How to Fix a Slipping Clutch On A Dirt Bike – A Detailed Guide


Do you have a clutch that is slipping and makes it horrible to ride your dirt bike? I know how it feels. Horrible right

Let’s go through all the possible scenarios that would cause that to happen.

So first off I’m gonna cover the most common and easiest issue that affects a miss adjust the clutch lever in cable and by the way, I just ran this cableway of adjustment to show you guys what a slipping clutch would sound like.

This bike actually doesn’t have any issues with a slipping clutch, what we’re looking for here is a little bit of play in the lever.

So if you hold tension to the cable here pull out a little bit and then work the cable and the lever back and forth you’ll be able to feel a little bit of movement there, so if you don’t have any movement here the clutch will be partially engaged and it’ll be slipping like you heard in your bike and other burns up the clutch plates wear out pretty quick to most clutch other should have an adjuster like this one so to tighten up the tension you spin it out.

I’ll show you where I was at before. I had turned all the way out and there is just no movement whatsoever just lock solid you can see there’s no play in it whatsoever and then to loosen up the tension you get a spin it backwards if you have a cable that is really loose and has a ton of movement in it you will be able to engage the clutch very well so that’s adjusted all the way in now you can see how much play there is.

We have this much play it’s gonna be really difficult to engage the clutch and that usually happens when the clutch plates are wearing or the clutch gets hot during the middle of the motor so when you’re out riding and you feel that the lever is losing its firmness like this just give the adjuster a few clicks forward usually most guys will go over jump in this role at Foreward at their hand like that and then to try to get to the position where you’re most comfortable right there

I’m gonna pull out this little cover here and show you exactly how much play a run in my cable. All right this is the amount of free play that runs in my cable just holding tension on the cable and work in the cable and lever apart from each other so they should be about the width of a quarter or with of a coin here between the perch and the lever.

I miss adjusted clutch lever in a cable is that for the most frequent issue I see that leads to a slipping clutch so definitely check that out before you look in anything else and it’s super simple to do. By the way, I would definitely recommend snag in when these works connection levers and purchase the best lever that money can buy.

cable free clutch adjuster


You can get the above cable-free adjuster in Amazon.com. I got one at a cheaper price when the supplier offered a good discount. You need to check for the latest price here

They work super smooth and it’s really easy to stay on top of cable free play with this adjuster here I’ll grab this adjuster from Amazon at a very low price, I’m not sure about the price and you check here if you are interested.

The next possible cause to check into is the gear oil.

so obviously you want fresh clean oil in there and something that safety use with wet clutches and is a quality oil as well the gear oil I’ve been using lately is this maxima MTL (image below) it says right on it wet clutch approved.

You can check the current price at amazon

So I’ve been using 80wt for my 125cc and I’ve been loving this stuff so far so if you’re having issues with your clutch slip in never a bad idea to change out your gear oil for something fresh and quality and this bike needs an oil change anyways I changed my oil about every four to five rides which equates anywhere from eight to twelve hours of ride time.

Now the quality product like maxim MTL there should be no questions regarding the oil so the next issue I’m gonna check and do is worn out clutch plates. It’s pretty common but requires a bit of disassembly.

Now I will explain how to check the worn out clutch plates without draining your oil. We’re gonna lay the bike on its left side turn the fuel off first of course and then remove the clutch cover.

As you can see the rear brake pedal is in the way of a few bolts on this clutch cover so how we’re going to get around that is by pushing down the rear brake caliper and that’ll free up some space, you can push down the brake pedal and then lock it down by putting something in this.

I am sure a lot of you guys has seen these tool. This is ASV Y handle. It uses quarter inch sockets which is 8 mil and the other are 10 mm and 12mm which are the most common sizes on a dirt bike. This one tool is super helpful and if you don’t have it already you can check this one.

These are the clutch plates right here all those plates you see stacked up down inside of there get to him working after move these five bolts which hold on the clutch springs and clutch pressure plate. You definitely want to remove these five bolts in an even pattern.

Now it’s as simple as just lifting pressure plate off of the clutch, so now we have full access to the clutch plates and help pull him up is by using this ninety degree packed and getting under the plates at the very bottom here it’s a little tug will breaking loose there’s usually some section there with the oil.

That is the entire clutch pack being removed at once and the reason for pulling these out is the measure the plates and look for signs of wear or heat distortion.

