How To Adjust Dirt Bike Clutch?[A Step-by-Step Guide]

Adjust Dirt Bike Clutch

Dirt bike clutches are the prominent part of the bike that disengages the engine’s power towards the transmission. Suppose this vital stuff of your bike suddenly gets stuck, you fall into trouble adjusting it. If you want to change it, the clutches don’t get engaged until the lever is fully released. Being influenced by any videos or blogs, you may decide to fix the issues. 

Afterward, you make a more significant mistake, like loosening a few bolts that go beyond the perimeter and make the transmission fluid come off. If you don’t have any idea about fixing the issues, it may be a giant horror for you.

Don’t worry! My deep analysis of many years can assure you that you can learn how to adjust dirt bike clutches fruitfully after finishing the article. So switch here to understand clearly about adjusting dirt bike clutches righteously.

8 Easy Steps To Adjust Dirt Bike Clutches: The Best Way

Dirt bike clutches demand only three basic controlling methods to adjust them. Before changing the grips, make sure you’re engaged and disengaged correctly. You can divide these methods into three sections. And you need to check these seven primary parts conditions to ensure they’re well-adjusted.

Again, check if those parts don’t create any manual problem inside the clutch. Checking the cable actuation conditions should be the first thing that you need to do. Next, check for sticky clogs or blocks inside the Hydraulic Actuation. Afterward, check the auto clutch manual. 

Finally, check both to ensure that your bike doesn’t suffer from serious issues. Also, keep an eye on that the lever free play is adjusted with the clutches properly to ensure the activation of switches safely. Nonetheless, there are basic steps that you must try out to do the task rationally. 

Step 1- Things You Require To Adjust Dirt Bike Clutch:

To adjust the dirt bike clutches, you must need those things. 

  • Wrench set
  • Nickles or coins
  • Screwdriver
  •  lock nut knob adjuster set
  • Socket set
  • Tape measure 
  • Pencil 
  • Blocked wood

Step 2- Adjust The Round Knob On The Clutch Perch

After gathering all the parts. First, remove the side and clutch cover. Then check the clutch cable. It’s because, most often, moving the dirt bike clutches is extremely difficult. Most often the bike’s handle gets frozen and turns unshakable. In that case, you must adjust the free play on the cable. So when the engine gets cold, try to change the round knob into the clutch perch with a wrench

Turn on the adjuster free play and rotate the lock nut knob. Then, push in or out of the clutch frequently. If it doesn’t move, go for the second step.

Step 3- Measure The Distance Between Bike Clutches And Free Play

Secondly, try loosening the lock nut on the clutch lever; keep it loosened. This is the standard step to recognize whether your dirt bike clutches are working correctly or not. An adjustment should be required since an indicated number is found on almost all bikes. So take a measuring tape and ensure that the distance between the free play and lever end is about ⅛”-⅜” inches. 

At this time, if you feel the clutch is too tight against the perch, try to adjust the parts soon. The cable needs changing to the slack inside the grip to allow the clutch to engage fully. Or, you can put a nickel here to pull it soon. Next, back off the adjuster about 3 turns, and turn in until resistance is felt. Back off 1/4 turn. 

Notably, a tight clutch cable could easily cause the line to slip since it didn’t allow the clutch to engage fully. This is one thing you should memorize. 

Step 4- Check Out The Hydraulic Pressure & Swivel

Before switching on to the final adjustment, you must check at once the condition of hydraulic pressure. For this, remove the hydraulic line. If the clutch loses its pressure after removing the line, you need to bleed it thoroughly. 

The shortest way of doing this is to allow the machine to bleed through gravity. All you need to do is disclose the bleeder on the slave cylinder. Keep pouring the specified hydraulic oil inside the reservoir. By doing this, the air underneath the bleeder gets removed fruitfully. 

Next, check the hydraulic clutches if they are engaged adequately with grips. The piston that participates with the bore becomes frozen if the bore of the master or slave cylinder gets stuck. 

