Dry sump clutch/gearbox ......too dry??

Last time I was inspecting a friend of mine DRZ400 clutch plates for wear.

I noticed that at disassembly those plates (and the clutch assembly overall) were looking very dry (very few oil present over the surfaces).

I closed the cover and ran the engine for few minutes and than immediately re-opened the clutch cover. Same result.

I know that DRZ engine is dry sump but at least I should see some oil sticking on the plates. Is this bike running low on oil level at run time? Is there any way to check clutch/gearbox oil level at run time?

I'm asking because the oil level at the stick check is fine, but he has already burnt two clutch disks pack in few time (the cable slack is fine). I was just wondering if there is some problem with oil level there inducting overheating into the clutch and as a result a much shorter friction plates life?

In the past I've also inspected WR250 clutch (that is also a dry sump engine) but I remember there much more oil traces.

Can somebody post pictures of their clutch assembly just after dismount or can somebody explain if there is a way to check oil level while running (so with oil pumped into the clutch/gearbox)?


Not sure how he was checking the oil, but you are supposed to run/idle it for 3 min, let it sit for 3 min, then pull the dipstick with the bike level and it should be in the hashed area on the dipstick. With a oil and filter change, dump in 2 quarts. Other than that maybe the oil line screen on the bottom of the front frame tube is clogged, sometimes it can get filled with crap from the factory (slag I'm guessing.) Hope it helps. :)

Thanks for the answer.

What exactly mean about "screen" at the bottom of front frame tube? Is there a sort of real metal filter there or........?????

Should I simply disconnect the tube to have access to it or.......

At the bottom of the frame in the front there is an oil line that goes to the engine. A bolt holds it on. You just remove that bolt and I beleive that the Screen will fall out with it. check for blockage and such.

Here is a Pic of the filter:


Item 49065

Another question is, does the owner abuse the clutch? How many miles/kilometers on the bike?

I believe your friend would be experiencing many more serious problems if there were a problem with oil flow, such as bearing failures.

Thanks for the picture. I'll check it.

The other question: well for sure he is not "light" on the clutch. My doubt is just coming from what I've seen as far as oil in the clutch package.

If he is abusing it is his problem. I just want to be sure that in addition to abuse there isn't also a "tendency" due to low lubrication. I've never seen a so dry clutch plates after dismount.

I agree that if it should be a oil filter problem probably also the gearbox should suffer before the clutch but................

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