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Written By: Scott Lind
Posted: September 30th, 2002
Sorry no photos on the install, dealer did it for me, but I can pass on a bit of insight after talking with my dealer on the process.
First though, I know I have told you all the level of customer support I get from my Dealer, South Sound Cannondale here in Olympia. No I don’t get paid by them so don’t go there!
My clutch hadn’t come in yet from EFM, and had been two weeks since I had ordered. I talked with Gary (great guy) and EFM didn’t expect the volume of orders on the clutch after word of it hit TT, and had to re-do their manufacturing process in order to meet the demand better….etc so it is en route now…but that didn’t do me any good (yeah wah I know), especially having not ridden my Dale in….well I lost count how long.
Well the dealer was going to adjust his valves on his Dale and he had my motor, so my dealer pulled his EFM from his bike and installed it into my motor….I couldn’t believe a dealer would do that and I kind of fussed at him for doing that he said he wanted me to ride my Dale!…WOW….talk about customer support from a dealer.
1.Install: Pressure plate and one steel plate is all that is changed on the Dale clutch. Easy drop in process, in fact you don’t even have to pull the oil, just lay her over on her side and swap it out. In and out new clutch in 45 minutes total to ride from start. My dealer had pulled two of the pressure springs in order to have the clutch engage right above idle…(read: He already adjusted it for the Dale idle etc…TOOO KEWL! ! ) and gave me a baggie with the stock pressure plate, original springs and two of the EFM spring washers. Dealer said that the clearance from the EFM plate and the clutch cover is real close and you may (on some units) have to remove a bit of material from the screw heads (not sure about doubling the gasket material etc…. Well, after total tear down of the motor looking for the cause of the engine load….and now: Ceramic coated pipes, pipe guard, new throttle body, and I insulated the airbox with ceramic cloth…I put it all back together (getting too good at pulling the motor on my dale, twice is more than enough!) Fresh fuel in the tank, hit the green button to charge the system and two cranks later she lit and quickly settled into a high idle! WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! No extra parts and she runs!….With HR that is a good thing!
2. Ride: Bottom line up front: No change in power delivery, and most importantly as far as I can tell after a good solid 90 minutes on it on single track and fire-roads, no down sides to the EFM at all for off road use. None. Only thing it does is allow you to go faster and be smoother and focus on the riding, especially when the trail turns to yuck. This addition is a keeper and I am very very happy I spent the money on it. Did I need it…nope, but now that I have it, riding a bike with a clutch will probably be toooooooo much work for my brain and left hand! So if riding smoother, faster and with less effort isn’t important, then you don’t need either the EFM or one of the other units. Just ride one with it installed and see for yourself. ‘Nough said.
Clutch: the almost too easy juice clutch on my bike is now an extra lever. You can still use it (no reason to except the way mine is adjusted, get to that in a second) but it engages now at the last oh…1/2 – ¾ inch of travel. Lever effort = ZERO. Nothing. Warm up the motor, then the Strange-Weird part now….looking at my son, me sitting on the C’Dale, bike at her high idle, left hand off the bars and drop the gear shift down one into first….and she just sits there…..very kewl. ( I wont tell you what he said over the Helmet radios after he watched me!!!) This was the “weirdest” thing of the whole ride….30 + years of using a clutch and now overcoming the urge to rest two fingers on it and pull it in as a matter of auto pilot is strange to say the least. Roll on the throttle and your gone. Dealer adjusted mine so it is engaging just above idle…so just barely twist the throttle and you move out. Smooth, no lurching, just pulls out like an auto trans on a car or truck. Go through the gears she shifts as smooth or smother than it did with the manual clutch….just smooth.
Throttle Response: If you are wondering if the bike can snap either from a dead start or a almost crawl, rest your concerns, it can, no problem…this clutch does nothing to the bike’s ability to loft the front end from a dead slow roll or stop. Just snap open the throttle and hang on. I was wondering about his on a trail my son were riding on and we came up to a tree that was dropped over the trail….I rolled up to it in 2d…probably too slow for 2d…oh well…..and I snapped the throttle quick to loft the front tire and whoop up it went and over the log…Sweeet!…
Gear selection: not as critical with the EFM. Just put the bike in gear and go. Go into a corner in 2d that you would normally run in first, don’t worry about it just twist and go, heck do it in 3d, just go. In fact I am going to go to a 48 in the rear when I change out my chain and spockets, that’s how much more usable this device makes probably any gear/trans ratio. Speed/Fast rough stuff: Did some whoop sections on some trails we love to run, long sections of deep whoops…just pulls hard as normal…in fact I pulled a gear higher than I normally would and not mess with the clutch…let the torque deal with things…and the EFM. Didn’t feel as tired at the end of the whoops as I do with the clutch….maybe just me….(hey it’s a senior moment thing!) No I did not get it onto a MX track…so no observations on that.
Snotty stuff: This is where the unit shines. Wow. I checked a trail out that my boy and I hadn’t ridden…it looked chewed so I took off on it…well it was nasty garbage…rocks, wet, deeeeep ruts and slimy….front and rear wheels in different tracks…yuck wear you out fast stuff. Well….I just attacked and worried about my line nothing else. No issues on stalling, and everything related, just go and attack. I also noticed a bunch less wheel spin, even though where we were riding if it gets wet its like Vaseline on glass….not fun…well in the higher gear with the EFM unit doing the left hand thing…much less wheel spin and better traction (at least with my limited skill set! ) Bottom line the nastier it got the bigger I smiled with the usability and utility of the EFM. Very very kewl. Switchbacks, rocks roots etc….the only bad thing was getting into that stuff and just knowing that one of your focus areas would be NOT Stalling the machine and trying to keep momentum and not spin etc….Folks, fighting the urge to grab the clutch lever is honestly the only bad thing about the EFM so far. Fast twisties…pretty kewl stuff here….get going way too fast on a trail and do the panic stop slide turn thingy…and the rear locks slides to change direction and the engine just drops to the fast idle…then just snap the throttle open after the turn….very very sweet!…Towards the end of the ride I found myself using the rear brake more than I ever had for direction changes and controlling things…didn’t have the usual fear of stalling etc…..heys it’s a technique.
Freewheel: Yes I freewheeled it a couple of times, and either down shifted if I could or just burped the throttle…mine engages right above idle….so not an issue. At speed you still have engine braking, it only drops when you hit idle, not when you are not on the gas…different thing….I didn’t get into any situation where I had to bulldog the bike…so cant comment on that.
Felt great to be back on my Dale again. EFM is staying in my bike, period. Awesome must have addition if you ride single track, and the nastier the stuff you ride in is, the more you must at least try one of these things. On the ceramic coated pipes, I did notice that after we stopped and were going to load up, I could actually grab the pipes where before the coating I wouldn’t have even dreamed of coming within two inches of em….same color as when I started…just a brushed shiny silver/chrome…long term test will tell. Fork Seals are in, so will pull the legs and get them out to LT Racing for the revalve and seal change (left seal is weeping)
Also want to thank MXBob60 for loaning me his YZ426 so I could still ride while my Dale was in for repairs…awesome people like him that make this sport what it is….thanx a ton Bob for helping me keep my riding sanity…and yes I do like your YZ, but you have to do something with your YZ seat…it is slicker than an ice cube on a hot Teflon skillet….:eek: how did that happen?…I am sure with your mechanical abilities you will work something out….slick slick seat cover you have there….wow!
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