How To Replace A Clutch On A Motorcycle

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How To Replace A Clutch On A Motorcycle – A slipping clutch is a problem some riders experience if the bike has been ridden a lot or ridden hard.

For example, you can see and hear the challenges we faced in this 1996 Suzuki Intruder 800 How to Restore a $1,000 Motorcycle – Ep. 2” around the six minute mark. As Lem mentions in the video, clutch slip is recognized when you twist the throttle as if you’re trying to pass another vehicle, and you notice your engine revs increase without your normal acceleration. Because the clutch is the link between the crankshaft and the gearbox, any slippage means less engine power goes to the rear wheels.

How To Replace A Clutch On A Motorcycle

How To Replace A Clutch On A Motorcycle

Before repairing the clutch, check the alignment. If you have a cable-type clutch lever, make sure the play is between one-eighth and one-quarter of an inch. This will ensure that clutch slippage is not due to misalignment. Hydraulically operated clutch levers usually do not slip when maintenance is required, quite the opposite. If you have to remove the hydraulic system, it prevents the bike from changing gears, or it tends to swing forward when the bike is on and stop when you press the lever.

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After determining that the problem is caused by clutch slippage, the clutch plate can be replaced by a home mechanic using the repair manual. All bikes are slightly different in detail – for example, some clutches are on the left and some on the right – but this Suzuki is quite typical. Once you’ve determined that your problem is a slipping clutch, here are the steps to replace a motorcycle clutch plate.

Start with everything you need to get the job done. I like not to wear my tires any longer than necessary.

For this job, you’ll need an oil drain pan, repair manual, clutch plate replacement, new clutch spring, clutch gasket, motorcycle engine oil, and some basic hand tools. Calipers are required if you plan to reuse the original clutch components. If you’re due for a new oil filter soon, now is a good time to replace it. Make sure your bike is clean before disassembling it. You don’t want dirt getting into the original box.

Before you begin, reading the procedures in the manual will help you know what parts you need to get the job done quickly. Photo by Joe Zito

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Drain the engine oil and if you are going to replace the oil filter. Reinstall the oil drain plug and replace the filter in the same manner as a normal oil change, but do not fill the engine with new oil.

Wet clutches like our Suzuki’s are the most common, so we recommend soaking the friction plates overnight in clean four-stroke motorcycle engine oil to ensure even saturation. Photo by Andy Grazer.

Begin by removing all clutch screws or components that may prevent the cover from being removed. Screws of various lengths are used to secure most covers. I use scrap cardboard and draw the cover image with a marker. Then, when I remove it from the bike with a screwdriver, I drill a hole in the clutch bolt so I can control which bolt goes into which hole.

How To Replace A Clutch On A Motorcycle

Using screws that are too long or too short in the holes provided during assembly can cause the wires to break from the motor housing. If you accidentally misplace a cap screw, wait until you start installing the other screws and see how far the other screws come out of the cap before starting to screw them in. Generally, this distance is two to three times the diameter of the screw.

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Zito’s “cardboard trick” helps keep track of which bank goes where when you put the lid back on. Photo by Joe Zito

When removing the hood from the gasket, some oil will flow out, so place the drain pan under the hood. Do not use a screwdriver to remove the cover. This can damage the soft aluminum in the engine housing and cause leaks during re-installation. A light tap around the edge with a soft hammer or deadlift will do the trick. If it doesn’t come off, you’ve probably lost one of the last screws.

Note the needle when removing the cover. It’s fine for them to stay in the cover or box, but it’s very important that they go back to where they were when you put the cover back on. Do not breed them and leave them at random.

Note the two spots left on the motor housing when the clutch cover is removed. Photo by Joe Zito

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Depending on how many bolts and springs your bike has, remove the pressure plate bolts and clutch springs evenly in a cross or star pattern. Carefully remove the pressure plate and mark the position of the clutch pusher bearing if your wheel has one. You may need a small pick to pry the old plates out of the clutch basket, but they will likely slide together. Check the clutch basket for excessive clearance or metal particles, as these can be signs of a bigger problem than just a worn friction plate.

Remove the pressure plate screws evenly to avoid damaging the pressure plate. Also, be sure to remove the old clutch gasket and any remaining debris. Photo by Joe Zito

When the clutch lever is pulled, the clutch pressure plates are pushed off-center, allowing the drive and driven plates to slide freely. When you release the lever, the clutch springs forcefully compress the plates, allowing the crankshaft to transfer power to your transmission and rear wheels. This picture shows our Suzuki thrust plate thrust bearing. Photo by Joe Zito

How To Replace A Clutch On A Motorcycle

It’s a good idea to measure the original friction plates and springs by the book, but since we already have new ones, these old ones are headed for the scrap heap anyway. Be sure to count the old and new plates to make sure you have the same number. Our steel plates meet manual specifications. Here you are mainly checking for deformation caused by overheating caused by sliding. If your clutch has been slipping for a while or if you’ve been doing a lot of drag racing or hill climbing lately, your steel plates may need to be replaced.

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We are on a tight budget with this bike so we only replace the friction plates and reuse the original steel plates. Photo by Joe Zito

Some of our steel plates have been shown to be very hot at some point, but not damaged and will be reused. The manual recommends replacing the steel plates, friction plates and springs immediately, but we have to consider the budget for this bike. If you’re reusing steel (non-friction) plates like we are, it’s important to have someone thoroughly clean the steel (non-friction) plates. past. .

Here you can see the wear marks on the clutch basket and hub. Although these parts are still usable, they will need to be replaced if they deteriorate. Photo by Joe Zito

It is very important to check the condition of the clutch basket and hub. Ours is a bit worn out, but you can see that it looks worse than it really is. If the bike has been driven a million miles or has been ridden hard, these bits from the mouth of the clutch plate will look serrated like a steak knife, which will hit them pretty hard. As a result, the plates can “hang” on the teeth and never fully loosen. This makes the lever so sticky that it’s almost impossible to get it into neutral when the wheel is wobbly and falling.

X Cnc Black Motorcycle Brake Clutch Lever Protection22mm 7/8

Be sure to refer to any spring manual located at the very rear of the clutch basket. They are aptly named because they prevent clutch chatter and chatter. Some replacement plate kits require the spring to be removed, so check with the replacement clutch plate manufacturer to make sure the vibration spring stays in place or can be removed.

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