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Question re: clutch wear and the "friction zone"

1759 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Poncho
When growing up and learning to drive with a standard transmission, my dad told me not to "ride the clutch". I've always followed this practice with the many 3-6 speed manual cars I've had. Seemed to make sense, and I'd had cars/trucks with clutches that would eventually tucker out and need replacing, sometimes at a rather high cost. I'd read articles over the years admonishing people who drive with their foot "lightly" on top of the clutch pedal, saying that this practice causes damage, just as doing it over your brake pedal is also not a good idea. Understood.

Now to the question: every instructional bike video I've ever watched, especially as it regards low-speed riding and maneuvers, talks about the "friction zone" on the bike's clutch and how to use it to manipulate your speed. This a very effective and necessary technique, as just using your throttle is too difficult to modulate. My question is, "why doesn't this ruin or hasten the wearing out of my clutch on the bike?" (Or does it?!) Does this have something to do with wet vs. dry clutches, or is that not it at all? I've got no experience rebuilding clutches, nor do I have a problem with mine. I just want to understand the concept better. Thanks in advance for any useful explanation! :nerd:
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multi plate wet (oil immersed) clutches are what you find in most transverse motor engine / cycles, aka belt & chain driven. this style multi clutch plates in a basket can take more abuse than a dual plate dry clutch
Our model Honda the motor crank is Inline with the frame same as MotoGuzzi and BMW boxers. utilized dual dry plate disc automotive style. they are less forgiving for abuse. But either system is prone to early wear from abuse. I don't know what these Hondas use, my guess is wet plate multi disc, just from looking at the transmission section of this motor.

Your MC instructional videos are teaching you how to manage your energy and control of your bike under extreme riding conditions and have Nothing to do with making things last longer as your dad taught you.. If you really wanted to do that, then don't ride your bike on the edge of control where you need to be doing things to the clutch the motor and the brakes amount to abusing its components.
If you want to ride like a Race Rocketeer, well pony up the price for wearing out your pony early in its life.. You don't have to ride like grandma on her way to church either. there is a balance in riding and life. either way you pay for what you choose to do. poncho

using the clutch at slow speed to control your energy vs using the throttle is just another way to maintain control. why not just learn to use the throttle properly? I understand that we all have to feather the clutch from stop and at the slowest of speeds when where the throttle is not responsive. my advice, don't ride at that speed more than you have to.
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Short answer: it's a wet clutch - ie you won't wear it out like a dry clutch (car).
I probably didn't make my question clear enough, Poncho, and I appreciate your feedback. I'm not talking about clutch feathering at extreme speeds or riding like you suggest, Rocketman-style. Like you said in your third paragraph, "at slow speeds, it's just another way to maintain control". I get that, and that's exactly the situation I referred to in my original question. I'm only talking about a situation where, for example, I have to make a tight U-turn in the narrow width available to me. Then, I use the "friction-zone", clutch-feathering I was talking about for more control, which is what the videos are trying to teach to newbies. That's not my question. I just wondered if bikes can maybe better handle this kind of clutch "abuse" that I don't give to cars/trucks; or not. I didn't know if bike clutches were made in a completely different manner than cars. Which I suppose they are, based on your explanation about clutch baskets, although I still don't know if that even applies to a '14 Valk. Anyway, not losing any sleep over it. Just curious. Thanks again!
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Short answer: it's a wet clutch - ie you won't wear it out like a dry clutch in a car.
Thanks, Geepers! My simple mind understands simple answers. :nerd:
This video helped explain the answer to my question. Wet clutches can take more abuse than dry clutches can. This three minute video goes into it. Thanks to both Poncho and Geepers, as your responses pointed me to this vid.
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Short answer: it's a wet clutch - ie you won't wear it out like a dry clutch (car).
yes that is the correct answer to his question. this f6c feels like a wet clutch.. a much better smoother power transfer.
my goose's and beemer boxers , even with hydraulic actuated clutch still have that clunk when the 2 dry disc engage. they will get sloppy if you get them too hot by feathering them to much.

wear is wear, eventually all components are going to need some service. I have ridden with others who abuse their machines thinking that is what these things are made for and can handle it. but they are always surprised when they break down on a long ride out in the boonies. and then they expect others to rescue them. I don't ride with those type fellas anymore. they can stay home and fix their own dam machines.
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