|Honda Shadow clutch adjustment, photo by adlowe; Honda Shadow Forums http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/53-general-discussion/53640-tiny-hands.html|
I finally took my bike in to the American Roadshop for a checkup on the issue with the clutch/transmission. I put it off because I didn't want to be without it while the weather was good for riding, but when it turned cooler, I took one warm day to ride to work, then dropped it off in the evening. Roadshop co-owner Barb Beaubien kindly offered to drive me home in her convertible, because she doesn't live too far from me.
The problem I've had was while going up hills in first gear. It seemed not to want to engage, and made a pulsing, grating/grinding sound. It was bad while riding in Pennsylvania in June, but back here in Southeast Michigan, we don't have many hills over 20 degrees where I would be in first gear (I confess, I did avoid the stop light on the hill at Commerce and Main in downtown Milford).
My husband and I had tried to fix the issue when it first occurred — and it was better, but not entirely gone.
I expected it to be about a week before I heard anything from the repair shop. Then I got a call yesterday. The mechanic said he found one problem — though it sounded minor to me. He said the clutch lever had a quarter-inch of play before engaging, and should have only one-sixteenth of an inch of play. He was concerned that if he fixes it I might not have big enough hands to reach it. He said if that were the case he would have to replace the lever with one that's curved back more. Can't say for sure till I try it out, but I do believe I can handle that extra space.
Either way, when I first got it back from having the new tires put on in June, the lever went back three-quarters of the way to the handlebar before it engaged. I had only an inch or two of engagement space. That puzzled both me and the supervisor of the shop that had put on the tires. He said they would not have messed with the clutch. Whatever. I know it wasn't that way before the tire replacement.
I don't know if that is the only thing wrong, but that is where it started.
While it's at the Roadshop, I asked them to check the balance on the front tire. I had felt at speed around 25 mph the bike was bouncing ever so slightly as if the road were bumpy. While riding with Ironman, I asked if he felt that, too, and he said no — so I figured it had to be my tire. We'll see ...
I don't know much, so I leave it to the expert to fix it.