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Clutch slipping

Hey Minihuey, I've got just over 12,000 miles on my 2017 Cafe Racer, and I've had clutch slip issues from nearly the beginning of my ownership. You're not alone. They've only worsened over time - as to be expected. The dealer of course checked the cables and lever and said it was in spec. I'm surprised at how inferior the OEM clutch pack is. I've been riding 23 years and only ever replaced one clutch pack on a CBR that I used to use as a stunt bike. I have a GSXR1000 that I've used as a track bike and a tour bike, with 55,000 miles on it and NEVER had to replace the clutch.

Talking with the dealer they've said that the OEM clutch pack is actually the best option for performance, but I am very skeptical. Someone earlier posted a link to Barnett clutches, and I think I'll give them a try. The Barnett products will actually come in about 100$ cheaper than OEM from the dealer. I'll post pics and tips once I complete the swap.
My clutch starting slipping around 19 T miles and at 20 T miles was very bad--tried to get Ducati to fix it but my dealer said he'd never heard on the problem and anyway it is a "wear" item. In other words--no warranty. Talked to some guy in Duc hdqtrs and he stated same. I told both of them that if their clutch can't stand a 79 year old man using it they have a big problem. Anyway I installed a Barrnete and it is great. A much more crisp feel and of course no slip. Probably be the last ducati I buy, not because of age cause I change bikes about every year. Just the poor deal I recieved from a "Premier " brand.
 

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My clutch starting slipping around 19 T miles and at 20 T miles was very bad--tried to get Ducati to fix it but my dealer said he'd never heard on the problem and anyway it is a "wear" item. In other words--no warranty. Talked to some guy in Duc hdqtrs and he stated same. I told both of them that if their clutch can't stand a 79 year old man using it they have a big problem. Anyway I installed a Barrnete and it is great. A much more crisp feel and of course no slip. Probably be the last ducati I buy, not because of age cause I change bikes about every year. Just the poor deal I recieved from a "Premier " brand.
Did you just change the plates or did you have to change the basket as well?
i.e was it wear on the plates or did the basket notch ?
 

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This is an awesome post, thank you!


Question. When reinstalling the clutch cover, do you also keep the clutch layshaft pointed outward as you did for removal? I ask because I did this and buttoned everything up, but when I move the drive unit by hand, before I attach the clutch cable, it has no resistance other than the internal spring. I don't want to go further if the shaft isn't positioned correctly (for the life of me I can figure out how the drive unit rotating can cause the shaft to push inwards).
Thanks - J!
 

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Quick question for any of you that have had your clutch baskets apart:
Does it look like the back side of the clutch control pin (#6) is cupped? I'm looking to replace the my clutch actuation set-up with hydraulic components, and I would like to see about doing that without taking the basket apart. If the hydraulic push rod can pocket in the back of that bad-boy, it may work without disassembly.

Thanks!
 

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How is the clutch holding up now on your Cafe Racer ? I just bought a new 18 and have only 250 miles and although it’s not slipping I am sure I will have to upgrade the clutch at some point. I don’t ride it hard because it’s more of a cruise around bike for me. I have had lots of sport bikes and Buells and have never had any clutch issues. I am wondering if it is all of these scramblers that have issues or if there are only a few.
 

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How is the clutch holding up now on your Cafe Racer ? I just bought a new 18 and have only 250 miles and although it’s not slipping I am sure I will have to upgrade the clutch at some point. I don’t ride it hard because it’s more of a cruise around bike for me. I have had lots of sport bikes and Buells and have never had any clutch issues. I am wondering if it is all of these scramblers that have issues or if there are only a few.
Nah, you'll be fine. The problem is centered completely around the first couple model years using a clutch cable instead of hydraulic clutch actuator. The cable adjustment is extremely crucial in keeping the clutch from wearing early. If it's adjusted too far in, it won't shift gears correctly and drags when you're holding the clutch at a stop. If it's too far out, it slips under high loading. Unfortunately, the adjustment knob is poorly held in place with a bullshit little clip that does nothing to keep it from spinning.

Your bike has a hydro-clutch. You'll be golden.
 

