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So I recently got into motorbiking and bought my first ever bike which was the Kawasaki z400! I was overall pleased with how much power it gave and how fun it is riding it! Everything was amazing, breaking in was fine. Until I got into the period of changing my oil for the first time.
1st maintenance check: My clutch was doing very fine at this point. Nothing really brought my attention and riding it was still very efficient. I did my first oil change around the 800 mile mark. I did it myself because I truly wanted to learn the fundamentals of how bikes operate. I went from the factory grade oil they used to the Mobil 1 10W-40 Full Synthetic Motorcycle Oil. I thought this was fine at first then one night while riding my bike clutch burnt and slipped incredibly. It gave little to no power in first gear at 10-12k RPM. Didn't know what the problem was at first but with some help from my friends they told me that the clutch was burnt. So I called the dealership that I bought my bike from and they recommended that I NOT use that oil but instead use the KAWASAKI PERFORMANCE 4-STROKE ENGINE OIL , 10W-40. So me being me I had them pick it up and let them do the first maintenance. Eventually, I received the bike back with a new OEM clutch and apparently the oil it was "suppose" to have. All was good until that same day I took it out for a ride and then again, it started to slip and the clutch burnt up.
2nd maintenance check: So after that incident I decided that I WOULDN'T let the dealership maintain my bike, instead I took matters into my own hands and replaced my clutch myself. I bought a Kawasaki EX400 Racing Clutch Fiber/Spring Kit 2018-2020 from Spears Racing Enterprise. I know, I know.. I put a Ninja 400 racing clutch in a z400. I thought you know same engine, same stroke wouldn't hurt right? Also I would think that the thicker fibers would make the clutch burn a lot less quicker AND the new springs would help prevent any future slips. Well I was wrong and it burnt up within the same 24-48 hours. I also gave it time to break it in for about 25-50 miles, before I would dump the clutch at backroads and basically hoonin at low traffic areas. So again back to the drawing board...
3rd maintenance check: At this point I spent way too much time trying to make my bike usable again (especially during this epidemic) and I was becoming really frustrated with it and myself. The experience hindered so much. I just really wanted to fix this bike and have it working again. Went my way to find ways that could help prevent this from happening any more. So this time I bought the same racing clutch kit from Spears Racing AND this clutch mod from Norton Motorsports. It was for the ninja 400 as well but honestly the clutch cable spring isn't much different. I also went into my local CycleGear to see if they could give me some tips on how I could make everything better again and they recommended that I soak the plates in for 24 hours before I would assemble them. So I did do that and everything felt good. I also took the time be gentle and easy on the clutch, nothing over 6-7k RPM and I would break it in for about 90-100 miles at this point. Very light cruising and quick shifting, NOT EVEN MOTORWAY DRIVING WAS AT THIS POINT LITERALLY GOING DOWN 25-35 MILE ROADS. Then the first time I hop on a highway on the way to my girlfriend's house everything was fine. I also would shift very quick and try not to stress the engine out too much. I get off the highway and the first light I hit I feel the clutch start to slip. I already knew what was about to happen. Sure enough, I turn and the clutch is completely BURNT. At this point I couldn't take it and I felt so distraught.
Present Day: I honestly have no clue what I've done. I keep hearing that it shouldn't burn this quickly and I'm taking everything into consideration. If ANYONE on this sub has the knowledge to help me figure this out that would be EXTREMELY considerate :) Thank you for reading my problems and I hope I can be back on the streets very soon!! (especially during this beautiful spring weather haha) The bike currently has the 3rd maintenance clutch and is sitting at 870-950 miles on it, still very new. If you have any questions that could help me figure out this process please ask! I will get back to you guys VERY quickly.
This was pulled from an old reddit thread that i started a couple months ago. A little update to what's going on now.


