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Thread: 250es ‘clunking through gears’

  1. #1
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    250es ‘clunking through gears’

    Hey guys, long time no post, still lurking in here every now and then. Trikes are jut in your blood, you can never escape!

    I have a question in regards to my 85 250es. I feel like the clutch is not working properly. It seems to clunk in between gears now where as it used to shift smoothly between, like the clutch would disengage and allow the gears to mesh nicely and then the clutch would pick back up again and on my merry way.

    I have tried to adjust the clutch lifter but it either makes the gear lever too tight or too sloppy.

    Is there a serviceable part in there that may need replacing? Centrifugal clutch shoes and springs?

    Or would in be the actual clutch pack and plates?

    Thanks for any help and I hope that I have made sense.

    Cheers from downunder!
    1980 ATC 70 Needs Restoration
    1985 ATC 250es Fully Refurbed
    1986 ATC 350x Mint Original

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The centrifugal clutch is just the stop and take off clutch while in gear. Sign of it going bad is slipping while in gear (clutch worn out), or can't stop in gear (clutch springs broken).

    If the clutch adjustment on the right side can't get it right (check the service manual for the correct process), then your clutch pack might need the clutches/plates replaced. There's a service limit in the service manual, but you'd have to open the right side of the engine and pull the clutch off and apart to take the measurements. If you get in it that far, probably best to replace them anyway.


    The clutch adjustment on the side is to adjust when the clutch is used in relation to the shifter location. The sloppiness shouldn't matter much assuming you can get it shifting smoothly again with the sloppiness. When the lever is at it's home location, it shouldn't be pushing on the clutch, so should feel pretty free. Once you go to shift, part of the effort is pulling the clutch in. That's why you can shift a gear and hold your foot up or down from the shift and rev the engine with out it moving the machine. I'm just guessing, but sounds to me like the clutch fibers are worn, or the adjuster bolt needs to get turned in more.

    Good luck with the repair.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the detailed reply mate. That makes perfect sense and was the answer I was looking for. I have adjusted the bolt with locknut according to the manual. I have just had no joy with it at all, it just doesn’t feel right. It has been some time since I have had the engine apart on this trike so I’m unsure whether or not the clutch cover can come off without unbolting the engine. Let’s hope so anyway. I’m thinking for the cost of the exercise checking them like you said I will just purchase new ones and put them in.

    Is it wise to replace the friction discs also or just the clutch plates themselves?

    I am assuming genuine is about as good as it comes and I believe they are still available from Honda?

    Thanks

    Matt
    1980 ATC 70 Needs Restoration
    1985 ATC 250es Fully Refurbed
    1986 ATC 350x Mint Original

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Yea the friction disk and plates are available from Honda, about $10 each from partzilla and there's 5 friction disks and 4 plates, so $90 usd + shipping. Aftermarket might be a better option, pretty sure EBC makes a set, I recently read another brand, but I can't recall the name of them. Likely the friction disks are where most of the wear is at, I think it's pretty typical to just replace everything though. The springs could be getting weak too. Some people opt for stronger springs, but I think that would only really be needed if you're making the engine put out more power.

    https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/ho...big-red/clutch

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Honda-ATC25...-/332423198665

    EBC seems to make good brake parts, so I'd think their clutches would be fine too. It's at least a lot better than the no name china made stuff that lasts a week. The listing doesn't say what brand the parts actually are, just a kit they assembled. Might want to shop around and get for sure name brand stuff, or ask them what supplier is used for each part.

    If you stick with OEM, you know the clutch will likely last another 30+ years since they have been tried and tested.

    Don't forget the side cover gasket too. Normally a single gasket runs something like $10, or you can buy a whole engine gasket kit for $60-80 and have all gaskets you'd ever need.

  5. #5
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    That’s great thanks mate. I have already scooped out partially what o need. It’s going to run into about $300 Aussie once it’s all converted and I pay GST on it all. Will have to wait till summer I think. Just can’t justify dropping the money on it when I won’t be using it. Thanks again for your help.

    Matt
    1980 ATC 70 Needs Restoration
    1985 ATC 250es Fully Refurbed
    1986 ATC 350x Mint Original

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    No prob, another option is to buy a used clutch, there's a fair few machines that interchanges, but it could be a short term solution, or get the same issue back again. Maybe it's worth the small investment now just to keep the machine usable?

  7. #7
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Quote Originally Posted by atcmatt View Post
    Hey guys, long time no post, still lurking in here every now and then. Trikes are jut in your blood, you can never escape!

    I have a question in regards to my 85 250es. I feel like the clutch is not working properly. It seems to clunk in between gears now where as it used to shift smoothly between, like the clutch would disengage and allow the gears to mesh nicely and then the clutch would pick back up again and on my merry way.

    1. So it "bangs" into gear when you shift up from 1st gear into the other gears?

    2. Exactly what happens when you are stopped and idling in neutral then push the shift lever down and hold it down?

    3. Exactly what happens when you then release the shift lever while still idling?

    4. Exactly what happens when you shift from 1st to 2nd but don't release the shift lever which should keep the clutch disengaged?

    5. Exactly what happens when you then release the shift lever after shifting into 2nd?

    6. Did it shift perfectly before this happened?

    7. Did this problem suddenly appear or did it slowly get worse?

    8. Did it shift fine the last time you rode it then did it sit for a long time before you rode it again and this is when the problem started?

