T3 clutch - snatch and grab

Hi folks
 I have a T3 California that has a clutch problem. When I release the clutch lever, after the first half inch or so the clutch grabs (or snatches, depending on your preference) and there is less than an eighth of an inch to play with before the bike lurches forward. Technique is not the issue as I’ve been riding for 30+ years without the problem. I have tried adjusting at the lever, adjuster by the pivot arm and the pivot arm itself, with no luck…
Any suggestions welcome - thanks, SteveÂ

Perhaps the friction plates are worn out?
All the best,

CB does probably have it.
How many miles on the bike and how long have you owned it, ie is this just started happening thing.

Thanks both…
I have had the bike for about a year and it had the clutch snatch when I picked it up - claimed low mileage of 15k and lots of MOTs to suggest this might be genuine. The bike was rough handled by the last owner and converted to something of a rat bike and I’ve been getting it back to ‘normal’ over the past few months. I know that it was off the road for 10 years or so, until last year…Â

Thanks David - will research more - see also response to Ian above

Don’t think you will cure it without having a look inside i’m afraid :frowning:

I have to agree with chilly.
If it is not something you have done before try and get a friend who has done it before to help.
Once done you will find it easy but longwinded in the future.

Had it been standing for a while before you bought it?
The internal and external components can begin to seize.
As a ‘less is more’ idle so and so I’d start with the easy stuff.
Apologies in advance if this is stating the obvious.
1: Remove cable from bike and give it some lubrication. if it’s Teflon lined (Venhill etc) don’t use oil.
2: Remove the lever from the carrier and give it a good clean/lube. Check the holes and bolts for wear and overtightening.
3: Check free movement of the clutch arm at the back of the case. These can seize.
4: Refit cable carefully in the smoothest possible run. It’s hard to get an arc frm lever to lever but snage can be avoided.
5: Adjust cable and try it out.
6: If symptoms persist try disengaging and ‘dropping’ the clutch a couple of times whilst on the move in order to free of the internals.
7: Start to think about stripping it.

Best of luck

That’s as good a reply as it gets.

Thanks Steve - comprehensive list for me to work through…
The bike had stood for 10 years immediately before I bought it - it was MOT’d but have no idea how it got through as it had a 1" hole in the crossover exhaust and pinched cables amongst other things. I have renewed and oiled all cables including the clutch cable. Routing isn’t great but no sharp bends or snags. I think the next step might be removing the clutch arm and checking everything at that end.
“7. Start to think about stripping it.” - Hmm - hope I can avoid it
Regards - Steve

As I posted earlier stripping the frame from the engine and gearbox is best done with a mate in attendance.
My first time took a weekend going slowly.
After that I can remember getting back from work, stripping everything down till I needed a mate for the actual separation.
He came down, we then split the gearbox from the engine, tightened up the clutch nut and knocked over the tab washer.
Put the frame back over the engine.
Mate went home for dinner, I finished rebuilding and we were both down the pub for the club meeting by nine on our bikes.
Takes time but is simple to do.
You can also crab the frame if you have the means to hang it from something. Its saves about half an hour.

. I think the next step might be removing the clutch arm and checking everything at that end. Regards - Steve[/quote]

the clutch arm might be seized up, in order to remove the arm the best way is to remove the swinging arm, yes you can get to the clutch lever arm without removing the swinging arm but if the clutch lever is seized up you will need as much space as poss to work on it.
the clutch arm should be held in by a clevis pin, whatever you do dont attack this pin with a drift and a hammer if it wont move, you run the risk of snapping the lugs which hold the arm and you do not want to do that, you really dont.
you will need to keep soaking the clevis pin area with something like PlusGas -not WD40- for a few days, and then apply heat to the area, be carefull and take your time
of course the clevis pin might just drop out in minutes, so the above will not be needed.

With an old bike like a T3 Plus Gas and time are definitely going to be needed.
If nothing else to make sure the front engine bolt moves.

I may be imagining it but seem to remember someone saying same symptom they had was due to a broken friction plate?

If true another reason to dismantle to be certain.Â

It could be just contaminated clutch plates which may clean up with liberal usage of brake cleaner (block up drain hole then half fill clutch housing, run engine and actuate clutch, then drain) but I’ve only seen this done once…by a mechanic with a whole drum of the stuff. Â Doesn’t sound much more than a temp measure though!! Â New clutch would also give opportunity to do front gearbox seal/rear engine seal etc and be set up for many more miles!! Whereabouts in country are you?

I have this self same problem with my Eldorado. It can lead to some interesting starts if on graveland luches if trying to take off quickly.
My bike was rebuilt in America before I bought it, with a new clutch. Done by a well known and trusted Guzzi mechanic. Apparently loops can be prone to grabby clutches? I was hoping it was going to ease off with milage, but it is still a pain. I really don’t want to strip it until at least Winter time as I find time hard to come by and don’t want it left unfinished for days due to other commitments.
Do new clutches tend to grab initially? Or do you think I have a problem?

Gulp! - that’s not great if it’s new - I am going for friction plate issue, so I’ll let you know how I get on

I’ve tried all adjustment options, so now I’ll give this a go before succumbing to stripping the clutch. TBH I can now see light at the end of the tunnel… Location? I’m in Westbury, Wilts

My money is on the centre boss…

I’ve experienced two big twins where the clutch action has been erratic and snatchy. In both cases I found that there had previously been replacement of just one of the friction plates and this had led to warping of the centre plain plate. In the second of the two the plate was so bad it could have doubled for a fruit bowl.

So I guess there are a few things to look for as/when you go in there.