TLDR: I'm frustrated on what keeps burning my clutch out so quickly (especially with such low mileage) and i'm looking to buy " Barnett Heavy Duty Clutch Friction Plates" AND "OEM 2020+ Kawasaki Clutch Pull Rod and Bearing Update – Kawasaki Ninja 400 / Z400" by Norton Motorsports. I already have the Heavy Duty Barnett Clutch Springs so according to this article in order to complete the clutch burning out and slipping whenever i ride and accelerate, I should buy those two parts.

https://www.norton-motorsports.com/product/oem-2020-kawasaki-clutch-pull-rod-and-bearing-update-kawasaki-ninja-400-z400/
Barnett Heavy Duty Clutch Friction Plates - Kawasaki Ninja 400 - Norton Motorsports

Have any of you guys had a similar issue? What fixed it for you guys? Any specific parts you guys have bought? Do you guys recommend the route I'm planning to take? If not, let me know what you disagree with and I will come to a consensus of what I will do and will update this thread.

I really miss riding and I really want to get back into it. Thank you.
 

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Gotta be something keeping it partially engaged? My Z got 14k mi. No prob with it. Could it be the clutch pivot arm on the clutch casing not fully retracting? I did this to mine.
14615
🐉 pulls the pivot arm toward the rear completely
 

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I tried one of those springs but it did not have enough tension (not long enough) to fully retract the pivot arm. 🐉
 

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You have any pics? it would be helpful to see the old plates, your clutch arm, and lever. It really just sounds like there is some confusion with adjusting the clutch. It is not the clutch plates. the clutch plates are a symptom of something else going on. You can keep throwing plates at it but until you find out what is causing the failure your just going to keep burning plates. Most likely clutch isnt being adjusted properly or poor shifting technique.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like that. Original thinking.

I just followed the crowd and put the Spears return spring on when I did the Barnett springs.
So would this help with the clutch being fully disengaged? And would this mod be compatible with this mod that I have currently installed into my Z400

don't know why but I feel like it's the same mod bahahaha
 

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The only thing that would cause the plates to burn that fast is if the plates are not fully engaged, if you are 100% confident on your clutch adjustment Id probably start looking at a defective clutch basket but I would find this highly unlikely. You got 800 miles out of your first clutch and from my understanding around 100 miles out of the other 2. Im going with improper adjustment or transmission issue making you think your clutch is slipping. And just to verify, would you mind describing what happens when you experience clutch slip? On a burnt clutch you would be in gear and when on the throttle your rpm will go up but your bike will not move or accelerate very slowly. Is this what you are experiencing?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You have any pics? it would be helpful to see the old plates, your clutch arm, and lever. It really just sounds like there is some confusion with adjusting the clutch. It is not the clutch plates. the clutch plates are a symptom of something else going on. You can keep throwing plates at it but until you find out what is causing the failure your just going to keep burning plates. Most likely clutch isnt being adjusted properly or poor shifting technique.
oof not atm.. I moved countless amount of times after the clutch being burnt out the latest BUT i will be ordering new plates in real soon so i'll definitely snag a couple of flicks when they arrive.
 

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Man id be real careful just throwing plates on it again. I mean you gotta get them either way but you are doing something wrong most likely. Like I said before its not the plates. Post your old plates when you get them pulled. I would be more than happy to help any way I can. remember its always better to have a clutch to loose than to tight.
 

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If the cable free play is not correct so that the plates can fully engage then you could have a rear shock spring holding that clutch arm back and it would still burn plates. Check your free play first. Like Cornfed said, it's better to have the clutch engaging too soon ie. when the lever is not far off the handle bar than right out at the end of the lever stroke.
 

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Another way to look at the clutch cable slack is to have the lever all the way out and grab the cable housing and make sure you can slide a it little way back from the cable adjuster with no effort. If there's a lot of internal drag between the cable and the housing you may not see a lot of looseness at the lever, but pulling the housing back from the lever will show you just how much slack there is.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Man id be real careful just throwing plates on it again. I mean you gotta get them either way but you are doing something wrong most likely. Like I said before its not the plates. Post your old plates when you get them pulled. I would be more than happy to help any way I can. remember its always better to have a clutch to loose than to tight.
here's an old picture i found when i got my plates removed after I had my local kawasaki dealership replace them. Let me know if this shows any signs of any sort!!!
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