    9. What type of oil do you use?

    10. Around how many hours on the oil?



    Quote Originally Posted by atcmatt View Post
    I have tried to adjust the clutch lifter but it either makes the gear lever too tight or too sloppy.
    If you mean you adjusted the screw that that sticks out of the side of the clutch cover, it should have no affect on the shift lever getting loose and having free play. In other words, there is a spring on the shift shaft that prevents the shift lever from ever having free play or zero tension where you could actually easily move it up and down with just 2 fingers. If the shift lever is sloppy, this spring may be broken.

    The screw will change the "feel" of the sift lever as you shift into gears. If you tighten the adjustment, the lever will feel harder to move sooner. If you loosen the adjustment, the lever will move fairly easily for a greater distance until it actually begins to disengage the clutch, at which point if will get harder to move as it disengages the clutch.



    Quote Originally Posted by atcmatt View Post
    Is there a serviceable part in there that may need replacing? Centrifugal clutch shoes and springs?
    Al the parts are replaceable and you should inspect the plate the adjusting screw screws into. If it has grooves or "detents/dents" worn into it, it will adversely affect the feel of the shifter.


    Quote Originally Posted by atcmatt View Post
    Or would in be the actual clutch pack and plates?
    If it sat for a while and the problem suddenly appeared when you rode it again, your plutch plates may simply be stuck together which could in turn cause some shifting issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by atcmatt View Post
    Cheers from downunder!
    Where are you located?

  8. #8
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    Quote Originally Posted by atcmatt View Post
    That’s great thanks mate. I have already scooped out partially what o need. It’s going to run into about $300 Aussie once it’s all converted and I pay GST on it all. Will have to wait till summer I think. Just can’t justify dropping the money on it when I won’t be using it. Thanks again for your help.

    Matt
    I have shipped a lot of stuff to oz and I know they used to let people import up to around $1,000.00 worth of stuff before they started charging them GST, did they change that recently.

    I have also shipped stuff directly to people in oz, and there is no way the government knows they received anything that required GST to be paid, but I think the oz government is trying to force the US based suppliers to automatically charge you guys GST if they know the parts are going to oz.

    I can probably get you what you need and mail it directly to you if you want and I have an account at a Honda dealer. The Partzilla site that ps2fixer mentioned sells pats cheaper than most any other online site.

    As far as what brand of clutch plates to use, I typically use the ones made by the machines manufacturer instead of aftermarket ones because they always seem to work fine with no issues. Aftermarket ones can make the clutch work a little differently and they are sometimes not the same thickness as the oem ones which can cause issues as well.



    .

  9. #9
    barnett468 is offline FACT ! I have no edit button Arm chair racerThe day begins with 3WW
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    There is a dimension for the clutch springs in the manual, and if it needs new springs I would only use the factory ones because many aftermarket ones are stiffer for higher performance applications, however, the stiffer springs will make it harder to move the shift lever in a bike with a centrifugal (automatic) clutch. Also, if the clutch springs are "worn", they will only make it a little easier to shift, not harder, and will definitely not cause it to "klunk" into gear as if you were shifting without disengaging the clutch.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2003
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    Thanks for the reply Barnett.

    Yep it kinda bangs or clunks into gear.

    When idling and the shift lever is pushed down it kinda feels ‘springy’ but nothing happens.

    When I release the lever idling, in neutral? It does nothing but spring back up.

    When I shift between and hold the lever the bike just idles ans clutch stays disengaged.

    When I shift into second it kinda clunks into gear if I am not moving at a good pace.

    Not sure this motor has ever shifted smoothly. I have owned it that long I cannot remember.

    The bike always sits for long periods and then is ridden again.

    I use genuine Honda gn4 I think it’s called.

    Oil would be lucky to have 6 hours on it total.
    1980 ATC 70 Needs Restoration
    1985 ATC 250es Fully Refurbed
    1986 ATC 350x Mint Original

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Australia
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    I’m going to tear into it and inspect everything before ordering anything.

    I am located in Sydney, Australia.

    Yep they have recently changed that even things under $1000 are taxed at 10%. It’s totally annoying but I guess it’s good for our economy with all the Chinese trade these days.

    I have used Partzilla loads in the past both for this bike and my old 350x. It used to be great but now with the tax and shipping costs (you pay tax on shipping) it has really made it too expensive.

    That could be a goer, in regards to paying you to get stuff and shipping directly as a ‘gift’ ����

    I have looked on partzilla and at my local Honda store and apparently the springs are unavailable OEM. I would just go with some standard duty ones for sure.

    I’m going to just have to tear into it when I get a chance and go from there. Something is not right with the shifting and maybe it is the spring you are talking about which would be great if it’s an available part.

    Thanks Mate.

    Matt
    1980 ATC 70 Needs Restoration
    1985 ATC 250es Fully Refurbed
    1986 ATC 350x Mint Original

  12. #12
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    Normally when the shift return spring is messed up, the shifter doesn't return to the central spot, so after every shift you'd have to manually push it back to center to shift again. It's a somewhat common problem on the 250es/sx, didn't think of it till now though. Basically there's a bolt that loosens up sometimes and if it falls out, the shifter won't return to "home". That bolt is under the left side cover and is easy to get to.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps2fixer View Post
    Normally when the shift return spring is messed up, the shifter doesn't return to the central spot, so after every shift you'd have to manually push it back to center to shift again. It's a somewhat common problem on the 250es/sx, didn't think of it till now though. Basically there's a bolt that loosens up sometimes and if it falls out, the shifter won't return to "home". That bolt is under the left side cover and is easy to get to.
    Yeah I am thinking that it may not be this because it seems to return to its original position. Let’s hope it’s not something deeper in like the shift drum or something.
    1980 ATC 70 Needs Restoration
    1985 ATC 250es Fully Refurbed
    1986 ATC 350x Mint Original

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