Clutch Fade???

Howdy all,

Can anyone tell me why my clutch fades. When the bike is cold, the clutch works fine. After riding singletrack and putting around. The clutch spring barely pulls the lever back, and the clutch fade is horrible. Can anyone elaborate on this. Will an aftermarket clutch fix it?



Not sure what you are asking here. Does the clutch slip? or is this just a weak feel in the lever. If there is an unusual amount of play in the lever after exstensive use and after a cooling down period the clutch returns to normal, then the clutch is working fine, It is the rider, in this case YOU which is casuing this condition. There is a whole lot of friction going on inside your clutch assembly. The more you use it (the clutch) the more heat, the more heat the more swelling of the clutch, the more swelling the more fade. So you may or may not need a new clutch. A new clutch regardless of manufacture will act in the same manner if used the same way. You may want to try changing your riding style. Unfortunately for 4 strokes including our little 250X clutch use is clutch abuse. There is so much lugging power in these liitle beasts I am not sure why you are using the clutch as much as you seem to be, unless of course your last bike was a 125 2 stroke.....

I found the stock X clutch to be a very easy to use, smooth, light duty design. It uses a judder spring, weak clutch springs, and small friction pads on the disks to produce a very smooth operation that doesn't bite hard, ever. Unfortunately, a byproduct of that design is weak, slow engagement that generates mucho heat. When I put the 307 kit in my X, it completely overpowered the stock clutch even when cold, so I had to modify it with R model plates and heavy duty springs. Now, it bites hard and generally works awesome for my riding, but it also requires more rider control to use. With a clutch like this, each engage/disengage cycle happens quicker, so less heat is generated.

This pic shows the X and R plates. X on top.

So the R clutch would last longer? I haven't had a problem with clutch fading. I am offf a small two stroke but a big 450 before that. It is hard to get yourself to not need the clutch that much. Just ride by keeping it in mind to baby the clutch. You will learn that it is not needed that much.

Our experience with the X clutch after 2yrs of hare scrambles is that your choice of tranny oil is directly responsible for clutch life and action. We have run Redline super light gear lube with outstanding results. Recently sent our engine to MaxPower for installation of a 302 stroker motor and after talking to Cliff, he wanted to know what kind of strange oil was in the gear box.He stated that the basket looked like new and all clutch components were still in spec. As we were also installing a Rekluse clutch system at the time, I had sent along new clutch fibers which they returned as not needed. I had also contacted Rekluse because I had bought a used unit and needed some info.They told me that the stock Honda plates were the best in their experience. This clutch was used by a young rider coming off a CR85 and even he couldn't kill it with the Redline gear lube. In your case you may have toasted the stock springs and probably should replace them. Some use the springs from the 450 but I am not convinced this is needed. For more info go to and look up "super light gear lube" . Good luck. :confused::thumbsup::bonk::thumbsup:

The clutch is slipping. It seems the lever does not come all the way back out after disengaging the clutch. It seems the return spring is loose, or not applying enough tension to take the cable back. For example. I pull the lever in...Change gears...Allow the lever to return to home position. The lever will not return all the way. Sometimes it gets 3/4 the way back out. If I pull the lever in to the bar and allow it to snap back out it works. It seems the spring is weak.


With the clutch slipping as you describe, it probably is time for a new clutch. What I would do, is remove the clutch unit, paying close attention to what went where. Check the friction plates (the fiber looking ringlets) for wear ie chunks missing, then I would inspect the clutch plates (the metal looking ringlets), check to see that they are not warped. lay then flat on a smooth surface (a piece of glass is excellant) and inspect them to see if they lay perfectly flat. When installing the new clutch or reinstalling the old one, remember, not all the plates are equal. There are two different sizes in there and they have to go in certain order, refer to the manual..... If you do need to replace, the hot set up is said to be OEM HONDA. And the last info to consider is what I said before, clutch use is clutch abuse. These bikes are not designed to be ridden ala 2 strokes, they don't have to be to get the performance intended out of them....Good luck

My clutch handle was doing the same thing and it turned out to be a dirty cable. I used a cable lubrication tool and some WD40 and the clutch handle snaps right out now. You may have already thought of that....

My stock clutch worked fine, but after 1.5 yrs of hard single track, it was time for replacement. My basket had no grooves and I installed a Barnett clutch and I really like it. One of my buddies with a fairly stock 250X rode my bike a few days ago and said - wow, your clutch works great! I have found that Castrol motorcycle gear oil works the best for me. You can always tell if your gear oil is working well when you have two seperate reservoirs like the X - when the bike is Hot after a long hard hill climb, does the bike EASILY shift into neutral? Over two years when running Castrol Gear oil I always say - wow it sure is shifting smoothy, and by the way I rarely use the clutch except when taking off or hill climbs - and to shift into neutral.


are you sure the fibers in the top of your pic are the "X" fibers? The reason I ask is, the original set I pulled out of my 250R looked just like those and the replacements I got from Honda were identical.

I sure hope I have not been running "X" fibers all this time!

Yes, the top ones are the X fibers. Here's another picture, this one shows the stock X plates along with the special fiber/judder spring combo:

The R clutch on the bottom is actually from EBC, so maybe the stock Honda R plates look like the X plates? I doubt it though, I remember somebody else posting a picture like this a few months back and the X plates had smaller contact areas than the R fibers.

Thanks. I did think of that. It does seem my lever is a little sticky. I adjusted it. There is a product call dri-slide. It is usually found in bicycle shops. It is for cables. It is a graphite based cable lubricant. It goes on wet, but the liquid evaporates quickly leaving a nicely lubed cable. FYI. Thank you for the post. I think I found what the problem was. Too much oil in the crank case.


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