30 miles from new and a transmission problem

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    The new bike arrived at the weekend and I took it out for the first 20 miles yesterday without issue. Today i went out again and within minutes the clutch started slipping. Most of the time it seemed to be accelerating gently in 5th and suddenly the engine would rev up to 8 and power would be lost like momentarily pulling the clutch in. The slipping in 5th happened maybe a dozen times in 40 miles. However, heading home there was a stretch of dual carriageway so I gently accelerated up to 7000 in all the gears and it consistently slipped in 4th, 5th and 6th.

    I spoke to my supplying dealer and he has no ideas other than booking it in. That’s a real pain as they’re an hour up the motorway so getting there on back roads is going to take me a couple of hours.

    Has anyone experienced similar transmission issues?


    Not that I know of. But clutch slippage is a known issue on the RC390 if I’m not mistaken.

    Razvan Turtureanu

    Hi Tim, I really think that you are not experiencing clutch slipping rather a “false neutral” (the shifter slips between gears because of a loose spring) which is a known problem for this engine, it happens on the Duke 690 as well. So, you can have the spring taken care of, or, push it harder into 5th, it seemed to cure mine… it only happens between 5th and 6th, otherwise it should slipp in every gear, especially in lower gears, when torque is greater…

    Although it can be annoying, and even dangerous (if you are overtaking), it’s not that big of a mechanical problem.



    this is a video for false neutral: “https://youtu.be/sAsWiiHjLsg”

    this is a video explaining the problem on the Vitpilen: “https://youtu.be/pG-nFDpbYwE?t=1490” see video at 24:50 with subtitle, or… if you know german…


    Thanks Razvan. I appreciate the comments.

    However, I’m sure this is clutch slipping. With false neutrals one tends to see no gear on the indicator and no power at all. You actually need to click the gear lever again to find a gear. In my case, the bike is changing gear, the new gear is displayed and there is a bit of acceleration before it suddenly revs up and stops pulling. I don’t need to change gear to fix it, I just need to throttle back and it picks up again.

    I checked the free play at the clutch lever and it was about 5mm – more than the manual says. However, I loosened it even more – to about 1cm free play – and rode again for another 20 miles. This time, no slipping even when I tried to encourage it.

    I’m hoping that it’s just poor factory or PDI adjustment somewhere and it’ll stay OK until the first service when it can be properly checked. It’s a bit weird having such a loose clutch lever but at least I can keep on with the break-in.

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