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C: Clutch Honda Clutch

plasticbeer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I’ve just been speaking to George Ellin. He has a Honda clutch on his Comet and wonders if lighter springs are available, he’s finding it too hard to pull in traffic. Can anyone advise?

Vince Farrell
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Vince, I posted this problem a few years ago, the clutch pull can be quite challenging, I spoke to Steve at Conways at the time and he seemed to think they may have had some softer springs in the past, but did not have any now and with little prospect of sourcing any more. In the end I fitted a 7/8” centres clutch lever, fitted a new clutch cable, well lubricated and routed the cable as frictionless as possible, it now reasonably acceptable, but nothing like as easy as a standard twin clutch, just something you have to live with and avoid heavy stop start traffic.
 

genedn

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi Vince,

I am having the same troubles as George. The ones supplied by conway's are awful, the plates were second hand and one was missing.

I went to barnett clutches in the US and brought new plates with better material and ordered springs from them too. As the bike is in transit from Canada to New Zealand its a job I will do once its here.

Best.
 

MartynG

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Its all about setup.

1. Inside the burman box there is an adjuster for the clutch arm actuator. Needs to be adjusted so that the clutch just starts to lift as the angle between the arm and the cable reaches 90 degrees and no more.
2. Use the in-line adjuster to adjust the clutch (handlebar) lever position.
3. Standard clutch cables do not help, too many sharpish bends. Make up your own avoiding sharp bends - do NOT try to hide or position the clutch cable inside the fuel tank "tunnel". You want the cable to exit the gearbox in a straight line then sweep around the left side of the motor, then in front of the motor and another smooth sweep to the left up to the clutch lever, again entering the clutch lever in a straight line.

One more thing with the Conway/Honda kit - The best thing to use in the primary case is MOTUL TransOil 10-30. If you use ATF within 200 miles the friction plate will be contaminated and you will forever experience sticking plates. I know, it resulted in me purchasing a complete set of new plates from my local Honda dealer.
 

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genedn

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Its all about setup.

1. Inside the burman box there is an adjuster for the clutch arm actuator. Needs to be adjusted so that the clutch just starts to lift as the angle between the arm and the cable reaches 90 degrees and no more.
2. Use the in-line adjuster to adjust the clutch (handlebar) lever position.
3. Standard clutch cables do not help, too many sharpish bends. Make up your own avoiding sharp bends - do NOT try to hide or position the clutch cable inside the fuel tank "tunnel". You want the cable to exit the gearbox in a straight line then sweep around the left side of the motor, then in front of the motor and another smooth sweep to the left up to the clutch lever, again entering the clutch lever in a straight line.

One more thing with the Conway/Honda kit - The best thing to use in the primary case is MOTUL TransOil 10-30. If you use ATF within 200 miles the friction plate will be contaminated and you will forever experience sticking plates. I know, it resulted in me purchasing a complete set of new plates from my local Honda dealer.
Martyn,

It seems to me you got lucky. I did not receive any instructions from Conways, a number of parts were second hand. Splines on basket too tight etc, etc. It seems to me that there is no standardization in the manufacture of the clutch kits. They buy the honda clutches in bulk, machine them and them send out.

I have set my clutch up carefully and ridden the bike in excess of 6000 miles since install. The springs that I was sent are way too heavy. I have sourced softer spings and will install them for sure. One vancouver section member could not believe how heavy it was as compared to a standard twin set up.

Best.
 
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TouringComet

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
I recall hearing that the reason the splines are tight was in order to account for the likelihood of worn out splines on the input shaft.
 

vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
I agree with Martyn that adjustment setup makes a difference. I fitted a Conways Honda clutch to my series A Comet and after assembly but before final setup I tried the feel of the clutch at the handlebars and thought it was heavy. Then after I setup the cable & lift etc ensuring the lever on the gearbox (external on series A) was at the correct angle during operation and the clutch became a lot lighter. Nearly as light as a post war twin clutch. I never changed the springs.

This is the only Conways /Honda clutch I have fitted though and I know the donor clutch was used by Honda on several different models and so I don't know if different springs were fitted or available across the models and over time.
Simon
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I only have a Honda clutch on the electric comet it's harder than the Newby clutches that's for sure but it's Ok perhaps thats because the cables are 'untidy'
 

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi All,
The original clutches used by Conways were CB350, or CJ360 which have not been manufactured for nearly 40 years. I'm not sure what they are currently using, but I remember when I bought mine I paid for it with 3 cltches from breakers in my area.
 

peter holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The original Comet/Honda Clutch was a Colin Jenner product, I remember Colin saying he used to scour breakers yards to source the donor clutches, and they were only available when he could find them, but that is not the end of the story, the splined component is not a Honda part, but has to be manufactured and grafted onto the Honda Clutch after some machining of the Honda part, that is where problems can arise, I don't know if it was intentionally oversize to compensate for possible existing wear on the Burman splines, but they are sometimes a little tight on the spline and might require some careful fettling, I am not sure how Colin or now Steve engineer the spline, but I don't think it is what you might describe as precision engineering.
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Ever seen a Burman spline that wasn`t worn, given the minimal amount of engagement ? Even more so when the nut has not been tight enough.
 

vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Hi All,
The original clutches used by Conways were CB350, or CJ360 which have not been manufactured for nearly 40 years. I'm not sure what they are currently using, but I remember when I bought mine I paid for it with 3 cltches from breakers in my area.
That number rings a bell. For a while Conways stopped the Honda conversion as they coudn't find any donor clutches. I managed to find one on eBay and it was off a CJ360T from 1974-78 and then sent it to Conways for conversion. They only provided the parts they made / modified and I used the springs that came with the clutch so they could be anything, but they do work.

Simon
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
In a typical multplate clutch you could set the spring preload as you like, just short of getting a slipping clutch. Some tests will be done each time but no big deal I´d think. You either apply some mild octite on preload screws or put spacers in between for experiments. No need to have excessive spring loads as long as no slipping is noticed. Be sure the outer plate lifts nicely parallel to get no dragging clutch.

Vic
 

John Reynolds

Website User
VOC Member
Going back to the original query, i.e. heavy clutch action with the Burman gearbox, I have recently had to replace the internal clutch lever (because I noticed, when rebuilding the box, that the old one had a surface crack - but that's another story!). The old one had been performing satisfactorily and I had got used to the weight of the clutch action. However, when the new one arrived I noticed immediately that the 'small projection that bears on the clevis fork' (Eddie Stevens description!) was at least twice the height of the one on the old lever. On further examination of the old lever I also noticed that there was wear on the clutch lever itself, indicating that it had been contacting the clevis fork rather than the 'projection' when the clutch was being lifted. While this was obviously providing the required lift, it would have been a dragging action on the side of the clevis fork rather than the intended sliding action of the 'projection' in the groove of the fork. The clutch action is now much smoother and lighter. The clutch lever assembly (PR50-175X) is very cheap and easy to replace - VOCSC sells them for around £30 - and, in my experience, well worth doing.

John
 

Sakura

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bovine Excreta ! Flimsy excuse for poor workmanship
If you want parts that fit straight on, buy a modern bike fitted with high precision CNC machined components. If you want to play with 70+ year old bikes either learn some engineering or pay someone who does know how to do it!
 

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