RM125 2002 RM 125 Stalls when put into first gear

Hi all,

My 2002 RM 125 stalls whenever I put it into first gear. I will be idling in neutral holding in the clutch, then when I kick it into first the bike instantly dies, while still holding the clutch. I adjusted the clutch cable fully and the same thing is still happening. I took the clutch apart today and took pictures of the parts, maybe anybody can tell me if it looks like any parts need replacing or maybe the basket can be filed? Or maybe this is caused by something else? Anybody with any ideas please let me know, also if anybody wants more pictures to better assess possible damage let me know I'll take more.


Not a really notched basket, but can be part of the problem. Cable stretch, oil type, steel and friction plates would be next. Wear, warped, bad oil, non-OEM cable. How are the push rod and actuator arm tips?
The push rod seems pretty good, but I haven’t looked at the actuator arm I’ll take a look at that tonight. I’ve already ordered a new basket, plates, springs and cable. Hopefully that should help with the problem.
So my parts just came in today and I put them all in, (outer basket, plates, springs, cable) and while the problem has gotten much less severe, it is still slightly there. Anybody have any ideas what to check next?


Staff member
With a properly working clutch system, you should be able to adjust the clutch cable tighter and tighter, until the clutch never engages in gear, no matter the lever position.
Then loosen it from there until you can get some engagement, then minor loosening adjustments from there will get any slips during hard accel sorted.
If it still lurches when shifting into gear at that point, I would try different oils. -BIG DAN:thumb:
Ok. Small flat file and gently remove some of the notching on the hub. Don’t file it entirely or you will get some chatter. Just enough to remove some edging. Emery cloth works well for this too. Now only certain clutch levers and perches work well with the zoom clutch. Oem, ASV, and the MSR ez pull. I went to the Magura hydraulic clutch and bought an asv lever for it. Use a 10w40 motorcycle motor oil in the trans. Any cheap motorcycle oil will work. If you use an engine oil it must say in the fine print “safe for wet clutches”
Cable adjustment and cables. The only cable that works well is OEM. Buy that one and keep your adjustment at 3/16” at the lever.
good luck.
He said he got a new basket. Is the backside of the inner hub worn? Perhaps thrust washer missing? Ramp on the release pin worn?
Did you buy the bike with this problem?
I did buy the bike with this problem, but the price was right so I wasn't too worried, and the problem doesn't make the bike unrideable whatsoever, just a slight nuisance I'd like to fix.

What oil ?
lucasoil 10w40

He said he got a new basket. Is the backside of the inner hub worn? Perhaps thrust washer missing? Ramp on the release pin worn?
The thrust washer isn't missing, but I'll be honest I'm not too sure which part is the release pin and googling it isn't helping too much, and the backside of the inner hub doesn't seem to be too worn.
Release camshaft or I refer to it as an actuator arm. It’s where the clutch cable attaches, and pivots to press the rod to separate the plates. It’s fairly simple, but you are obviously having a disengagement issue somewhere. It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on how it works, but something is not slipping properly.
I’ve owned RMs since I was 12. Never had a clutch issue Blah blah nah blah. Blah blah blah and blah. Blah blah, blah blah blah.
mic all the parts are there, the plate and outer basket are new, the Inner basket notch free and the oil decent then it’s in the Cable and perch.
People who bitch about the RM clutches never rode or raced an 84-87yz125. They weren’t clutches, they were just a lever that helped keep the rpm’s up.
If the rod and/or actuator arm have any witness marks or mushroomed ends, the slightest marks can make a big difference in how the clutch engages. Didn’t think of perch, but if it’s aftermarket, it can also give the wrong throw.