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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys,

new (to me) '00 996 with 2,000 miles. I have put about 200 on it so far and it is a real bitch to find neutral almost every time I get to a light. sometimes the neutral light will even come on although i'm not really in neutral.

out of the ordinary or part of the Ducati superbike charm?

thanks.
 

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are you trying to grab neutral once stopped? if so try grabbing it just before stopping at the light, but may also be just an adjustment/fine tune of the linkage is needed, worked for me with a crabby 750ss that just wouldnt give you neutral on stand still but rolling, no worries, (had nealrly 55,000km on it tho so that may have had something to do with it)
 

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It seemed that once I installed my oberone slave cylinder it was easier. I also went to adjustment 4 on the clutch and it seemed to find it easier. Like mentioned, try getting into neutral before u come to a stop. it seems to be easier that way. I've spoken to a few ducati guys abou this problem and they all seem to have it.
 

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One obvious condition that could cause this problem is air in the clutch hydraulic line. If this is the case a trapped air bubble can compress (the fluid can't) so you won’t get a full stroke of the clutch pushrod and the clutch doesn’t fully disengage. The clutch line is notoriously difficult to bleed so Evoluzione wisely sells a banjo fitting with a bleed nipple that is to be placed at the highest point in the hydraulic system. This is where the air bubbles collect and the location most difficult to remove air from. I bought it and recommend it. It works.

However, another reason that the clutch won't completely disengage is you've got an aftermarket force-reduction slave units (or later model Ducati slave units) that move the clutch pushrod LESS DISTANCE - a design tradeoff to accomplish a reduction in clutch lever forces.

In other words you're pushing the clutch pushrod with a smaller hydraulic pressure applied over a larger slave piston area that gives you the same force needed to stretch the clutch springs. It just doesn't move as FAR.

The larger the slave cylinder diameter, the higher the force-reduction percentage, the less the clutch pushrod is moved, and the more likely that your clutch will not fully disengage.

As a result, now that the clutch isn’t fully disengaging, the clutch plates are still dragging when you pull in the lever, so you often can’t select neutral.

And your going to wear-out your clutch prematurely if you don't correct the condition.

Also, after bleeding the air from the line it is often still necessary to change the 4-position adjustment on the clutch lever so that the clutch will begin to disengage earlier thereby increasing the stroke distance at the lever and ultimately at the clutch.
 

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check the chain, you should have 1" freeplay half way along the lower span. more than likely though you may find a worn slave cylinder O ring, if your reservoir is low or you're topping the fluid up you should definitely change the O ring. if you're not losing fluid then bleed the system, flush fresh fluid through and you should find with a good bleed you get full travel of the master cylinder which will make the clutch plates open fully allowing neutral to be easily found, rolling or at a standstill.
if that doesn't work, take the clutch cover off and check the basket, if it looks like a hand saw where the plates sit they are likely hanging on the jagged edges causing drag and not allowing an easy change.

paul.
 

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It's a DUCATI. :(

I've had several Ducatis that were like that, dating back to my first 851, and it didn't matter if they were new or used, adjusted, bled, or tweaked. Most of the newer bikes seem to be better, but back then it was still definitely a quirk of the brand. It's just something you have to get used to.

The best advice:

Catch neutral while you're still rolling. Simple as that. If you do have to try and find neutral while completely stopped, try rocking the bike back and forth...
 

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Happend to mine aswell.. In my case it wasn´t the clutch, but the shiftfork that had moved out of alignment. I had to pull the generator side engine cover and remove generator and flywheel to re-align it.

//amullo
 

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Like Shazaam mentioned, an aftermarket slave can screw things up. I had the 13x20 stock clutch MC hooked up to a Evoluzione slave cylinder. It took a couple tries to find neutral, but worked fine. I put on a Brembo radial MC with 16x16 or 16x18 ratios. It works beautifully, but the whole setup was expensive. If you have a stock master and slave, check:

-Adjust lever farther out. May do nothing, but gives you more pull distance to judge clutch engagement/disengagement.
-Clutch plate stack height might be off. Since your bike only has 2200 miles, I doubt that would be the problem.
-Air in hydraulic line. Very common. Bleed the system thoroughly.

Air in the line is the most likely culprit based on the little info we have. When I bought my bike, the previous owner said he changed all the fluids. Well, he changed the clutch hydraulic fluid and also gave me a bonus supply of air bubbles. I rode that thing for 800 miles with a violently shuddering clutch and never once found neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
looks like I have a good checklist of items to check, but I'm thinking this is just the bike and will try the 'finding neutral before stopping' trick until I get through the whole list.

thanks guys.
 

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Is there a stadard for clutch disengagment?

I have a 2010 Streetfighter and I have installed a Oberon clutch slave cylinder. I don't have a problem finding neutral, but the clunk into first gear seems more harsh than it should be. I measured the pressure plate disengagement at .10 inch or 2.54mm with the Oberon. I think I may have some air in the line but i'm not sure. I should have measured the pressure plate throw before removing the stock slave cylinder. Can anyone tell me what the standard pressure plate movement should be in mm?

Thanks!
 

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looks like I have a good checklist of items to check, but I'm thinking this is just the bike and will try the 'finding neutral before stopping' trick until I get through the whole list.

thanks guys.
Bleed the system, it takes 5 mins to do and you probably need to change your fluid anyway. I had the same problem you did and all I needed to do was change the fluid.
It's like butta now!
 

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I might have gotten one of the good ones, but I don't have any trouble finding neutral, even while stopped. I've got an aftermarket slave and aftermarket clutch. Try changing the fluid and bleeding the clutch line first. A bleeder bolt at the master and a bleeder bolt at the slave helps get all the air out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
so i was only just recently able to take the 996 out of hibernation.

during the winter I installed an Evoluzione 28.5mm slave and this week was able to see if it made a difference or not.

clutch pull was a hair easier, but that's it. in fact the shifting was much harder after that.

Hoping I didn't have a bent shift fork, I checked the other options on the list.

double-checked to make sure it was well-bled, and then I checked chain slack.

chain was a bit too tight, so I loosened that up. I also took the opportunity to throw on the CRG levers I got for it. Put the adjustment on maximum setting to ensure I had a full clutch pull.

so now it not only shifts easier, but I can actually find neutral when I am stopped (of course, after a couple of tries going between1st and 2nd, but that's a duc for ya).

I'm thinking the problem was a combination of clutch travel and the chain being too tight. I noticed when I took it off, that the OEM clutch lever was at its setting closest to the grip and it was probably barely disengaging the clutch.

I have only put 65 miles on this thing since I bought it in September and the previous owner said he recently had the back tire replaced, so I figure the dealer set the chain too tight and since there are so few miles on it since the tire change, it wasn't enough to cause any damage.

anyway, I would never have thought to check check the chain slack as a fix and thanks guys for all your help.
 

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I am very surprised no one has mentioned engine oil. How long has it been since your last oil change? What kind of oil are you using? Use AGIP 20/50 racing full synthetic. I have a 916 with a Yoyodyne slave unit and I started experiencing trouble getting into neutral as well. Fresh, quality "motorcycle" oil solved my problem. This might be your solution too seeing as how motorcycle engine and transmission share the same oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hmmmm. I actually changed the oil right before I first took it out this season and I didn't notice any change. I know for wet clutch bike(s) I have/had, I could definitely feel a difference in the tranny after an oil change.
 
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