What are dry-type and wet-type clutches used in motorcycles

What are dry-type and wet-type clutches used in motorcycles  27th June 2022

A clutch is one of the most integral parts of your bike, and without a properly functioning clutch, your bike won’t be operational. This mechanical device is used to engage and disengage power from the engine to transmission for the change of gears. It facilitates energy flow to the rear wheels to change the gears.

Changing the gear without engaging the clutch while the vehicle is static can be dangerous and cause friction. Over time this can affect the gearbox and even break it under stress.

When talking about clutches, there are two kinds: the wet type and the dry type. This article will look at both of them and how they work.

What are dry-type clutches?

The main difference between wet and dry type clutches is the build and the lubrication. Dry-type clutches are not covered in oil. Without lubrication, dry-type clutches fail to stay cool and cause the dry clutches to be louder. Dry-type clutches also undergo wear and tear rather quickly compared to wet-type clutches. They are not easily found on regular bikes for the reasons mentioned above. However, racing bikes tend to use these clutches as fewer drag results in enhanced speeds.

Why did bike manufacturers start using the dry clutch? Since the clutch is connected to the gearbox, it was meant to be located inside the engine. But this would hinder the lubricants in the machine, which the manufacturers didn’t want. Hence, they put the clutch outside, making the entire assembly smooth and lightweight.

Dry clutches are easy to operate and can be repaired quickly. Since it is placed outside the engine, it does not degrade the engine oil and aids in the longevity of the oil. It also gives higher power to the rear wheel for high-performance bikes.

However, because of lack of lubrication, dry clutches heat up quickly and can be susceptible to cracks and other wear and tear. Dry clutches have less life than wet clutches and require frequent cleaning.

What are wet-type clutches?

Wet clutches have been the more popular choice when it comes to clutches in recent years. Since the wet clutches are placed inside the engine, it is covered in engine oil, thus allowing it to cool down quickly.
With a higher degree of lubrication, these clutches can endure mishandling and perform better. As it is located within the engine, so any noise inside the engine translates to nothing outside the main body. If your bike runs on wet-type clutches, you can rest assured that your bike will experience a smooth ride and long life.

Wet-type clutches typically face fewer maintenance issues since it is well lubricated. But if the need is, service is challenging and time-consuming as the engine, and the casing needs to be dismantled to reach the clutch.

This article gives you a good idea about the advantages and disadvantages of different clutch types. Remember that no matter the kind of clutch, it is essential for your bike to undergo regular maintenance and services. Proper operational habits and servicing are vital to extending your bike’s life. Do not forget to look for bike insurance online to protect it in case of accidents, repairs, or general maintenance.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.