How to Diagnose Common Motorcycle Clutch Problems
Changing a motorcycle clutch is something that should be carried out whenever you notice the slightest sign of wear. Otherwise, if you neglect this important maintenance work, you run the risk that the part stops working and your motorbike will stop running altogether. So that you have all the information you need, at oneHOWTO we have a few tips and tricks to help you identify some common motorcycle clutch problems and know when to change the clutch on your motorbike.
How to know if you have a worn clutch
If you are finding it harder to change gears when your motorbike's engine is running, this will likely be due to a worn-out clutch. A clear sign that you should change the clutch on your motorbike is that, when it's running, it'll be more difficult to change than before. This is why getting the feel for your motorcycle and knowing how it should run when healthy is important.
When your clutch is worn, you can't change gear smoothly, i.e. the clutch is stiff. You may also notice your motorcycle making strange noises. If these noises occur at any time when the bike is running, then it is likely something else. However, if you hear noises that were not present previously while changing gear, it is likely worn. Problems when changing gear is the most common warning you should change the clutch.
Motorcycle doesn't accelerate
Another common symptom of motorcycle clutch problems is that when you accelerate, you see the rpm increasing, but the speed does not increase at the same rate. When you twist the throttle, the motorcycle should accelerate accordingly. But, if you have a slipping clutch, then this will be difficult.
A slipping clutch occurs when the plates do not engage properly with each other. If you experience this issue, it is another sign you should change the clutch on your motorbike as it is likely worn and close to the end of its life.
Motorcycle makes a noise
Have you been hearing a chattering or metallic sound while driving your motorcycle? This is another clear sign to help you diagnose motorcycle clutch problems. You may start hearing a faint sound, but it will get louder as the days go by. This is a clear sign your clutch needs changing. However, as we state above, there are various reasons why a motorcycle might make noise, so be sure it is actually coming from the clutch and not from another problem.
How often to change a motorcycle's clutch
While you will need to change the clutch when it is worn, it is better to preempt this happening. It is natural for your clutch to wear down, especially when used a lot. The best thing is to know when to change it, even before you see signs of wear. If you don't, you run the risk of he clutch not working altogether. A very worn clutch will also cause the bike to fault, which can result in accidents.
We recommend checking your bike's manual and noting down the recommended date from the manufacturer to change the part. Each motorcycle will have different times when it is needed to be changed out. If you don't have the manufacturer's manual, you can ask a mechanic or do some research on the internet.
If you drive your motorcycle on trackdays you may notice clutch problems sooner than expected.
Tips to keep your clutch in perfect condition
Using quality oil, if possible the one suggested by your bike's brand, will help to slightly extend the life of your motorbike's clutch. With this, you'll be able to delay changing the clutch or, at least, prevent premature wear and tear. Changing the oil regularly will also help prevent wear since it reduces friction.
Using the clutch on your motorcycle in the proper way is key to helping to slow down the wear and tear of your motorcycle's clutch. To do this, don't change gear until you have pressed the clutch down fully and, likewise, do not release it until it is properly in gear.
To change the motorbike's clutch, you can take it to a mechanic you trust or do it yourself, if you're good with your hands have some experience.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Diagnose Common Motorcycle Clutch Problems, we recommend you visit our Motorbike Maintance and Repair category.