Well have the clutch apart it’s a great time to check out the other clutch components for where to really common wear item here is the clutch basket over time the fingers here in the basket will develop ridges and that’ll lead to a really not to clutch and shifting that is very smooth.

So if you ridges here on the fingers your basket needs to be filed or just replace the inner hub in the class will develop where as well so things to look out for our grooves here on the plate surface.

So run a pick inside the grooves and if you feel any knocking there the hub will need to be replaced and finally, the pressure plate will get groups here on the plate serves as well so check into that too.

Now it’s time to measure out the clutch plates I’ll be using these calipers here to measure so really only the fibers need to be measured the fireplace are the ones with the taps you on the outside the steel plates don’t really wear that much you this one look for signs of heat discoloration so like a blue or purple tint to it will indicate some heat damage there.

So the Honda service manual states that the minimum thickness here for the fiber plates on this bike is 2.85mm, so go through and measure all the plates and make sure they meet that spec. Before you put your clutch pack apart to measure it makes sure all the fiber plates are the same on some bikes will have a different diameter or a different thickness but on this particular bike, all the fiber plates are the same.

That’s not a bad idea this keep all the plates in the same order anyways so it looks like the majority of the so far are all measuring out at around 2.95mm so plenty meets the left on.

All these clutch plates measured out fine I think the lowest number I saw was 2.94mm so they’re ready to go back to the bike and if you don’t have one of these calipers check here to grab one at a very low price.

I got the above caliper at a bargain at Amazon.com. I remember it was $42 so cheap, worth every dollar spent here

Something to keep in mind if you’re placing your clutch plates is you’ll need to be soaking them in oil for a day or two prior to installation that way the oil has penetrated the plates and the ready to go upon installation.

so the order the place to go in is a fiber on the bottom follow up with the steel that alternate fiber, steel, fiber, steel and there should be fiber on top and fiber on the bottom.

All these plates will need to go in individually can’t this set them all in one as we did upon disassembly.

I pull in the clutch lever up on the handlebars. So when I’m pulling the clutch cover this pan is pushing out the pressure plate against the pressure of the clutch springs and in turn that allows the clutch place a separate from each other and what that does is it basically disconnects the engine from the rear wheel so you say you pull the clutch you’re not allowing the power to get to the real and then on the other side of things when the clutch lever is all the way out all these plates are being pushed down by the clutch springs in the springs that are in here.

And they all walk together and so that essentially locks the rear wheel and the engine together and delivers power from the engine to the rear wheel so you can imagine like once these plates wear out. They don’t have as much friction which is why they’re called friction plates.

And then the power isn’t distributed to the rear wheel as efficiently so you have a close to slipping and I go back to the cable and lever adjustment up on the handlebars if you don’t have any free play there basically what that’s doing is pushing up on the pressure plates lately and allowing a little gap here in the plates so basically engaging the clutch a little bit and that is going to wear out the fiber here on the fireplace pretty quickly.

So I hope all that makes sense for you guys, the easiest way to explain it is when you pull the clutch lever the clutch plates basically separate from each other and disconnect the engine from rear wheel and when you let the clutch over out the clutch plates go together and locked together because they’re you know half correction or these are meant to create friction and that connects the engine with the rear wheel that’s the easiest way I can explain it now I’m gonna pop the pressure plate back into place.

One more thing to measure before putting the clutch back together are the clutch springs so the service manual specifies 35mm as the minimum. So all these measures out at about 35.2 to 35.3 mm so they’re still within Spec and now I can put him in the bike then the bolts to be tightened evenly.

Now gonna set the torque on these boards the suspect is seven-foot pounds so not really a tough work that a lock the engine I’m gonna reach underneath and put the bike into gear and this allowed me to thwart these bolts.

All right there we go clicked into gear and I should be torque these both pretty easily now so as you can imagine as you’re thwarting it’s going to move the rear wheel little bit so you may have to hold the room real in the place as you’re talking on these boards.

So once again you wanna torque him and even pattern so like a star pattern. All right there all torqued down a slap on the cover and tightened the bolts.

Don’t forget to pump back up your brake pressure.

That is it for checking over all the clutch components pretty simple deal now was take it for a little test burn and see how things shake out.

I hope you guys have some guide here in fixing the slipping clutch. Don’t worry too much before you start, once you start doing it will be easy. I have to write a lot to explain, but actually doing it is much easier than reading this long post.

Hope you get some hands-on experience in fixing your dirt bike

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