Easily Install A Clutch On A Motorcycle

Motorcycle clutches are wet or dry, depending on the make and model.

The motorcycle clutch is the part of the transmission that allows power from the engine to be disengaged while shifting, starting and stopping. A motorcycle clutch differs from one on a car in that it consists of a number of fiber plates and metal plates alternately arranged. These are contained in a clutch basket assembly. A clutch is wet or dry, and it is actuated by either a cable or a hydraulic assembly. To easily install a clutch on a motorcycle, you will need a service manual for specific steps, and a few basic tools.


1. Drain the engine oil if your motorcycle has a wet clutch. If it has a dry clutch, you may skip this step. Change the oil filter as well, as a failed clutch will often send fiber or metal particles into the oil and dirty the filter.

2. Remove the clutch cover. If you have a wet clutch, you may have to remove the clutch cable or the clutch slave cylinder first. Consult your specific motorcycle manual. Once you have removed the clutch cover, set it aside.

3. Remove the bolts holding the outer clutch basket to the inner clutch basket. There are usually six to eight bolts, depending on the size and type of your motorcycle. Often, there is a special hub nut in the center that you need a special clutch nut tool to remove. Consult your manual for a part number. These sockets are often available at your local motorcycle shop. Remove the clutch plates, laying them out on a clean, dry work surface. Note the order in which you removed them.

4. Inspect the inner clutch basket. In many cases it is not necessary to remove it unless it is damaged. If it is not damaged and does not need to be replaced, leave it installed. Inspect the clutch plates as well. In most cases, it is only necessary to replace the fiber clutch plates, not the metal ones. Inspect metal plates for warping and bluing from overheating. Replace if necessary.

5. Replace the fiber clutch plates with new ones. If you have a wet clutch, soak the new fiber plates in oil before installation. This will make installation quicker, and it will prevent wear from initial dry engagement. If possible, soak the plates for 24 hours.

6. Install the outer clutch basket, using a torque wrench to ensure that all fasteners are tightened to the proper specifications. Consult your manual for specific numbers. Reinstall the clutch nut using the special tool and the torque wrench.

7. Install the clutch cover, using a new gasket if your bike has a wet clutch. Torque bolts to the proper specifications. Refill the bike with oil, if necessary, and install cables or slave cylinders that were removed initially. Pump the clutch a few times. With a cable-operated clutch, adjust the cable so the clutch operates smoothly.