Hydraulic Clutch Availability?


21 replies to this topic
  • travertt

Posted January 06, 2013 - 11:44 AM

#1

Hi all

I recently lost the last segment of my pinky and ring fingers on my left hand back to the first knuckle.

Don't ask....if you can spell STOOPID you have the answer.

My big worry is that I will not be able to generate sufficient grip on the handlebars to hold on to the bike given that my index and middle fingers of the left hand are almost always committed to clutch work (the stuff we ride is fairly gnarly and technical) and I need both those fingers to work the fairly stiff clutch on my old '04.

SO...my question is...is there any way to convert the clutch to a hydraulic system from the antiquated cable actuated setup so I can re-assign my middle finger to the task of keeping me on the beast...and if so how well do they actually function and how much does it cost.

Clearly spending a lot of money on an 'o4 is not a particularly bright idea....but on the other hand it has a street legal plate that I would never get on a WR again and it has been lowered (I installed a Yamalink) to suit my vertical failings..AND I really like the bike!

Another option I guess would be a Rekluse clutch....but I'm not sure how well they work in tight technical situations...steep uphills over loose baseball to watermelon sized rocks etc.....and of course the cost/maintenance/setup issues would also apply.

Worst case is my riding days are over (I try not to think about that)..next worse case is I have to move to a KTM for a hydraulic clutch, but since the KTM overall height cannot be lowered by means of a "lowering link", I would really like to avoid this, Also...the cost of replacing the bike would be a real issue... plus the additional maintenance associated with the KTMs.

Any thoughts...all comments appreciated...except calling me "stumpy"...my "friends" have beat you to it!

  • Pooley

Posted January 06, 2013 - 02:15 PM

#2

Don't let your recent injury deter you from riding. When I was a kid (30 years ago), my dad and I rode with a guy born with little to no fingers on his right hand. He had to remove his hand from the throttle to even grab the front brake. My dad could NEVER keep up with that guy in the woods. He did what he loved, and nothing would keep him from riding. So should you.

Now to your question. No idea about a hydraulic setup. The Rekluse clutches are supposed to be very, very good in the tight and technical stuff. I have friends who use them and prefer them in tighter terrain.

  • JDLowrance

Posted January 06, 2013 - 02:53 PM

#3

I would also suggest trying the Rekluse. I think the less expensive versiion is around the $500 mark and would probably fit the bill. Can't hurt to contact them and inquire.

Hydraulic clutch would be the Magura. Not sure it will make the pull any lighter on the cable actuated
WRs...I could be wrong but I believe that is the only choice and it'll be around the $400 to $500 mark as well.

  • MANIAC998

Posted January 06, 2013 - 07:15 PM

#4

I run the Rekluse, and they are so incredible I don't like riding without them now. And one of the side benefits of the autoclutch is the incredibly light clutch pull when you do want to use the normal clutch! Way easier than Hydro!!!

  • JDLowrance

Posted January 06, 2013 - 07:28 PM

#5

I run the Rekluse, and they are so incredible I don't like riding without them now. And one of the side benefits of the autoclutch is the incredibly light clutch pull when you do want to use the normal clutch! Way easier than Hydro!!!


Which version of the Rekluse do you have and what are the differences between them (cost, funcion, etc)? I think the more info we can provide travertt the better decision he'll be able to make. For example, the light clutch pull you refered to with the Rekluse version you have sounds exactly like what he needs.

Cheers

  • hitman hart

Posted January 06, 2013 - 07:41 PM

#6

hi mate,ive got a hydraulic clutch setup on my wr250f(check it out on you tube,07 wr250f long term review),ive been using it for two years and its helped my riding hugely as well as being rock solid reliable,i wouldnt buy a new bike now without a hydraulic clutch...just dont bother trying to tell the japanese,i think yamaha has shares in ktm and doesnt want to give them any competition..........sorry off track...i think it would help you and its definetly cheaper than the rekluse option

  • MANIAC998

Posted January 06, 2013 - 07:57 PM

#7

I prefer the Z start Pro. My buddies have bought the cheaper Core EXP models and every one of them say that they wish they would have gotten the Z start Pro instead. Comparing their Core EXP to my Z start, I would say that mine engages more fluidly and has more adjustability to it. The Core EXP only has the cheaper price tag going for it, and we all know how the saying goes!!! And mine has quite a substantially easier clutch pull for when I choose to use it (Rarely!)

