So, here I am, just enjoying a carefree blast down the super-slab...Tucumcari to Amarillo if you must know...and some inconsiderate road gremlin ate my clutch lever! Gotta be the gremlins...I know things ain't just falling off my machine. She's only got a hundred-thousand (plus) miles on 'er.
This was of course, completely unknown to me and caused much surprise and even some mild consternation when I hit the exit ramp for fuel in Amarillo. 75mph? 80? Not sure. The rider was in control...the thinking brain long since settled into intense self-scrutiny.
No problem. I LIVE for this stuff. Grab the clutch and agressively downshift (before we run off the corner of the exit ramp).
Oooo. That's the ramp. There should be gas and maybe a sausage biscuit or something. Blinker. Turn hard. Cover the brakes. Chop the throttle. Go for downshift.
Clutch. CLUTCH! Clutch? What clutch?
NO REALLY! CLUTCH!
I grabbed for it at least three times before my brain finally grocked what was happening.
Brakes will do the job, just without all that fun chirping of the massive back tire. Oh, and you have to remember to actually USE them instead spending your time...and the rapidly dwindling distance, just sitting there on the fast moving machine and pondering just where in the HELL you managed to leave your clutch lever.
Ah, well. Subtle I'm not.
Turns out, the road gremlins took it. The entire thing. Clutch lever, pivot bolt, lock nut, and the pushrod and pushrod alignment bushing.
Bummer that. Unknown exit in Amarillo. Memorial Day. Yeah. There will be parts. Heh heh... Yeah, right....
Heck, my dealer...the 38,000 square foot (or some equally ridiculous number) place in Dallas, never has ANY parts. They have to order everything in...and they're the premier Valkyrie service center in the state. What are the chances I'd find parts here? On a holiday? Yeah. That low.
--A clutch lever.
--A pivot bolt.
--A pivot bolt lock nut.
--A pushrod alignment bushing.
So, what to do. Well, scrounge in the saddlebags first, of course!
Amazing what you can find when you scrounge around in a saddlebag...especially if you are desperate.
I find some interesting stuff. Yipee! An old clutch lever. One way or another...I know my ass is saved. I replaced that in 2003 or so, just because the pivot bushing had worn to the point where the lever would not make the safety switch. Still worked perfectly well as a lever, I just couldn't start the bike in gear. I replaced it, and as an after thought (and fully expecting to dump the bike a time or two on the gravel roads in Alaska) I tossed it in a saddlebag.
For a pivot bolt, I had an extra 6mmx50mmxfine bolt hanging around from when I had to fix the side-stand spring (and was waiting...again...two weeks for the damn part). Heh...in a moment of
lazyness amazingly insightful forethought, I tossed said bolt in the saddlebag. Oooo! Look! A nut to go with it!
The pushrod and bushing were a problem. Not a chance in hell I'd have those. But LOOK! A bungee cord! You can fix ANYTHING with bungee cords!
Clipped the rubber coated hook off the end, and with some experimenting and a few tries as to correct length, had a pushrod. Because of the diameter of the rubber covered wire, with the right length I could foregoe the alignment bushing long enough to get me home.
After about a half an hour of dinking around (technical term) I was good to go!
Fired the machine up, hit the gas station, sausage bisquit station, and then jumped back on the slab. 400 miles to go. Not a problem. Thanks babe.
The boot was worn out, perhaps why the pushrod departed as well. The pushrod just sits in there...no positive mechanical connection to hold it in if the lever is off.
After a two-week wait (gad!). Finally! New Parts!
The pushrod/boot assembled
The completed assembly
Ahhhhhh. She's whole again.
Watch those durn road gremlins...they need to be dealt with. I suggest a machine gun. If you happen to meet one between Tucumcari and Amarillo that's picking his teeth with a clutch lever, say "Hi" (BLAM!) for me!
Oh, and of course...the old lever...and the extra pushrod/bushing/pivot bolt I bought? Tossed in a saddlebag to await further exploratory digs for intersting situations.
I'll see you on the road.