What is Motorcycle Clutch?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 18/04/2023

Do you know when you are on a bike what helps you to regulate the speed of the bike and ensures that you are safe at all times? It is the clutch which is one of the most important components of the bike. Also, while you understand the clutch, it is important to know all about the components of the motorbike clutch. You must also know the habits that you can inculcate to make the life of your clutch longer.

It is essential that you have an understanding of what is a clutch on a motorcycle and understand how it works properly. While you will understand the importance of a clutch for the bike, it is essential to know the importance of having a two-wheeler insurance plan. A third-party bike insurance plan is compulsory as stated in Indian laws. A comprehensive plan is ideal as it comprises both third-party insurance and own-damage insurance as well. Thus, you can choose the right plan for yourself.

At Tata AIG, you can easily purchase 2-wheeler insurance online. The two-wheeler insurance plan comes in a few variants - comprehensive 2 wheeler insurance, standalone third-party insurance, and standalone own-damage bike insurance. The process of the renewal of the insurance policy for the bike is also an efficient process. Let us get into the details of what a clutch is in a motorbike.

What is a Clutch on a Motorcycle?

The bike clutch is one of the most important components of the bike that disengages and engages the power of your motorbike engine to the bike’s transmission so that you can change the gears. The two-wheeler clutch enables you to turn off and on the power to the bike’s rear wheels in order to change gears.

The motorcycle clutch system is one of the most important components of the bike. It is essential to know the components of the motorbike clutch so that you can understand how it works and you do not end up damaging it.

Components and Functions of the Motorcycle Clutch

The clutch of a motorcycle works using the clutch assembly that consists of different components like the primary gear, clutch plate, clutch basket, pressure plates, clutch springs, and clutch cable. Here are some of the components of the motorbike clutch that you must know about.

  • Primary drive

The primary drive is the gear assembly in which power from the crankshaft of the engine goes out through the means of a smaller gear, which leads to the driving of the larger gear that is present in the clutch basket.

  • Clutch basket

The clutch basket includes the entire gear assembly. It has teeth on its outer surface which are driven by and connected to the bike’s primary drive.

  • Clutch hub

The clutch hub is present between the bike’s pressure plate and clutch basket and is rotated by the bike’s main shaft through the centre.

  • Clutch plate

There are two different types of motorbike clutch plates - friction/drive plate and steel/driven plate. The interface present between the pressure plate and the clutch basket is known as the drive plate. The driven plate is the interface that is present between the clutch hub and the pressure plate. When both the drive and driven plate rotate together, power is transmitted from the bike’s engine to the transmission of the bike.

  • Pressure plate

The pressure plate of the assembly of the clutch causes disengagement of the clutch plates in the situation when the bike’s clutch lever is pulled. Therefore, this temporarily disables power from the bike’s engine to the bike’s transmission.

  • Clutch springs

The clutch springs are the short coils that hold the plates of the clutch through the spring tension. The pressure plates are disengaged from the clutch plates of the bike.

  • Clutch lever

Located at the handlebar present on the left side of the bike, the input is given to the clutch assembly inputs.

  • Cable

The clutch assembly is connected to the clutch assembly through the cable.

How Does Bike Clutch System Work?

In case the clutch lever of the bike is pulled, the bike’s clutch springs compress, which causes the restriction of the pressure plates. This leads to the separation of the steel plates and friction, and this leads them to rotate independently which causes the disconnection of the engine of the bike from the transmission. Thus, this is how the motorbike clutch works.

What are the Functions of the Two-Wheeler Clutch?

When you start the engine of the bike the engine begins to spin, but the wheels do not spin. The clutch of the bike enables you to engage the spinning smoothly, running the engine of the bike to the non-spinning transmission, which causes the wheels of the bike to spin. Thus, the basic function of the bike’s clutch is to change the bike’s speed or bring it to a stop without turning the engine of the bike off. The motorbike clutch also allows you to use the bike’s gears to bring changes in the speed of the bike by cutting the power to the two wheels of the bike temporarily, as opposed to using the braking system of the bike to slow it down.

Types of Motorcycle Clutches

There are two different types of clutches on the bike - dry and wet.

Wet clutches come into use in almost all types of motorbikes. These are bathed in premium engine oil in order to cool down the components of the clutch, but this leads to a fluid drag that causes a depletion of the power of the engine.

The dry motorbike clutches are noisier and tend to have a shorter life span. This is because the oil is absent, but they are not affected by any fluid drag.

How to Enhance the Longevity of the Motorbike Clutch?

There are a few basics that you can follow to enhance the life of the clutch of the motorbike. Since almost all bikes these days have a wet clutch, ensure that the engine oil of the bike is changed on a regular basis. It is best to avoid riding the motorbike clutch, where some of your fingers are lying on the lever of the motorbike when you are riding and you end up pulling the clutch all in accidentally.

In case you are an adventure enthusiast, performing burnouts or pulling wheelies, the motorbike clutch’s life will be reduced by approximately or maybe more than that. Abruptly releasing the bike’s clutch or downshifting will lead to a negative effect on the teeth present on the bike’s clutch plates and the grooves that are present in the outer basket and inner hub. In case you are experiencing a slippage, it is essential that you get the clutch assembly examined and change any components that are not working properly.


The motorcycle clutch is one of the most important components of the bike. It is essential to understand how the clutch works so that you can preserve it and ensure that you are using it properly. Avoid using the clutch harshly as that can reduce the life of your clutch. Also, ensure that you get the clutch of the bike serviced on time to ensure that it is running smoothly at all times. While you are riding on the roads, ensure that you are secured by a valid insurance policy for the bike.

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