Another problem you may face is the leakage of the hydraulic system. Sometimes the contaminated fluid reservoir causes the block inside the cylinder. In that case, the adjustment becomes difficult whether you need to fix those issues or replace the parts before switching on to the adjustment. Adjust the cable to get 10-15 mm slack at the lever.

Step 5- Remove The Brake Pedal Down 

After finishing checking hydraulic pressure, switch to remove the brake pedal. Before that, you must check out the auto clutches. It is tough to inquire about auto clutches without the help of experts. Anyway, hold the brake pedal with the use of a screwdriver. Then carefully remove the clutch access cover. Also, don’t leave over the RH engine cover.


Step 6- Disclose the Clutch Cover & Turn The Adjustment Knob Frequently

In this step, you will get to know how to adjust the dirt bike clutch. Open up the clutch cover, and loosen the adjustment knobs there. To do this, you will need a wrench to loosen the knobs. Turn this knob in or out frequently. Do this three to four times. 

Repeat this process until you have ensured the clutch becomes adjusted. This is a nickel’s worth of play between the lever and perch. It’s an excellent place to start. But, keep in mind that don’t over tighten the clutch as they can slip or heat up. A little much is not a big deal. 


Step 7- Loosen The Lock, But Clutch & Adjust The Cable

In this step, try to loosen the lock, not the clutch. To find the location of the lock nut, check the manual script that comes with your vehicle. But here’s an important thing, you must be conscious of loosening the lock nuts about 10 mm, as the manual asserted.

Then back out the screw a few turns. Keep tightening the screws until you feel the resistance. Turn it about ¼” inches.  Next, tighten the lock nut. 

Step 8- Adjust The Cable To Get 10-15 mm Slack At The Lever

Now adjust the cable pipe inside the clutch. But the adjustment must be attached with the cable at least 10-15 mm away from the lever. Sometimes after finishing the adjustments, your engine oil may drop off for over-tightening or corrosion. If that happens, don’t worry about the incidents. Just keep an eye on it over the next few days to inquire whether fuel drips anywhere or not.

Later on, loosen up the nuts and follow the same procedure again. Finally, reinstall all the covers. Return to the clutch lever and adjust the barrel nut to add tension and play. 

How To Know Your Dirt Bike Clutches Are Not Working? 

The dirt bike clutches are usually made to last for longer. But, if you suddenly notice any issues implied below, try to adjust or fix them at the earliest. 

  • Whether the rear tire looks improper or unfit;
  • The condition of the chain and sprockets;
  • Notice that the gear for the clutch out and the motor build start to rev while you roll on. But the bike didn’t pull over as it did previously; 
  • The bike may seem to creep if the clutch becomes disengaged; 
  • It may produce fiery smoke;
  • The clutch may eradicate or come off from its adjustment. 

So those are the primary causes that may restrain your bike from adjusting or raise some difficulties. Our article only covers the basic steps for changing the bike clutches. For any critical issues, you might take help from the service center. 

How To Adjust The Clutch Cable? 

Adjusting the clutch cable is essential as it was interlinked with changing the bike clutches. The procedure is relatively easy. Before starting the task, find the place where it might be located.

If you fail to search it, look for the motorcycle owner’s manual that can likely point out the correct locations. Or, it’s better to take help from the OEM diagram to find out how your machines’ clutching systems are preoccupied altogether.

Some experts usually recommend taking help from the Hynes or Clymer service manual. It will provide you with all the tactics for maintaining motorcycles. 

However, follow these  below steps to adjust the dirt bike clutch cable: 

  • The clutch cable’s sheath consists of two adjusters.
  • To prolong the line, cut off the sheath’s end part with the help of an adjuster or cutter;
  • Then, twist the first end of the line by your hand;
  • Next, turn the adjuster to lengthen your bike’s clutch cable for creating the additional slacks;
  • Now turn on the bike’s top adjuster and remove the end;
  • Spin the line with the internal sheath for propagating the wire;
  • Later on, reattach all the stuff inside the bike;
  • Test the clutch to see how it performs. 

