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XR133

Clutch - How Dry is Dry?

7 posts in this topic

Machine: 2003 YZ450 w/Rekluse Z-Start Pro and new Hinson basket running Rotella, per Rekluse 's recommendation.

History: Rebuilt head over winter. Rode it for 3 hours solid 3 weekends ago with no issues. Went to first harescramble, a muddy, gorpy, slopfest and smoked the clutch in about 3 miles. Bike wouldn't even pull itself. Tore it down and found the steels and frictions both toasted. Ordered new steels and frictions from Rekluse and installed them, filled it up with fresh Rotella, and ran it for about 10 minutes and disassembled to check gap on Rekluse. I pulled the pressur plate and looked at the frictions and they are dry as a bone, even though I thoroughly soaked and coated them with fresh oil on install. I have verified that the pump is moving oil, by cracking the banjo bolt loose at the case and the head while the engine was running and there's plenty of oil moving (messy, but I wanted to know for sure). Theres oil on the outside of the basket fingers and on the inside of the clutch cover, but everything inside is dry as a bone.

So, my question is how dry (or wet) should these plates be? I really don't want to smoke $130 worth of plates again anytime soon. My other bikes tend to have very wet plates when I service them...

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The plates will almost always never appear wet. Centrifugal force sees to that.

Have you checked the installed gap when everything is tightened up?

If you have a manual override, is it completely disengaged?

Are you using all 30 balls to give a harder engagement?

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Recommended or not, I don't and won't run Rotella. It isn't capable of service as a transmission lubricant, and won't stay in grade long enough to complete a single desert race, so it's of no use to me. Use a high quality JASO MA/MA2 synthetic oil like Amsoil MCF instead.

You might want to check the inner clutch push rod (the long one), in particular, the large diameter grooved section at the clutch end, to be sure there's no sludge or debris packed in the grooves. This part of the shaft is what meters the oil the clutch gets from the oil delivered to the main shaft. Also, Yamaha drilled six rows of 3-4 holes at the base of the clutch boss splines so as to improve the distribution of oil to the plates, and I don't recall whether the Rekluse boss has these. If not, it may be a good idea to add them.

That said, the plates do usually appear fairly dry under normal circumstances.

DG, The ZS-Pro for the YZF has 27 balls, not 30, and can be used with 24 or 27.

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The plates will almost always never appear wet. Centrifugal force sees to that.

Have you checked the installed gap when everything is tightened up?

If you have a manual override, is it completely disengaged?

Are you using all 30 balls to give a harder engagement?

I guess maybe the difference is I don't normally see the plates directly after riding the bike for a few minutes...normally I do maintenance when the bike has been sitting for quite some time

The .050" go/no-go gauges that Rekluse sent, will not slide in, which according to the manual means everything is good. I'm not sure I understand not being concerned with the other end of the spectrum (gap too small).

Clutch lever has the proper play and I'm using all (27) steel balls and both springs.

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Recommended or not, I don't and won't run Rotella. It isn't capable of service as a transmission lubricant, and won't stay in grade long enough to complete a single desert race, so it's of no use to me. Use a high quality JASO MA/MA2 synthetic oil like Amsoil MCF instead.

You might want to check the inner clutch push rod (the long one), in particular, the large diameter grooved section at the clutch end, to be sure there's no sludge or debris packed in the grooves. This part of the shaft is what meters the oil the clutch gets from the oil delivered to the main shaft. Also, Yamaha drilled six rows of 3-4 holes at the base of the clutch boss splines so as to improve the distribution of oil to the plates, and I don't recall whether the Rekluse boss has these. If not, it may be a good idea to add them.

That said, the plates do usually appear fairly dry under normal circumstances.

DG, The ZS-Pro for the YZF has 27 balls, not 30, and can be used with 24 or 27.

I'm just about on the same page with you regarding Rotella...not impressed so far. I'll check the pushrod...I don't think there should be an issue there but it would be nice to know for sure.

The Rekluse inner hub has several holes drilled in a single line around the circumference...if I remember correctly they are on the tops of the splines, but they aren't near the base, more like halfway up the hub. Maybe more are needed...

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DG, The ZS-Pro for the YZF has 27 balls, not 30, and can be used with 24 or 27...

I stand corrected....450 uses 27 & 250 uses 30.

I'm not sure I understand not being concerned with the other end of the spectrum (gap too small)....

You will know if the gap is too small. When you put it in gear it will either move forward or stall.

The only issues with burning out the clutch on an auto set-up were for the following reasons:

1. Incorrectly adjusted clutch lever. It must have 1/2" free play when held at half throttle.

2. Inadvertently having your finger on the clutch lever while riding. (Don't ask me how I discovered that one)

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...Don't ask me how I discovered that one

I promise.

The only other factor that will accelerate clutch wear with a Rekluse is abuse of the advantage it grants you. If you develop the habit of going pokey slow and working the clutch constantly because you can, or get lazy and run a gear higher than you should instead of shifting, you will shorten your clutch life as a result.

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