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Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive Transmission, Clutch and primary or secondary drive problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 14th January 2017
capt911 capt911 is offline
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Default Opinions - Spring plate REPLACE or REMOVE ???

Hello All,

This forum has been a wealth of information now asking for more opinions on the clutch spring plate issues. I looked around in different treads and sorry if I am repeating a previous answered question but here goes again.

I have an 05 Roadster with about 10K miles on it now and the clutch is working perfectly at the moment. I have read all the issues others have had with the rivets coming lose from the spring plates in their clutches from everywhere from my mileage to close to 100K to never.

I am planning a cross country ride sometime this summer and do not want to have issues on the road and it seems that fixing the potential issue before it happens will be cheap insurance for a huge potential problem to have on the road.

I have worked on many Jap bikes clutches but never one on a sporty. I see how they have to be removed with the special compression tool so think that is not the issue. I am trying to save some money as I have a huge hit list of things to buy for the bike to make this trip with it.

Here is my question? I would like to keep my existing clutch pack and just either do away with the existing spring plate before I have a problem with it. What does the spring plate actually do? Would it be more beneficial to just remove it completely ( I read you can replace it with 2 steel and 1 friction plate) or just buy another new after market spring plate presumably new and improved over the original design that fails.

If I replace the spring plate with two steel and one friction plate from your personal experience what difference would I feel clutch wise riding the bike? Pro's and Con's everyone please educate me. The price seems to be about the same either way. recommended products as well if I go for the new and improved spring plate?

Thanks again all. this forum is fabulous and informative. I am addicted to it now
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  #2  
Old 14th January 2017
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The spring plate gives a cushioning effect within the clutch plates. At most, by replacing it with two steel and one friction you may feel the clutch grab a little quicker, more abruptly, but very quickly it will feel natural and not be noticible. The additional benefit is you will have more deeply bonded with your Sporty and will roll down the road with more confidence. Note: the spring plate typically gives you warning usually with reluctance to go into neutral or refusing to release completely when stopped with the lever pulled in. In my case mine started acting up while crossing upper Ohio on the Forum's Lake Erie Run some years back. I was able to nurse it around and through Buffalo, crossed into Canada, over nighted in London and crossed back into the States the next day. Got home okay and stripped her down for repair. Peace of mind before a long run would dictate to me to do it now. Just like the drive belts, much easier to replace them in the comfort of your own home than on the side of the road. And if you decide to do your belt keep this in mind, the old belt will twist into a triple loop and pack easily for a spare, in a ziplock bag and be easier to install at roadside if needed. Sorry to have gotten side tracked, but this is stuff to consider ahead of time. I think it's called being pro active,LOL.
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  #3  
Old 14th January 2017
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Default

At 20k mine looked brand new, but having pulled it to inspect it, I figured why not replace it while I'm there. Running a Carbonite now, but i can't see OE plates being too terribly different in feel. I'd just go that route if I hadn't gone with the Carbonite. A couple of OE drive plates and a friction plate to keep the stack height correct is all you need. Stick it where the spring plate was and adjust and you should be good.

If you're so inclined, you can swap out the bearing that the adjuster rides on while you're in there. A good angular bearing will hold up better to side loading from the ramp assembly.

Anyway, it definitely grabbed more than before on mine after the swap, but a 25% stiffer spring contributed to that as well. I don't notice either now. It rides great, shifts great, and it can hold way more power than I actually make.

As far as replacement spring plates, I know Alto makes one, but I don't see the point. Plates are cheaper from what I remember, and more plates should be better anyway from a power transmission standpoint. It may be slightly harsher on your transmission, but I doubt it's enough to cause any kind of issue unless you really beat it up (in which case you probably weren't super concerned to begin with).
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Old 14th January 2017
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I rather hear the squeal than scrapping my basket; some have a squeal with two OEM steel plates and a friction as I have. What you choose might help shut the squeal better than OEM plates.
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Old 14th January 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rejeanprimeau View Post
I rather hear the squeal than scrapping my basket; some have a squeal with two OEM steel plates and a friction as I have. What you choose might help shut the squeal better than OEM plates.
That's my setup, some cheap used parts from a member here. I get a slight chirp pulling away from a stop when the engine is cold, but it goes away when warmed.

Good peace of mind.
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Old 26th January 2017
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Get RID of that spring plate! Mine went at 20K, so you may be fine. The symptoms were: Clutch too tight...no, wait...too loose...maybe too tight...
This was caused by the individual little spring plates bouncing around (and scoring) the clutch basket. I caught it just in time.
You can make a spring compressor with some threaded rod, a piece of wood, and a piece of ABS sewer pipe. The sidecase is easy to remove - I've done it twice, and still have the original gasket.
At 20K, the plates looked brand new (I don't do burnouts etc.) But the clutch basket was scored. I used a carbide bit in a mototool to clean it up.

The job isn't hard and takes a couple of hours. I went with a Barnett extra-plate setup. The clutch is a bit harder to pull but it will not slip!
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Old 26th January 2017
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The spring plate is like the "Marcel" springs in an automotive clutch disc.
Its a known weak point in a sportster clutch pack.
Pull it out and throw it away !
Even if you just replace it with 2 stock steels and a friction
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Old 26th January 2017
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I would definitely take out the spring plate if I were you - even if I WASN'T planning a long trip. The long trip just makes it more essential in my mind.

If you are looking to save money, just do what others here have said: leave the rest of the clutch pack in there, replace the spring plate with the extra steels and friction, and if you do it yourself it won't cost much. New gaskets, the extra plates, and the supplies to build your clutch compression tool. The resulting peace of mind will be priceless.

I wish I had known about this issue on my bike before my spring plate exploded. I would have much preferred to take it out as a precaution than have to file down the basket after it was damaged.

Yes, it chirps a bit and there's a slight difference in how it feels - but you will get used to it.

Let us know what you end up doing!
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Old 26th January 2017
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10K on my 2015 CP. Any idea what's "chirping" after the spring plate is replaced with two steels and one friction?
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Old 26th January 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzink0883 View Post
10K on my 2015 CP. Any idea what's "chirping" after the spring plate is replaced with two steels and one friction?
It's the friction discs and steels coming together differently than they did with the spring plate in place and slipping for a split second.

On mine the chirping mostly occurs when it's cold and only when starting out in first.

Once it's warmed up it rarely happens unless I'm particularly ham-fisted.
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