Important: Always quickly press and release the clutch 3 or 4 times before you put your bike in to ‘First Gear’ for the first time in the morning or after a 3/4 hours brake.
Why is it important?
Background: Clutch springs push the ‘Clutch Plates’ firmly against the ‘Pressures Plates’. Pressure plates are connected to the engine and clutch plates are connected to the gear-box and they form the LINK between engine and gears. This is the force which interlocks the clutch and pressure plates together and transfers power from engine to the rear wheel. In short – this keeps the bike going forward. Thus, as the clutch plates deteriorate – bike loses torque and speed even if the engine is in excellent condition. Power from the engine simply does not flow through to rear wheel properly.
The Problem: Bikes with WET clutch plates generally have 4 to 6 clutch and pressure plates and they are submerged under engine oil. When you press the clutch lever – a cable pulls an actuator arm and pulls back the clutch springs and releases pressure from the clutch and pressure plates. Although pulling the clutch lever releases pressure, it does not actively separate the clutch and pressure plates. This is not a problem when the engine oil is hot but as the engine oil cools down (for example – after overnight) it thickens and viscosity increases and it tends to mesh the Clutch Plates and Pressure Plates together like glue even when you press the clutch lever. So what happens is – although you have pressed the clutch lever fully – the clutch plates in reality did not fully disconnect from pressure plates!
THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM – as engaging FIRST gear without fully disengaging clutch can severely damage a bike’s Gear Cogs and Gear Shaft. As a result, the first gear in the morning is always a big hard CLUNK – sound and this damages gear shaft.
Solution: When you quickly press and release the clutch lever 3 or 4 times – it helps the clutch plate and pressure plates to separate properly and shifting to first gear will me much smoother.