Slip-as­sist makes things com­fort­able

Ped dis­cov­ers that the Tri­umph’s clever clutch makes rid­ing a breeze

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - ped.baker@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

As I men­tioned in my last re­port, Tri­umph’s Street Twin is a fool-proof way into retro bike own­er­ship. Not only is the Street Twin amaz­ingly easy to ride with its low seat height, friendly power de­liv­ery and light­weight con­trols, but be­hind the clas­sic fa­cade, it also boasts some hid­den, hi-tech help such as trac­tion con­trol and a slip-as­sist clutch.

Slip-as­sist clutches aren’t that new but the way they work is in­ter­est­ing. In­side a slip-as­sist clutch are the usual things you see in a nor­mal clutch such as springs, a pres­sure plate, clutch plates and a clutch bas­ket, and the way a slip-as­sist clutch is en­gaged or re­leased is the same too. When a clutch is en­gaged (lever away from the bar) sev­eral springs press the clutch plates to­gether cre­at­ing enough fric­tion to en­able drive to the gear­box. To dis­en­gage the clutch (pulling the lever to the bar) a rod presses onto the rear of the pres­sure plate, com­press­ing the clutch springs and free­ing the

plates, al­low­ing them to slip and dis­en­gag­ing the clutch.

The ex­tra com­po­nents in a slip as­sist clutch are a se­ries of slid­ing ramps on both en­gine and gear­box sides of the clutch. When the clutch is fully en­gaged (lever fully out) and the torque be­tween en­gine and gear­box in­creases (as you ac­cel­er­ate) these ramps slide up onto each other grad­u­ally in­creas­ing the clamp­ing pres­sure be­tween the clutch plates. When the torque be­tween en­gine and gear­box is re­duced (as you de­cel­er­ate) the ramps slide back to their orig­i­nal po­si­tions. In a slip-as­sist clutch the springs are no longer re­quired to pro­vide all the pres­sure to drive the clutch plates (as they are in a nor­mal clutch) so the springs can be weaker, re­sult­ing in less ef­fort needed to pull the clutch lever.

If you’ve ever rid­den a bike with a heavy clutch you’ll know how tir­ing it can be. For an in­ex­pe­ri­enced rider, any­thing that dis­turbs or in­ter­rupts the con­cen­tra­tion is bad news. I’d ar­gue that for a new rider the sli­pas­sist clutch is more im­por­tant than some­thing like trac­tion con­trol (in my ex­pe­ri­ence novice rid­ers are usu­ally ex­tra cau­tious when ac­cel­er­at­ing on slip­pery or bro­ken sur­faces any­way). For the ex­pe­ri­enced rider it just makes the Street Twin a nicer, re­lax­ing place to be. On a win­ter city com­mute ev­ery

‘The slip-as­sist clutch is more im­por­tant than some­thing like trac­tion con­trol’

TRI­UMPH STREET TWIN £7350 FUEL 12ltr@63mpg = 164 miles WEIGHT 198kg (dry) SEAT HEIGHT 750mm POWER 54bhp TORQUE 59ftlb PED BAKER En­joys tin­ker­ing nearly as much as he does rid­ing the Tri­umph. HEIGHT 6ft 4in WEIGHT 90kg

Stop mak­ing me look an ass Less clutch lever ef­fort makes for a more re­laxed ride

Bot­tom looks a right Ti­ta­nia on the Street Twin on his way to apol­o­gise to Puck

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