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What do Clutch Baskets and Dampers Really do?

Spider Tech

Think of a clutch basket as the back-bone of your entire clutch system. Precision CNC machining combined with innovative world-class engineering allows Rekluse clutch baskets to safeguard your vital internal components, keeping you on the track or trail a lot longer. Read on as we dive into the function and construction of clutch baskets and dampers and learn more about how Rekluse billet baskets can protect your clutch system and engine.


Like we mentioned, the clutch basket is the back-bone of your bike's entire clutch system, but clutch modulation is not its only responsibility. In fact, an arguably even larger responsibility the clutch basket carries on its shoulders is being one of the main transfer points of load experienced back and forth between the rear wheel and the engine's rotating assembly. Not every bike utilizes a dampened clutch basket - dampened here meaning there are rubber cushions between the clutch basket and the primary gear. Small but mighty, these dampers are tasked with dampening any load transferred from the rear wheel and through the drive system, protecting the engine's internal components from potentially damaging, jolting forces.


To put this in perspective, think of hitting a metal object with a standard metal hammer vs. hitting that same object with a rubber mallet. The rubber mallet absorbs much more of the energy whereas the hammer transfers it to your hand and arm. Obstacles like whoops, square edges, braking bumps and even landing off a jump under acceleration are common riding situations that force load on the drive system through the rear wheel. These repetitive occurrences over time, as well as excess clutch heat, can break down the rubber dampers, putting internal engine components at greater risk of damage.

This risk can be mitigated through normal clutch maintenance and equipping your system with new dampers, but the problem is that stock clutch baskets in dampened designs are not serviceable, meaning the primary gears are riveted onto the basket and removing the gear to replace dampers renders the basket unusable. 


On the right is an OEM basket still assembled with the primary gear. On the left is the same OEM basket with the rivets and gear removed. Even though there is now access to the dampers, having to drill out the rivets has rendered the basket unsafe to reuse.

Rekluse billet clutch baskets for dampened systems are designed with allen screws that can be easily installed and removed, making rubber damper replacement not only possible, but fairly simple with common garage tools. Replacement dampers for Rekluse baskets are designed to provide at least three times the life over OEM and are made available to help riders keep to service intervals, but those service intervals can vary by make, model, and even year. Be sure to do a little research on what's recommended for your machine, and feel free to chat with the tech experts at Rekluse as well.


Rekluse clutch baskets are serviceable, meaning just the dampers can be replaced through normal maintenance without having to
replace the entire basket.

So, we've discussed damper wear, but what about other common basket issues? Many will say basket notching is a highly common issue with basket wear that typically constitutes replacing the basket all together once it gets bad enough. However, basket notching can actually be attributed to worn our dampers as well. Once dampers are worn to the point where they lose their ability to sufficiently absorb force, undue forces make their way through the clutch system and the rest of the engine, part of which means the impact of clutch fiber fingers on basket tangs will be greater. To help combat this type of wear in between damper replacements, Rekluse has developed basket sleeves - replaceable, thin alloy sleeves that slide between basket tangs, protecting the basket itself and theoretically allowing the basket to last for the life of the motorcycle, especially when paired with Rekluse TorqDrive clutch products.


Rekluse basket benefits don't end there:

  • Made 100% in-house in the USA in our Idaho manufacturing facility
  • Billet aluminum hard anodized construction
  • Enhanced clutch modulation
  • Extreme durability resists notching and extends clutch life
  • Exclusive replaceable cushions protect your transmission even under the most extreme conditions
  • Tightly controlled tolerances ensure smooth operation, less drag and reduced clutch noise


Rekluse Clutch Baskets are machined from one piece of solid aluminum, giving them better precision and greater durability than OEM cast baskets.  #MadeInTheUSA

Because in-house research, testing, and development can only go so far (and we take it as far as possible), we lean on our partners in professional racing to provide further data and feedback that we translate back into our shelf parts. Just some of these teams are:


Want to learn more or order now? Visit Rekluse.com and use the "Select your ride" feature to find the right basket for your motorcycle. 


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The video and discussion on riveted clutch baskets is very brand centric.  Is KTM/Husky avoided in the discussion because their clutch baskets, other than being cast, have a better dampening design? Is there any benefit to have a Rekluse billet clutch basket in a KTM other than the aforementioned benefits of billet (stronger, better balanced?). (note, just looked, don't see billet clutch baskets for KTM/Husky).

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On 6/5/2021 at 1:41 PM, Tye Durden said:

The video and discussion on riveted clutch baskets is very brand centric.  Is KTM/Husky avoided in the discussion because their clutch baskets, other than being cast, have a better dampening design? Is there any benefit to have a Rekluse billet clutch basket in a KTM other than the aforementioned benefits of billet (stronger, better balanced?). (note, just looked, don't see billet clutch baskets for KTM/Husky).

Tye good question. The product discussed in the video is really geared towards traditional aluminum baskets which are found in all Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki models. Older 1998-2011 (none RFS) KTM models would of also used this type of traditional basket. They can also be found in Gas Gas and Sherco. Modern KTM/HQV OEM clutch baskets for most models 2012 and newer are STEEL and have no dampers from the factory. Wear in these OEM steel baskets is rare and these basket designs really fall into a category of their own. The KTM/HQV 250F/350F competition models have no dampening at all however other 450/500 and 250/300 2T models have dampening that is within the inner hub (DDS) and not in the basket. Rekluse does offer replacement hub dampers for these types of DDS KTM models (P/N: RMS-0213080). 

Edited by Spider Tech
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This seems like a good place for my question; I have a 2004 yz250 basket that has play where the primary gear is riveted to the oem basket. I would like to replace the cushions and re-Rivet the same basket on. Where do I purchase the rivets?

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