How Does a Clutch Work on a Dirt Bike?

Exactly how does a Dirt Bike clutch work can be a normal query for a common people but it is one of the most important processes for a dirt bike rider who is really curious about riding.

Dirt Bike riding can be a passion for a rider and it is one of the most adventurous sports which is liked all over the globe.

While riding there can be many issues faced by a rider and getting rid of these issues is only possible when you are having enough knowledge about all the components used in a Dirt Bike.

This may seem funny but every rider should be a good mechanic too. It is my opinion and what is yours it depends upon you. Many people will feel that what is a need for understanding the dirt Bike clutch working procedure.

It is beyond a person who wants to become a rider are already riding a dirt bike but I would like to tell you that many passion which people have that belongs to rare people and they want to be a master in that field. But knowing how does a clutch work in a dirt bike can save you at a time when you are in need of anything.

How Does a Clutch Work on a Dirt Bike?

Before understanding how does a Dirt Bike clutch work must understand what is the working principle behind this. With this, you will also need to understand how does a gearbox work on a dirt bike?

Working Principle:

A bike clutch works on the principle of friction. When two rotating frictional surfaces are brought into contact with each other then they start to revolve as a single unit at the same speed due to the frictional forces working between the plates.

It is the basic principle of a clutch. The frictional force between the two surfaces depends upon the frictional material, area of the surface and the pressure working between them.

There are driving and driven member in a bike which works together simultaneously. Flywheel mounted on the Engine crankshaft is the driving member and the pressure plate mounted on the transmission shaft is driven, member.

This is also termed as friction plates are kept between these driving and driven members. The whole assembly is called a clutch. Lets first understand what is driving and driven plates.

What is a clutch?

In a Dirt Bike, there is a gearbox for the shifting speed from low to high and vice versa. For changing the speed and torque it cannot be directly shifted. During the engagement gear should not be changed in this condition it is needed to be disengaged before changing the gear.

If gear changed while the engine is running then it will be the reason for wear and tear. Hence the component used for disengaging the gearbox from the engine is called “Clutch”.

Basically it is a mechanical component that functions to engage and disengage the power transmission from driving shaft to driven shaft. It is used to connect and disconnect to the rotating shaft. The driving shaft is connected with the engine and driven shaft is known as to be connected with flywheel.

Functions of Dirt bike Clutch

While riding a bike we need to shift the gear sometimes higher sometimes lower. For controlling the speed and torque a gearbox is required.

If the bike is in running condition when the engine is engaged with the gearbox and if we change gear in this condition then it can become a reason for wear and tear of gears.

To avoid wear and Tear of the gearbox clutch is used between gearbox and engine. This is the protection of gearbox and which lies between them. This is the first member that connects to the power source.

It fulfils the purpose of engagement and disengagement of the engine from the transmission. When a rider decides to change the gear.

When the clutch is engaged then the power is transmitted to the flywheel and if the clutch is disengaged then no power is transmitted to the flywheel.

For getting variations in speed different gears have been provided in the gearbox and it can be achieved while disengagement of the clutch. Engaging the clutch softly or gently, it provides smooth engagement with the clutch which is free from shock.

After the engagement, the clutch is completely attached and ready to supply power to the flywheel and it is free from slipping because it has enough friction.

Common Dirt Bike Clutch Issues

Dirt Bike Slipping

It has many issues but while haunted by slipping clutch in a bike even can’t move a bit. Engine keeps rev but not able to transmit power to the flywheels.

Even it gives the feeling as it will move but dies when the gear is shifted to first or second from the neutral.

Due to wear and tear of the surface of the clutch plates in lack of friction plates which also called driving plates that cannot hold or grip the flywheel and engine with each other. Hence there is a loss of power transmission.

Dirt Bike Dragging

Dirt Bike Dragging is the situation where a rider tries to shift the gear by pulling the clutch and then it disengages from the engine. And hence bike is not able to move. It is a situation where the rider faces the issue most commonly.

Cause of Dragging

When the clutch plates are warped then this cause is normally noticed.

If the clutch basket has been “notched” it can create the dragging issue. Its basket is a casing where all clutch components exist.

For proper function, the clutch lever should be properly attached and adjusted. The clutch cable could be improperly be adjusted to why this cause is raised.

The smell of Burned oil

Once there is wear and tear on the surface plates then while rotation it is heated rapidly and the oil passing through is also burned and thus a smell comes out from this. the smell is very hard and it is clearly noticeable that anyone can recognize this.

How to release clutch smoothly in bike

  1. Turn on the engine by kicking your starting pedal.
  2.  Now pull the clutch lever and disengage the clutch
  3. Shift your gear from Neutral to First Gear.
  4.  Normally first gear is the main thing to start softly you have to care about the throttle, keep it in control and keep it low and ideal.
  5. Slowly release the clutch lever, Don’t release the lever suddenly if you want it smoothly to be done.
  6. The throttle should be down and don’t take it much after releasing the clutch lever fully you can increase throttle and now you have to again pull the lever and shift to second gear. And while shifting gear throttle should be zero means leave it and clutch should be disengaged and change the gear.


For each and every dirt bike rider basics are the most important. While riding many times situations have to be faced which can be examining very tough. Getting information about each and every component deeply can survive your riding. With this post, we have tried to explain to you how does a dirt bike clutch works?

Along with this how-to release the clutch softly can also be a hard time to face for most of the beginners since at this trial many have to go from a hard time. So in this article, we tried to give the best way out of this situation by following our tips. I hope this can help you a bit.

Sources: dirt bike clutch working