fed up with magura juice clutch!!

sent to magura....


to whom it may concern-

i am writing this letter to express my disappointment in the magura hymec hydraulic clutch kit, one of which i have on a '99 yamaha yz400 that is raced only off-road, and another of which i have on my '00 yz426 that is used exclusively for motocross. in the case of the unit on my off-road bike, the failure occured as a result of poorly fitting threads on the plastic cap on the slave cylinder. the loose fit allowed muddy water to enter the slave cylinder, ruining the seals and allowing leakage. when i called the u.s. office of magura, i was told that no one there had ever heard of such a failure. i found this interesting given that 2 of my friends who also have the product also had similar failures.

to be fair, the magura representative i spoke to agreed to send me 2 new aluminum caps, which all the new slave cylinders apparently come with, along with a complete new slave cylinder (i was told it could not be rebuilt). at the time of the failure, the unit had approximately 20 hours on it, and in the 10 or so hours since i replaced the slave cylinder is has performed flawlessly. however, in the meantime, the slave cylinder on my other bike has self-destructed. after only about 25 hours, the lower seal on the slave has degraded to the point that filling the master cylinder will only give me about 1 hour's riding time before all the fluid has been lost. this motorcyle never sees muddy water.

while as a racer i appreciate the smooth, consistent, and easy action at the lever of the magura unit, as a mechanical engineer i am completely disappointed with the design of the slave cylinder. it's lack of reliablity has caused me to decide to get rid of the product completely and either go back to a cable or try another brand of hydraulic clutch. i was told at one time that the slave cylinder was actually designed for use on mountain bikes. that is easy for me to believe at this point, as it is clearly not engineered for use on an off-road motorcycle.

i feel that i have given this product a fair chance, but i am completely fed up at this point. note that a copy of this letter will be posted to dirtrider.net, a dirtbike rider's forum that has over 8000 members worldwide. hopefully that will motivate your company to live up to the reputation for fine engineering that it has had in the past, but which seems to have faltered with the hymec clutch kit.


will pattison

racer, engineer


Well composed and articulated letter, Will. Thanks for posting this as it has given me second thoughts about the Magura unit. I would appreciate it if you would post any response from Magura/Hymec.

Thanks for the information. I have been questioned by a number of riders asking me WHEN I am going to the hydraulic until.

This information, combined with the fact that this bike can basically be ridden in two gears helps me make an easy decision.

I love my Hebo unit on my WR426. I have not had the first issue with quality or fade.You may want to look into this as a replacement.

a couple of things you might want to consider:

the hebo hydraulic unit is less well known, but gets good reviews. costs a bit less than the magura. the only wierd thing about it is how the slave cylinder mounts...no hardware is included. the photos i've seen indicate that it basically hangs from the hose, which i believe is stainless steel. however, it does have a mounting hole on it, and i don't think it would be difficult to fabricate a simple bracket that attaches it to the cylinder studs on the left side.

also, brown brothers racing (bbr) makes a needle bearing clutch lever that works for the 2000 and newer model perches, which work fine on '98 and '99 models. it's shaped like the xt350 lever that the factory guys were using several years ago, and which the 2001 levers are now shaped after. it has an excellent feel, and the shape plus the needle bearing make for an easy pull...about like a 250 2-smoke. the lever is $59.95, i believe, and all the oem parts for the perch are about $30. now, if you really want to fine tune it, get a motion pro terminator t2 cable. it has about half the friction of the stock cable, and when you add that, your cable setup will be about as easy as a hydraulic, with none of the penalties. total bill, about $120.

hopefully this helps!



so what solution are you going with now?

have you thought about a T2 cable with a MSR Raptor clutch perch and set on "easy" (300% less than stock)?

the lever comes in 2 sizes, normal and shorty.

i hate the bend on all those easy-pull types.


So far my Hebo clutch has been working like a champ for about 6 months, 600 miles of tight trail work. The mounting is not a problem, however you'll loose the handlebar space for dual sport switches if you're into that.

I don't see other drawbacks, it considerably reduces clutch pull and doesn't require any type of adjustment after setup.

I could not ride my yz426 on the tough trails without the Hebo. With the trick Works Connection set-up I could pull the clutch 30 times with one finger, with the Hebo I can pull it 100 times with one finger. Pluss it NEVER changes. Mounting takes some thought, but is basically simple.


Rick Fuller

'01 yz426

'00 yz426 destroyed by fire in desert race 4/22/01

'81 490 Maico

[This message has been edited by ricky1 (edited 07-26-2001).]

so dish. how do all youse yz thumper hebo users mount the slave?


i just got a new works connection

pro perch and lever w/comp release lever

and all i can say is trick, trick ,trick

way easier pull, much smoother

and easily adjustable

a little pricey but in my

oppinion well worth it!

The slave cylinder comes with enough parts to mount it to the stay arm that holds the stock cable. You have to select the correct fittings, and cut the cable to length. The instructions are good. With the rear end of the slave in the bracket, I simply zip tied the hydraulic line to the radiator hose.

I think with some minor tweaking this could be improved on, but I have 800 mi. and 48 hrs on mine with no problems.

E-Rider has them at a good price.

PPS It is 10 times better than the Works Connection.


Rick Fuller

'01 yz426

'00 yz426 destroyed by fire in desert race 4/22/01

'81 490 Maico

Who makes the 'hebo' unit?

I have the magura unit on my '01 and it's worked great for 8 months. It has the yellow plastic cap but no problems so far. One thing I did was remove the rubber boot from the original clutch and put it on the magura. I also used duct tape to cover as much as of the rod as possible.

Who sells the Hebo unit?????

Hebo units can be bought from http://www.smackovermotorsports.com


This guys are great to deal with, negotiate on prices etc.. also great $ for tires. Ask for Jim Cook


I've mounted the Hebo slave cylinder Zip tied in two places with a cut up auto radiator hose to keep heat away on the metal cable guide below the cams. Also as Ricky described, you choose the correct supplied fittings for the rear cable guide and it does fit pretty well.

The lever is a shorty-style, 1-3 fingers is comfortable, but all 4 are cramped. Hebo sells longer style levers as well, but I've grown accustomed to the shorty now.

Sorta weird, It does have the master cylinder fluid level sight glass facing towards the front of the bike, so roost could end your day. I placed the plastic National Forest off-road pass in front as a shield just in case.

The Hebo does work and work well! Very easy pull, and never needs adjustment. Stainless line and the unit is pre-bled and ready to install after minor adjustment.

These are OEM for GasGas bikes, made in Spain by Hebo. There is a bleed valve on the slave cylinder, that will come in handy.

I got mine at e-rider, don't remember exactly what I paid but it was a smoking deal!

The only drawback I mentioned is it takes up more handlebar space, you have to move the stock decompression lever further towards the right (for a WR, not sure if the YZ comp. mount is the same)). Also, a rubber slave cylinder guard needs to be taped so it doesn't work it's way loose.


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