You ask, we answer: Can an oil change make my clutch slip?

Posted: 09 Aug 2013

Is it the oil?

Idris Lloyd recently got in touch with us on Facebook to ask about a slipping clutch on their Honda VFR750. We got in touch with an expert in the area to see if we can provide any advice.


I have recently changed the oil on my Honda VFR750 and the clutch is now starting to slip. The bike has only 10,000 miles on it, do you have any idea what this could be?


Most likely answer is the bike now has too much oil in the engine. Have you checked the level with the engine cold after it’s been run? Have you used the correct grade of oil and it is bike specific with the recommended approval ratings – cheap car oil from back street suppliers can be reclaimed oil and carry additional additives? Have you gone from using semi or non-synthetic oil to fully-synthetic? Introducing fully-synthetic oil into a bike with mileage will cause clutch slip because its lubrication property is just too good. If the level is ok, oil grade and rating ok, then try leaving the bike overnight and riding 30 gentle miles or so the next day. The reason for this is new oil dumped into the engine can douse the clutch plates and they simply need to spin to clear the excess. Is the clutch adjustment ok? If all of the above doesn’t cure it then it may be coincidence and the clutch needs attention.

Latest Advice
  • ZZR600
    Grand Designs part six - fixing the discs
  • Yamaha YZF-R6
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Yamaha YZF-R6
  • ZZR600 speedo
    Grand Designs part five - flying speedos and profitable exhausts
  • GBU
    Pick of the Ads: Good, Bad & Ugly - Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale