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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
On my '13 FLTRXSE2, I've been noticing that when I grab the clutch lever after the bike has been sitting, especially when the outside temp is hot, I'm finding fluid on the lever. It's not enough to drip down or puddle on/under the bike but it does get on my hand/glove. I've been traveling down the road, felt the fluid on my hand and wiped it off on my jeans - looks clear on my hands, leaves a black 'stain' on the jeans.

I haven't gone too deep into troubleshooting yet but all bolts and screws are tight around the reservoir and clutch cable. All levels appear to be okay. At this point I'm not sure if the fluid is hydraulic (clutch), or brake fuild. Some quick Google'ing only brought up one other similar issue where the Tranny Breather was clogged which caused oil to bleed out through the clutch cable but that was a Sporty.

Anyone else run into this or something similar? Any suggestions on the next troubleshooting steps?
 

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Just to correct your terminology a bit, you don't have a clutch cable you have a hydraulic line as your clutch on your CVO is hydraulic and not a cable clutch. Also, the fluid used for a hydraulic clutch is DOT 4 brake fluid so it is the same stuff that goes into the brake master cylinder on the other side.

1.) There is a lubricant that is used to lubricate the clutch lever to help it operate correctly and help prevent wear. If you have your bike serviced regularly chances are the tech actually did lubricate your clutch lever, some don't, and they may have over done it a bit and that is what is running down the lever.

2.) It is very common for the clutch (or brake) reservoir cap rubber seal to wear out and leak down the side of the reservoir. You can usually tell this is the issue if the black paint on the cap is bubbling and flaking off. Check around that seal at the cap to see if it is wet. Some dealers replace the cap and seal when they do a flush and that is part of the cost for the service. I believe it is around $45 for a new cap and rubber seal but I could be wrong.

3.) There is a banjo bolt that connects the hydraulic line to the reservoir and it uses 2 brass crush washers, one on either side of the line fitting, and they could be leaking. If that is your issue you will have to remove the fluid, just like bleeding your brakes, and change those crush washers then re-bleed new fluid back into the line. The bleeder valve is down on the right side tranny cover.


If you have to do #3 there is a spec for the pressure plate so you don't get any drag on the clutch and you may have to bleed the line a few times to get it within the spec. The procedure is in the manual so I won't type that here.


Hope this helps and let us know what you find. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just to correct your terminology a bit, you don't have a clutch cable you have a hydraulic line as your clutch on your CVO is hydraulic and not a cable clutch...
Thanks for the clarification! I knew it was a hydraulic clutch, didn't know it wasn't a cable!

RGKen said:
1.) There is a lubricant that is used to lubricate the clutch lever to help it operate correctly and help prevent wear...
That was my first thought. Seems to run a little "thin" for a grease. That being said, it's been happening for a while (since June). One would think it would stop at some point, right?

RGKen said:
2.) It is very common for the clutch (or brake) reservoir cap rubber seal to wear out and leak down the side of the reservoir. You can usually tell this is the issue if the black paint on the cap is bubbling and flaking off...
Perfect, there's my next step. I 'thought' I noticed some gunk around the cap!

RGKen said:
3.) There is a banjo bolt that connects the hydraulic line to the reservoir and it uses 2 brass crush washers, one on either side of the line fitting, and they could be leaking...
I'll check that as well. I definitely tightened the bolt that holds the banjo(s) but didn't check for the crush washers (though, it was dry).

RGKen said:
Hope this helps and let us know what you find. Good luck.
All your suggestions definitely make sense. Can't thank you enough!
 

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If it is DOT 4 brake/clutch fluid, don't let it get on anything you value like paint, plastic, etc.

If you haven't had the brake and clutch fluids changed in a while, might be a good time to get that done and the issue fixed at the same time.
 

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That was my first thought. Seems to run a little "thin" for a grease. That being said, it's been happening for a while (since June). One would think it would stop at some point, right?
It came with a grease from the factory but on the maintenance they use a needle oil pen and yes it should have stopped by now. My guess is that it's the rubber seal for the MC cap. Like TwoWheel stated, DOT 4 is very corrosive so don't let it sit on anything for very long and I second his advice on getting the brake fluid and clutch fluid flushed if it hasn't been done in 2 or more years. Very important for the ABS system function to not let the fluid get old and contaminated.


All your suggestions definitely make sense. Can't thank you enough!

You're welcome!

Just let us know what the culprit ends up being so we can learn if it happens to be something new.
 

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I might be remember incorrectly but wasn't there recently a recall on hydraulic clutches and brakes? Actually, I think there was one recall related to the clutch lever and another related to flushing the fluids. i know I brought my 14 street glide in for a clutch recall but I don't think the clutch was hydraulic on that model. I have no idea if this is related to your issue but I figured I'd throw it out there in case it is something you can get done for free.
 

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I might be remember incorrectly but wasn't there recently a recall on hydraulic clutches and brakes? Actually, I think there was one recall related to the clutch lever and another related to flushing the fluids. i know I brought my 14 street glide in for a clutch recall but I don't think the clutch was hydraulic on that model. I have no idea if this is related to your issue but I figured I'd throw it out there in case it is something you can get done for free.

Yes there was and that's great that you brought that up geo8866. He might be able to get this taken care of for FREE! Easy enough to check anyway.

Just enter your VIN in the below link and see what pops up

https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/owners/maintain-your-bike/service-recalls.html

Also check with your dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
...yes it should have stopped by now. My guess is that it's the rubber seal for the MC cap...
Just a quick update: the MC cap is dry. I've been watching it closely and it's not coming from there. Seems to be from behind the lever or from the lever itself.

I'll let you know if/when I find something.
 

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If it's not from tech lubing the lever or from the cap. It could be the seal on the plunger, in which case the clutch master cyclinder will need a rebuild.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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