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Hi, I just bought my first bike, a 98 yamaha Vstar custom 650, a week ago and I've really been enjoying it so far. Unfortunately today I ran into my first problem. Before starting the bike while in first I pulled the clutch in to roll it back but I felt the friction as it stayed in gear. When I went to start it, still with the clutch pulled in and in first, the bike jolted forward and wanted to take off as soon as I his the ignition. I am able to shift into neutral though and it rolls fine. Now just a warning, I am a new rider so at first as I was heading into work this morning (in my car) I thought maybe I just did something silly like not put the key in, but I figure that can't be it considering that it did start turning over when I hit the ignition. Plus I don't think that would effect the clutch. I followed the line from the clutch back down to the engine area and it seems to be pulling just fine, but that's as far as I got before I had to leave. It was working fine yesterday when I was riding and also last night when it was rolled it into the shed to park. I thought maybe there is like a clutch disable button/switch for security purposes or something that was hit by accident, but I really don't know. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks -Mike
 

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Hopefully the deal was good enough that you can buy a good shop manual... Just to read thru... Which brings me to the "freshness" of the engine oil...a contributing factor as to how well the clutch operates...Could be as simple as an oil change, or clutch cable adjustment... unless its hydraulic.. then another fluid change...
 

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Your clutch doesn't disengage fully; if you have a hydraulic clutch, you will have to bleed any air out of it, and might as well replace all the fluid, while you're at it. It should be changed every year, two at most. As 1tchMC states, if it is cable, there should be an adjustment to reduce the free motion in the lever to a small amount.

Another cause of a sticking clutch in older bikes is, it just sat too long, and the plates were stuck together, transferring some fiber to the steel plates. Fixing this requires replacing the fiber plates, and cleaning the steel ones.

There are no safeties that would keep the clutch partially engaged, that I know of, on any bike.

And yes, get a manual - it's the most important tool you can own.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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It is a cable activated clutch. At the bottom end of the clutch cable you will see a threaded section with two nuts, one on each side of a mount. Loosen the one closest to the end of the threads. turn the other one a couple of turns to the right. Check the play in the cable. Try it. Repeat until you have it adjusted to your liking and then lock down the second nut.

My 04 will drag slightly when cold ie hasn't been started. And sometimes after I shut it off and come back.

Just make sure it isn't slipping after you have adjusted it.
 

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its best to renew and adjust the clutch cable first as its the cheapest simplest things and then you can be sure if the problem persists its likely to be within the clutch basket, you'll need to drain the engine oil and remove the clutch cover to have a look, there are many friction plates and steel plates that form the assembly and they can stick together if warped and worn and the oil is old and nasty, and even if there been a recent change of oil, the plates may be well gunked up. so even if your clutch cable is adjusted properly, they wont disengage properly and you will get the symptoms you describe. Im assuming it creeps when you are at lights etc. ?
 
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