  • mc1hd

Posted January 07, 2013 - 06:44 AM

#8

I have the Core Exp 2.0 in mine and after alot of spring changes to dial it in am happy with it. Clutch pull in my opinion is not any better than stock but the ability to still use it as a standard clutch (this is my first Rekluse and only bike I have ever ridden with one) is very usefull. Still find myself riding the bike like it had a conventional cluch most of the time. The free wheeling effect (especially rolling backwards is something I could do without) although really reluctant to put a handbrake on it. If I were you I would try to get a ride on someones bike with a Magura setup before buying, have been told they do not really make that much difference (clutch pull) but much more consistent feel at the lever.

  • travertt

Posted January 07, 2013 - 06:49 AM

#9

Hey everyone

Thanks for all the usefull info...much appreciated...I'm feeling a little better now that at least I will be able to continue to ride in the future...once the healing process progresses and the season comes around.

Very good to hear the positive reactions to the Rekluse....and the recommend for the Z Pro Start over the Core EXP (thanks Maniac) is certainly supported by some quick research....my problem with that is putting $800+ into an old '04....but if the option is not riding at all, then I guess the price is right.

Maniac..quick question.... "feathering" the clutch under power (particularly uphill) is something I do a lot of.....and I assume that I would still need to use the clutch lever in these circumstances...you mentioned that the pull is even easier than a hydraulic kit...I don't mean to "grill" you on that point but am I truely looking at a one finger pull that won't cramp up my finger on hour 5 or 6 of the ride?

Hitman hart...is the "hydraulic clutch setup" you're referring to a full hydraulic clutch (Rekluse etc) or just a hydraulic lever kit you installed that connects to the standard clutch assembly via the actuating arm atop the crankcase? How is the lever "pull"....a one finger deal??

JDLowrance...thanks for info on the Magura....like the cost...(found one new on-line for $275 http://www.btosports.com/p/MGHC)...like the simplicity of the conversion...do you have any experience as to the reduction in effort required to pull the lever on the Magura versus the standard cable setup...I guess thats really the key issue for me...being able to move to a one finger clutch control scenario.

Again...thanks for the info...encouraging.

  • JDLowrance

Posted January 07, 2013 - 10:51 AM

#10

That was my point in a previous post. I'm not sure how much lighter the pull will be with the Magura. I've heard various things...some say they don't make a difference some say they do.

My KTM 525EXC was amazingly light and my 2012 WR450F is pretty stiff. The 525 had a true hydraulic clutch in that it used a master and slave cylinders. The Magura for the Jap bikes is a completely different set-up.

I still think the Rekluse would be a beter option as you won,t be using the clutch as often.

Good luck.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • MANIAC998

Posted January 07, 2013 - 11:22 AM

#11

It all depends on your skill level. If your a Pro, then your probably not going to care for an auto-clutch, as your skills are higher than something mechanical. But if your like the rest of us mere mortals, then the auto-clutch is amazing! If your in too high of a gear to climb the hill properly, the auto-clutch will slip to compensate, and will achieve the same desired drive up the hill as if you were slipping the clutch on a non-auto-clutched bike. Traction is almost impossible to find out here while trying to climb some of these Rocky Mountains, so that's one of the greatest attributes of the auto-clutch. I shift up into a normally too high of a gear and let the clutch do it's magic, and with less wheelspin, the bike goes right up!! It virtually eliminates engine cough stalls too, when set-up properly. And you've got to remember, you don't have to ever use the clutch! What could be a lighter pull than not pulling the damn lever?! :excuseme: But yes, the lever pull is super easy unless your reving your engine way up there (9000rpms), then you are trying to overcome what the auto-clutch is trying to do so it returns more to the normal level of clutch pull. Do a search on the auto clutches, and you'll find tons of information to help you decide if it's right for you. I think it's perfect for you, but I'm just another damn dirtbiker! What do I know!!!

