Blown Clutch on a Kawasaki H1 500


| 11/5/2014 10:25:00 AM


Motorcycle Classics tech expert Keith Fellenstein

Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.

Blown clutch

Q: I blew the clutch on my 1975 Kawasaki H1 500. It had been bad for a while. When it finally went, I couldn’t downshift and the engine lost power and died. I finally got it back into neutral and tried to restart it. There is now very little resistance felt in the kick-starter, but it doesn’t feel like it’s broken. I drained the oil and it had plenty, but it was black and smelled like burnt clutch. I pulled the spark plugs and the pistons don’t move when I kick the engine over. Could this possibly just be a blown clutch or do I have more serious problems? — Clark Connelly/via email

A: If the clutch had been getting progressively worse I would assume it finally failed. It’s unusual for one to fail so spectacularly that you can’t turn the engine over with the spark plugs removed, but I guess it’s possible. I think your next step should be to remove the clutch side cover and disassemble the clutch. If it isn’t grabbing at all the wear on the friction plates should be quite obvious. The steel plates might still be good unless they have been overheated and blued from clutch slippage. If you’re going in to inspect the friction plates, it’s probably a good idea to just replace them. They’re not that expensive and since you’re in there anyway you may as well renew them. Let us know what you find. MC



The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds