I’m no mechanic. That’s been proven to me many times, in most unpleasant ways. But, I still think that it’s important to understand how my motorcycle works. That way, I can recognize small problems before they become catastrophes, and I can work with my mechanic to make things work properly. This week, I decided to look deeply into my motorcycle’s clutch to unravel its mysteries.
The job of the clutch is to temporarily disconnect the engine from the transmission. This disconnection is essential to safe operation of a modern motorcycle. Otherwise, you’d have to turn off the engine at every stop, and you’d never be able to change gears. Your car has a clutch (or more), even if it has an automatic transmission. Even your electric drill probably has a clutch. On a motorcycle, we pull in the clutch lever in order to disengage the transmission, then slowly let the clutch lever out in order to engage the transmission gears with the engine — and the bike moves under power. But what’s happening inside the clutch when we pull and release that lever?Read