Honda Rancher experiencing Clutch Slip


When first riding my Rancher it shifts fine, as it gets warmed up it shifts very hard as if the clutch was not disengaging. I have worked on bikes and ATVs for 30 years, repairing my own and my neighbors. The other symptom was when climbing a long hill in forth or fifth the clutch would slip.

I have tried adjusting the clutch many times giving more or less free play. I finally pulled the engine and replaced all the parts from the adjuster to the clutch drum. Plate clutch lifter, clutch cam, arm, gearshift, bearing, clutch springs etc. The clutch plates were well within specs so I did not replace them. After all this it still acts the same. {Robert, CA 2001 Honda TRX350FM Rancher}


It sounds like the cause of your hard shifting and clutch slip is being caused by your centrifugal clutch. The 2001 Honda Rancher TRX350FM has both a regular clutch and a centrifugal clutch.

When you had your engine apart, you may have noticed that the clutch basket has teeth on it. It drives the centrifugal clutch drive gear.

Refer to the parts diagram below. All of the numbers in parentheses { } reference items in the parts diagram.

2001 Honda TRX350 TRX350FM Clutch Schematic

Some possible causes for your problems are:

  • The outer clutch {14} could have been distorted by heat. When riding in rough, hilly terrain the engine gets pretty hot. Extreme heat or an extended period of heat can distort internal metal components.
  • The linings on the weights {15} could be worn. These weights are similar to brake shoes. When they are worn, they slip.
  • The clutch drive springs {13} lose tension over time, with lots of use and heat. The hotter the springs get, the softer they get, causing slippage when the engine is hot.

Another possible contributor to your clutch slip problem could be an imperfection or bend in the gearshift drum or one of the spindle shafts is binding when the engine heats up and wreaking havoc with your clutch.

I am thinking that it is probably some combination of factors. I would definitely open up the centrifugal clutch and take a look at the springs and weights first, as these are the most likely culprits.

Ask Weeks Motorcycle a Question

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Need more free ATV or motorcycle repair information?

Q&A:  Leaking Fuel Valve?
Q&A:  Leaking Gas Valve flooding engine?
Q&A:  Battery Maintenance
Q&A:  Battery Types
Q&A:  Carb Jetting page 1
Q&A:  Carb Jetting page 2
Q&A:  Aftermarket Exhaust System
Q&A:  Carb Float Needle
Q&A:  Carburetor Identification

Q&A:  Honda Points
Q&A:  Rim Bolt Pattern
Q&A:  CB750F Identification
Q&A: Broken Speedometer Cable End
Q&A: Suzuki LT-Z400 QuadSport Tank Removal
Q&A: Motorcycle Trike Conversion
Q&A: Honda Rancher Reverse Problem
Q&A: Kawasaki Z650SR Fuel Mix problem
Q&A: RM80 Piston Position

Q&A: LT80 Engine Oil Issues
Q&A: Clutch Cable Break In period?
Q&A: Cooling Fan Problem?
Q&A: 1983 XV920 Virago Oil Change
Q&A: ATC90 Spark Plug question
Q&A: Nighthawk 750 Spark Plug Gap
Q&A: Bike Registration Problem
Q&A: Lost Hypercharger Instructions
Q&A: Bourget Charging System

Q&A: Can Spark Plugs be cleaned?
Q&A: Wheel Bearing Removal for 1976 CB750K
Q&A: 1982 YZ490 Kick Start
Q&A: 1979 GL1000 Goldwing Points Gap
Q&A: 1982 GS650GLZ Cable Routing Problem
Q&A:  Ether vs. Carb Clean
Q&A:  ATV Ignition Trouble
Q&A:  John Deere backfiring
Q&A:  Honda Phantom 200 Tire Pressure

Q&A:  TRX350 Clutch Slip possible causes

Harbor Freight Tools Clearance Sale: Up to 80% Off

Become a fan of Weeks Motorcycle on Facebook. Get the latest site updates, be eligible for contests, participate in polls and more!

Weeks Motorcycle home

Website upgrade in progress

Ask a Repair Question

Search Our Site
Custom Search


Vote for our site on Webbie World!

Weeks Cycle Salvage
eBay Store

Show Off Your Machine!

Show Off Your Machine

Weeks Gear
coming soon!

Sale Banner at Adventure

Discount OEM Parts

Classified Listings

Review on

Site Build It Affiliate Program