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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya folks,

I found this forums shortly after I bought my bike. Thanks for all of the great information on here. I've read quite a bit of threads over the past month, learning how to safely operate my bike.

I have watched bikes roll down the road and popped in and out of bike stores over the past 3 - 4 years. It just so happened that this Fathers Day, my wife and I popped into a bike shop and found a good deal. So, I am the proud new owner of a 2009 Yamaha vStar 1100. It is my first bike ever.

Since fathers day, I've registered a little over 3,000 miles. I commute 4 hours into VA to work during the work week where I have a rental. A good mixture of twisty backroads & highway miles along the way. Mostly all good weather with some awkward moments in the rain.

Still working on getting outfitted with some decent gear. I did buy a rain suit which gave instant confidence in using the bike as my primary commuting vehicle. Been looking for a nice leather jacket on Craigslist, Goodwill, Motorcycle Shops, etc. Haven't found anything yet but know I need to get one soon. Sort of like playing Russian Roulette each time I get on the bike especially when riding 70 mph down the highway.

Either way, I've been grounded from riding it anyway. It seems my clutch went out shortly after a month of riding/3000 mile mark. Just outside of the bike shops short warranty by the way. Brings me to my first question. Do clutches go out often? Any underlying troubles to look for that would cause a clutch to go out so quickly (2009 bike). I mean, it did take me about an hour to get out of the dealership parking lot while learning the clutch but I didn't give it that much hell, lol. I did work it out a bit while learning my slow speed maneuvers to pass my skills test but again, didn't give it that much hell.

Anyways, that's all I have for now. I did have a second question but can't for the life of me remember what it was.

Thanks for the great information in these forums and I look forward to popping in often to continue my education in riding!
 

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Bike clutches are different than car clutches. You can ride the friction zone with a bike but if u do that in a car youll burn it out. Probably just a coincidence. Something always goes the day after warranty expires.
 

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.........................Since fathers day, I've registered a little over 3,000 miles. I commute 4 hours into VA to work during the work week.................
Putting those kind of miles on the bike in that span of time, will definitely work the KINKS out of ANY bike, and introduce issues, rather quickly.

You're certainly getting a good amount of riding experience really quickly, given those number of miles!

-Soupy
 

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Have you changed the oil yet? If you did that and used oil not special made for a wet clutch that could be your problem. The super slippery oils for cars have no place in a motorcycle with a wet clutch. Look for a JASO rating of MA or MA2 on the container for a motorcycle oil. Many of the more basic car oils have that rating as well, but not the fancy high priced oils.
 

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Welcome from Daytona Beach.

Clutches on most motorcycles are pretty rugged and reliable things, so its not likely you wore it out in 3k miles. Unless it was already close to being worn out when you got it. How many total miles on the bike?

Also, when you say it "went out" can you describe what exactly is happening? It could be something as simple as a cable adjustment is needed.
 

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Welcome to the Forum. Congrats on the bike. Hopefully the guys can help you figure the clutch out and it won't be a major expense.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the welcome! I am thoroughly enjoying the ride, well until I had to turn it in to get a new clutch.

Have you changed the oil yet?
No sir, hadn't changed it yet. Had planned on breaking it open for the first time and learning how to do all that stuff after going on holiday last week but that's nearly the same time the clutch started going. I'll keep that info about the oil in mind when I do get ready to break into it, thank you.

How many total miles on the bike?

Also, when you say it "went out" can you describe what exactly is happening? It could be something as simple as a cable adjustment is needed.
It has a little over 15k miles including the 3K that I put on it. The guy at the shop where I bought the bike tried to adjust the cable with no success. The bike just looses power when giving it a rev for some extra power. After a few seconds of lost power and steady rev on the throttle, it catches back up and powers through. This happened on every gear except first.

I had it turned into the shop to get the clutch replaced a few days ago anyways. Since most of the folks in the shop seemed generally suprised that the clutch went out like that, I wondered if there was some known underlying issue.

Ufortunately, they didn't have everything ready before I had to head into VA for work so I've been missing my ride for a little over two weeks now. Everytime a bike motors by I get a bit gloomy especially on the twisties. Actually takes me by suprise a bit as I've only had the bike for a month so far.
 

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It definitely sounds like a clutch slipping but that is just crazy at only 15k miles. Any new bike should get at least 50k out of a clutch unless it is adjusted wrong and slips constantly. That could eventually wear it out. I noticed that I am at 15,500 last night on my year old bike and the clutch feels as strong as it did on day one. Brake pads have been replaced and tires are really due but the clutch just keeps on going.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've never noticed any slips until just recently. Of course, I'm not an expert or even novice on how the operation of a motorcycle clutch operation should feel. So, possibly just a defective clutch? I'll certainly have to take it easy and feel out the new clutch in the parking lot before riding it off. Just in case I've been used to a defective/worn out clutch all this time.

If the previous owner hadn't changed the oil as required, would that have caused it? I'd assume that there would be much more wrong with the engine if the oil just wasn't changed though.

