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I don't think it would because the clutch wouldn't be engaged. As I remember the cvt is attached to the engine first and clutch second. The wheel would just spin around in the clutch bell housing (or the housing around the clutch as it were), hence the reason there's very little engine braking going down hill with no throttle.

However it would be wear on the rear tire. 650 rears go quick, but the 400, not so much.
 

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The problem is that if the clutch gets jarred by a bump or pothole severely enough, it might partially or completely engage, which if you're lucky only snaps the belt -- if not, it could damage the transmission and engine. It's not a risk I'd accept.
 

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Agree with RustyJ. I was "coasting" my 650 downhill at about about 25mph with the clutch disengaged and cold engine (higher idle RPM). At some point the clutch engaged spuriously and brought maximum cold-engine engine braking into play. Very ugly, I was sure that it was going to break something before I reacted and opened the throttle.
 

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The other issue is that you will be putting a lot of wear on the clutch idler bearing that is not designed for high speed continuous work. It is designed to allow the rear wheel to turn while the clutch is disengaged. Once the clutch engages that bearing is not turning. The worry would be that the bearing would fail and the shaft would seize which would act like the clutch had engaged. That in turn would cause the CVT and the engine to start turning. I suspect that would quickly lead to failure of either the CVT or the engine or both.
 

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The problem is that if the clutch gets jarred by a bump or pothole severely enough, it might partially or completely engage, which if you're lucky only snaps the belt -- if not, it could damage the transmission and engine. It's not a risk I'd accept.
Just to be accurate.... He's asking about a 400, NOT a 650. Totally different clutch and mechanism.
 

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I also wouldn't do it on either the 400 or the 650.

ON the 400 (early or late model) you've got the idler bearing to worry about.

On the 650 the worry would be that the clutch is not receiving any oil from the engine oil pump. Not sure if that could result in the clutch locking up but at the least it might result in the clutch being ruined.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all

Thanks to everyone who posted. I will not be chancing this at all. I enjoyed the education from you all.
 

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It will hurt absolutely nothing on the 400 and it will put less wear on the tire than if you rode it the same distance.
 

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I would get a full on trailer. They make small ones for motorcycles that should work for what you want. Safer with less wear and tear on the Burg. But do make sure you get it strapped down firmly and correctly.
 

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Just to be accurate.... He's asking about a 400, NOT a 650. Totally different clutch and mechanism.
I was thinking the 400 clutch would be more susceptible (it is a shoes/bell type, correct? I was thinking the failure mode would be a bump knocking one or more clutch shoes into contact with the rapidly rotating clutch bell thereby spinning the clutch up) but on it the belt would probably fail first, possibly saving the engine. Wouldn't bet on that though.
 

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Rusty- Only the bell is spinning, not the clutch. If you ever take the bell off, grab a clutch arm and pull it away from where it is seated. A bump is not going to move it.

Buffalo- How is towing it any different than riding it concerning the bearing?
 

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Buffalo- How is towing it any different than riding it concerning the bearing?

When you are riding that bearing is not turning. It is only turning when the clutch is disengaged. Once the clutch engages the shaft going through it is locked to the clutch so both are moving at the same speed. When towing that bearing would be turning because the clutch would not be engaged. If the bearing fails and seizes to the shaft then it would act like the clutch had engaged.

If you browse through this forum you will find lots of threads where people have had the bearing go bad in normal use. When it starts failing it manifest it's self as a grinding/rattling noise when the bike is being pushed around engine off or when the bike is running at idle. The noise goes away as soon as you rev the engine and the clutch engages.

There has been one report on here that I can remember of a person having it fail and seize to the shaft as the rider was coasting to a stop. When it did the engine died and the only way to restart it was to put it on the center stand so the rear wheel could spin.

Now imagine if it did that while you were going down the road towing it at 50 or 60 mph. You would probably not even notice it in the car. At the bike end the rear tire would either be sliding until it failed or the CVT and engine would be turning until it likely failed.

Like I said, you can do it if you want but I would not trust that bearing in a towing situation of more that just a few miles. Five or ten at the most. Only way I would tow one like that any distance would be to open the CVT up and remove the belt before starting.
 

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I understand what you are saying and that is correct info about how the bearing works, but I don't understand why the worry. The bike will idle longer in its life time than you will ever tow it. Also, if there is a concern, why not just pull the clutch pack off the output shaft and grease the bearing with a good moly grease and have fun. That is what I did.
 

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The load and heat build up in that bearing at idle speed for short intervals would not be anywhere as high as it would when moving at highway speeds for long periods when towing. It is not sized and designed for continual use at that speed.

And yes I have replaced the bearing in mine and I lubed the new one with a good quality high temp moly grease when I installed it. I still would not trust it for towing very far and would not recommend others do it. If you want to that is your prerogative.
 

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Those things are ok to use on motorcycles because you can pop the master link and remove the chain. Unless You can disconnect the final drive from the back wheel I wouldn't do it. I don't think the people at Suzuki had this in mind when they made the bike.
 

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I just had a major rebuild of my CVT
with 45,000 miles....mainly because of
the bearings in question....$1300.00.
My trailer that I haul my scooter on...
about $600 at Lowes Home Improvement.
Trailers are cheaper than CVT transmissions.
 
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