Dirt biking is a great outdoor activity, but like any machine, it needs periodic maintenance and repairs to keep it running in top condition. One of the most common dirt bike repairs is replacing the clutch. The clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the engine from the transmission, and over time it will wear out.
Luckily, replacing a clutch is not a difficult task, and with a little patience and the right tools, you can do it whenever you need to.
In this article, we will show you how to replace a dirt bike clutch in nine easy steps. Let’s begin…
How To Replace Dirt Bike Clutch: 9 Simple Steps
If you’re a dirt biker, at some point you’re going to have to replace your clutch. It’s just a fact of life. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a mechanic to do it, and it’s not as difficult or expensive as you might think.
So, without further ado, let’s see the replacing process of a dirt bike clutch:
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Socket wrench(T wrench)
- Torque wrench
- Replacement clutch kit (clutch, pressure plate, springs, etc.)
Step 1: Dealing with Oil
While replacing the clutch of a dirt bike, the first thing you need to do is to deal with oil. Draining it and then adding fresh oil is a process you can adopt. For that, you have to use an oil draining tool. However, if you don’t want to drain the oil, just tilt the bike so that the oil level is below the clutch.
Step 2: Separating The Clutch Cover
The next thing you need to do is to take the bike’s clutch cover off. To do that, you must first remove the brake pedal spring.
After that, take a T wrench or little battery-operated drill and remove the bolts of the clutch cover.
As the bolts have different lengths, we recommend drawing a simple sketch of the cover and using it as a reference when putting the bolts back. This will aid you in reassembly by allowing you to avoid mistakes.
Step 3: Remove the Pressure Plate
As soon as you take off the clutch cover, the pressure plate will be revealed. This Bellville pressure plate is what puts pressure on the clutch plates.
Here, the pressure can be adjusted by screwing the bolts in different holes. There are three different positions or holes, which are marked on the plate. Make a note of which position your clutch is set to, so you can put it back in the same setting.
To remove the pressure plate, take out the bolts in the crisscross pattern. The Belleville spring is cone-shaped, and when pressure is applied, it flattens out. There is also a washer with a top mark that should be on the outer side. Make sure the orientation is correct when you replace it.
Step 4: Remove The Clutch Plates
Once the pressure plate is out of the way, you can remove the clutch plates. The number of clutch plates is usually between 6 and 9, depending on which model of bike you have. Some are steel, some are fiber.
Before you start pulling out these plates, you should take off the pins. You don’t need to use any wrench to remove them. Just pluck them out with your fingers. Carefully remove these pins as you may get into trouble if any of them slip out of your hand and go inside the engine.
You can always use pick tools to remove the clutch plates if you find it hard using your finger. Plates are usually stuck together, so you may need to use a little force to separate them.
Also, keep an eye on the order of the plates as you remove them. You will need to put them back in the same order when reassembling the clutch.
Step 5: Inspect and Replace Worn Clutch Plates
Now that all the clutch plates are out, it’s time to inspect them and see if any need to be replaced. Look for any cracks, warping, or damage. Also, if you notice any discoloration or scoring marks on the steel plates, it’s a good idea to replace them.
You can also measure the fiber plates’ thickness to see if they are within the manufacturer’s specifications. For that, you can use any measuring tool like a Vernier caliper, micrometer, or ruler.
However, I would recommend you to change the whole set if any of them show signs of wear and tear.
Step 6: Check the Inner hub and nut
In this step, you must ensure that there is no excessive playing in the inner hub. For that, spin everything by hand and check for any roughness or binding. If everything feels smooth, then you’re good to go.
You should also check the inner hub nut to see if it’s loose. This nut is what secures the inner hub to the shaft. If it’s loose, you need to torque it to the specified value. Also, clean any dirt or debris from the basket and nut.
Step 7: Add the new set of clutch plates
Now that you have inspected the old clutch plates, it’s time to add the new set. If you buy a new clutch kit, it should include a Belleville spring, washer, and a set of steel and fiber plates.
You should soak the steel plates in transmission oil for at least 1 hour. Some experts also suggest soaking them for 3 hours or overnight for better results. You can use any container or zip-lock bag for that.
After you finished soaking the plates, start inserting the new plates maintaining the order in which you removed the old ones. Don’t forget to reattach the pins where you took them off previously.
