How to Adjust Clutch Engagement Point Motorcycle

Dirty clutches on bikes are a noticeable component that disengages the engine’s power from the transmission. Motorcycle clutches have a clutch plate biting, engagement, or friction zone that can shift over time and vary within the working range of the clutch lever.

A clutch cable is absolutely necessary to maintain the motorcycle effectively. Every rider should be knowledgeable enough to know how to modify a motorcycle’s clutch engagement point. So, in order to show you how to change the friction zone motorbike clutch, here is the post.

Well, turn the adjustment clockwise to change your clutch’s engagement point. Once the Freeplay reaches the manufacturer’s recommended limit in the owner’s manual, release the top lock nut and readjust the upper clutch cord. Alternatively, you can modify the clutch arm’s angle or the barrel adjustment. Anyway, let’s talk about the clutch adjustment in detail.

Related clutch cable: how to fix a broken clutch cable on a Motorcycle?

What is the Motorcycle Clutch Engagement Point?

motorcycle clutch not engaging

The motorcycle can’t be stopped without stalling since the engine is always connected to the wheel and won’t let you change gears. So, when power from the engine is fully connected to the gearbox sprocket, that is when the bike activates.

The clutch regulates how much connection develops, which affects how much power from the engine is transferred to the back wheel. Unwanted power loss in the transmission can be caused by improper engagement point adjustment.

For maximum power transfer, you have to regularly adjust the clutch because its performance impacts the motorcycle’s power. 49cc motorcycles, for example, have limited engine capacities that necessitate every ounce of force to move the bike load.

Types of Motorbike Clutches

On the motorcycle, four different clutch types have been discovered. Usually, hydraulic and slipper clutches are only found on more expensive bikes, while wet clutches are used on standard bikes. However, let’s talk about the types of clutches below.

Wet Clutch

This is a smaller clutch that is covered in engine oil. The oil that lubricates and cools the clutch removes any heat buildup because of the fact that the wet clutch is more effective than the dry clutch. To compensate for the power loss, wet clutches employ several perforated clutch plates.

On a motorcycle, the engine oil lubricates and cools the wet clutch, which operates inside the engine. Wet clutches are standard on most Japanese motorcycles.

Also Read: why Toyota has stopped producing motorcycles?

Dry Clutches

Dry clutches have the distinct advantage of not losing power to fluid drag, unlike wet clutches, despite being bigger and louder. Lack of oil has the drawback of causing the clutch plates to deteriorate more quickly and need replacement more frequently.

The side covers are removed in order to promote cooling and expose them to the incoming wind. Even BMW has a few vintage bikes that use the dry clutch, which is a feature that Ducati is renowned for. A dry clutch is used by every MotoGP motorcycle.

Hydraulic Clutch

A hydraulic clutch moves the clutch disc without the use of a cable rather than using hydraulic fluid. Reserve cylinders are used to manage pressure in accordance with how the clutch pedal is depressed.

In a hydraulic clutch, fluid is utilized to transmit force similarly to how hydraulic brakes operate, with the exception that a slave cylinder is found at the hose’s opposite end as opposed to a caliper. Hydraulic clutches are a common feature in vehicles produced after the 1990s.

Slipper clutch

Referred to as a back-torque limiter, a clutch with an incorporated freewheel mechanism is designed for performance-oriented motorcycles to lessen the impact of engine braking as riders slow down. Engine braking is lessened with a slipper clutch.

As they are ideally suited to performance motorcycles, they are used on racing tracks by bikes. Its main benefit is that if the engine seizes, it keeps the rear wheel from locking up.

How Does A Motorcycle Clutch Work?

A clutch essentially consists of two circular plates that move against one another. The pressure required to keep the plates together is controlled by a collection of springs. The engine and gearbox are each linked to a separate plate.

The compressed springs on the pressure plate lengthen due to pulling the clutch lever in. So, the steel and friction plates that were pressed together separate and start rotating separately, cutting off the engine from the transmission system.

Remember that too much cable slack can cause the clutch to drag and make shifting harder if the clutch lever is pulled all the way to the grip. After making the adjustment, use a few fingers to check the gap and gears as you accelerate and decelerate. Additionally, the peculiar ability to zero the gap when accelerating in third gear is a new lesson for you.

Related grip: how to install Motorcycle grip?

Where Should the Motorcycle Clutch Biting Point Be?

The bite point usually appears somewhere in the middle of the clutches’ functioning range, from fully pushed to fully released. Typically, it ranges from 1 to 3 mm.

What is the Freeplay of Motorbike?

Freeplay of a motorbike, we have mentioned the name earlier. What is it, by the way? “Free play” refers to the technique of determining the appropriate amount of slack by measuring the clutch cable’s slack at the pivot point.

The amount of lever swivel between the rest position of the clutch and the point of cable resistance is known as Freeplay. The manufacturer typically specifies a clutch lever Freeplay range of 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm.

8 Signs That Indicate A Failed Dirt Bike Clutch

dirt bike clutch problems
  1. Simply take a look at the symptoms, like unexpected high rpm and decreased gas mileage.
  2. During clutch engagement or disengagement, you might notice the clutch lever feels bumpy.
  3. Having trouble getting the motorcycle to change gears is another indicator of a broken clutch, as are a stuck clutch lever, hard shifts followed by a clunking sound, or hard shifts without any jerk.
  4. Unfit rear tires are another indication.
  5. The motor starts to rev and the clutch out gear begins to engage.
  6. The state of the chain and sprockets also reveals worn-out clutches.
  7. It might emit scorching smoke.
  8. From its adjustment, the clutch can be separated.

Related Dirt Bike: what is the average cost of a Dirt Bike?

What Causes Late Motorcycle Clutch Engagement?