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2017 Scrambler Café Racer clutch replacement - plates and springs

I replaced my 2017 Scrambler Cafe Racer OEM wet clutch at 12,500 miles using Barnett clutch plates $239.06 (part number 306-25-20015) and springs $22.96 (part number 501-41-06006). Feel free to ask questions on the thread and I'll do my best to answer. * HUGE TIP * If you have experienced a slipping clutch on your Scrambler and your mileage is less than 30k I highly recommend you first check the torque of the pusher plate spring bolts and check the thickness of each plate using a micrometer. Reference the service manual for specs. You very likely need to simply tighten the pusher plate spring bolts. Checking these two things may save you the cost of a new clutch pack. Also, don't let your dealer tell you something incredibly useless like, "well, the lever is adjusted just fine." My dealer's mechanic actually rode my bike, experienced the clutch slip and then came back and told me I should lube the cable. I think he might need to go back to mechanic school.

Tools/parts I used (you may be able to use different/fewer tools):
5mm allen wrench (I used a drill to speed up bolt removal)
10mm box wrench (ratcheting is preferred)
11mm box wrench
torque wrench in inch pounds or NM (must be able to toque as little as 5NM)
rubber mallet
Acetone
paint marker
gasket maker
fresh oil /filter
oil pan
funnel
string
clutch plates
clutch springs
brush
magnetic bolt pick-ups
micrometer/calipers

Step 1: remove exhaust pipe sections to expose timing cover and all bolts on the clutch cover. Removal of heat shield is not necessary. Removing the exhaust first allows easier access to remove the oil filter.

Step 2: drain oil by removing oil drain plug (5mm allen wrench); remove oil filter

Step 3: remove right foot peg assembly (10mm wrench) and rear brake switch (11mm wrench). This step is not completely necessary. However, I found removing the peg made accessing the engine much, much easier when cleaning mating surfaces and replacing the cover with gasket maker applied.

Step 4: remove timing belt cover (5mm allen wrench). recommend making a template for the bolts you'll remove from the timing cover and place bolts in a marked pattern.

Step 5: remove clutch cover (5mm allen wrench). recommend making a template for the bolts you'll remove from the clutch cover and place bolts in a marked pattern. You'll need the mallet to unseat the clutch cover from the engine block. Give it some hard raps while simultaneously pulling hard on the tabs. Try to keep the clutch layshaft pointed outward so it does not get caught on the clutch control pin as you pull away the cover.

Step 6: remove clutch hub assembly (5mm allen wrench). remove all 6 pusher plate spring bolts. remove springs. remove pusher plate (clutch control pin included in center). Remove clutch hub. remove all friction plates from clutch housing.
** You do not need to remove the clutch housing retaining nut if you are simply replacing the friction plates and springs.**
Clean the mating surfaces of the engine and the clutch cover using a brush, or scraper, and wipe residue clean with acetone before applying gasket maker.

Step 7: install new clutch pack. ensure you have the driving and driven plates in the correct order as outlined in the service manual. I found that the easiest way to accomplish this task without removing the clutch housing is to install the plates onto the hub and tie them in place using the core strands of 550 parachute cord. slide the entire pack into the clutch housing being careful to align the fins from the hub with the grooves of the housing.

Step 8: reassembly. install internal springs, pusher plate, pusher plate springs and bolts. torque pusher plate spring bolts to specified torque. apply gasket maker to clutch cover. immediately install clutch cover and tighten bolts in a cross pattern. install foot peg and brake lever if previously removed. install oil filter and drain plug if not already installed. refit timing belt cover. refit all exhaust components. fill engine with appropriate type and quantity of oil.

Step 9: testing. run the engine and check for leaks. double check your clutch lever adjustment as well as the rear brake adjustment. go enjoy your Ducati Scrambler again!
Just FYI you can change the clutch with out draining the oil. I put the rear wheel on a 2 inch piece of wood and put the kick stand down. All the oil went to the left side of the bike and none came out when I removed the cover and plates. Saves a ton of time especially if you need to tweak the clutch a few times.
 
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