Clutch is one of the most important parts of a motorcycle. If you master the subtle art of using it just right, you’ll be able to truly control the machine.
To truly understand how to ride your bike in an effective way you should know how it works. This is why we’re starting with the basics of motorcycles. This will help you understand your bike better and will help you talk to the wind easily.
“You live more for five minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life.”
What does the clutch do?
The first question is, what does the clutch really do? The clutch is created to engage and disengage the engine while shifting gears or while running the engine at idle speed. The clutch is a part of the bike which is flexible and works on connecting the adjacent ends of two coaxial shafts.
Did you know? When you press clutch it, in fact, disengages the clutch.
Most bikes use multi-plate type clutch to send the torque and power. It is almost, universal because there isn’t enough room available in bikes to design a single plate clutch.
Parts of a clutch
The clutch is made up of ten total parts. Let’s understand what each one does.
The clutch basket is a basket shaped bowl-like figure that holds the entire clutch assemble together. It is connected with the transmission and is bolted to the end of the clutch shaft. This is what holds the entire clutch assembly together.
The clutch hub is in the middle of the clutch basket and the pressure plate. It is connected with the engine. The clutch plates are mounted on it and have teeth in the centre hole to rotate.
The clutch plate is a round disc-like piece. When the clutch is pressed, the clutch plate squeezes between the flywheel and pressure place. There are two types of clutch plates – Drive (friction) plate and driven (steel) plate.
The pressure plate is a moving part of the clutch assembly. It works with the clutch spring tension. When the clutch is pressed the pressure plate clamps.
The clutch springs are compression springs that are meant to hold the friction and the plates through spring tension. This helps the motorcycle to prevent slippage. It is better to have stiff springs this will give you higher engine output. Softer springs can be used for lighter clutch level pulling effort.
The lever is the metal rod that’s on the left handlebar. It is created to give instructions to the clutch assembly.
The clutch cable is created to pass the rider’s input to the clutch’s internals.
The clutch cover is created to cover the entire clutch assembly
Types of clutch
There are two types of clutches. Wet clutch and dry clutch.
The wet clutch is the most common type of clutch and is found in 99% of motorcycles that are manufactured. The entire set up of it is inside the bike and works on oil. Here the advantage is a smoother engagement and less wear and tear to the clutch. Making it a more reliable choice. It is also the cheaper choice in comparison to the dry clutch. However, it has lower horsepower.
Like the wet clutch, the dry clutch has an identical body but the only difference is that there are seals on the shafts that keep the oil out. Here, the entire clutch set up is outside the case of the bike. The dry clutch is known to be easier to use and easier to repair as it is outside the bike. However, the dry clutch is known to wear off faster due to heating up.
How can you maintain the clutch for longer?
You can follow some basic practices to enhance the life of your clutch. Since, the most common type of clutch is wet clutch, make sure your engine oil is replaced regularly and on time.
Make sure you avoid keeping your fingers on the clutch lever. It is very common for people to accidentally pull the clutch in throughout the time they drive. If your bike is used for performing burnouts or wheelies then that will definitely affect the life of the clutch. It will cut down on it by half or even less. The aggressive releasing and downshifting will be difficult on the clutch. If you start to see slippage in your bike you should get it immediately checked and replace any parts to avoid damage. In reality, being smooth with your input can go a long way to make your clutch assembly last really long.
There you have it, Motorcycle Clutch 101. These are the basics of the clutch and what you should absolutely know before riding a motorcycle.
We know you now understand what the clutch does and