Offroad Riding - Tips & Advice
So a while ago during an interstate ride I managed to burn my clutch plates clean off, courtesy of climbing an uphill trail with a pillion, not one of my brightest of moves but nonetheless it was fun.
Here's the video of the trail in question, you can spot me duck waddling my Panda 220 nearing the end after my clutch started to slip real bad, somewhere in between you can also spot fellow TBhpian Neil Jerico and 'Captain' his Yellow 535 GT being pushed out of an undulation.
I was able to ride the remaining 600+ km's home though overtaking or climbing uphill were not options I had the luxury of choosing.
Here's a picture of my clutch hub, you can see some burn marks;
With all the heat being generated my Thrust Washer had also managed to get a little too acquainted with the input shaft as seen blow;
Sorry for the smudgy photo and video, my hands were covered in oil and I managed to get some on my phone as well. Didn't bother with draining the oil before pulling the clutch cover off.
Lesson to be learnt in quite obvious, if you can't go forth without slipping the clutch then its better to ask your pillion to dismount rather than risk burning the clutch.
Plus the trail ended soon after my clutch started slipping else I would've had a really bad time getting the motorcycle out.Tips:
1. Make sure to set enough clutch cable slack before going off-road, under maximum load if there isn't adequate clearance then the clutch would start to slip on its own before eventually burning out.
2. Once in a while do monitor your free-play, I have made this a habit to inspect this while on the go using my index finger and middle finger to finger the lever.
The moment you notice a change in free play i.e the cable has developed tension without being under maximum load, you should realize that your countdown has begun.
3. If in case the clutch starts to slip pretty bad on its own, stop immediately and loosen the clutch cable to ensure that there's more than adequate slack before resuming to ride, from here on slip clutch judiciously, also make sure to not whack open the throttle as if the friction plates are out of spec then it'd cause the clutch to slip even more.