  • PBDBLUE

Posted January 07, 2013 - 12:01 PM

#12

I had a hydraulic clutch on my '03 WR. I found it to be no better than the stock setup in terms of clutch pull. I think a Rekluse is the answer for someone in your situation.

  • travertt

Posted January 15, 2013 - 01:37 PM

#13

Thanks again everybody...

According to the Doc....my fingers are doing extremely well...so I'm keeping them "crossed" that all will be OK...at least the ones that are long enough to cross.

Looks like consus is forget the hydraulic clutch...won't give enough of the type of relief I need, which is significantly easier clutch pull.

So...the Z Pro Rekluse looks to be my option...IF I keep the bike.

Been looking at the middle weights (350cc)...lighter and more nimble, as an option to also reduce the demands on my left hand...also given my "geezer" status this may be better overall...maybe keep me from really hurting my self.

Option 1...the new KTM 350EXC F...from what I've read its the gold standard. Real downside is it appears to be made of gold as well given the $9,600 MSRP (YIKES).. only $200 less and 9lbs lighter than the 500EXC...THAT makes me crazy!

Option 2...Also looked at the Husqvarna TE 310..lots of good press but its really just a bored out (to 302cc) 250...and I expect I will miss the fantastic torque and gobs of power of the 450... the few times that the terrain will actually let me use it. On the plus side...about $2,000 less.

Option 3...Get the Rekluse and just write off the cost as a virtual total loss in terms of re-sale. On the other hand, after a few seasons on one of the other bikes I will have to "write off" a lot more than $800. But on the OTHER hand is my old '04 gonna last a few more years without needing a major engine job...#$%^&*

Hate these no-win decisions....

See you on the trails...I hope

  • Bandit9

Posted January 15, 2013 - 05:17 PM

#14

You will never recover a dime from anything you do to a dirt bike. Just the way it is and it's foolish to think you will.



  • JDLowrance

Posted January 15, 2013 - 08:12 PM

#15

I would verify but I think the clutch can move with you to a later year WR...when you are ready to upgrade.

  • bougs

Posted January 15, 2013 - 08:23 PM

#16

What about adding 6-9mm onto the clutch actuator arm? Quite a bit more leverage and cost effective. The 450 guys may have to chime in here as I'm not sure how much longer you can extend it without running into clearance issues

Edited by bougs, January 15, 2013 - 08:23 PM.


  • nfplunkettjr

Posted January 15, 2013 - 09:26 PM

#17

I have the magura on my '09 wr450 and it is certainly easier to pull than stock...maybe 25-35%. im not sure i would be able to ride all day pulling with one finger, but then again, i have small hands and probably average strength. as far as a recluse, i would not put 800$ into an 04 WR, just not worth it to me. i'm not against a rekluse, but spending $800 on a $1300 bike is not for me. as far as $9k+ for a new ktm 350, why would you ever buy a brand new bike when you can spend a little time and certainly find a used 350,500, whatever, for THOUSANDS less than msrp. remember, it's only new before the first ride (and crash)- my 2 cents.

  • MANIAC998

Posted January 16, 2013 - 02:47 AM

#18

What about adding 6-9mm onto the clutch actuator arm? Quite a bit more leverage and cost effective. The 450 guys may have to chime in here as I'm not sure how much longer you can extend it without running into clearance issues


He's onto something here! The stock clutch actuator arm has a small dog-leg type bend in it, and I usually remove mine and place it in a vise to straighten it out. This makes it slightly longer, which does make the pull easier. That coupled with a new, properly lubed OEM cable, routed properly will make that clutch pull pretty darn easy! Why not start out with this set-up first, and go from there!!

  • bougs

Posted January 16, 2013 - 11:13 PM

#19

If you cut the end where the cable sits and cut where the dog leg is and weld a extension between them it will provide a LOT more leverage, and good note with the oem cable.. I find that the OEM cables seem to last a good bit longer than aftermarket cables given they are properly serviced. Every time I carry out an oil change I just slip the tool on and lube the cables, 2 minutes worth of extra work and you end up with smooth as silk operation :)

  • MaddogYZ

Posted January 17, 2013 - 05:55 PM

#20

Keep the bike and go for the rekluse, these are easily resellable and can will able to recoup much of the money originally spent if and when you sell the bike.




 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.