V7 classic clutch issues

Hi all,Nick here,

A friend of mine rides a V7 Classic (2008?) and with just 5000 miles on the clock she seems to have completely trashed the clutch.I was wondering if anyone else has had or heard of such early clutch failure and is the task of replacing it as major as I think it is.Any comments ,advice,encouragement would be much appreciated.cheers,Nick

Ello Nick, have several mates with em and can’t say have heard of clutch issues…
riding style praps…with respect…am a girlie meself…

poor adjustment is a killer, but having just swapped a v7 clutch its huge and very well made, i think you would struggle to wear one out in 5k!

whats the actual problem, is it slipping or hard to engage gears?

Have an eye to lever travel.
I was sure mine was on the way out with grabby engagement or refusal to engage.
The lever was fouling on the Heated Grip spur I’d recently fitted, preventing full travel but under the radar, tucked out of sight.
Was a happy bunny to snag that fault.


if the clutch has gone you can swap one in an afternoon.

did my v35’s ( same setup and design) twice in a day due to a faulty release bearing.

if it has been slipping i would order a new tail bearing and push rod as they do wear if adjusting when you have the engine out

As Guzziv35 says poor adjustment is a killer, but I have known a few Guzzi owners who have had clutch problems just due to a worn out thrust bearing (Guzzi part number 12 08 70 01)
even if the above bearing is found to be ok I would replace it if you have the engine out, they dont last for ever
ok 5,000 miles should not wear out this bearing but badly adjusted set ups can…

removing the engine/gearbox is not a big job on the small blocks but if you can take lots of photos before hand if you have not done this job before, it might help in the rebuild.,

whilst the engine/gearbox is out of the frame I would also remove and regrease the clutch operating arm where it is connected to the gearbox, but be very carefull with it, if the pivot pin is seized in the arm (with the split pin removed) do not try to remove it by hitting it with a hammer, you will only risk breaking one or both of the two lugs the arm is connected to, and you dont want to do that. believe me you do not. just use a heat gun or a blow torch to heat the arm up.,if the engine is out you can apply a lot of heat to that area without doing any damage.to any nearby paint work.

but before you set about on the job check the gear change linkage, as a loose link can lead to poor gear changes.

Doing a complete clutch job in an afternoon is good going. Is that using the frame ‘crab’ technique? I always reckon on allowing a whole weekend from start too finish.

first time I took a engine/gearbox out was back in around 1981. I was helped by ‘Duffo’, in fact we did the job in his back garden, trouble was we had the engine etc out in around two hours and so went down the local pub for a pint or two and then spent around 4 hours putting it back together, I blame the pub landlord for forcing us to have a second, or was it third, pint.

I have never used the ‘crab’ technique as I allways like to give the engine and gearbox a dam good clean up whilst it is away from the bike.

its dead easy, yeah always crab guzzi when i do clutch. Â Just work smart and do not remove too much.

Tank off

complete exhaust system off

disconnect carbs and wiring

disconnect alternator / points and starter

remove clutch cable

remove rear calliper and tie to frame

sit sump on solid box

unbolt frame from gear box and in front of engine and wheel top of frame and front away leaving gearbox diff etc sat with engine.

about 40 mins or so max

remove main engine bolt going through sump and loosed lower frame arms from rest of frame.

wip out the bell housing bolts and wiggle engine free!Â

about 5 mins!

mark position of fly wheel to clutch basket  ( so timing marks line up when you re assemble)

Remove 4 or 8 bolts holding fly wheel to clutch cover and remove flywheel and centre plate

if flywheel and clutch basket are damaged its best to replace.

I replaced the rear needle bearing when clutch arm pushes on push rod and fitted a later v7 push rod while mine was you

re- assembly reverse of above but check clutch clears soon as engine and box mated n bolted tight using wooden end of hammer to push clutch open while you try to turn the engine with an allen key in gear.

tip if you dont have a clutch tool is to use feeler gauges or a vernier to center the clutch with the flywheel

Hi Guys,
sorry for the very slow response.Thank you all so much for your comments and advice,it’s all very useful stuff.Personally I think it may well be the bearing rather than the clutch itself which really is slipping like crazy.I guess when we get in there we’ll see but as advised I’ll replace the thrust bearing regardless of what I find.I’ve only ever done this job on an old boxer before,quite time consuming but not too difficult in the end.It’s nice to know that the clutch is a well engineered bit of kit as well.
Many thanks once again,Nick

think a strip down and inspection is first job

Thrust bearing is at the rear of the gearbox and if its failed like mine did it will be stuck in the tube jambing the push rod.

Before you go mad it might be worth checking the rear clutch arm is not partially seized.

If it the first time you have stripped a Guzzi down then allow a weekend.
After that it is an afternoon job.
Most of what you need is above.
Just don’t be frightened of it.
For what it is worth check that you have no more than 4mm of free play at the lever, that the actuating arm is not damaged and is free to move, and that the cable is not snagging first.
Then just go in and enjoy yourself, posting results on here afterwards.

where abouts are you and the v7 based?

I’m in Shepperton,Surrey but it’s not my bike(I ride a V50) so it’s based with it’s owner in Eltham SE London.

Why not give Baldrick a shout then, he’s based in Mottinham?

I heard that he was in that area,it’s an excellent suggestion,Cheers.

Also worth checking that the cable isn’t wedged in the cooling fins. I was having major clutch issues on my Breva 750 before Christmas and when I tried to remove the old 1 I found it was wedged in the cooling fins. It took ages to push it out.

Hello all,
just to give all you kind folk some closure on this issue,it turns out(as suggested by guzzi-v35)that the clutch arm is indeed seized.Baldrick(thank you bobv7) is sorting it out for us.
Cheers everyone,Nick