How To: Rebuild Your Clutch
This is a guide on the basics of general clutch plate replacement. Required tools and processes may vary based on make, model, and clutch type but this should get most average wrenchers through the process without too much trouble. If you have any mechanical knowledge do not be afraid to try this, clutch work always sounds complicated, but in reality it is very easy!
Required Tools and Parts
- Clutch rebuild kit available at Solo Moto Parts
- New clutch cover gasket or high heat gasket maker if a new gasket cannot be found
- Oil of your preference
- 3/8" ratchet drive
- A pair of pliers (preferably needle nose)
- 10mm socket for 3/8" drive
- 5mm allen wrench
Put your Transmission into neutral, remove the right side fairing or whichever side your clutch cover happens to be on and drain all oil from your motorcycle into a proper oil disposal receptacle
Loosen you clutch cable at the fine adjustment knob on your clutch lever. After obtaining some slack in the cable remove it from the clutch case cover using the needle nose pliers (if you have trouble getting the slack to remove the cable from the case it can be done after the case is off)
Using the 10mm socket and ratchet drive, remove the 10 bolts from the clutch cover and remove it from the crankcase (you may have to tap the case cover with a rubber mallet, they tend to stick a little bit because the gaskets are sometimes made out of gasket maker)
This is a general idea of what you'll be looking at, notice where the clutch cable connects on the top and the bolts around the outside holding the cover to the crankcase
After removing the clutch cable and the case cover you'll see the outside of the pressure plate with 5 bolts in it. These are spring retention bolts for the clutch springs, mine are removed with a 5mm allen wrench, yours may require a socket. Either way remove all 5 of them and keep the bolts separate, you'll be reusing these. Here's what it should look like with the springs almost all the way out.
After removing the retention bolts and springs and setting them aside, the pressure plate should slide right out exposing the first of many frictions plates. Carefully remove the friction plates and steel plates in between them and place them aside in the order they are removed (you may need to compare your new plates to these old ones to determine if your clutch requires and specific order for the plates to be installed) Be very careful when removing these plates because there are many sharp objects inside the crank case and clutch basket that you can easily cut yourself on. Here is a picture of the plates being removed.
After all plates are removed open up your clutch kit and make sure you have the same amount of new friction plates as old ones and that you have all of your new springs. If everything looks good, pour some of your oil into a bowl big enough to fit a new plate into so you can soak your new plates in motor oil as you install them allowing a few minutes for the oil to soak in(steel plates do not have to be oiled just the new friction plates). Find the plate that goes in first, remove it from the oil bath and gently insert it into the basket in the same direction as the ones you removed. From then on you can install steel plates and new friction plates in the same order and direction as they came out until you have the last new plate in place.
After all plates are installed make sure they are all pushed snugly into the basket as far as they can be. You're now ready to reinstall the pressure plate. To do this, take a look at your crankcase and clutch basket you may or may not notice a small groove on the crankcase directly over the clutch case and another on the clutch basket itself. If this is the case line these grooves up and line up the groove on the pressure plate with the other two and slide it right in. If you've done this correctly the pressure plate should sit snugly against the last friction plate, if incorrect the pressure plate will not sit correctly and will bottom out about a 1/4" away from the last plate.
If your pressure plate sits correctly then you're ready to install your clutch springs. One by one reinsert your springs into the pressure plate, compress them by hand and thread the spring retention bolts into the pressure plate by hand just enough to hold the bolt and spring in place. When all 5 springs are set in place this way begin tightening the bolts in a staggered pattern the same way you would when putting lug nuts on a car. when the bolts are snugged up it's recommended that you torque them down to 7ft/lbs.
Once your bolts are tightened down i recommend dry fitting the case cover, this is where I had a hard time. What you need to do is play with the lever on the case cover that your clutch cable connects to as you put the case cover on so that the lever engages the plug on the pressure plate so when you pull the clutch the lever pulls the pressure plate away from the clutch. Unfortunately it's hard to explain in detail how this is done but when it is done correctly you should feel a lot of resistance in the lever and the cover will be tough to remove without playing with the lever more. If you think you have it right put a few bolts into the cover and make sure your levers for the clutch cable are secured correctly and reconnect your clutch cable. Squeeze your clutch lever on your bars and you'll know right away by the way it feels if its hooked up correctly. It should feel like there is much more resistance and a stronger spring back because of your new clutch springs.
So you have everything hooked up correctly? Good, now take your cover back off and if you have a new gasket then all you have to do is throw that in there and bolt everything back up. If you're like me and couldn't find a gasket then put about an 1/8" of gasket maker around the outside face that bolts against the crankcase and be sure to completely circle all bolt holes. put your case cover back ok and put all the bolts back in in a staggered pattern like you did with the clutch springs. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THESE BOLTS! YOU CAN VERY EASILY STRIP OUT THE CRANKCASE!
The manual does not list a torque spec for these bolts so use you best judgment snug them up by hand and very gently tighten them with the ratchet. Wipe off all excess gasket maker. Thanks to Thirdgenlxi for this pic of how to put on your gasket maker
Give the gasket maker some time to dry (at least 30 mins) before refilling your bike with oil and checking for leaks. Start your bike up and let it run for a few minutes. Adjust your clutch cable using the two nuts on the end of the cable down by your clutch cover and fine tine it using the adjustment knob on your clutch lever. Slip your clutch a few times before riding to wear in the surface of the new plates and remove any excess oil from them and then you're free to enjoy your new clutch!