bikerbiker Aliwheels is a leading motorcycle parts supplier offering free shipping anywhere in the world on orders above $300. Please note that all of our motorcycle parts and accessories are certified and tested. With more than 10,000* products to choose from this is your one place to get the motorcycle part you need. Browse our vast inventory of motorcycle radiators, fairings, clutch plates, headlights, chains, and sprockets. biker
motorcycle clutch plates

How to Diagnose and Fix Noisy Motorcycle Clutch Plates

One of the significant part of any motorcycle is considered to be the clutch plate as they are the tool that connects or disconnects power made by the engine to the transmission. The clutch is how a rider isolates the transmission from the rear wheel to stop the motorcycle from driving forward. The rider relies on clutch plates to connect the engine power to the rear wheel and drive forward. We will examine the details of motorcycle clutch plates in this article, including their definition and operation. We will also examine the reasons for noisy clutch plates and offer solutions.

What Does A Motorcycle Clutch Do?

In its least complex structure, a wet or dry motorcycle clutch plates is a mechanical device that controls power transfer and motion between two assemblies. In a motorcycle, these two assemblies are the outer clutch basket and the transmission’s input shaft. The crankshaft turns the clutch basket while the input shaft transmits power to the information and, finally, the rear wheel.

Early clutches were a pulley system that put pressure on a belt running between the engine and the rear wheel. Afterward, plate-type clutches were designed. These could have done better. However, nearly all motorcycle clutch plates are of the wet, multi-plate variety described above.

motorcycle clutch plates

What Does A Motorcycle’s Clutch Consist of?

The clutch pack comprises a stack of rotating steel plates and friction plates. The tangs along the inward width of the steel plates engage with the clutch’s inner hub, which fixes to the furthest limit of the input shaft through splines. The friction plates have lugs along their external edge that slot into the shallow clutch basket. Springs (occasionally diaphragm shaped but usually a coil type) press the steel and friction plates together, coupling the outer clutch basket to the internal hub and transferring the crankshaft’s rotation to the input shaft.

Why such countless plates? More plates mean a greater load capacity for the clutch. A large disc must accomplish sufficient load capacity on a single-plate clutch (as on older BMWs and current Moto Guzzis), occupying much space. Meanwhile, the multi-plate clutch on a Hayabusa uses a smaller stack of diameter plates and is easier to package. The six springs on a Hayabusa clutch put 400 pounds of pressure on the pack. That seems like little given the tremendous power the clutch needs to deal with, yet 400 pounds are acting on every one of the 19 clutch plates (10 friction plates and nine steel plates, in addition to the hub and pressure-plate faces).

motorcycle clutch plates

Why Your Motorcycle Makes A Grinding Sound While Releasing The Clutch

When you distinguish an odd sound on your motorcycle, it’s vital to investigate it immediately, as this can easily influence your safety while riding your bike and forestall further harm.

Here, we center around a grinding sound as you release the clutch. This is relatively easy to catch because you frequently shift gears while riding a motorcycle. Assuming that you hear that sound, you must find the wellspring of the issue as fast as possible.

Worn clutch plates cause a grinding sound associated with clutch release and are one of the most widely recognized reasons. Your clutch plates contact the flywheel and the pressure plate. As these get parts, they wear out over the long haul. As the clutch plates break down, they can then stop engaging accurately. They could slip, or they couldn’t work totally. This can bring about a grinding sound. If they are off-base, they should be replaced.

The second common issue involves how the clutch is changed, influenced by a few unique parts. The clutch cable, if misaligned, may fail to pull enough to separate the two gears, leading to grinding. Adjusting the clutch cable resolves this problem by disconnecting the gears. Another issue is with the hydraulic system that executes the shifts.

The grinding sound culprit might’ve been the clutch assembly. This can be the most common point of failure but doesn’t conclude as the only significant factor that causes the loss. Issues can be with the pressure plate, the clutch basket, and other miscellaneous hardware. The abovementioned component wears out over time and can result in a grinding sound. Lastly, the grinding sound can also be because of the transmission. There could be an issue with the gears or the synchronizers. If these are the suspects, check it before it can get worse and cause tangible damage. A grinding sound could also be because of more straightforward reasons, like your bike being low on transmission fluid.

motorcycle clutch plates

How to Fix A Motorcycle Grind 

So, if you run into any issues with a grinding clutch, how can you fix these issues? Some of the things we have mentioned are relatively easy and can be done by anyone. Some more complicated problems require more experience and specialized tools to perform the job.

