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  1. #1
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    1980 Yamaha XS850 - being dismantled; 1999 Kawaski Concours
    Location
    Washington County, WI
    Posts
    13,274

    Kevlar clutch plates

    Now that I have what's called a "high performance" bike (or in the neighborhood) one of the options available is......

    Kevlar clutch plates (friction discs, whatever they're really called) and my question is.....

    Are they worth it?
    Couldn't put "fail" across Lolo's picture, but she did come in 4th in the 100 m hurdles - still one heck of an effort.

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  3. #2
    Just Won't Go Away !
    My Bike(s)
    several
    Location
    Buford, GA
    Posts
    5,197
    Kevlar clutch plates have both advantages and drawbacks, so choose your clutch based on the type of driving you do. If you ride real hard, kevlar plates last longer. But they also glaze easily in stop and go traffic, so if you are a city dweller organic is a better choice.
    Heavy duty clutch springs area better (and cheaper) upgrade than clutch plates, unless your plates are worn and need to be replaced anyways.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


  4. #3
    Y2K
    Y2K is offline
    No Significant Other
    My Bike(s)
    Electraglide Classic
    Location
    Mt.St.Helens
    Posts
    2,313
    I agree with the good doctor,personally I wouldn't change the OEM clutch discs unless you are having problems with them.
    When I bumped up the hp on my Harley I just added a heavier spring.

  5. #4
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    1980 Yamaha XS850 - being dismantled; 1999 Kawaski Concours
    Location
    Washington County, WI
    Posts
    13,274
    Heavy duty clutch springs area better (and cheaper) upgrade than clutch plates, unless your plates are worn and need to be replaced anyways.
    dunka.

    I knew there was (were?) postings of kevlar vs organic but couldn't find much upon some preliminary searching.

    My driving record, for what it's worth is......

    a 1980 Honda CB750 - with very little clutch adjustment after 30 k.

    a 1980 Yamaha XS 850 - with very little clutch adjustment after 52 k.

    This isn't just an opinion, in both cases I took these bikes to reputable mechs and they said "there's a lot of wear left" in both cases.

    Apparently, these plates were made for a lot more pounding than the paces I put them through.

    All that said, I tend to think the Concours has certain flaws (call them "economizing of the design") that one has to deal with.

    From front back are

    1) the front wheel bearings (not sure, but after about 40 k)
    2) front wheel rotors, not just pads (about halfway to the mins) at 20k.
    3) triple tree (stem) bearings (not sure on the mileage either, but going again with 40 k)
    4) clutch plates (but then again, I've heard this about every bike - and I am starting to think it's a total line of bs - as in release the clutch then accelerate, not both at the same time).

    But I am still learning, because, if you are not learning you are well on your way to being a pretentious *ss.
    Couldn't put "fail" across Lolo's picture, but she did come in 4th in the 100 m hurdles - still one heck of an effort.

  6. #5
    Y2K
    Y2K is offline
    No Significant Other
    My Bike(s)
    Electraglide Classic
    Location
    Mt.St.Helens
    Posts
    2,313
    Quote Originally Posted by omegajim View Post
    release the clutch then accelerate, not both at the same time).
    That's what I've always done,for the record my clutch plates are original at 165,000 miles and still grab just fine.
    The old dry clutches in earlier Harleys (early 1984 and back) could make 50K-100K maybe at best but the wet clutches in newer bikes really last if you know how to ride.

  7. #6
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Location
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Posts
    13,854
    I just toasted the clutch in my car ... maneuvering a heavy trailer backwards up a grassy hill. It took 2 days to get that smell out of the car, and now I'm comparing prices to get it replaced.

    FWIW - 2007 Audi A3 2.0 TDI with 105,000 km (62000 miles).

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    blog: gsx1400

  8. #7
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    1980 Yamaha XS850 - being dismantled; 1999 Kawaski Concours
    Location
    Washington County, WI
    Posts
    13,274
    FWIW - 2007 Audi A3 2.0 TDI with 105,000 km (62000 miles).
    If you will excuse me, that's apples and oranges.

    a car pulling any kind of trailer (much less the swiss alps) will about about 80 - 100 k (miles) w/out trailer being driven conservatively.

    Unless the clutch is actually slipping (having had that burnt clutch smell in my vehicles more than a couple of times) your clutch may not be dead, but on it's way.

    Additionally, I am interested that moving any kind of load up a grassy hill that you didn't merely remove a lot of grass with minimal damage to the clutch, but I digress.

    But all input is greatly appreciated; I may replace the springs with heavier ones, but in all likelihood, when I get that far the replacement wear/clutch plates will be that of a stock variety.

    On the 4 wheel clutch discussion, I have had both a car and a truck that were stick and I can tell you, there are no plans in my future to buy manual transmissions anytime soon.
    Couldn't put "fail" across Lolo's picture, but she did come in 4th in the 100 m hurdles - still one heck of an effort.

