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Old 04-27-2007, 08:41 PM
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81xsproject 81xsproject is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Fortuna, CA
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Hydraulic Clutch Mod for the XS/XJ11!
by Jesse/81XSProject

So, the clutch master cylinder and line are off of an '85-'86 FJ1100-1200. I was going to use the slave too, but it was too large. I think it cost me around $25 off ebay. The slave is off of a ('85, I think?) Honda VF500/VF600 (appx. $15 off ebay). It is a very low profile slave as I was worried that having some thing protruding would be in the way of where my right foot rides. The line by itself is too short as the FJ clutch is on the left side of the motor.

I started out by tracing the stock clutch adjustment cover on a piece of scrap 5/16" aluminum plate ($0 ). I used a compass to draw out the right size circle and then reduced the spread of the compass to half the diameter and drew a series of small arcs from various locations centered on the outside of the circle. Where all the little arcs intersected was where I marked for the center of the plate. I also marked out the mounting holes, but should have waited to do this until after the next step. Then I cut the circle out of the circle out with a jigsaw.

I drilled a 5/8" hole in the center and mounted the roughly circular plate on my bench grinder to make what I like to call The Hillbilly Lathe .

I used an old file sprayed down with WD40 and with the grinder spinning, worked down the plate until it was true and the right diameter. Then I put a slight bevel on the outer edge because my plate is thicker than the stock one.

After it was the right size and shape, I started with 180 grit WD sand paper and with a little spritz of oil on the paper sanded it while it was spinning. I worked it with finer and finer paper, 220, 400, 600, and 1500. If you don't oil the paper, little balls of material will build up and scratch the surface. Some day I will buff and polish, but for now it will do.

I got carried away and forgot to take pics of cutting out the center hole whare the slave mounts into. I ended up measuring it from the outside of the circle in, making a dot with a marker while the grinder was off, and then marking it on the plate while it was spinning. I took it off the grinder, drilled holes all the way around to make cutting with a jigsaw easier, and cleaned it up to fit the slave nice and snug with a dremel. This is the point where I should have measured out and marked my mounting holes. I drilled them out and gave it a test mount. I ended up having to do a little filing with a round file to get it just right. But you can't see it, so who cares.

I then marked and drilled the mounting holes for the slave and mounted it.

The slave had a little bushing that held whatever pushrod the FJ uses for the clutch in place against the slave piston. I studied the setup and decided that what is on the XS would work just fine. So, I removed that little bushing thing from the slave piston (I should have taken pics of that too , sorry).

I adjusted the clutch screw so that there was just a little in and out slack and replaced the thin adjustment locknut with a normal size 7mm nut. This nut fits up in the slave piston great. I also cut off the little nipple that the clutch arm spring is hooked to because it sticks out farther than the plate mounting surface (lower right arrow).

I took the metal section from the original FJ line to a local auto parts store and got a 40" line for under $5 (way too long as you can see in the first pic below, 32-34 would have been better). It runs from just to the rear and left side of the neck, next to the coils, along the frame, across to the right side, and down between the 3 and 4 intakes. I zip-tied it to the fram and need to get a little bracket to put on the upper-right clutch housing cover bolt.

After that, I mounted everything hooked it up, and bled it with DOT5.

I still need to replace the broken clutch lever that came with the master. They apparently don't make aftermarkets for hydros and Yamaha wanted $23 for one. I may end up getting it after seeing that Bikebandit wants $25. Again, I can't tell you how incredibly smooth the action is. You really notice it when starting from a stop.

The plate is pretty much the only thing that isn't plug and play here. If a lot of folks are interested in this, maybe one of these guys with mills and lathes can fab up a bunch. It would be REALLy easy if you actually had the proper tools, unlike myself.

Another slave that looked promising was off some mid '80's Goldwings. On larger bikes like these, the slaves might require less force. This new setup requires only a little less force than it did with a brand new and freshly lubed Barrett cable. Riding it today, I don't think my foot ever came close to touching the slave, which was an initial concern of mine.

Additional notes
The master from a V-Max is nearly identical to the FJ. I might look to get a brake master from an FJ so that they match and I don't have to look at that nasty yellow plastic anymore.

I found the 88/90 FZR1000. It looks like Mathh's round one! Here are the prices, and the BikeBandit/Fiche diagrams, they are still obtainable, along with the handlebar MC.
I priced the lines, the ones with the metal section in the middle was over $100, some shorter ones were about $50.00 but they didn't state how long they were.

The prices are from www.cycle-parts.com and BikeBandit.
Yamaha 88/90 FZR1000 Round Shaped Slave
1TV-16381-10-00 PUSH LEVER COMP.(Slave) =$68.47/BB$72.86
3BV-26450-00-00 Clutch MC Complete=$91.14/BB$101.83
Shappers in Finland wrote:
Just wanted to let you know that I bought an FZR1000 ThunderAce slave cylinder for this mod. It is almost identical to the VF800 and is only 21mm thick or 0.82".
This might help people who want to keep the bike all Yamaha.
Is the original plate too light to just use it , is that why you made one outta aluminum? (Mitch)Doug
I think it is too light. Not only that, but it is convex too which would make mounting the slave difficult.

The OEM cover is only about .10" thick, so you're probably right in that it could be a bit difficult to mount the slave piston onto, being slightly curved on the outside. But wondering if the 5/16" thick plate is overkill?
I am sure that the plate is a little overkill. But, I wouldn't personally go under 1/4". XSChop agreed no less than 1/4" thick plate.

The braided SS line would be nice too. However, you still have to route it somewhere. The nice thing about the steel line is that it can be routed a little more discretely. Even though you guys have seen the guts in my pics, with carbs on and everything bolted up, you don't see ANY of the metal line. Braided SS would look good at the ends where the stock FJ rubber line is.

I just thought I would throw in an update after having ridden it for a while now. I am still loving it and have come to a new conclusion about the force needed to engage the clutch. I feel like it is actually much lighter than it was with the cable. You really notice when shifting (which it has also done amazing things for shifting smoothness). However, when you are at a light and holding it for a long time, it feels harder, like with the cable. I think that with the cable, even the little bit of resistance in the cable provided you a little stickiness that made holding the clutch seem easier. With the hydro, there is nothing but hand strength holding the clutch engage. I am sure the extra steel plate, new frictions, and heavy clutch springs don't make it any easier.
'81 XS1100 SH

Melted to the ground during The Valley Fire

Sep. 12th 2015


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