How to Properly Inspect a Clutch on an ATV

The clutch on your ATV is the key to shifting through gears and allowing your machine to function properly when speeding up, slowing down, going up or down a hill, and even just getting the thing to start. For countless reasons, it’s highly important to inspect the clutch on your ATV every time you do regular maintenance. Small issues can quickly become big ones and transmission issues aren’t cheap to fix.

If you know how to do a proper ATV clutch disc inspection, you can prevent a lot of future issues that will destroy your wallet and your desire to keep working on the ATV rather than simply buying a new one. These are a few ways to inspect the clutch on your ATV and what to look for when you’re doing it.

atv clutch inspection.jpg
Image from www.dirtwheelsmag.com 

Belt Wear and Tear

The belt in your clutch system is responsible for moving all of the power generated into the appropriate spaces. That being said, when any belt slippage starts up, you’ll be losing a lot of power and feeling it in your riding.

Examine the belt closely for any rubber glazing, cracking, or other abrasions. Next, move to the inside of the belt and look for any cogs that may be missing. These cogs are responsible for a lot of the friction provided in the power transfer, and even one missing cog can have a negative impact on your ATV’s performance.

Plate Glazing and Discoloration

The friction and drive plates inside of your clutch pressurize and transfer power from your clutch into the gears, to then provide power to the wheels. Inside the clutch basket, you’ll see these plates and they need to be inspected as thoroughly as you possibly can.

Look on these plates for any signs of glazing or discoloration. Glazing on the plates will look shiny, as if they’ve been rubbing too much and the heat has sped up the process. Sometimes they can be a bit blue or yellow from the heat and friction as well. These will need to be replaced the moment you can notice either of these.

Debris and Dust

Yes, your ATV is meant for riding around and getting dirty, but your clutch doesn’t like getting as dirty as your wheels do and will need to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid any detrimental wear on the different parts of the system.

If you’ve been riding on any dusty trails, it’s even more important to inspect your ATV’s clutch for dust because it will work its way in through tiny spaces and completely coat the clutch, which will ruin it quickly.

While these are just a few easy ways to inspect your clutch, there are more pieces that you can get further into and really get the clutch into a well-working condition. If you’re interested in learning more, find an old clutch and take it apart to learn how they really work.


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