  9. #8
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Location
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Posts
    13,854
    Quote Originally Posted by omegajim View Post
    On the 4 wheel clutch discussion, I have had both a car and a truck that were stick and I can tell you, there are no plans in my future to buy manual transmissions anytime soon.
    My last car (VW Golf) had an automatic transmission, and I certainly wasn't keen to go back to a manual. Audi doesn't/didn't offer an automatic option on the A3 quattro - if I wanted the automatic, I would have had to move up to an A4, which would have been a problem (the parking spaces in our underground garage are VERY tight - anything wider than an A3 would mean I can't open the door after parking the car).

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    blog: gsx1400

  10. #9
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    '11 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
    Location
    Tucson, Az
    Posts
    6,223
    Automatics suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Handy
    Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.
    Loud pipes and other myths.
    R.I.P. Gregory Brewer 01/31/51-07/01/12

  11. #10
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    1980 Yamaha XS850 - being dismantled; 1999 Kawaski Concours
    Location
    Washington County, WI
    Posts
    13,274
    (the parking spaces in our underground garage are VERY tight - anything wider than an A3 would mean I can't open the door after parking the car).
    they always are, and your neighbor parks on the yellow line with his Dodge ram - or at least he used to.

    no a3 in auto, must be one of those european things with the smaller cars; kind of like Japan and their "Kei" cars which are driven by a 600 cc (that's right, 600 cc) engine to get them around.

    To no surprise, they're all stick shift.
    Couldn't put "fail" across Lolo's picture, but she did come in 4th in the 100 m hurdles - still one heck of an effort.

  12. #11
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    '11 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
    Location
    Tucson, Az
    Posts
    6,223
    Short of going to a full CVT setup up, manuals are the most efficient way to drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Handy
    Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.
    Loud pipes and other myths.
    R.I.P. Gregory Brewer 01/31/51-07/01/12

  13. #12
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    1980 Yamaha XS850 - being dismantled; 1999 Kawaski Concours
    Location
    Washington County, WI
    Posts
    13,274
    I will go so far as to say manual (driven properly - and a goodly number of drivers cannot do that, and I'll put myself in that category, as you tend to race just a bit whenever the vehicle has stick vs "put it D for dumb") can be the most efficient.

    However, as automatics have continually gotten better, and the car / truck companies have dumped millions, if not billions into making a better automatic, the differences have become a lot less than they might have been 30 - 40 years ago.

    When GM (among others) came out with transmissions that could "lock" in the overdrive gear (effectively becoming manual transmissions on the highway in top gear when not requiring a downshift for passing) a lot of stick shift advantages were mitigated.

    Further mitigating any gain one way or 'nother was/is the fact that clutches tend to last just a bit over 100 k in a good situation.

    Comparing that to the old chevy monte carlo that is closing in on 200 k on the transmission that has never been replaced (vs being on the 3rd set of clutch plates in all likelihood) and you will be hard pressed to say you saved enough in gas to make up for the clutch repairs.

    That all said, I think the truly saddest part of the story is that here, in the states, last I heard (and this info is easily 20 years old) only 1 in 4 U.S. citizens with licenses could even drive a stick shift vehicle.
    Couldn't put "fail" across Lolo's picture, but she did come in 4th in the 100 m hurdles - still one heck of an effort.

  14. #13
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Location
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Posts
    13,854
    Good point, Jimbo!

    Most (popular) European cars have manual transmissions for the simple reason that they are cheaper - for an entry-level model, an automatic transmission adds about 5 - 10% to the price of a new vehicle.

    That said, my wife has a 2009 Honda Jazz which came with a clutchless sequential gearbox. She can either shift manually (via steering wheel paddles) or just move the shifter to "A" where the software takes over.

    And don't forget, they even make automatic gearboxes for 125ccm scooters, not to mention the new Honda VFR or Yamaha FJR, which both offer a clutchless gearbox option.

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    blog: gsx1400

  15. #14
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    '11 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
    Location
    Tucson, Az
    Posts
    6,223
    And how many times have the automatics needed service by the time the clutch on a manual needs to be replaced? I'm asking because generally automatics have been more expensive to maintain. And the only automatic I own is a garaged '63 Malibu that is rarely driven.

    A locking OD still didn't mitigate the overall loss in efficiency due to the torque converter. Most obviously shown in acceleration times and mpg. Though there plenty of examples of the auto equipped version of a vehicle being quicker. And I mean true autos with torque converters. Not the clutch pedal-less manuals that are starting to gain favor. Examples being VWs dual clutch and Ferrari's single clutch (which is being phased out). Or the above mentioned VFR and FJR.

    The CVT, like those that come on scooters, are generally the most efficient as I mentioned before.
    Last edited by JmalB; 08-19-2010 at 05:06 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Handy
    Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.
    Loud pipes and other myths.
    R.I.P. Gregory Brewer 01/31/51-07/01/12

  16. #15
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    '11 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
    Location
    Tucson, Az
    Posts
    6,223
    But that is off topic and really irrelevant...

    Don't get kevlar plates unless you plan on racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Handy
    Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.
    Loud pipes and other myths.
    R.I.P. Gregory Brewer 01/31/51-07/01/12


 

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