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Dear all,

I am a new-ish member on this site, I acquired an Africa RD04 a month ago and received it just now. The seller knew nothing about the bike, as he bought it abroad from inheritance of an MSF doctor. It has got all sorts of goodies - external tanks, big aluminium panniers, lowered exhaust, all for a globetrotting exercise. I will eventually turn her back into factory standard. I started to go through the regular stuff, as nobody knows anything about this bike, however brake fluids are crystal clear, oil and petrol look all OK, so it must have been filled up and serviced recently (the doc passed away in early May). I brought the bike back from the seller some 100 miles away and it drove just fine. However stuff, I was hoping, will clear with driving this poor thing at highway speeds in 30C never realised. Idle is rather uneven, 1200 is a no go as it fluctates so much. There are some metallic noises, or the occasional chirping coming from the engine and a weird knocking from the exhaust. Also I have extensive clutch drag, basically I adjusted the clutch lever, till it slipped the clutch, but the wheel is spinning like crazy in gears, no matter if clutch is engaged or not. Chain is at correct tension, but again on centrestand in low gear at low idle slaps like crazy.

I put some videos on the tube, please check them out, what do you think? One is of the drag and the chain slap, the other is a cold start vid with all them strange noises.

- cold start
- clutch drag

Thank you in advance!

Gabriel
 

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The only thing i would check there, is there enough fuel in the tank for me to go and ride, all looks perfectly normal to me for a cold start with the wheel of the ground. Put some miles on it and check the freeplay on the clutch lever enjoy (y)
 

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The only thing i would check there, is there enough fuel in the tank for me to go and ride, all looks perfectly normal to me for a cold start with the wheel of the ground. Put some miles on it and check the freeplay on the clutch lever enjoy (y)
Dear Fred, thanks for your reply. It must be my OCD, I buy old bikes and eventually replace everything, that is even a bit tired. Once the job's done, I sell it and buy a new "project" (as the wife calls it). I would very gladly follow your advise, as God only knows, how long this bike stood, however the clutch lever is stiff as hell too and even if I remove freeplay and some more I have a mighty amount of drag, bike lurches forward a tad when first gear is engaged. Also putting the bike into neutral is a tough job (and I owned some downright clunky bikes before, so I am not even attempting to do that, whilst stationary :) ). Still I would live with that for now, however I will have the downpipes off very soon, as I will replace the lowered one to a factory standard, and whilst having all that removed from the bike, might as well... As there is no slippage, even during a torture test, and the protruding gasket on the clutch cover looks like an aftermarket job, somebody must have been in there (maybe replacing the friction discs, 69000 km's on the clock, but this is a foreign bike, so nobody knows the correct mileage). SO maybe springs, or a notched basket?
 

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Ge the cable changed if its that hard to pull in, you will get some drag when cold but should be OK when hot. might want to do an oil and filter change if it hasn't already been done
 

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I agree with 650 Fred. Alll looks and sounds normal for these bikes. If the previous owner did freshen up the bike for a round the world adventure then I would suspect that he did install a new set of clutch plates and maybe he got a "kit" that included "heavy duty" clutch springs. An old cable + heavy springs can make the lever feel a bit stiff. Brand new clutch plates left to sit for months without riding the bike can drag a little when you first click it down into first gear.

Put on all your safety gear and get out there and ride for a few hours on a nice day. It will help I think.(y)
 

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I agree with 650 Fred. Alll looks and sounds normal for these bikes. If the previous owner did freshen up the bike for a round the world adventure then I would suspect that he did install a new set of clutch plates and maybe he got a "kit" that included "heavy duty" clutch springs. An old cable + heavy springs can make the lever feel a bit stiff. Brand new clutch plates left to sit for months without riding the bike can drag a little when you first click it down into first gear.

Put on all your safety gear and get out there and ride for a few hours on a nice day. It will help I think.(y)
Hi guys, my gut feeling tells me the same, get out there and ride it, it either clears, or I can address the issues later. However since I'm going to have to headers off, I might as well look around the clutch. I had a CB400 that was chewing up my clutch cables, stranding me once, so I carried around spares cables. Turned out to be to pusher mechanism, that lives inside the cover, basically it was gunked up so much, it was sticking, and you could work it, but just. A few quick sprays of brake cleaner and a thorough cleanup resulted in a smooth clutch, and never a breakage again. Also you are right, it could be the cable itself, or any other things, I will investigate. I did try to see, how the bike behaves, when hot, however clutch was dragging just as much and idle was uneven with a metallic side-tone and a lot of backfire on the overrun, I could not reproduce, whilst stationary. I have made yet another video, it is at

However I'm hanging my head in shame, as the basic, and easiest thing, e.g. changing the fluids and filters is still upon me (I have replaced the air filter, but nothing else as yet)
 
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