It may just be a "weird" happening but I got a call last night from another Valk owner who had the same problem as Valker's friend with a smoking bike. Now I have no real clue as to why this is happening but it appears rivets are coming out of clutches and causing some real havoc. READ COMPLETELY. Twice I have had guys call me with bikes smoking from "rivets" coming out of clutches and blocking the "strainer" to the scavenger pump. (to see what I am talking about if you have a Honda Valk Manual a pic of the strainer is in the clutch section on page 9-11, if you have a Clymer manual it is called a scavenge pump oil filter and is found on page 172.) Here is the part I DO NOT understand. In BOTH cases these guys have changed their oil, and began having clutch problems (slippage) then again in both cases after changing the oil a second time had smoking begin. Both guys had switched oils to synthetics. Now I am a lover of the synthetic oils and have never thought they could hurt your Valk. If anything I have had GREAT success with the synthetics.
I am wondering if when changing oil "types" if the clutch shouldn't be removed and THOROUGHLY cleaned (each friction plate and each clutch plate) I am not sure about the "rivets" as they have said, I am thinking it is more the friction pads themselves breaking down and coming apart in chunks. I have changed the oil "type" (from regular oils to synthetics) in quite a few bikes and not had this problem, and maybe there is something else going on these guys didn't think to tell me, I don't know. But after talking to some "clutch people" (those who work with them on a daily basis) they have said depending on the oils used before and after, it is possible on a wet clutch system to cause the friction pads to break down faster. It made sense after talking to some different clutch people that the pads soak up the oil, and "condition" themselves to the type of oil used. Once that conditioning is "set" changes to it can cause "unexceptable reconditioning" (or it makes the friction pads softer, harder, expand, contract?)
Again I have to say I like the synthetic oils, and have changed bikes to them that were using regular oil before. But since this has happened twice now, and since that seems to be the only thing familiar with these two bikes, I thought I should post a "heads up".
Oh yeah one other factor that was the same. (I know MANY of you use this oil and have had NO PROBLEMS, some of you swear by it and this IS NOT a slam to it, because I know how many of you have changed your bikes to it, and again had NO PROBLEMS, so don't get ticked at me, I am just stating the facts from the two guys who have called me) They both had switched their oil to Rotella T. I don't think the change is the problem, I think "possibly" the way it is changed and the amount of miles on the bike (or clutch) could be the problem.
So just beware and be careful when making changes to the system.