What Is Motorcycle Clutch
Bike Insurance

What is a Clutch on a Motorcycle?

While driving on the road, it is crucial to have an optimally functioning clutch system for a smooth ride. Whether it is accelerating or decelerating safely, the motorcycle clutch system plays a vital role. Since most bikes these days are not automated, riders are required to manually shift up-shift or down-shift gears and control the speed of the vehicle. It becomes important to understand how this system works and how to take care of it properly to ensure its longevity. If you want to learn about what helps regulate the speed of your bike, keep reading.

What is a Clutch on a Motorcycle?

One of the most important elements of a motorcycle, a bike clutch, allows the user to change gears by engaging and disengaging the engine’s power. Without understanding how the motorcycle clutch works, you will not be able to run your bike or stop it.

The clutch system is quite complex, plays an important role in the transmission of the engine’s power to the rear wheel, and ensures a comfortable ride for the driver and the passenger. The clutch works as a switch to increase or decrease the engine’s power through different gears.

Components of the Motorcycle Clutch

The motorcycle clutch functions with the help of components like the following:

  1. Clutch Basket

    A clutch basket is a rotating cylinder that houses the entire gear assembly. Made up of strong metals like steel, the clutch basket spins constantly with the engine’s revolutions when it is engaged with the help of teeth like structures on its outer surface.

  2. Clutch Lever

    Users use the clutch lever to shift gears. Located at the left side of the handlebar on your bike, the clutch lever allows you to give inputs to the clutch assembly through the clutch cable.

  3. Clutch Plates

    There are two types of clutch plates:

    • Friction Plate: Friction plates are flat disc parts of the clutch system to help grip steel plates firmly. Usually made from fibre-based materials, friction plates are placed in alternate positions with steel plates. They are also known as drive plates.
    • Steel Plates: These are also flat discs that transmit rotational force from the engine to the transmission. They are smooth and metallic discs of high-quality, durable steel, also known as driven plates.
  4. Pressure Plates

    These plates are crucial for the engagement and disengagement of the clutch system. When you pull the clutch lever, the pressure plate causes the disengagement of the clutch plates (friction and steel plates) and temporarily disrupts the transmission of power from the bike’s engine.

  5. Clutch Cable

    This cable connects the clutch lever at the bike’s handle to the clutch assembly near the engine.

How Does Bike Clutch Works?

The clutch function is an intricate interaction between the clutch plates and the pressure plates.

  1. Clutch Engaged

    When you release the clutch lever, the pressure plate squeezes the friction (or drive) plates against the clutch basket and steel (or driven) plates. Due to this, friction is created, and the engine transfers the power through the steel plates to the bike’s rear wheel.

  2. Clutch Disengaged

    When you pull the clutch lever, the clutch cable disengages the pressure plate and releases the force on the friction plates. This action severs the connection between the engine and the transmission of power, allowing you to change gears or stop the bike without stalling the engine.

What Are the Functions of the Two-Wheeler Clutch?

As stated earlier, the clutch ensures the smooth functioning of the motorcycle by serving the following functions:

  • Gear Change

    By pulling the clutch lever, you can disrupt the engine’s power transmission and change gears without damaging the gears.

  • Breaking the Inertia

    With the help of the motorcycle clutch system, you can bring the motorcycle to a halt and start the bike from a standstill quite smoothly.

  • Engine Braking

    If needed, you can partially disengage the clutch and control the deceleration of your vehicle.

Types of Motorcycle Clutches

There are majorly two types of bike clutches:

  1. Wet Clutch

    A wet clutch system operates in a sort of oil bath, used for lubrication and dissipation of heat. These are usually used in high-performance motorcycles.

  2. Dry Clutch

    As the name suggests, this type of clutch system operates without oil or any other liquid. These types of clutch systems are more lightweight than wet clutch systems, but they tend to wear out more quickly. A dry clutch system is often used by motorists who ride sport bikes or bikes made for off-roading.

How to Enhance the Longevity of the Motorbike Clutch?

Since a healthy clutch system is crucial to ensuring a smooth ride, here are some tips to extend your motorcycle clutch’s lifespan:

  • Use the clutch lever properly, and don’t keep it partially engaged for an extended period of time.
  • Practice making your gear shifts smooth and intentional.
  • Ensure timely maintenance for your bike, such as adjusting the clutch cable and regularly changing the engine oil.
  • Get your clutch assembly examined by an expert mechanic in case you experience slippage.
  • Don’t press the clutch lever unnecessarily.

The motorcycle clutch is one of the most important components of the vehicle and helps you enjoy a smooth and controlled ride. Now that you understand its components and its purpose, you can maintain the vehicle better to increase its overall lifespan and lower the rate of depreciation in its market value.

Many people ride motorcycles for fun, while others do so out of necessity. In any case, protecting your bike is crucial to safeguarding your investment. Getting a two-wheeler insurance policy can prove to be extremely helpful. Some people get confused about what bike insurance is or how to transfer bike insurance, but you can easily get information related to bike insurance on the official website of SBI General or by contacting customer care.


About Motorcycle Clutch

Q. Can I apply brakes to my bike without using the clutch?

A. Yes. You can apply brakes to your vehicle without engaging the clutch if you don’t have to completely stop it.

Q. How frequently should I change the engine oil in my bike?

A. It is recommended that you change the engine oil in your bike every 2000-4000 kilometres or once every 6 months.

Q. What are the types of clutches in bikes?

A. Here are the several types of clutches in bikes:

  • Single-plate clutch
  • Multi-plate clutch
  • Cone clutch
  • Centrifugal clutch
Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.

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