'03 WR450F Clutch Failure

Last race, I fanned my clutch a lot going up a very long hill. After reaching the top, I noticed that I had no more free-play at the lever. The clutch started to slip. I finished out the race, about another 10 miles. Took the clutch apart, noticed that all clutch components were black, like they got very hot, like baked-on oil. I usually run Yam R4 synthetic, but used Honda GN4 semi-synthetic. Cleaned components, all were within service limits. Put it back together. Still no free play, but clutch is not slipping at all. Where did I lose my free-play? Any suggestions for better-than-stock replacement parts? (Longevity/$) Thanks for your input. ~Mike :)

The clutch plates are probably warped from being overheated.

Sometimes the fibers will swell too.

Why were you abusing your clutch?

:) 4 strokes like ours bathe the clutch in the motor oil and and therfore the clutch will not take much abuse before it overheats. The burned clutch material is circulating around your motor too.

My 2 cents worth- don't ride it like a 2 stroke or you'll go through cluches like crazy. Plus you'll take out the top end before long too!

I hardly ever use my clutch except to get moving from standstill. I NEVER fan or ride the clutch.

Even the magazine articles will tell you that our bikes are faster using the entire powerband and riding in the right gear with the right gear selection than by slipping the clutch. :D

PS I would change the oil and filter right away as the burned clutch fibers make your oil acidic and abraisive,and will accelerate wear to the engine components. :D

Use the tranny leave the poor clutch alone and let that big flywheel do the work.

Our wr450 flywheels are so heavy that if you stab the clutch while wide open in a taller gear the tire won't slip but the clutch will!!

I'm with dubious. Fanning the clutch on a thumper is a good way to destroy the clutch. Use the broad powerband and transmission. It can be a difficult habit to break though if you've been riding two-smokes for a while. :)

Ditto. WR's rarely needs clutch fanning except in extreme trials type riding. Dont be lazy shift that transmission. :)

Dude, use your quick free play adjuster on your clutch lever to add free play. Never ride without free play. Try about at least 3/8 of an inch.

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