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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the very novice questions, but, I'm a new rider with a new bike (2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX7R). I took her out for the first time last night. Questions:

1.- The clutch. I had to turn the adjustment dial so that the clutch grip was as far away from the handlebar grip as possible. I had to do this because when I was holding the clutch in and putting her into 1st gear, she would jump forward and stall. Thus, it's as if the clutch was not engaged enough. Now, it's working okay, but, I still get a thump noise when I hold the clutch in and put her into first. But, she doesn't lunge forward or stall. Is there a way to adjust the clutch more than what the dial adjustment on the handlebar allows you to do?

2.- The rear brake. It seems that it hardly does anything. I know that the front brake is the main brake and should be 90% of your braking power. But, my rear brake barely slows the bike down. I used to ride many years ago and remember that if I just applied the rear brake (hard) and no front brake, the rear tire would lock-up. Now, if I just apply the rear brake and no front brake, the bike slows down, but, it takes a while. Is this normal? Is there anyway of adjusting the rear brake?

I called my dealer. They said the clutch is normal and since the bike is new the plates are still sticking together. The rear brake needs a few miles on it and then, it will work stronger. And, you cannot adjust a hydraulic (spelling?) brake.

Greatly appreciate your comments.

Thanks.

Richard.
 

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the clutch is normal. it'll always do that. motorcycles (for the most part) have wet clutches and the oil makes turn slightly when disengaged. that's why they make noise, move forward, etc. don't worry, it's all good.

the rear brake is supposed to suck. it's so you don't get too heavy on it. it'll lock. it does need to bed-in. you may be trying to use it too hard and not letting it bed in properly. your owners manual'll tell you what to do. different pads have different procedures.

new/returning riders tend to use the rear brake too much. much more than the 10-30 needed. i'm seriously guessing you just haven't bedded it in right. just remember, in extreme cases 100% of the braking can be done on the front wheel (look at a stoppie), same can't be said for the rear brake.

as for it not being adjustable, i think your dealer might be wrong (but i don't have a zx7r, so who am i to say). there should be an adjustment screw (device) of some sort on the lever. it'll likely look like a screw with a bolt going into the plunger (sorry, i'm not a mechanic, just a hack). that should adjust where the lever sits, allowing you adjustment. you should adjust everything to fit you. don't fit yourself to your bike.

anyway, that's a big bike for a new rider, blah, blah, lecture, lecture, have fun and welcome to sportbikeworld.com. :)
 
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Yes, you can adjust the clutch more. Look on the right side of the bike near the footpeg, You should see a cable going into... You know what ? Go buy a manual.

The rear brake probably has to be broken in, Be easy on the brakes until the breakin period for the pads are up, Also the tires are new also I would assume. You get some miles on her you should see an improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cbrf2boy and Squidwannabe:

Thanks for the feedback. The bike is definitely big for me right now, but, I'm hoping that some safe practice will ease me right into it.

I read the owner's manual. It confirms the dealer's comments about the hydraulic brake and the clutch and the only adjustment to be made on the clutch is the dial adjuster on the handlebar. No word on adjusting the brake. The front brake can also be adjusted, bit it seemed fine to me. I guess there is a technical manual that I can buy to do specific mechanical changes. I'm at work right now, but, I'll check out that possible adjuster for the rear brake when I go home. I'll take a look at the clutch cable as well.


And, one last question (actually comment): There's no fuel guage or even a low fuel indicator on this bike. I think some of the Suzuki's have a low fuel light that goes on. You have to track your miles or shake the bike (when shut-off) to get a feel of how much gas you have left and worst case, use the reserve.

Thanks again. I'm sure these are novice questions, but...

Richard.
 
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RDrakkir said:
..... and the only adjustment to be made on the clutch is the dial adjuster on the handlebar.
follow the clutch cable from the lever to where it ends.. You will see where it can be adjusted.

If you adjusted it wrong, the clutch can stay engaged. This could lead to premature wear or clutch slippage.
 

