cylinder determines whether it’s a hydraulic or cable clutch system.

Harley Clutch Adjustment – Step by Step

  1. Cool the Harley before Starting Adjustment

Do not start adjusting immediately after you have ridden. Make your H-D cool completely before any adjustment. Heat causes expansion; therefore, you won’t adjust the clutch properly in hot conditions. It may also result in damage to the clutch or slipping at rides.

  1. Find Neutral and Loosen the Clutch Cable

Locate where neutral is found before starting this process. Not knowing where this location is will make it difficult to find it later on. Now locate your clutch cable and then loosen it, making sure not to slip while doing so. This is done by simply turning the perch nut with the correct wrench size attached to it. Make sure that you do this step for both sides!

  1. Adjust Perches and Tighten Spring

Release the plate on top of the primary drive gear and push it down until fully seated. Afterward, loosen the lock nut directly below until only two threads are seen at approximately 1 o’clock. Next, adjust the Tension on one side of the clutch cable only.

Once you’ve adjusted the clutch perches, it’s time to tighten the springs. Cross one end of your 14mm wrench with a flathead screwdriver, then slip the Spring over the wrench and pull down. Ensure you tighten them evenly both ways!

  1. Adjust Cable Tension

When the springs are correctly adjusted, check whether ¾” of play is available on each side. If not, loosen the cable clamp nut located at 12 o’clock accordingly. Tighten the nut on top of your primary drive gear until an approximate ¼” gap exists between your wrench and sprocket.

  1. Pull Lever, Check Tension

To ensure that your clutch is working properly, pull the clutch lever when it’s in the released position and give it a few sharp taps. Then, re-release the lever.

Last Words

Test ride! Remember to engage neutral gear before pulling up on your clutch lever! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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