How to Adjust a Motorcycle Clutch

  • 1=3
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Screwdriver set
Wrench set
Work gloves (optional)
Thin bike lubricant (optional)

The clutch is the part of an engine that controls the power transition. A common, uncomplicated type of clutch is a clutch that works with either the drive shaft or the line shaft. A motorcycle clutch typically uses what is known as a wet clutch system. In such a system, plain steel and friction plates work in tandem to control the transmission shaft. Needless to say, a properly operating clutch is an essential component of any automobile, be it a car, truck, sport utility vehicle, or motorcycle.

If your motorcycle clutch is not working right, at best your ride isn’t as easy as you’d like, and at worst you could be in serious danger when you ride. If you are experiencing a problem when shifting gears, stickiness, or grinding, then it may be time for a motorcycle clutch adjustment. Continue reading for advice on adjusting your motorcycle clutch.

Step 1 - Check Your Slack

Assess your handlebar levers on your motorcycle and note how easy or hard the pull is. Ideally, you want to have less than 1/8-inch of cable movement before you feel them engage. Visually assess the cable for any damage that may be giving you more slack than preferable. Make sure you have screwdrivers and wrenches available for adjustments.

Step 2 - Adjust the Pushrod

At the end of the handle rod, loosen the clutch cable and examine the ball-and-cam to check the free play. It shouldn’t have any pressure. Check the end play by locating the adjustment screw for the pressure plate rod, which should be in the pressure plate. Loosen up the locknut and turn the screw until you feel it tighten. Make sure it stays in place as you re-tighten the locknut, or you could end up doing more damage than good.