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My beloved blue gal is limping, clutch or air?

Hello all. I need help.

Recently my beloved Suzuki VZ800 Marauder has seemed a bit lacking in top speed, struggling to top 70Mph on the highway. I was thinking I was just overdue for a tune up, or air filter change. 

About two days ago she couldnt get past 60MPh on the freeway, when coming up a bridge I topped at 40Mph. This was with the RPM and engine sound being the same as always, not particularly racing, or sputtering. 

Then from stoplights I would accelerate lightly from 1st, to get passed by cars going 10-15MPH. Acceleration seemed lacluster in any gear. RPM would rev fine, but barely any acceleration. Even when shifting up. 

Every once in a while the bike would slip and shift down from 2nd to N, or 4th to 3rd. WIthout the throttle being too far open. 

When shifting the shift seemed a bit clunky, but not stuck at all. 

It's almost as if I'm dragging a few thousand pounds behind the bike at all times. 

I was thinking that my bike is in need of a clutch plate change. The symptoms seems to fit and the previous owner sometimes ran it low on oil. 

But an old Harley rider who's been riding for decades swears it's the Air Flow sensor. 

Does anyone have any advice or possible diagnostic tricks? 

I don't have the money to get her diagnosed and buy the parts to fix. 




First thing you need. Download and save. No bucks sucks.
Start with Chapter 10.

I checked out your link, much better than the basic manual I had. So thanks.
I was able to find out that if I end up replacing my clutch cover gasket that I should not use gasket seal. But still confused as if the clutch is the issue, or as some have now suggested, bad gas.

Drain and refill the gas .Be carefull.

So for anyone curious, the problem has been resolved.

It was indeed the clutch plates. Both the drive and friction plates were worn. As in the friction plates had just small 1/2 tabs of friction material left, with steel showing between. The drive plates were glazed purple and worn thin.

So after ordering the right parts (PartsZilla went and sent me gaskets, springs, and clutch spring bolts for three different bikes) I took the clutch cover off, replaced the plates, and then spent nearly a week trying to remove worn on melded old gasket material.

After getting that done, I changed the oil filter and learned that my oil pan had been stripped when the mechanic air gunned the plug on. So after buying a special rubber expandable temporary plug (I'll be rethreading the oil pan later), dremeling down the size to fit the Marauder pan, and making sure the plug is good and stuck, I filled her up.

To find that the clutch cable needed a full adjustment. So marking the clutch lever to the clutch teeth is pointless. There will be a need for adjustment.

After that I found that the throttle cable somehow became completely slack and stuck. So disassembly, lubrication, and adjustment was needed.

But now Kali is running better than the day I bought her from her idiot previous owner (seriously, the guy had shorted wiring everywhere and had removed the brake light).

It was indeed the clutch plates needing replacement. With a healthy dose of additional gremlins.

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