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1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

(OP)
I have a beautiful 1987 H-D FXR. It runs JUST FANTASTIC! BUT... I cannot take the strain of pulling the clutch lever any longer. I contacted Harley and they told me about a kit I could purchase and install on my bike that would reduce up to 40% of clutch lever pressure. Yes , I purchased the kit and took the derby cover off to install it. Just to find out the bike already has the exact same kit already installed on it. Needless to say . I would hate to see what this clutch pull would be without this kit!! Its not enough relief on the wrist. Now my wrist has developed a large bump on it at the base of my thumb. AND IT HURTS! I REALLY like my bike but this issue is starting to become a deal breaker! I would HATE to have to sell my bike simply because of this problem. Today was a BEAUTIFUL day really great riding weather!!! And all I could do was sit and look at my bike. Because of the pain in my wrist! How frustrating!!! My friend has a 1998 Kawasaki Concours. It has a 5 position adjustable clutch lever. His bike is NO PROBLEM to pull the clutch lever. But he also has a hydrolic clutch verses mine. Mine is mechanical. in other words... it has a cable. Does anyone have ANY suggestions!? Or any opinions or anything that may be of assistance? I am aware of a multi postion clutch lever for some model Harleys but mine is a 87 and a mechanical pulled clutch, not hydrolic like my friends bike. I also have heard of the auto shifter but I don't think they produce one for my model bike.

RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

Replace the clutch cable assembly with a brand new one.

While you're waiting for the part, or saving up for it, force a sh!tload of grease into the cable you've got. Kits exist to make this easier, comprising a 'tee' like boot that closes around the cable and the housing end, fitted with a nipple of some kind to fit a syringe or a grease gun.

I'd try to find a grease with molykote, or, better, teflon, in it. What's likely happening is that whatever plastic-y liner exists in your clutch cable housing has deteriorated, so the steel cable is rubbing directly on the steel wire coil that is the primary structure of the cable housing.

While you're there, ask your dealer if there's a kit to retrofit a hydraulic clutch control to your bike.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

And when you replace the cable , do not route it under the tank or thru any unnecssary geometry. Leave it in free air so as to allow it maximum freedom of motion.

RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

Mike, would you agree that greasing is NOT the way to go with a new cable with the plastic liner? Ricckk--I feel your pain. I had a '73 Sportster and developed a ganglion cyst on the underside of my wrist from pulling the clutch lever. Dumped the Sportster for a BMW and never looked back.

RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

I wouldn't grease a brand new cable with moly, which can act as an abrasive. I might consider Teflon, which is less likely to damage the liner.

I also agree with minimizing restraint of the housing, except at the ends, and wherever it may be necessary to keep it from deflecting into something else.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

Most cables these days already have a plastic teflon filled liner, no need to ever lube them, it only attracts dirt. I suspect the problem may be due to nothing more than a worn out or rusty cable. I've had nothing but cable clutches on all my bikes except one and don't find any inherent advantage in a hydraulic clutch other than it eliminates the need for adjustment. Since I've spent something less than 2 minutes adjusting the clutch cable on my Speed Triple over the last 8 years of ownership, it's not much burden. Given the age of the bike I suppose it is possible the clutch basket fingers may have some grooves worn in them. If that is the case filing them down and polishing might improve the effort.

You could always get an older HD with the foot clutch and suicide shift!

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RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

You could build yourself a nice little electro-hydraulic actuator. Push button clutch!

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: 1987 Harley Davidson FXR My wrist can't take the stress of pulling the clutch lever any longer

I was looking at a beamer a while back it had a little kit fitted that consisted of a pulley attached to the clutch arm and a short chain fixed to the gearbox, wrapped around the pulley with the end joint to the cable. This gave a 2:1 advantage.

A friend has an 83 FXR what a neat old beast.

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