Dirt Bike Clutches: 7 Common Issues You Must Know

Everything has an expiry date and knowing that date can be helpful to replace it on time before it deceives you one day. Nothing can exist forever and so the identification of signs indicates that things gonna expire soon. Saving money is important to everyone and this makes them think that if something is currently working then it can also work a little bit more.

Even they don’t think that if they change it before its expiration will benefit them rather than they want more than the limit from any part of that product.

I would like to remind you of the consequences of not replacing any part of the dirt bike even you have got the indications of expiration of the thing, one day it can cause you a major issue.

Discussion is going here about clutch plate replacement on how to tell if your Dirt Bike needs a new clutch? The answer to it is clear that it has some symptoms through which anyone can understand. Through this article, we are going to share some symptoms upon which the replacement of the clutch plate depends.

How To Tell If Your Dirt Bike Needs a New Clutch?

Dirt Bike clutch problems vary by bike to bike and according to the quality of the parts. Many issues like dirt bike clutch plate slipping, dragging, and noise normally can be noticed. Riding involves frequent gear shifting that results in dirt bike clutch disengagement.

It completely depends upon your riding skills. While shifting the gear disengagement of the drive plate from the fly will be completed.

The half clutch is always not recommended because while shifting the gear drive plates should be completely disengaged from the flywheel. While changing gears, complete disengagement of the clutch plate from the flywheel is important. If it is not engaged completely, it can result in the burning of the drive plate.

1. Clutch slipping

2. Dragging

3. Grabbing

4. Clutch adjustment issue

5. Clutch lever stuck

6. Hard clutch movement

7. Smell of burning

Eventually, no one does pre-ride inspection for their transmission components. And the fact is that it is something that nobody cares about doing. Usually, it starts with slowing down the speed of the bike. Due to worn-out plates, it sucks oil heavily, and smells come out rapidly.

Normally while riding if you see that your bike is really moving and is not able to really move while the engine is in full rev then simply take the clutch cover off and look at the fibre plates.

Look at the fireplace because max time fibre is tending to destroy when the clutch is on run. You can also check the oil whether something is mixed while it’s burning.

The engine spreads smell that can really burn your nose inner wall. The stink is too hard for Brooke and it is that effective it will annoy you.
After removing the cover the smell spreads and makes it an easy task for you to catch the oil burning issue.


For understanding the cause you need to cover off the drive plate. If Smell is been delivered from the drive plate then for sure you need to change that. Due to a burnt transmission clutch, it is heated and smell comes out.

The parts which are burned are clutch plates. Its odour is easily recognizable. You can also understand it by its smell. By opening plates, heated marks can be easily spotted. The colour of driving plates changes into black.

The best method to check the condition of these plates by measuring its dimensions whether it is under tolerance or not. The measuring dimension which should be observed are width, flatness, the surface of the plate, etc.

2. Clutch Plates Slipping

The most common dirt Bike transmission issue is the slipping of clutches. Why does it slip? The reason behind this is that after a certain span of time steel plates are warped.

Transmission plates are not able to provide enough friction to grip the flywheel and hence the bike is not moving due to the lack of power transmission to the wheels.

The friction of the plates is worn because of their service limit. The bike is not able to move even a single bit due to warped plates. As it is observed the most bikes of the MX model having clutches do not slip instead of slipping they start to drag.

Your bike will not move even a single bit but you will feel like a pushing power from the bike. You’ll feel pushing from the bike when you try to move your bike backwards.


When a clutch works in normal condition, during clutch engagement friction plates and driving plates pushed together. Clutch lever is left I mean not pulled in such condition. Engagement allows the inner hub to synchronize with a clutch basket to work together and output the power to flywheel.

When it crosses it’s limit or due to any reason starts to wear out the plates then slip against each other instead of gripping. This cause stops the power transmission to the flywheels. Clutch plates wear out due to rubbing with each other by the surface.

Some signs tell that there is a need for inspection if the inner hub and basket are not in sync. In this condition, the clutch lever gives a jerk and stuck during engagement and disengagement. Eventually, plates are warped. In the scenario, the basket is notched also creates an issue for clutch dragging.

This is a common form of clutch plates issue which compels a bike rider to alter a good quality component. Lever cable improperly fitment involves the issue of dragging.


The most clutch basket is made of diecast aluminium which most probably is not durable and cannot withstand at an extreme performance. Rather than long durability, it gets out of order and in case it loses its friction then it starts dragging clutch.

If the drive plate is made with aluminium without much porosity, voids then it can possess a high strength pressure.


Most of the riders get confused about what to if the clutch plate is not responding properly. They get stuck and cannot even make a decision for changing the clutch, and not able to decide what they should do? For taking a concrete decision it is required to know much information and then he can say How To Tell If Your Dirt Bike Needs a New Clutch.

I hope by reading this article you have many points which suggest at what condition a rider can decide he should change a clutch or not. if you like this then please subscribe to our newsletter.

Sources: Motosport When to change the clutch, When you need a new clutch, Signs which tell when to change a clutch