What the clunk was that?

When I first got the bike one of the first differences I noticed from the Transalp was how smooth the clutch changes were. I derived serious pleasure from the soft, gliding movement from gear to gear. Then the lever pivot bolt fell out and I brought it to a mechanic in the shop who tinkered with the clutch settings. Since then I’ve not been happy with it. When changing from some gears to others the mechanism has been emitting an almighty CLUNK! The Transalp sometimes did that, but it was intermittent and never lasted long.

One thing I’ve read a lot of, and what a couple of guys on Gaijin Riders have suggested, is that an oil change should sort it. New bikes should have an oil change at 1,000km, and thereafter every 3,000km. I’ve just over 800km on the clock now and should hit 1,000km by the end of the week.

The advice from the folks on Gaijin Riders made me feel a bit better, and I had a go at adjusting the clutch cable again with some results. Originally the lever was soft to pull and had a reasonable amount of play. The mechanic tightened it, and I’m sure I remember him tinkering with the foot shifter too. After that it felt OK for a short while before the clunking started, and once or twice I couldn’t get it to down-shift when coming up to lights, i.e. coming to a stop in 3rd or 4th gear and not able to get into 2nd without some jiggling. Then I tightened it up a touch to overcome the down-shift block. That resolved it, but the clunking continued and got worse when going from neutral into first with the bike lurching forward. I read that that is a sign of the clutch being too tight, so I loosened it this morning and the whole clutch movement through the gears was immediately better, including the clunking. However, after a few kilometres, the clunking returned from 2nd to 3rd and vice-versa. I’m guessing this is due to the oil getting hotter and thinner as the engine runs, and that the oil change that people are suggesting will resolve it for once and for all.


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2 Comments on “What the clunk was that?”

  1. Klaus Says:

    Oh darned, Damien-samma, what did you get yourself into?

    Told you – you should have kept your good, old, reliable, can-do-all TransAlp! *_*

    But I am sure, those are just minor problems – nothing you can’t handle.

    Still wishing you lots of fun with your Bol d’iron and if you are looking for a reliable ride, come down here and join me!! *_*

  2. You’re never going to forgive me for selling the Transalp, are you?? lol

    To be honest, the clutch issue is tiny. It’s the same clunk I got with the Transalp, and that millions of riders get with their bikes, and it’s not a sign of anything being wrong. I just want the gear changes to be as smooth as possible, and I’m quickly learning how to achieve that. Would I swap the CB400SB for a new Transalp? Not a chance. The CB400SB is the bike for me right now, and this one is a cracking ride. I’m loving every second of it!

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