Jump to content

Dry clutch technique


MarcS

Recommended Posts

Hey folks,

 

So, I'm new to the big-bore twin, boxer, and dry clutch world. I'm used to revvy Japanese sportbikes with wet clutches that'll slip all day.

 

Anyway, I'd appreciate some posts on good/proper clutch technique. I'm finding the GS a handful to get moving without a lot of slipping.

Link to comment

Now that ya mention it, Marc, I'd like to add another piece to this question--and I hope the more mechanically inclined among us will forgive my noobish ignorance when it comes to stuff like this, but let me see if I got this clear. It's considered a "dry clutch" because it sits separate from the main engine oil, yet it still is in all actuality "wet" since its lil ol home contains about half a quart of erl for lubrication anyway. Whadaheck? See, this is why I just can't wrench on my stuff--I get confused, befuddled, frustrated, p-o'd and then things get ugly... confused.gif

Link to comment
russell_bynum
Now that ya mention it, Marc, I'd like to add another piece to this question--and I hope the more mechanically inclined among us will forgive my noobish ignorance when it comes to stuff like this, but let me see if I got this clear. It's considered a "dry clutch" because it sits separate from the main engine oil, yet it still is in all actuality "wet" since its lil ol home contains about half a quart of erl for lubrication anyway. Whadaheck? See, this is why I just can't wrench on my stuff--I get confused, befuddled, frustrated, p-o'd and then things get ugly... confused.gif

 

That's incorrect. The clutch on a boxer is "Dry". In other words, it does not have any lubricating oil.

 

Perhaps what you're thinking of...is the transmission and engine...which each have their own independant lubricating oil.

 

With a typical Japanese sportbike, the engine, clutch, and transmission all share the same oil.

Link to comment

Well Marc while I'm no MSF or AMA expert I found that first of all you need to be intimate with the engagement point of your clutch. I know that sounds way too obvious but hear me out. When I take off I rev too about 2/2.5K and just as my clutch grabs I back off of the revs just enough to prevent slippage. I ease the clutch out pretty quickly at this point even on hills. In fact there are times that the revs are so low you'd swear the bike is going to stall. But you need to know when that disc is going to engage. It may be worth noting that I'm on an S not a GS.

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

Marc,

I'll make a couple of points from my own experience and quote from Fernando Belair's excellent post on this same subject.

 

First, you have to understand that it is not just clutch control but throttle control as well that is necessary.

 

To illustrate, put your bike in first and get going in your normal way and then ease off the throttle till the bike is going as slowly as it can without bucking or stalling. Hmmm, pretty darn slow, isn't it? Now tootle along like that and observe that your tachometer is barely above idle. Probably no more than 1300 or so RPM if your engine is in good tune. OK? Well that is the engine speed at which you can fully engage the clutch.

 

Now, you have to work on the technique that will allow you to do so. That lies in both hands. Start out from a dead stop, engine idling and again in first gear and this time, bring the clutch to just at the engagement point. You will feel the bike pull slightly forward, it shouldn't move but should want to.

 

Now, smoothly release the clutch while giving the motor just enough throttle to maintain that RPM you noticed back in the slow down drill. Just a little bit of throttle is required here. As the clutch goes out, the bike will start to move, pick up your feet and continue to apply just enough throttle to keep those revs at 1300 or so. As you complete the clutch release, you can wind up more on the throttle to get you to the speed you desire, shifting as you go.

 

This will seem a bit strange at first but, with practice, you'll find you hardly have to apply any throttle either. I usually have the clutch fully engaged and my feet on the pegs long before the bike has even turned the rear wheel one full revolution, about 6 feet.

Link to comment
Francois_Dumas

To add to Ed's very good description.. the whole process of engaging/throttling up to move takes much less than a second.... otherwise you still WOULD be slipping the clutch smile.gif

Link to comment

I use a slightly above idle (or idle) throttle and a brief clutch slip, just to get going in first. I coordinate the slip and the throttle almost to the point of engine stall. So far no problems with my previously abused LEO bike.

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

All this is fine when on level ground and a light load. A bit steep uphill start with a load or passanger will need higher rpm and some clutch slipping. The extra long first gears don't help. You may end up smelling the clutch. No good.

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

It is really a matter of balance. Your balance on the bike and how comfortable you are with getting your feet up and on the pegs. The balance of load vs grade and the balance of throttle application vs clutch release. As time goes on and miles in the saddle increase, we all get smoother at all these things. I seldom have to use very much in the way of revs or clutch slip and my bikes are often pretty heavily laden. There is the matter of how much acceleration one wants to apply as well. I will sometimes take off hard to get clear of the pack of cars around me and that does involve a certain degree of clutch slip. One of the advantages of riding a bike with 160 crank HP and 90 lb/ft of peak torque is that there is a lot of both power and torque available at lower RPM's. That said, my 1100S is nearly as quick off the mark as the XX. It really is all about technique and how often you work on it.

Link to comment

Marc,

Another little tip is to spend some time using ONLY your clutch to get your bike moving. This is all "body memory".

Now...if you can't flat foot your bike and hold it up, don't try this at home folks eek.gif....but if you CAN it will acquaint you with your friction point/zone like you wouldn't believe grin.gifgrin.gif

As Paul said, only do this only level ground...but once you have the friction point/zone down, try feeding in the throttle when the bike has started moving along. Do this a few times and then increase your amount of throttle...it'll then become a lot easier thumbsup.gif.

Link to comment
Francois_Dumas
All this is fine when on level ground and a light load. A bit steep uphill start with a load or passanger will need higher rpm and some clutch slipping. The extra long first gears don't help. You may end up smelling the clutch. No good.

 

I managed fine with Nina in the Alps last year..... but I am lucky, she only weighs 110 lbs. or so (I have to be careful with this statement grin.gifgrin.gif ). Being stopped at an uphill slope requires more throttle indeedy.

 

Did it alone this year and it sure is a lot easier riding......

Link to comment
Francois_Dumas
It is really a matter of balance. Your balance on the bike and how comfortable you are with getting your feet up and on the pegs. The balance of load vs grade and the balance of throttle application vs clutch release. As time goes on and miles in the saddle increase, we all get smoother at all these things. I seldom have to use very much in the way of revs or clutch slip and my bikes are often pretty heavily laden. There is the matter of how much acceleration one wants to apply as well. I will sometimes take off hard to get clear of the pack of cars around me and that does involve a certain degree of clutch slip. One of the advantages of riding a bike with 160 crank HP and 90 lb/ft of peak torque is that there is a lot of both power and torque available at lower RPM's. That said, my 1100S is nearly as quick off the mark as the XX. It really is all about technique and how often you work on it.

 

Yup. I actually forgot to shift back to First on stopping once... and it pulls out in second gear with just a little more throttle than usual.... made a bit more noise though, which made me realise my blunder....

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...