How To Adjust Harley Clutch? [Each Step Explained]


If you own Harley Davidson Motorcycle, then adjusting Harley clutch cable is very important. It will help you to keep your vehicle safe and responsive for exceptional riding experiences on the roads.

The clutch adjustment is an easy and quick task that you can even perform at your place all by yourself. And this article will provide you the ultimate guideline to do that task without experiencing any troubleshooting issues.

So, how to adjust Harley clutch cable?

First, you need to pull up your vehicle’s clutch cable. Now, release the locknut and adjuster both nuts slightly. Then, you need to gently pull up on the clutch cable once again and observe till you felt a point where the clutch fork seems engaging. That’s the point where you need to the adjustment.

Let’s learn the procedure in detail below:

How To Adjust A Clutch On A Harley Davidson?

In case you have a Harley Big Twin motorcycle and wondering how to adjust Harley Twin Cam clutch, just follow the same instructions given here-

Let Your Motorcycle Cool Off And Remove Cable Cover:

Make sure your bike cools off properly before you start the work. Now, look over you will find a tiny rubber piece visible half-way down over your clutch that’s the main clutch cable cover. For removing the cover, move up down and reveal the clutch cable adjuster.

Now Give the Clutch Slack:

For doing that, you need to secure the adjuster by using a wrench. Then, release the jam nut that you can view on top of the adjuster to keep it in place. Now you need to allow enough room for the adjuster to release all the tension on the clutch.

Then Lift the Derby Cover And Free The Adjuster:

Now you can see there are lots of bolts used to secure the derby cover in the place. Therefore, you need to eliminate them all first and keep them aside. Now your derby cover is free to remove from that place so, do that. While you are removing the cover, keep one hand on it to avoid any breakage or other damages that may arise.

After that, remove the jam nut with a wrench or screwdriver, which kept your clutch adjuster in place securely.

Now Adjusting the Clutch:

To avoid over-tightening the clutch adjuster, you should use your fingers and tighten till you feel that the adjuster’s bottom out. Now, you need to bring your service manual and follow the instruction. There you will find explanations on Harley Clutch Adjustment Torque specs too. So, insert your screwdriver or Allen key and follow the given instruction.

Re-adjusting the Jam Nut And Derby Cover:

Once you have finished the adjustment task, it is time to re-adjusting the jam nuts and derby cover in their positions. Therefore, tighten the jam nut properly and avoid over-doing. Then turn the bolts of your derby cover with your hand and carefully tighten them down.

While you are tightening the bolts, make sure you are operating on opposing bolts instead of going in a circle. Harley clutch engages too soon so, adjust the lock nut of derby cover and free play cable properly.

Re-adjust the Clutch Cable And Do A Test Ride:

Now you have to follow the instructions given in your service manual to maintain correct tightness. Once you feel you have successfully reached the right adjustment, start tightening the jam nut to its original position.

Now, time to return the clutch cover to its original location so, put the cover back accordingly. After that, you should test it out by riding your bike on the road.

How To Adjust Harley Evo Clutch/How To Adjust Clutch Harley Sportster?

Follow the below-mentioned instructions thoroughly-

  • First, take the transmission cover off, and you will find two small screws, the cover and the O-ring behind it. Now use a 4mm Allen wrench to take those screws, spring, and locknut out.
  • Next, increase the amount of slack in the clutch cable, and if it’s frozen solid, use some wd-40 on that. Then, let it soak, and give it a couple of whacks to free up the adjuster along with the locknut as well.
  • Now put max. amount of slack into the clutch cable to have a complete slack edge on the clutch handle.
  • After that, go down in the transmission cover area, where you can notice that the shaft has a slot. So, back it out with a flathead screwdriver until it is lightly seated. Then return it one-quarter turn.
  • Now put the locknut back on and make sure it fits in the grooves. Next, put the spring, cover, and screws back just like they were. Then you need to adjust the tension in the clutch cable and loosen until the handle gets between 1/16 or 1/8 inches of play.
  • Later on, pull out the cable, and you will see there are more than a 1/8 or a 1/16 inches which means you are ready to go.

How To Adjust A Hydraulic Clutch On A Harley Davidson?

In general, you do not need to worry about Harley Davidson hydraulic clutch adjustment. Because hydraulic clutches are innovatively designed with self-adjusting mechanism. Means it does not require any typical clutch adjustment.

In case a situation ever arises where a Harley Davidson Hydraulic Clutch Problems needed to be fixed, How To Adjust Harley Hydraulic Clutch?

According to the company’s instructions, Harley Davidson will inform the owners about it. Then, dealers will visit to inspect the clutch master cylinder whether there is any presence of gas in the fluid or not. If they find gas presence, your deal will clean the clutch system and will reassemble the clutch master cylinder again. They will ensure that full servicing free of cost.

How To Adjust Harley Shovelhead Clutch?

If you are typical shovelhead issues on your Harley, then disassemble the clutch and clean the friction plates with a brake cleaner. After that, you can use some non-petrol-based silicon lube on the friction plates. It will help repel moisture and oil from absorbing into the plates for a while.

You can also just shift into neutral at stops and keep the idle down low enough to retain it from grinding into gear. Sometimes you can even shift up into second and then down into the first. It is supposed to go into the second more comfortably and then shift through into the first without grinding.

Learn At A Glance-

How To Adjust Harley Clutch Lever?

  • First, you need to pull back the rubber cover from the clutch lever.
  •  Now you should slacken the larger lock nut by unfastening it with your fingers.
  • Then, look over you will find a smaller adjusting nut there so, screw that out to reduce free play.
  • After that, tighten the lever or turn it inward for the opposite effect.
  • Now your clutch lever is adjusted and ready.

How To Adjust Harley Clutch Pack?

  • First, you need to retreat the adjusters off on the clutch cable for getting lots of slack at the lever.
  • Now, withdraw the clutch pack Allen bolt out and turn it in to lightly bottom.
  • Next, you can either do a half turn to a full turn, as mentioned in the book.
  • After that, you need to lock the jam nut and pull the clutch a couple of times for setting the ball and ramp.
  • Lastly, adjust the clutch cable to 1/16 to 1/8 inches off the bracket.

How To Adjust Harley Clutch Dragging Issue?

  • To fix the issue, take off the clutch lever.
  • Now rub the backside of the lever where it is hitting the handle grip.
  • And depending on how much you rub off, it will let the clutch open up.
  • Now release the clutch plates that caused the dragging.
  • So, after the proper release, your problem is solved

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How Often To Adjust Harley Clutch?

Over time, the clutch of your bike wears down, which results in adjustments. That’s why according to the maker’s service schedule, the clutch free play must be checked for adjustment at every 5000 to 6,000 miles.

Why Harley Clutch Not Fully Engaging?

If you have a Harley Davidson vehicle and its clutch is not engaging, that means the clutch is too tight. And because of that, when you are releasing the lever, it is not allowing the clutch plates for full engagement.

Why Harley clutch not fully disengaging?

The manufacturer has declared that some of the 2016 model Harley Davidson bikes are not fully disengaging. The clutch master cylinder of these affected models is enabled to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch when the vehicle is parked outside for a longer time or when the bike is in gear and the engine is on.

Ending Notes

This article aimed to let you know about how to adjust Harley clutch cable. Therefore, to avoid any further Harley Clutch Adjustment Problems after the task is done, follow all the instructions thoroughly and precisely.

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