Many dirt bike enthusiasts are already familiar with the clutch system in driving a manual car. The good thing is that the dirt bike also uses a clutch to shift the ride, just as it does in the manually driven car. The bad thing is that the clutch mechanism of dirt bike differs a lot from that of a car. It works differently and that poses a bit of a challenge in understanding its dynamics
It is always better to understand the dynamics of your dirt bike because you don’t want to mess up with the overall gear set up and enjoying the ride on the go. Before you start using it on the road, it is better to understand the gear shifting process so that you get complete control over its speed, acceleration and gear options.
What is the Clutch on Dirt Bike?
A clutch in a dirt bike is a mechanical device. It engages / disengages the power transmission between the gearbox and engine on a dirt bike. The clutch mechanism works on the standard of the friction plates connected. The plates there enable for slippage and that employs the clutch to be engaged slowly and then to pull away from the ride smoothly.
Where is the Clutch on Dirt Bike?
A dirt bike comes with two pull levers on its handlebars. This is what you will see in a standard manual motorbike as well. The right lever on the handlebar of the dirt bike is the brake, while the left one is the clutch lever.
The clutch lever on a dirt bike works in tandem with the shift pedal. Just like the clutch lever, the shift pedal is also on the left side of the bike. Both the clutch lever and shift pedal works hand in hand, so remembering its location is easy and user-friendly. It is more important to understand the clutch setup as compared to knowing how to hotwire a motorcycle.
Getting to know about the location of shift gear and the clutch is half of the job done. For most people, it is very easy to get used to with the gear system and clutch options because they have experience in riding other bikes with similar options and they know the importance of setting things up ina proper manner.
How Do You Shift Clutch On a Dirt Bike?
If you are new with dirt bike then make sure that you choose an open and safe place to try learning the art of dirt bike. You also need to check that your dirt bike has got enough fuel to run or even start. Once you have the place and fuel intact then the following steps would help you shift a dirt bike by using the clutch in the right way. So that you never let yourself in trouble and also your bike will be within control no matter how you run it or which type of terrain you are going to use it.
1. Neutralizing The Bike
- Dirt bike may get started while in gear, but that is not recommended, especially for beginners. In order to do so, you need to pull and hold the clutch lever. Now push the shift pedal and slowly start pulling up the clutch lever. Keep on doing this until you witness a click. This will ensure that your bike is in a neutral position.
2. Kick Starting
- Kick starting is different between a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke dirt bike. As the 4-stroke bike is the present and the future, so we will follow it accordingly here. On the right side of the engine, you will see a large lever coming out of the engine. This is the kick lever. Put your foot over the kick lever and kick it downwards slowly.
3. Get Your Dirt Bike to Move
- After pulling in the clutch, you need to next push the shift pedal down and have the clutch in. This is very similar to what you would do in a manual car. The throttle for speed on the right side of the handlebar should be pulled. This should be pulled for a maximum of its quarter throttle. This throttle requirement may change from bike to bike, so telling just the general rule of thumb here. With the throttle in quarter pulled condition, start releasing the clutch slowly. When the clutch is fully released then your dirt bike is in gear and ready to move smoothly.
4. Shifting Dirt Bike in Gear
- You have just got your bike to start moving in the last step. In order to get it in speed, you need to shift gears. You started with the first gear in the above step and getting into the other gears is quite simple now. You need to start here by pulling the clutch first. Then you need to have your shift pedal up. Following that, you need to apply the throttle, while gradually releasing the clutch.
5. Downshifting Dirt Bike
- Downshifting in a dirt bike is required when you require the ride to slow down. This is also quite similar to the standard shifting. You need to pull the clutch lever and at the same time, push down the gear shifter. One key thing to remember here is that downshifting can impact transmission if down at excessively high speeds. Therefore, it is imperative to downshift while you are at a slower speed.
As you can see, the dirt bike has many similarities with a manual transmission car. However, the main challenge is identifying the location of the clutch and knowing the mechanism. The key here is practice and for that, you need to give time.
Proper usage of the clutch lever and the shift pedal requires some time and practice to master. Therefore, give this process its time, before you can be categorized among experienced dirt bikers and enjoy riding your dirt bike like a pro with least or no troubles on your way to thrilling rides on it. Understanding the features and operations is surely a must to do before you get into action.