As the clutch discs have a rounded edge and a sharp edge, you need to make sure that all the sharp edges are pointing towards the outer direction.
Step 8: Add the pressure plate and secure it with bolts
In this step, you will need to put back the pressure plate using the bolts. But before that, make sure to grease all the bolt threads. This will help you to avoid cross-threading when you’re adding the pressure plate back.
Start tightening the bolts in a crisscross pattern until they are snug. But don’t overtighten them as it can damage the threads. Avoid using any electric-powered drill for this task as it can easily over-tighten the bolts. Instead, a use a T wrench.
Once you have secured all the bolts, check the flatness of the pressure plate using a feeler gauge. The plate shouldn’t have any concave or convex shape. You have to apply more tension if the spring plate is sticking up and reduce tension if it seems the opposite.
Always follow the instruction manual when fixing the flatness of the pressure plate. It should have a specific value that you need to maintain.
Step 9: Put the Clutch cover back
Finally, you will need to put the clutch cover back and secure it with bolts. Insert the bolts using the drawn pattern and start tightening them in a crisscross pattern. Avoid over-tightening the bolts using any power tool as it can damage the threads. Finally, put the brake pedal back and you’re good to go.
That’s it! You have successfully replaced the dirt bike clutch.
How to replace dirt bike clutch lever
The first thing you need to do is remove the old clutch lever. To do that, start by loosening the clamp bolt that secures the lever to the handlebar. Then, remove the pivot pin and washer. After that, you can simply pull out the old lever.
Next, take a look at the new lever and make sure that the pivot pin is in the same position as the old one. If not, simply rotate it until it’s in the correct position.
Once the pivot pin lines up correctly, insert the new lever into the handlebar. Make sure that the washer is also in place. After that, secure everything with the clamp bolt.
Finally, check the operation of the new lever. Make sure that it feels smooth and easy to operate. If everything feels good, you’re all set.
How to replace the dirt bike clutch’s inner hub dampers?
Dampers are usually small rubber pieces that are located on the inner hub of the clutch. Over time, they can harden and break, which can cause issues while riding a dirt bike.
You can buy a new set of dampers from any online marketplace easily and they are inexpensive too. After the purchase, you can start the replacement process.
The dampers are located inside the clutch’s inner hub. To replace them, you need to remove the plates to take out the basket first. The inner hub basket is fastened with a nut, so you need to use a wrench to loosen it.
Once the basket is out, take a look at the inner hub. You will see the dampers there. Simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones. Make sure that they are in the correct position before putting everything back together.
After that, you can start putting the basket and plates back in place. Fasten everything securely and your bike’s dampers will be as good as new.
What are the best ways to identify clutch problems?
One of the most common clutch problems is slipping. Slipping usually happens when the clutch can’t engage properly. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as worn-out friction plates or incorrect spring tension.
If your bike’s clutch is slipping, you will notice that the engine revs up but the bike doesn’t move. Also, you will feel that the bike is jerking forward when you try to accelerate.
Another common problem is dragging. Dragging happens when the clutch doesn’t release properly. You will also notice that the bike is losing power and the clutch lever is showing inconstant resistance. You may also feel a burning smell coming from the clutch area.
If you notice any of these problems, it’s time to take a look at your bike’s clutch and take immediate action.
Tips for keeping your dirt bike’s clutch in good condition
Here are some tips that you can follow to keep your clutch in good condition:
- Avoid using the clutch unnecessarily. Every time you use the clutch, it will cause wear and tear. So, only use it when necessary.
- Make sure that the cable is adjusted properly. Incorrectly adjusted cables can cause premature wear on the clutch components.
- Use good quality oils and lubricants. This will help to reduce friction and prevent premature wear.
- Inspect the clutch regularly and replace any worn-out parts immediately. This will help to avoid more serious problems in the future.
- Avoid stalling the engine. Every time you stall the engine, it puts unnecessary stress on the clutch components.
By following these tips, you can extend the life of your dirt bike’s clutch and avoid expensive repairs in the future.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You now know how to replace a dirt bike clutch. You should also be familiar with the common problems that can occur with the clutch. Be sure to take your time and double-check everything before getting started.
Remember to follow the tips mentioned above to keep your dirt bike’s clutch in good condition. And if you ever have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to consult a professional mechanic.