How To Set Up A Motorcycle Clutch

If you own a motorcycle, it is imperative that you know how to set up a motorcycle clutch because in time you will need to fix it. Setting up your motorcycle clutch helps to gain smooth start and improve gear transition. In this article you will learn the things you need to do when you set up your motorcycle clutch.

  • To set up a motorcycle clutch, you will need:
  • Gloves
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrench
  • Transmission oil
  1. Start with either draining the motorcycle’s transmission oil or laying the motorcycle on its side, clutch side up. If you lay your motorcycle on its side, then there’s no need to drain the transmission oil since it comes together under the clutch side cover.

  2. Carefully remove the covering of the clutch to see the clutch basket. There’s a possibility that you need to remove the whole clutch side engine cover in some motorcycle models. If this is done, then there are parts which may be needed to be removed first, like the brake pedal, the kick-starter and the shifter.

  3. Loosen the bolts which hold the clutch springs. These are short coil springs which function is to balance or control the friction along with the plates through its tension. There are four or more clutch springs in a motorcycle. Weaker or fewer clutch springs will allow you pull the clutch lever easier however stronger or more clutch springs is recommended for engines with bigger output.

  4. Loosen the fasteners. They are usually five or six that hold the pressure plate in place. Pressure plates compress the clutch springs.

  5. Lift out the bolts, washer and clutch springs. Carefully lift them out and set them aside in a dry and clean surface where you can easily find them.

  6. Measure the length of the clutch springs. Refer to your motorcycle manual to check if the length of the clutch springs is shorter than its original length. This means that they should be replaced.

  7. Lift out the pressure plate. Check if there’s a bearing or a spacer which might get lost. Also see if the actuation rod has worn out or have bent already since you may also need to replace this.

  8. Then lift out the friction plates and driven plates. Friction plates tend to stick to each other or to the clutch basket. Carefully remove them apart by using any flat pointed tool. If they look old, smell burnt or are bent, they need to be replaced.

  9. Check the clutch basket for any grooved or worn clutch fingers. These affect the clutch smoothness and performance. If the clutch basket fingers are grooved heavily, then you may need to replace the clutch basket. If you need to replace the clutch basket, it is wise to replace the needle bearings as well.

  10. Arrange the new plates inside the clutch. If you have replaced your old plates, arrange the new ones in an alternating order, friction plates over driven plates. If your motorcycle has a fiber plate, it will go last. Make sure that you have well oiled the plates before stacking them together.

  11. Place the pressure plate back. Tighten it with the new clutch springs, place the washer and the bolts, and remember not to overdo it. Refer to your manual about their torque spec.

  12. Replace the clutch cover with new gaskets. If you drained the transmission oil, then you need to replace it.


  • To avoid missing tiny parts lay your motorcycle on a light colored rug so if there’s anything which might drop out along the process, it will be easier to find. Also lay your tools or those parts you take out on a separate rug.

  • Work in a well lit place.

  • Remember the order of the parts you are disassembling; list their order in a piece of paper or check your motorcycle’s manual.

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