Modern motorcycles come with various components whose primary function is to ensure that you have remarkable riding experience. Most of the systems, however, tend to malfunction whenever a motorcycle user doesn’t service the bike frequently and as required. With that in mind, this article narrows its focus to one crucial part of a motorcycle known as the clutch. It explains vividly what is a clutch, the problem of the clutch called clutch slip, and how to take care of this issue, among many other topics. The idea is to equip you with the required knowledge so that you may avoid the problems that arise during a clutch slip.
What is a clutch?
Before going into details about a clutch slip and other related topics, you first need to understand what is a clutch and its use on a motorbike. A clutch is a lever you hold onto whenever you are shifting gears. As soon as you pull it in, it disengage engine power temporarily and prevents it from circulating to the rear wheel, thus giving you room to switch gears. If you are an enthusiastic motorcycle rider, then you already know that it can be quite hard to gain speed and torque without a clutch. You also get to avoid various scenarios like being unable to move forward whenever the motorcycle is at a standstill. The clutch works hand in hand with spring pressure as well as friction rotating plates, among other components.
The clutch of a bike is only susceptible to types of malfunctions. You can either experience a clutch slip or a clutch drag. Sometimes you may end up experiencing both, and once that happens, then you need to have your clutch checked out pronto. The most common issue is, however, the clutch slip. The prevalence of this issue is widespread that you cannot come across a biker who is yet to experience it.
What is a clutch slip?
A clutch slip is a type of motorcycle malfunction that occurs on the clutch preventing the bike from delivering the required torque. You may also find yourself riding your bike at full throttle without gaining any speed. It thus becomes hard for you to gain control of your Sherco motorbike while on the road, and that is something you wouldn’t want to experience. As soon as you start experiencing clutch slips, you should start looking for a clutch shop for you to make the necessary replacements. This is because, at that point, it is only a matter of time before your clutch stops working completely.
You should, however, not confuse issues such as faulty spark plug, stuck power valves on a 2-stroke, and compression loss with clutch slip. The problems may come with a slightly similar effect, but none of them will make your Honda Africa twin to rev up without moving. Once you find yourself in such a scenario, then you should rule out the malfunctions stated above and conclude it is a clutch slip. That is how to tell your clutch is slipping. It’s now time to understand what causes a clutch to slip.
Why does a motorcycle clutch slip?
There are various reasons as to why your motorcycle clutch is slipping. Some of these reasons are due to the common mistakes you make while handling your bike. Some of the common causes include:
Plenty of oil in the transmission or engine
Just like the transmission, a motorcycle’s engine allows only a certain quantity of oil for it to function correctly. Exceeding that limit always brings about certain disadvantages, including experiencing clutch slips. You should thus drain the oil and replace it with the right oil quantity. Also, make sure the oil you are using is compatible with your engines. Using the incorrect type of oil is only going to make the problem worse.
Weak springs in the clutch basket
Most bikes that have a higher mileage tend to experience this problem. The same goes for motorcycles that undergo heavy usage. The function of the clutch basket is to ensure that the clutch engages well and returns entirely as soon as you disengage. With time, the springs weaken, making it hard for the clutch to go back to its required position. That is how you end up with clutch slips. You should thus go ahead and remove the springs, examine them if they are weak. If that is the case, you will have to get ktm parts online and make the necessary replacements.
Thin clutch plates
Similar to other parts of your motorcycle, the clutch plates also undergo wear and tear after prolonged usage. This is why you should examine your plates as soon as your bike reaches 30,000 miles. Have a look at the thickness of your plate. If you notice that they are thin, then know you are about to start experiencing clutch slips. This is because the plates will be too thin to provide friction and go back to their position after disengagement. You thus have to make the necessary replacement. Sites such as Kawasaki Australia offer new and reliable plates.
What You Can Do to Stop Clutch Slipping?
The long term solution on how to stop clutch slipping is to replace the clutch plates. You should, however, do that only if you find out that your clutch plates are thin or after you experience complete clutch failure. Otherwise, you can go ahead and make sure you are using the correct oil type. Another way to stop it is to make the necessary adjustments of the cable. Make sure it is not too loose, and neither should it be too tight. Lastly, you should make sure that you tighten the spring bolts correctly to get the correct torque.
That is so far everything you need to know about clutch slips. The information indicates the various reasons why your motorbike may be experiencing clutch slips and how to fix the problem. It also shows how you can end up with a fully functional clutch system. You should make sure that you maintain your clutch plates for the complete functionality of the system. The last thing you want is to have problems increasing your bike’s speed only because your clutch is not working correctly.