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1) Clutch adjustment: You should have that looked at by someone who knows the proper way to adjust the clutch and have them explain that function to you, especially what's going on inside, until you understand it. It is very possible, I'd even say likely, that you have taken the free-play out of it and that will cause it to slip, frying it, when you get out riding in higher gears. It is also hard on the release bearing. As far as clunking going into gear, that's normal. As far as dragging slightly, that too is normal. I know that clunk can be a bit unnerving but it really isn't hurting anything. All bikes do it.

2) Rear brake: That has already been answered. There is no adjustment that will make the brake more or less powerful. That is intentionally a bit weak for your own good. What probably is adjustable to some degree is the static position of the lever. If for some reason you had trouble getting your foot to the brake, that may be able to be adjusted to a new position but it won't increase the stopping force. That adjustment should also be left to someone who understands the functions. I don't know specifically about your model, but it is likely that the cylinder push rod is adjustable, then the return position stop somewhere on the pedal itself, and then the brakelight switch. Changing any one of those things requires that the others be re-adjusted to suit the new position. An error here can cause the rear brake to not function, or worse, if free-play is gone, to lock up while riding.

My suggestion would be to have the dealer re-check your clutch adjustment because it has been changed and may be wrong. Look at the brake, too, but it's probably O.K. Because you are basically a new rider, having been away from it for so long, I wouldn't change anything until you have ridden the bike a little while and had a chance to get back in the groove. If it still bothers you after that, have at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks,

I'll give the clutch cable and the rear brake lever a look tonight and get a better idea. If I'm not certain, I won't change anything. Just make a list of my concerns for the technician when she goes in her service (I think 600 miles).

I'll break her in properly and hopefully get my skill level back up to norm.

BTW, one other novice question:
Tire pressure: The manual and the tires state 36 and 41 (f & r). Dealer had it set to 30 for both. (all cold readings) I raised them to 34 and 38. Is that okay?
 

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The 2000 ZX7R has a hydraulic clutch, this means no cables or cable adjusters. A likely cause of the problem that you describe is air bubbles in this system. Try bleeding the clutch and see if it helps at all.
 

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RDrakkir said:

BTW, one other novice question:
Tire pressure: The manual and the tires state 36 and 41 (f & r). Dealer had it set to 30 for both. (all cold readings) I raised them to 34 and 38. Is that okay?
you're adjustent is fine so long as it's not super cold in ny.

raising pressure is good for a few things. tire life is the major one, carrying weight, etc.

lowering pressure is good for riding balls out and when it's cold.

here's a couple of links you should check out:

http://www.activebike.com
http://www.sportriders.com/2000_rides/101500.cfm

the second link shows an advanced day, but i think there are a couple of lessons you can learn in there about learning to ride.

have you considered the msf course? if ny is pricy, pa charges out of staters a small fee. someone have the addy handy??? www.msf-usa.org (maybe)
 

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Murph1 said:
The 2000 ZX7R has a hydraulic clutch, this means no cables or cable adjusters. A likely cause of the problem that you describe is air bubbles in this system. Try bleeding the clutch and see if it helps at all.
Sorry, forget what I said about clutch adjustment. That was based on a cable operated clutch. After re-reading the post I see where reference to a knob is made and that would be the basic lever position, meant to be moved for your comfort. Put that in any position you like, no harm.
 

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Are you able to lock up the rear wheel? You should be able to by taking a quick, hard jab at the petal. If you can't you should bleed the rear brake as well. Dealers usualy do this and it kind of sounds like the dealer didn't fully prep the bike after he uncrated it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Murph1 said:
Are you able to lock up the rear wheel? You should be able to by taking a quick, hard jab at the petal. If you can't you should bleed the rear brake as well. Dealers usualy do this and it kind of sounds like the dealer didn't fully prep the bike after he uncrated it.
Murph,
I definitely can not lock up the rear wheel. At best, it slows the bike down, but, not that well.
I could be mistaken. Last night was my first night out on the bike (or any bike) for more than a decade. It was a chilly night in New York so I didn't put that many miles on her.

