5 Main­te­nance

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

1 Fric­tion plates

Made from steel with fric­tion ma­te­rial bonded on. Some are cork-based, whereas some dry clutches can be sin­tered with bronze to give the right amount of wear, grip and smooth­ness. If you’re re­plac­ing fric­tions, let the new plates soak in fresh en­gine oil overnight be­fore you fit them.

2 Teeth

Fric­tion plates have teeth on the out­side to lock into the clutch bas­ket, while the plain steel plates have more teeth on the in­side to move with the in­ner bas­ket that is con­nected to the gear­box in­put shaft.

3 Clutch bas­ket

This has an in­ner and an outer. The in­ner rarely gives trou­ble but the outer, nor­mally made from alu­minium, can wear from the teeth of the fric­tion plates dig­ging in. This can be filed smooth, but will never be as good as new.

4 Steel plates

These suf­fer and over­heat with con­stant slip­ping or fast starts (when rac­ing). In­spect them; if they look blue, check to see if warped us­ing a piece of glass. Lead­ing Su­per­sport teams change the in­side four steels (the hottest) ev­ery week­end for bet­ter starts.

You should reg­u­larly grease the lever pivot, and check ca­bles for frayed ends. If your clutch is slip­ping first try ad­just­ing the ca­ble – you should have 2-3mm of free play at the clutch end of the ca­ble to al­low for the steer­ing. If hy­draulic, check fluid lev­els and con­sider bleed­ing with fresh fluid.

6 Springs

Stan­dard springs are de­signed for nor­mal clutch use while also mak­ing the lever easy to use. Heav­ier clutch springs are needed for faster rid­ing or track­days to pre­vent dam­age from slip, but will be stiffer to use.

7 Oil

Mo­tor­cy­cle oil for bikes with wet clutches doesn’t have any ad­di­tives that could pro­mote slip. It is also able to ab­sorb any dust from the clutch without de­grad­ing. Bikes with dry clutches such as BMWS and older Du­catis can use a dif­fer­ent oil.

8 The best stan­dard clutch…

Is the Hayabusa’s. Firms like Rad­i­cal put them in cars weigh­ing more than twice as much and they cope fine.

9 And the worst…

The Suzuki SV650’S. OK for a road bike but when you race and tune them they strug­gle with the torque.

Soak fric­tion plates in oil

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