If you encounter any such problem, you can resolve it by performing the following relatively easy tasks that anyone can do. If the issue is more critical, it is highly recommended to seek professional assistance.

STEP 1: 

Diagnose whether the clutch assembly is worn out, as it contributes to the issue. Though diagnosing the clutch assembly may pose challenges, it becomes manageable with familiarity. Once you gain confidence in identifying the worn-out part, proceed to change the clutch, the entire assembly, or the specific component causing the issue.

STEP 2: 

If the problem is just the clutch cable, then this is relatively easier to solve and can be fixed quickly.The clutch cable can be entirely replaced by the new one, or try to adjust it to the one you already have. It would help if you were careful about a few things: when you pull the clutch lever, the gears come entirely apart, so they don’t grind.

If the issue is with the transmission fixing, it can be trickier than fixing the clutch cable. But if the problem is just low transmission fluid, the solution is to add more, or you can change the entire fluid without any trouble. The job becomes complicated when the mechanical component of the transmission is the source of the problem.

Is It Common for A Motorcycle to Grind When Releasing the Clutch?

Recognizing the importance of understanding that a grinding sound is expected when engaging the motorcycle’s clutch. It can occur occasionally, causing alarm to the rider. The sound becomes more common, especially if your bike gets old and the components wear out more and more. Hence, this wear and tear is the most common reason for producing the grinding sound. The wear and tear are inevitable, affecting the motorcycle clutch plates, other clutch components, or even the transmission. The wear and tear can be a possibility for the grinding sound, but you will hear the grinding sound only sometimes when you release the clutch of an old motorcycle. Proper maintenance and repairs can be the solution to all these problems.

Address the grinding issue at all costs. Advisably, refrain from riding a bike emitting grinding or any unusual sound upon releasing the clutch, as it signals a malfunction or incorrect settings.

The grinding means that the metal parts are rubbing against each other, meaning that the metal components are wearing each other out and can risk metal shaving circulating, ruining other parts.

Immediately react upon noticing a grinding sound; ignoring it can lead to more problems, necessitating the purchase of an entirely new clutch assembly. If detected in the initial stages, resolve it by adding more transmission fluid or conducting a flush and change. This proactive approach can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

motorcycle clutch plates

Steps to Prevent Your Motorcycle from Having Clutch Release Grinding Again in The Future

It’s a nightmare trying to figure out the cause of the grinding sound, and it can be overwhelming. If you’re looking at whether there are things that you can do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, here are a few things that you can do to prevent its prevention.

1. The first and simplest thing you can do is to upgrade your routine maintenance. One of the common reasons for the production of the grinding sound is the poor lubrication in your transmission. Regularly monitoring and flushing the fluid level can prevent the whole problem in the first place. Understand that the motorcycles have a combined engine block that includes the transmission. Regular oil changes every 5,000-7,00 miles or even yearly can benefit your bike, ensuring that the grinding inside doesn’t occur in the first place.

2. To control the grinding sound of the clutch plates, store the motorcycle correctly. Proper storage protects the bike from elements, ensuring a slower wear-out process. Keeping the bike outside increases the risk of sun and dirt damage, leading to accelerated wear and tear.

3. Lastly, ensure correct execution of clutch, clutch cable, or transmission work. Whether performed by yourself or a mechanic, pay attention to precise completion to prevent future issues.


In conclusion, conducting routine maintenance on the motorcycle reduces wear and tear, preventing issues like grinding sounds in the clutch plates or transmission. Regular and effective inspection can avoid such problems. Following the mentioned steps can prevent your clutch plates from producing grinding noises, ensuring a smooth and thrilling adventure on the road.

Share :


Table of Contents

Join The Ride

Subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter with stories from our latest adventures and the best travel tips

Or login with your social account