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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tonight I was about to ride my 2008 Sprint ST ABS back from my parent's house. It was a bit cooler, but not cold, and I ran the battery down trying to get it started to the point where it couldn't turn the engine over (lights and gauges still lit up though). I'm not sure on the age of the battery and I bought the bike used with ~9k miles roughly a little less than a year ago. I've suspected the battery is on it's last legs after taking the bike out of winter storage, but I plan to run through the charging system checks mentioned here to make sure it's not a bigger problem.

Fuel Gauge:
Anyways, I was able to get it jump started fine although the fuel gauge now reads empty. There's fuel in the tank and the gauge was working when I took the bike down there over the weekend. I took it for a quick spin around the block and it still reads empty. Is this something related to the battery issue and jump starting and it will return to normal readings after I drive longer, or do I have a bigger issue on my hands here? Unfortunately, it was getting late tonight, so I couldn't do much more than a ride around the block. I plan to run some tests on this later this week when I'm back down at my parent's place.

Clutch Noise:
I also noticed that with the bike running and in neutral I would hear a slight grinding/rubbing noise when I pull the clutch lever. It only seemed to happen during the pulling/releasing action. It almost sounded like a frayed wire rubbing rubbing against the inside of the cable housing, but with the bike off and in neutral or gear, I didn't notice this sound. The sound was slight enough that I couldn't hear it when I took my spin around the block. Perhaps I only noticed this because I was more focused on things with the bike because of the battery issue. Is this a normal sound? Or is this an indicator of bigger issues? Again, I'll run some more tests on this later this week to see if I can replicate it and provide any more details.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Tonight I was about to ride my 2008 Sprint ST ABS back from my parent's house. It was a bit cooler, but not cold, and I ran the battery down trying to get it started to the point where it couldn't turn the engine over (lights and gauges still lit up though). I'm not sure on the age of the battery and I bought the bike used with ~9k miles roughly a little less than a year ago. I've suspected the battery is on it's last legs after taking the bike out of winter storage, but I plan to run through the charging system checks mentioned here to make sure it's not a bigger problem.

Fuel Gauge:
Anyways, I was able to get it jump started fine although the fuel gauge now reads empty. There's fuel in the tank and the gauge was working when I took the bike down there over the weekend. I took it for a quick spin around the block and it still reads empty. Is this something related to the battery issue and jump starting and it will return to normal readings after I drive longer, or do I have a bigger issue on my hands here? Unfortunately, it was getting late tonight, so I couldn't do much more than a ride around the block. I plan to run some tests on this later this week when I'm back down at my parent's place.

Clutch Noise:
I also noticed that with the bike running and in neutral I would hear a slight grinding/rubbing noise when I pull the clutch lever. It only seemed to happen during the pulling/releasing action. It almost sounded like a frayed wire rubbing rubbing against the inside of the cable housing, but with the bike off and in neutral or gear, I didn't notice this sound. The sound was slight enough that I couldn't hear it when I took my spin around the block. Perhaps I only noticed this because I was more focused on things with the bike because of the battery issue. Is this a normal sound? Or is this an indicator of bigger issues? Again, I'll run some more tests on this later this week to see if I can replicate it and provide any more details.

Thanks for the help!
It can take up to a mile of riding for the fuel guage to kick back into life so I wouldn't worry about that. As to the clutch noise, I'm afraid I don't have a fix, however, regular oil changes are a must, so if you haven't changed the oil recently or don't know when it was last done, start there. And don't forget to check the cable adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It can take up to a mile of riding for the fuel guage to kick back into life so I wouldn't worry about that. As to the clutch noise, I'm afraid I don't have a fix, however, regular oil changes are a must, so if you haven't changed the oil recently or don't know when it was last done, start there. And don't forget to check the cable adjustment.
Thanks I followed your advice tonight. Here's a brief update on the clutch noise...