But, no doubt in my mind, the rear brake was lousy. So much so that I purposely went to an empty parking lot to test it out. 30 mph and hitting the rear brake only, the bike slowed-down but at a pathetic rate. Maybe I wasn't hitting the brake as hard as I thought or should be? Not sure. I'll take her out again soon (weather permitting) and pay closer attention.

Thanks to all for the responses. Great forum.
 

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If you are mechanicaly inclined and have brake fluid,small diameter tubing, and the apropriate size wrench for the bleed valves I can tell you how to do the bleeding process on the ZX7. I did it (the clutch and the front and rear brakes) last spring. Its an easy process, but it takes a few words to explain. Otherwise your dealer should do it free of charge.
 
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RDrakkir said:

But, no doubt in my mind, the rear brake was lousy. So much so that I purposely went to an empty parking lot to test it out. 30 mph and hitting the rear brake only, the bike slowed-down but at a pathetic rate. Maybe I wasn't hitting the brake as hard as I thought or should be? Not sure. I'll take her out again soon (weather permitting) and pay closer attention.

As has been mentioned previously, it does sound like you did not take it easy on that rear brake long enough for proper bedding. I suspect that you may have some glazing on the rear disk.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Murph1 said:
If you are mechanicaly inclined and have brake fluid,small diameter tubing, and the apropriate size wrench for the bleed valves I can tell you how to do the bleeding process on the ZX7. I did it (the clutch and the front and rear brakes) last spring. Its an easy process, but it takes a few words to explain. Otherwise your dealer should do it free of charge.
Murph,
Thanks. Very nice offer. I just might take you up on that. As far as mechanically inclined, pretty much yes but no work ever done in my life on motorcycles. But, I've done 90% of the mods on my 2001 Corvette (intake, MAF, lowering, Ripper shifter, etc.). I'll wait to get a better feel for the bike and see if it's me or the bike. If I can get out of the office on time one night this week I'll head over to my dealer and try to talk with a technician regarding how they prepped the bike for delivery. When I talked to them on the phone, they pretty much wanted to answer very quickly and get me off of the phone. Not to vent, but, it's a shame where customer service has headed in this country (at least in NY anyway).

Richard.
 

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it sounds like you rear brake is doing what its supposed to. they are making rear brakes on sport bikes alot weaker than older bikes. the rationale behind this is they want you to use the front for your stopping power and the rear to "set" the suspension for handling stability. it shouldnt lock up. both my buell and monster are the same way. i asked eric buell about this and that was the response i was given.
 

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I'm not sure about Buells and Ducatis, but when I rode a newer ZX-7 ( I think it was a '96,but the same rear brake setup as the 2000 nontheless),the rear brake was firm and yes, it was easy to lockup. I'll agree with the possibility of glazing with the new pads, but from what was described there is something else wrong.
 

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RDrakkir said:
And, one last question (actually comment): There's no fuel guage or even a low fuel indicator on this bike. I think some of the Suzuki's have a low fuel light that goes on. You have to track your miles or shake the bike (when shut-off) to get a feel of how much gas you have left and worst case, use the reserve.
I just drive it until it starts sputtering and then just switch it to reserve while riding.... *knock on wood* I have yet to run out of gas!! Just make sure you switch it back when you fill up next!!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again for the replies. I was able to make it to my dealer last night and, to be fair, they were as helpful as they could be. They said everything sounded normal. The rear brake does need to bed in and it will get stronger. And, you probably won't lock up the rear tire unless you apply full force (which they suggested I shouldn't do anyway). As far as the clutch, pretty much what all of you already covered. I adjusted the dial so that she won't stall when I put her into 1st while holding her in. But, my personal opinion, she really shouldn't have been doing that at any setting of the dial. They'll look at that when I take her in for service. I will wait to see how the rear brake comes around after some more mileage on the bike. I think Murph has a valid point and I'll keep an eye on that.

Great forum. Thanks for the feedback.

Richard.
 

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your gas full q i think got glazed over. i used to reset the trip odometer and start looking for gas around 100 miles. doesn't the 7 have a petcock, with on and reserve?
 
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