With Covid-19 restrictions making it hard for Jeff to get his 650 to a dealership, he did a small service himself and fitted a Venhill Featherlight clutch cable at the same time...

In March this year my Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 turned three. I picked it up on 1/3/2019, a sunny Friday arvo, and rode it home to the Coast from Sydney via some of my favourite roads. I’ve been smiling ever since, each and every time I ride it, wash it or even work on it!

Jeff’s Interceptor is three years old this year. he recently gave it a home service and fitted a Featherlight clutch cable during Covid-19 Lockdown. Luckily Jeff can sign off on his own service handbook, as he is licensed!

With the Interceptor about to go into storage for three months while I went electric with our long term Harley LiveWire, I decided to give the Twin a bit of a service, as it had been around 3000km since the last one, which included valve clearances, so I didn’t check those this time…



VENHILL FEATHERLIGHT CLUTCH CABLE

First job was to replace the OEM clutch cable with a Venhill Featherlight replacement item (Part No. R01-3-102-BK), RRP $59.95, available from kenma.com.au. 

The Featherlight clutch cable for the Royal Enfield 650 Twins is, according to Venhill, “Designed and made in the British motorcycle control specialists’ factory, to provide a lighter, smoother action, improved feel, and increased durability compared to the OE version.



“The cables are all ‘Bird-caged’ – a special process applied to the end of the inner cable wire, which allows solder to penetrate the weave of the cable, making the bond with the nipple much stronger, while adding extra strength and durability. The process significantly reduces the risk of cable breakage when put under repeated stress and pressure”.

I was keen to give one a go so when Kenma contacted me about testing one on the 650, I jumped at the chance. The cable has a marine grade stainless-steel inner and Teflon lined outer fir silky smooth operation, and come in a variety of colours for the best selling 650. I went for black…

The Featherlight clutch cable is available for the Continental GT and the Interceptor models for $59.95 RRP.

The first test was I took the OEM cable off and compared the friction drag of each cable on the bench. The Featherlight is noticeably lighter to draw through the outer, it is almost as though it takes no force at all to glide it though. Pretty impressive. In saying that, the OEM cable is not at all grabby and I was happy enough with the clutch action but I am always looking to improve things if there is an opportunity to and something as simple a s light clutch can make a long ride that much more enjoyable.



Fitting the Featherlight cable was very easy, the trickiest part being removing the lower rubber boot to feed the cable through the mounting area on the clutch cover. Also, the Featherlight cable is quite a lot thicker than the OEM cable for the lower half of it, which means the original Royal Enfield cable mounting frame plugs cannot be used and have to be replaced with good quality, strong cable-ties.



Once the cable is fitted at both ends (make sure you follow the exact route of the OEM cable otherwise you might end up with a stiffer clutch rather than a smoother clutch), place the bike on its centre-stand and with the front wheel off the ground, turn the handlebars from lock to lock, checking the clutch action and cable freeplay and adjust as required (mine was OK).

The Featherlight clutch cable swap for the 650 Twins is a very inexpensive upgrade worth doing.

The clutch action is noticeably smoother and after a few rides, it has really loosened up and is silky smooth, with only two fingers needed to engage and disengage the clutch. The smooth clutch actuation adds to the overall silky smooth and light feeling ride experience of the 650 Intercepter, with the small slim levers, light smooth throttle and brakes, it all combines to be an easy going experience.

I’m really glad I swapped the cables and I reckon for the price, everyone with a 650 Twin should add a Featherlight clutch cable to their bike… Maintenance is so easy, just once per year Venhill recommend that the cable is flushed with WD40 and the ends greased with copper grease. Too easy!


To order your Venhill Featherlight clutch cable contact Kenma Australia here. 


OIL & FILTER CHANGE, QUICK SERVICE

A quick service followed, with some fresh Shell Advance Ultra fully synthetic 10w40 4T oil ($109.95 RRP) and a genuine Royal Enfield oil filter ($32.10 RRP from Revelry Cycles)


Yamaha Q2

After warming up the engine, carefully remove the drain plug and allow the oil to drain into a container. Wear gloves and try not to burn your hands with the hot oil or exhaust headers. Use a universal or hex cap oil filter tool to remove the oil filter, and let it all drain out for five minutes while you clean and inspect the magnetic oil drain plug. I also drilled the oil drain plug for lockwiring. I do this on all of my bikes as an added safety measure.



Clean the oil filter sealing surface and wet the new oil filter o’ring with engine oil. Hand tighten then turn (by hand) an extra 1/8th of a turn. Fit and torque up the drain plug with a new washer. I also lockwired the sump plug at this point…



Next, fill the engine with your chosen oil with the bike on the centre-stand, to the top line of the window. Run the bike for two or three minutes, then allow oil to settle for a further few minutes (at this point I check the tyre pressures and lube the chain and pivot points with Castrol Chain Spray O-R $14.95 RRP). Re-check your oil level and top up if needed. Do not go past the upper level line!


A quick check of brake fluids and fasters and then I moved to the airfilter, which in my bike is a DNA upgrade (check out the fitment article here). After that, I gave my bike a quick wash (I use Moto Muck)


 


My Interceptor is good now for another 3000km at least, when I will do the next major service and I’ll be due for a tyre change at that stage as well. So far I’ve been stoked with my 650. Although I test up to 50 new bikes per year, it is always fun to jump on my INT 650 and go for a spin…


BMW Q4 Retail

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