Most riders have no idea that pulling that little lever on the left clip-on disengages the bike’s clutch. Many riders have no idea about the inner workings of the motorcycle clutch. So, how does a clutch work? Don’t worry. We have tried to answer this question below.
What Is A Motorcycle Clutch?
A motorcycle clutch is a mechanical link that allows the transmission of rotational energy to be active and inactive. It helps to isolate the engine from the rest of the components.
In other words, when you pull the lever in, it lets the engine spin while the transmission stands idle. Whereas when you release it, it forces them both to turn together.
Types Of Motorcycle Clutch
Wet Clutch: This type is bathed in the engine oil, as it provides cooling and lubricates the various components of the assembly. It works for longer and can deal with harsh conditions better than a dry system.
Dry Clutch: A dry motorcycle clutch is free of the oil bath. The advantage is that since it doesn’t spin through an oil bath which also lubricates the engine, there is lesser drag and lower use of engine’s power.
How It Works:
The main job of the clutch is to briefly separate the engine from the transmission and drivetrain system which turns the rear wheel. Without it, it is impossible to move forward a geared motorcycle, which is idle. Although you can shift gears without the clutch when the bike is running, the result isn’t smooth. If done wrong, you can damage the gearbox entirely.
The lever connects to a circular clutch assembly, which is close to the engine, via a cable or a hydraulic system. This housing has a pressure plate on the outermost side. The pressure disk acts like a lid which pushes in and pulls out the “Clutch Pack. “This pack consists of an alternating series of friction (outward teeth) and steel plates (inward teeth).
These plates are tightly set together, where the friction plates’ teeth interlock with the grooves on an outer basket. The steel plates interlock with slots on a tiny inner hub, which is smaller than the outer cover and is located inside.
The outer basket has toothy gears running along its border, which connects to and driven by the crank of the engine. The inner hub has splined edges for the transmission’s input shaft that rotates with it. The springs on the pressure plate come together when the clutch is idle. As the steel and friction plates are close to each other, the turning of the friction disc results in spinning of the steel disc. Thus, the transmission gets power from the engine.
When you pull the motorcycle clutch in, it results in the separation of compressed springs on the pressure plate. Thus, the friction and steel plates begin to rotate independently, resulting in the disconnect of the engine from the transmission.