Many of the Husqvarna 701 riders are reporting issues with a slipping clutch on both the Enduro and Supermoto models. The fix and prevention is relatively simple.
In my case the behavior started to show around 4500 miles, but others have reported it as early as 700 miles and most prior to the 10k mile mark. The clutch will feel as starting to engage late, making riding in difficult terrain harder and you may feel an actual slip. Those can be initially attributed to incorrect leveler setting, but in most case it is the clutch fiber disks actually starting to slip.
The most visible issues, at least in my case came when riding high speed on the highway. When in the 6th gear, around 70 mph I would pull the throttle and the bike would rev up but not change speed. Unlikely previously when it jump up, still having plenty of power left. Over short period of time (less than 250 miles) it started to slip even at 5th gear around 60 miles per hour.
Husqvarna 701 modifications to prevent slipping clutch.
There are few options for Husqvarna 701 clutch modifications that will prevent the slipping issues:
- Replace the OEM clutch with a Rekluse auto clutch
- Insert 1 additional fiber disk into the clutch housing
- Replace the OEM clutch springs with a stiffer set
Some people go for the Rekluse auto clutch – you can get one here and while it may improve the operation and allow riders to concentrate on the terrain, it is not as “pure” IMHO and not super cheap either. As you can see the set includes new metal and fiber disks so you don’t have to worry about the state of the once inside your Husqvarna 701 clutch.
Few riders reported that the issue is simply fixed by inserting one extra fiber disk into the existing housing. When I looked at that option and spoke with few technicians, this accomplishes the same results as the stiffer springs. However when I tested it, it seemed there is not much space left for the clutch to move. IMHO it was “a bit too much” so I decided to go with the stiffer springs first and if the issue would not go away I would rather replace the whole clutch with Rekluse Auto – gaining some additional functionality.
My Husqvarna 701 clutch modifications
The first step was to obtain a stiffer set of clutch springs, with the right length and diameter. ADV Rider to the rescue and I found the right set is Barnett Performance Clutch Spring Kit part# 501-57-04007 for about $14.
Next I have ordered a replacement set of the fiber disks only. (Note: when I went to the dealer they quoted me 2 hours of work but they would only sell me the whole clutch kit that was over $400. With oil, other parts and tax I was looking at $800!!!) The fibers only were around $150.
Since I have done oil change recently I did not want to replace the new oil, so I laid the bike on its left side, removed the rear brake bracket and the engine cover. It may seem intimidating but the clutch modification is very simple. If you are still hesitating, here is a video to help.
After removing the cover I used the holding screws to push down the plates and remove the clutch disks. As you can see some of them were looking great, while some were pretty work out. To the point where they burned – probably from the high speed slipping.
Net I simply replaced the fiber discs and inserted the metal clutch plates in the same order I removed them. Instead of leaving the original spring set, I used the new, stiffer set. Carefully install the clutch cover, new gasket and engine cover.
Fill up with a little oil that was lost during the install and the Husqvarna 701 clutch modification to prevent slipping is finished. Together with the modification to prevent the Husqvarna 701 clutch slave cylinder failure you now have much more reliable bike. Adventure mods are sometimes very simple, yet critical in order not to get stranded on your own in the wild!
December 7, 2020 6:16 pm
Good video I hope to have 701 soon
April 2, 2021 10:22 pm
Hey any update on how this mod worked out in the long term, I completely f#$ked my clutch in September of 2020. A few of the fiber discs literally came apart and fragments got into my oil. The dealership rebuilt my engine /clutch under warranty, but didn’t clear the debris from the oil passageways leading to the cams and I only ride 20 or 30 I’m before the bike broke down again. Still waiting to get it back. I was looking to do this mod to prevent it from happening again.
Thanks for the write up .
April 23, 2021 6:08 pm
It worked OK – I got about 15 000 miles out of it. I just got back from Utah where I was riding some really gnarly terrain – the clutch is starting to slip again 🙁
January 2, 2023 1:29 am
Third clutch here. I believe the oil lubricating the slave cylinder applies enough pressure to cause premature clutch wear/slippage.
Garbage, going back to an XR650R.