Might be time for new clutch plates and springs too.
I've run all kinds of synthetic in my 175, makes a bunch more hp than stock and never had any clutch problems. Course I don't use synthetic with the "friction modifiers" found in the "high mileage" synthetics.
pull the springs and drop in some washers. walla, instant race clutch. could be either. clutch or synth. if its slipping only up high, it could be plates or springs. springs can be adjusted, lates cant be. there are wear limits im pretty sure listed in the various manuals.
Joe...I've tried the spring/washer trick before and ended up with clutch springs that went into coil bind.
Keep in mind a worn clutch spring is not just shorter...it's weaker anywhere along it's compression length. So even a shimed OEM spring will not offer the same clutch plate pressure as real HD clutch springs. Small shims will temporarily help totally clapped out OEM springs though.
But to tell the truth I don't think I've ever heard of a Honda twin anywhere close to stock that had the nuts to overpower stock springs...clapped our or not....most of the time it's the plates.
agreed. but i know guys who run the cbs with shims. and they have said it makes a difference. you only need for example one washer. i remember the trick was to use spark plug washers, skinny and wouldnt bind the spring like youre talking about, i guess thats why. i dont though. ive got the hd springs in the race bike wth the barnet comp clutch. (the only real difference i notice is how it'll hook on the starts) my street bike slips alot on starts by comparisson. i also notice for some reason, and this is everyone ive ever talked to about it, that the barnett setup makes it really hard to find nuetral when youre sitting still. i dont know why that is. but youre absolutely right, a stock clutch is all you need for a stock bike. a stock motor isnt going to spin a stock clutch. i remember talking to todd about my clutch when i bought it and he actually told me it was a waste, and i wouldnt need it. its turned out to be one the best purchases ive made for my race bike. i love the thing.
and no, they dont get shorter, they just loose thier "springyness" (and isnt there something about free length?? like a valve spring??) magine opening up youre clutch and finding little teeny tiny springs bouncing around in there one day. to me if its suspect, theyre cheap enough, so ive never bothered to do the research to find this crap all out. i just get new ones.
clutches are cheap and easy to do on these bikes, so just drop one in. you can mic the plates, or even tell by looking at them sometimes if theyre totally roached. and make sure the metal ones are flat. my guess is someone took the scrambler title seriously and probably had some fun riding it in the dirt and offroad. in the process roaching the clutch.
I handle clutches the same way....the stuff is cheap so just replace it as a matter of course. Every three years or so think about replacing the parts again.
I ran barnett plates and springs in my 175 for a while...yes grabby..a bit too much clutch for the little engine. Not only was neutral hard to find sometimes, there were times when the clutch just did not want to disengage...real important on the Barnett plates to file the tangs, they are always a bit to big and covered in adhesive. They work much better if you do that.
I've gone back to stock springs (new) and Vesrah plates. I hammer this thing off the line, usually carrying the front wheel in first and second...so far so good. The Barnetts hooked up harder...but just too hard for a 175. A 350 has a lot more rotating mass to soak up that shock and in modified form a lot more torque to push through the clutch.
Mary's little 70cc bike has a $700 Kitaco race clutch in it. At anything under 10,000 rpm it's like an on/off switch...but since they push start it's not a big deal.
Found myself a Barnett clutch in my 350 resurrection... a bit odd when your not expecting it. Had just about every problem you've mentioned throught the course of the day. It's a releif to know it's the nature of the beast instead of some mistake I'm making over and over....