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Clutch And Transmission - Kawasaki KZ500 Manual

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Overheating is difficult t o detect unless
i t
extreme, in which case it will usually be ap-
parent as excessive heat radiating from the
engine, accon~panied by the smell of hot oil and
sharp, snapping noises when the engine is first
shut off and begins to cool.
Unless the motorcycle is operated under sus-
tained high load or is allowed to idle for long
periods of time, overheating is usually the result
of an internal problem. Most often it's caused
by a too-lean fuel mixture.
Remove the spark plug and compare
Figure 3. If a too-lean condition is indicated,
check for leaks in the intake manifold (see Poor
The carburetor jetting may be incorrect
but this is unlikely if the overheating problem
has just developed (unless, of course, the engine
was jetted for high altitude and is now being
run near sea level). Check the slide needle in the
carburetor to make sure
hasn't come loose
and is restricting the flow of gas through the
main jet and needle jet (Figure 17).
Check the ignition timing: extremes o f either
advance or retard can cause overheating.
Piston Seizure and Damage
Piston seizure is a common result o f
overheating (see above) because an aluminum
piston expands at a greater rate than a steel
cylinder. Seizure can also be caused by piston-
to-cylinder clearance that is too small; ring end
gap that is too small; insufficient oil: spark plug
heat range too hot; and broken piston ring or
ring land.
A major piston seizure can cause severe
engine damage. A minor seizure
usually subsides after the engine has cooled a
few minutes
rarely does more than scuff the
piston skirt the first time
occurs. Fortunately,
this condition can be corrected by dressing the
piston with crocus cloth, refitting the piston
and rings to the bore with recommended
clearances, and checking the timing to ensure
overheating does not occur. Regard that first
seizure as a warning and correct the problem
before continuing to run the engine.
1. Clutch slips-Make
sure lever free play is
sufficient to allow the clutch to fully engage
\ \
(Figure 18). Check the contact surfaces for
wear and glazing. Transmission oil additives
also can cause slippage in wet clutches. If slip
occurs only under extreme load, check the con-
dition of the springs or diaphragm and make
sure the clutch bolts are snug and uniformly
2. Clutch drags-Make
sure lever free play
isn't so great that i t fails to disengage the
clutch. Check for warped plates or disc. I f the
transmission oil (in wet clutch systems) is ex-
tremely dirty o r heavy, i t may inhibit the clutch
from releasing.
3. Transmission shifts hard-Extremely
oil can cause the transmission to shift hard.
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