How to Have Clutch Power
The key to your motocross bike’s performance lies in the clutch. You may be an ace as a motocross player but if your clutch is not doing its part, you may find your engine difficult to control. The following are some tips for an excellent clutch.
First of all, take out those Factory Clutch Springs and substitute them with stiffer ones. Bike factories never use maximum performance parts when assembling the clutch. High performance parts usually cost more money than those being used by factories. But keep in mind that you don’t have to change every spring. Usually two or three will do but you can experiment on what works for you.
Do not neglect your transmission oil. It’s not the same as cars and trucks wherein you can change the oil once a year only. Ideally, your oil must be replaced every two or three races. It may sound too much for you, but changing the oil is cheaper than a transmission overhaul. Remember that the crud that you pick up on the track accumulates and will put early stress on your clutch plates.
Always carry extra shims for emergencies. You’ll never know when you’re going to need these things. It might happen in the middle of a race and you won’t be able to remedy the situation. You can simply insert the right washer under the bolt. The added thickness will preload your springs and take away that spongy feeling in your clutch.
You can top off your transmission to the proper level with Automatic Transmission Fluid, that is, if it is GM compatible. But don’t use a Ford type fluid. The difference between the two is GM fluid grips better than a Ford fluid which is slick as molasses.
Never use factory-installed aluminum clutch plates. These plates are suitable only for regular use but not tough enough for extended motocross use. They don’t hold up as well as steel plates which are heavier but more durable. There are two drawbacks for aluminum plates. One, they wear more quickly than steel leaving metallic deposits in the oil, thus, hastening mechanical wear. Two, aluminum warps easily when subjected to extreme heat generated in motocross.
Aging plates build up a glaze layer on the surface which makes them slip more noticeably. When this slippage is noticed, take out your fiber clutch plates and sand the surface to remove the slippery glaze. Reinstall after cleaning.
Make sure your clutch lever isn’t set too tight. Set it so that a quarter can slide between the lever perch and the lever without catching the clutch cable.