An issue with the clutch cable, such as too much slack, or damaged clutch plates and springs, might result in a motorcycle clutch that engages slowly. Although damaged components will need to be replaced, usually you need to alter the engagement point.

Commonly, a few millimeters can affect how efficiently the clutch engages. For the greatest power transfer to occur, the clutch plates must be fully engaged. Incorrect clutch repair, hydraulic fluid leaks, or air bubbles in the fluid lines are the possible culprits.

Is It Expensive To Adjust A Clutch?

The bike’s parts usually need to be repaired since they become worn out. Changing your motorcycle clutch typically costs around $600. $300 on the low end and $800 on the high end make up the common pricing range. For instance, the cost to repair a clutch failure on a Harley Davidson motorbike will range from $200 to $500.

You may search for: how much do Harley mechanics make?

Things To Adjust Bike Clutch

Alright! Back to the main point, let’s look at the things you need to adjust the clutch.

  • Screw set.
  • Wood.
  • Coins or nickels.
  • Adjustable lock nut knob set
  • plug set.
  • Measurement tape.
  • Screwdriver.
  • Pencil.

How do I adjust the hydraulic clutch on a motorcycle?

motorcycle hydraulic clutch adjustment

Basically, maintenance is monitoring the cylinder reservoir’s level, washing it out every year or two with new fluid, and releasing any air pressure. For instance, if there are clutch issues with the Honda VFR800, the slave cylinder can be removed, the body secured with a cable tie, and the piston restrained by a socket to prevent it from pulling out so that the push rod can be cleaned and greased.

It’s possible that the clutch fluid or the clutch master cylinder needs to be replaced or cleaned. In specific circumstances, replace the clutch plates in a group.

You may search for: how to wash a Motorcycle?

Adjust Biting Point With Burnt Clutch Plates

Seeing the burned-up clutches needs to be replaced. You may have noticed that in order to reach the biting point with the clutch, you no longer need to release it slightly but completely instead.

Typically, we encounter a lack of free play in the clutch lever, an incorrectly set clutch plate, shifting gears without engaging the clutch, abruptly releasing the clutch lever, and irresponsible riding with improper clutch usage.

Related shifting gear: When to shift gears on a Motorcycle at what RPM?

Fix Barrel Adjuster

There is a barrel adjuster at the end of the clutch lever that can tighten or loosen the clutch cord. Ensure that the barrel adjuster is turned so that it sits strongly in place. Keep in mind that since it is removing slack from the cable, the clutch will engage effectively.

Bike Angle Of Clutch Arm

We know a clutch arm is connected to the clutch wire. The cable must form an angle of 80 to 90 degrees with the arm. Simply, lose the locknut before using a screwdriver to open the screw.

Keep in mind that even a quarter turn is crucial. It only takes a few minutes at home and a few basic tools to adjust the clutch, unless your clutch plates are severely worn or your clutch springs need to be replaced.

Exterior Clutch Linkage Is Bent

Your gear selection linkage is the system that joins your clutch and shifter. But the bending brought on by excessive pressure during adjustments disturbs you. Your clutch may not disengage if your linkage is bent. So, readjust it properly.

Leaking Master or Slave Cylinder

On a motorcycle with a hydraulic clutch, a broken master or slave cylinder might be a troubling matter, especially if it prevents the clutch from separating. The hydraulic fluid that a hydraulic motorcycle clutch uses to engage/disengage and maintain motion is pressurized by the clutch’s master or slave cylinder.

The Clutch Face Breaks Off Due to High Revs

A torn clutch face can be a problem when it’s the consequence of stunt riding in low ratios at the top speed, pulling the clutch lever in and powering the engine beyond the burst speed, or over-correcting on a gear change.

You’ll have clutch disengagement issues if a piece of your broken face gets into the flywheel or clutch pressure plate assembly. However, make sure you adjust it.

Interference Issue On Clutch Disk

Another culprit is disk interference, caused by excessive heat, lateral runout, or poor repair. Usually, if your disk is interfering with the lift of the pressure plate, your clutch won’t disengage. A disorganized or deformed clutch disk may also not work properly. Adjustment is necessary, though.

How do I know if my motorcycle clutch is adjusted?

The manufacturer specifies a standard clutch lever Freeplay range of 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm. The distance between the clutch lever and the lever housing can be measured. But if you find any slack, you need to adjust it.


How do I adjust a motorcycle clutch free play?

Start by loosening the locknut. Check the free play and lock nut after turning the adjustment nut to the desired free play level. Press the clutch pedal, then engage the gears after starting the engine.

Is clutch pedal adjustment possible?

Adjustment is made by pushing up on the clutch cable and loosening the locknut and adjuster nut. Finally, raise the clutch cable once more and the clutch fork will connect.

Where should a clutch engage?

The clutch connects and disconnects the input shaft of the transmission with the engine flywheel.

Why does my clutch engage so low?

The clutch engages so low due to the:
1. Improper clutch repair is to blame for the clutch’s low engagement.
2. The hydraulic fluid leaks.
3. Hydraulic fluid pipes with air bubbles.

Final Words

In essence, we can say that motorcycle clutch engagement point adjustment is quite easy. You now understand what clutch engagement point is and how it works, as well as How to Adjust Clutch Engagement Point Motorcycle problem.

We have mentioned all the possible causes as well that require adjustment properly. However, make sure you follow our given ideas to easily fix the bike clutch issue.

Share on:

Hello, this is Adam Willam, the owner and author of the website- "". I have been passionate about biking since I was a child and have always been fascinated by the mechanics of how bikes work. When I became old enough, I started my own business of repairing and customizing bikes. By doing this I have quickly gained a reputation for being the go-to guy for bike repairs and customizations and have been running my shop successfully for many years.

Leave a Comment