Put the bike on the center stand and played with the clutch a bit with the bike off. I had the bike in neutral and in gear while pull and releasing the clutch. I couldn't notice the same noise at all. It was nearly silent. Started the bike and noticed the noise again every time I pulled and released the clutch. It seemed to have an activation point. The noise would happen when I pulled the clutch lever in about 1/3 of the way and then stop if I continued to pull the clutch further toward the handlebar grip. It would also happen again in the same location on the return of the clutch lever. It also seemed to move when I made adjustments to the clutch cable length. For reference the clutch would first start to engage the rear tire at about 2/3 of the distance from the lever to the handlebar grip (i.e. at about 1/3 of the return travel). I hope this makes sense. The noise is difficult to describe. It's not quite a grinding or grating sound, but definitely sounds like some sort of rubbing. It's sort of similar to the sound of a rusty spring being compressed, not a squeaking sound though.

Performed an oil change (Motul 4T 7100 10W40) including new filter (K&N). I let the engine idle a bit to get the oil to cycle through a bit. The noise is still occurring just as described above.

Is it possible this is just the noise of the clutch plates rubbing together or maybe even something else within the clutch assembly? Or is this something I should get checked out? Any other thoughts?
 

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How long was your bike in winter storage? Did you start it up during storage? Try oiling the clutch cable. There should be 2-3mm of freeplay in the cable. It may be, if you left it standing too long the clutch plates are a bit dry. I would go for a gentle ride (20-30 miles) now you have fresh oil in and see if that helps. Plenty of gear changes but nothing too excessive in terms of speed. With 9k on the clock I would not think the clutch is knackered unless the previous owner was a wheelie king. A last resort would be taking the clutch plates out and giving them an overnight soak. Its only a last resort cos its a big job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How long was your bike in winter storage? Did you start it up during storage? Try oiling the clutch cable. There should be 2-3mm of freeplay in the cable. It may be, if you left it standing too long the clutch plates are a bit dry. I would go for a gentle ride (20-30 miles) now you have fresh oil in and see if that helps. Plenty of gear changes but nothing too excessive in terms of speed. With 9k on the clock I would not think the clutch is knackered unless the previous owner was a wheelie king. A last resort would be taking the clutch plates out and giving them an overnight soak. Its only a last resort cos its a big job.
Bike was in storage from November to March in the heated underground parking in my condo building, but I didn't start it at all in that time since I had the battery pulled so it could sit on a battery tender. I'll check the freeplay as suggested and throw a little cable lube in there as well.

I've put a few miles on already this riding season (~300 or so). I didn't recall hearing this noise before, but it could be that I just wasn't listening for it. I should have also noted that the old oil looked as expected when I drained it. It had a slight metallic sheen, but no big flakes or shavings and the old filter looked to be pretty clean as well. The bike currently has 12.5k miles on it. I like to go for spirited rides, but I'm definitely not pulling wheelies at every stoplight. I can't speak to the previous owner, but he was probably in his 60s and I didn't get the impression he was raising hell around town on it either.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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You may need to inspect the lifter arm for possible wear or damage. The bearing might also be damaged or worn out. Less likely though.
Have a look at the part diagram
 

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But it may be a normal noise after all. It seems to occur at the time the lifter arm gets in contact to the pull rod. At that point the pull rod it still rotation until the contact force makes the pull rod spinning, an so the bearing inside vs outside race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You may need to inspect the lifter arm for possible wear or damage. The bearing might also be damaged or worn out. Less likely though.
Have a look at the part diagram
If this were the issue, wouldn't it only occur when the bike is running? Or would I be able to hear it when the bike is off while just pulling/releasing the clutch lever? Based on the diagram shown there, I would think that I would hear the same noise with the bike off. It's probably still worth checking out either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
But it may be a normal noise after all. It seems to occur at the time the lifter arm gets in contact to the pull rod. At that point the pull rod it still rotation until the contact force makes the pull rod spinning, an so the bearing inside vs outside race.
Some version of this is also my working theory at the moment based on the face that I can only hear it when the bike is running (and things are spinning at different speeds). I'm just not sure how to test this to confirm if this is correct or not.
 
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