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C: Clutch Twin clutch rod center ball or roller?

Gary Gittleson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I know this is an old topic. I did some searching on the forum but didn't find much, except for Bill Parr's suggestion to go with the roller.

My bike has the roller and it's been just fine that way. I am actually asking this for a friend (Tom Newman) whose touring Rapide just had a failure in this area, after some 53,000 miles with no problems. His bike had the ball-between-rods setup. I know. He should put in a warranty claim. I should mention that the bike has a multi-plate clutch of unknown make, probably sourced from the club some years back. I assume this adds to the force applied to the release assembly compared to the stock clutch. Tom also lives in an urban area, so he uses the clutch rather more than us rural folk.

Here's what he found. The right-side rod had cracked at the ball end and mushroomed badly at the G91 end.

My theory is that the tiny surface area of the ball-to-rod interface finally fractured the rod due to its brittleness, thereby jamming it and causing it to spin with the shaft. The wear at the G91 end was the result, not the cause.

If this is correct, the solution seems to be to replace all worn parts but to use a roller, not a ball.

The two questions I have are 1) roller or ball? and 2) what's the best type of lubrication for the roller?
 
Last edited:

Vincent Brake

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I used a 7 mm ball. It just suggley fitted the main axle
And did the rods (soft) with ball 7 mm mill.
Than harden.
Oh and both sides of axle a brass bush.
Advantage: less rubbing of the rod inside the main axle
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
If one is using the standard twin clutch then the needle roller thrust race conversion I worked out several years ago stops all the problems as there is then very little ability to transmit rotation from the clutch to the pushrod. The Spares Company sell these, and have had one or two hundred of these from me over the years. This mod also ensures that the outer plate of the clutch lifts square. I still have a few if you want to deal with me direct on enw07@btinternet.com
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
If you are making your own pushrods with oil or water quenching tool steel, after you have got it bright red and quenched it, let the whole thing cool and polish it up and then heat it until it just starts to get a nice light straw colour which will temper it slightly and it won't be brittle and fail by cracking as you have described.

I run a ball with this setup on several bikes and have not had an issue with them.
 

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