® Servicing the clutch lifter

Many complain of harsh clutch pull and release on their CB500s. Mine is not like that. It is as smooth and easy and precise as the clutch in a 750. Here is how it got that way.

First, resist the urge to put different springs in your clutch. It really isn't necessary. But the springs have only a very slight effect on a civilized clutch. My bike has 750 springs in it and it feels like it doesn't. The really important things are a good quality cable (factory only) properly routed and lubricated, a good original equipment clutch pushrod, not one of the steel ones but the original aluminum one, and a lifter assembly that has low wear on it and is properly adjusted and serviced.

The lifter assembly may be the most difficult part to get right. They are long discontinued for one thing, and they were never very durable. However, if you find one that has low wear, grease it well and adjust the clutch properly and you will have a very pleasant clutch. And use the factory tool to adjust the lifter, not a screwdriver. Back in the day, we had to make our own tool, we mechanics, but for the last thirty-plus years the correct tool has been available. Use it. The lifter body is made of zinc based metal and this not only results in it wearing quickly if not regularly greased, it also makes it susceptible to tearing when it is turned using a screwdriver. Use the right tool.

Last updated October 2021
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