I'll definitely have to follow up with the dealership as they said the previous owner contracted all of his maintenance there. Or at least they said that when they were trying to sell it to me. They should keep pretty detailed records of that type of stuff, correct?
 

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Welcome to the forum. I wish you good look with the repairs, hope the dealer does the right thing. I had to move from Northern Va. last year. Some of the roads going up to west Va. are stellar. I'm sure the bike makes the trip worthwhile and you arrive with a grin on your face.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yeah, absolutely LOVE the roads of WV. Of the two main twisties going to and from home/work, I prefer rt. 55/33. More passing lanes, :biggrin:. 55 is much more twisty but I've always found myself waiting behind a car going 5 - 10 miles under the speed limit. Both have awesome scenery along the way.

One of the more recent roads I've found and am really excited to drive is rt. 219 north from Elkins, WV. I drove on that road two hours in my car from the family vacation spot in Deep Creek, MD. last week to take my skills test for motorcycle license. It was so fun to drive in my car that I was truly stoked to ride it on my bike back to the vacation spot after getting my license. Unfortunately, that's when I noticed my bikes clutch going out so I had to drive 219 back in my car.

I'm certainly going on a road trip this next week when I get home though to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Aha! My second question! I remember it, lol.

I have a fairly long beard which flies everywhere when I ride unless I want to look a good bit creepy and tuck it under my helmets chin strap. I always see these dudes ride into town from roads I know they are riding at high speeds with perfectly placed beards! What's up with that? They using a full bottle of gel or something before rolling out?

Also, highway mileage @ 65 mph or more is sometimes painful if my beard is un-cooperative. Sometimes, regardless if I tuck it under the chin strap, it just flies up and rapid fire beats me in the cheek and face. When I get off to stretch and fuel up, my entire face feels numb from the beating. Now, pain is sometimes fun to take especially when the wife is the one giving it out... but this stuff is for the birds and I don't want to get rid of my beard. What do you guys with beards do about it?
 

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I keep mine wrapped up with rubber bands or a metal beard thing. Sometimes on the bike with a windshield it will still point proudly straight forward, I guess due to the way the wind circulates. It won't beat my face like that but it will tickle my nose to distraction, so I just tuck the end under my chin strap.
 

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Have you changed the oil yet? If you did that and used oil not special made for a wet clutch that could be your problem. The super slippery oils for cars have no place in a motorcycle with a wet clutch. Look for a JASO rating of MA or MA2 on the container for a motorcycle oil. Many of the more basic car oils have that rating as well, but not the fancy high priced oils.
+1
Have you changed or added any oil since you bought it?
Ed
 

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Welcome aboard, some great roads out in your neck of the woods. How far into VA do you have to come?

Look at Eye's avatar, and see what he does with his goatee.
 

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Aha! My second question! I remember it, lol.

I have a fairly long beard which flies everywhere when I ride unless I want to look a good bit creepy and tuck it under my helmets chin strap.
I have a light wind collar that I usually use in the winter or when it's raining. Its elastic at the top so I can put it over my ears and under my nose then pull it down on my chin when I get my helmet on. The one I have has a Bikers tag on it but I can't find a link at the moment. I guarantee it would work beard or not. It's not very warm on it's own but blocks 100% of the wind. It would be similar to this (mine is about 5" in the back and 9" in the front with a pull tab at the bottom): http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/65019/i/revit-collar-juno?SiteID=SLI|Neck Collar&WT.MC_ID=10010
 

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I Have ridden in VA and in WV but what does that have anything to do with the OP's question. In both places I had decent roads to ride on so he/she is a basic rider in my mind. In your local situation I would advise that you take things easy. So where do we go from here? First we admit that any new bike is a complete unknown. In the case of my bike I can let out my clutch at anything over maybe 1500 RPM. If that is not the case with your bike, what are your limits? Once you are rolling in first gear wind it out a bit. Don't get crazy here but until you have some first gear speed up second will be too low. You don't want to lug the engine in second so wind out in first a bit. If you have found a good shift point use it. By the time you get to third or fourth you should definitely know what you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi folks. Been a while since last post, figured y'all might want to hear the results...

Got my bike back the very same day I got back to WV from work. Took it out and the new clutch is pretty damned sweet. From working this clutch for the last week, I can almost 100% tell that the previous one was pretty much shot when I purchased the bike.

As for the beard... I tried hair ties & even had my wife braid it but didn't like the end result for either. Wound up pulling an old bandana out of the closet and wrapping it around my face which is working out quite well.

Critter said:
How far into VA do you have to come?
I only go to Centreville/Ashburn, VA. I don't like any further in, too much of that 495 traffic bleeding out to every road connecting to it.
 

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Ha, you just have to go to the 10th hell, the first being Washington DC. I just moved from that area last year, lived there my whole life. If you are commuting from where I think you are, you have some beautiful roads to ride on the way in. Enjoy, be careful, at least the driving insanity in that area is consistent and can be anticipated. :smiley_drinkcoffee:
 
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