The clutch of a motorcycle is what transfers the power from the engine to the transmission by engaging and disengaging the power flow. There are two types of clutch plates called driven plates and drive plates.
Through acceleration, you can examine the status of the engine response. An overworked or sluggish engine is often the result of what is referred to as a slipping clutch. This is also the instance when the power is not being transferred to the rear wheel properly. A slipping clutch can occur as a result of improper adjustment in the clutch cable, worn out clutch plates and weak springs in the clutch assembly.
As you shift through the gears sequentially, the clutch should disengage fully with no resistance. If your motorcycle is not doing this consistently, a dragging clutch likely is the culprit. This problem often is caused by an improperly adjusted clutch cable or warped drive plates.
Notches in the basket or hub that follow as a result of a dragging clutch can eventually lead to a frozen clutch, which typically is recognised by experiencing problems with the clutch plates snagging on the hub or basket. Occasionally, the plates might even become completely stuck together. Damage in the transmission accompanies this specific issue, and you will need to replace the entire clutch assembly to remedy it.
- Scott Stoll; Certified Motorcycle Technician, Kawasaki and Honda; Tampa, Florida