How To Adjust Dirt Bike Clutch (Alternative)?

This alternate way helps you to tackle the slack in the throttle cables. Try to slack a throttle cable that has too much load. Again, keep in mind that if your throttle cable is too much slack, you might change the machine or adjust a new clutch cable. Dirt bikes typically come with a high-end warranty, but they may lose or fail to last longer without proper care. 

If you notice any sort of damage to the sheath or cable while adjusting the clutch, it might be necessary to replace the line. 


How To Adjust A Clutch Dirt Bike? 

To adjust a clutch dirt bike, you need first to turn off the gas and engine both. Turn the lock adjustment first, then pull the clutch lever on and off frequently. After that, push on the adjusted cable and loosen the rope.

Thereafter, tighten the throttle cables and examine the process once again to check if it works or not. You can place a coin over the lever clutch to balance the handle. Lastly, make sure the hydraulics are in good condition. Make sure that the cable actuation system is adjusted correctly and working.

How Should The Clutch Be Adjusted?

Adjusting the clutch is quite an easy process. For doing this, pull on the clutch cable and loosen the lock nut. Afterward, slowly pull off the clutch cable once again. Then locate the clutch and point out the location to replace them correctly. Then adjust the grip here, replace all the stuff, and tighten them securely. 

Afterward, do adjust it by measuring the pedal free play. Bring a wooden block down next to the clutch pedal. Then, trace the height of the pedal, but do not depress it at all. Next, press the clutch pedal once or twice to check where it feels difficult to engage or adjust. After taking the correct measurement, do a calculation for comparing it to the vehicle’s specifications. 

Later on, loosen the clutch cable lock nut and adjuster. Then try to adjust it, tighten all the parts back, and check again.

What Happens If Dirt Bike Clutches Are Too Tight? 

If the clutch of dirt bikes is too tight, the clutch is facing too many troubles. You may not be able to wear out the clutch plates quicker, and they will fade very soon. Sometimes, the over-tightened clutch causes extreme heat that blocks the engine fuels. For this reason, your engine may fail to work correctly, and it gets shut off for overheating and corrosion. 

It doesn’t matter that the motorcycle clutches are too tight for the inconvenience. They often may be overtightened if you fail to adjust them properly. So, what’s going to happen then?

The clutches may slip or wear off unevenly. Make sure you have followed the manufacturer’s specifications during adjustment to skip such concerns. Also, take help from the owner’s manual of your bike to determine the proper procedures.

Why Is Your Clutch Pedal Too High? 

Your clutch pedal needs to be high for wear, and in case it needs to be replaced shortly. The manufacturer wants to keep it elevated to think of its necessity while it gets damaged all of a sudden. But, the best thing is it didn’t produce any fundamental problems or slippage issues further. 

At the deepest point about this high, clutches are worked upon to further up the clutch pedal when they fully release. Moreover, the best thing is the high clutch pedal provides sufficient torque power to run your engine on mode. 

Is It Expensive To Adjust A Clutch? 

There is a tale that adjusting a bike clutch on your own is cheaper than hiring someone to fix it. However, if you are looking for a way to adjust it by a third party, knowing the cost of repairing and replacing the parts may help you for the rest of your life. 

The average cost of adjusting a clutch is around $41-$51. Again, the labor cost of the grip may vary depending on the conditions of your engine. However, you may spend an estimated cost of about $41-51, including taxes and VAT. Although, the cost may depend on some different cases. As though, 

  • Which make or model do you own?
  • What type of bike do you have?
  • In what location are you driving?
  • How many years are you using those vehicle parts? Etc.

These all matters decide the cost or expenditures you may spend to adjust the clutches.


I hope my above guidelines help you adjust the clutches fruitfully. Ensure that the grips are fully open, and the engine gasses are shut off whenever you determine to do the task. 

It is unnecessary to always have trouble with adjustment issues for clogs or junk inside the lever. Investing in high-quality motorcycle clutches will prevent future adjustment issues. They should be adjustable. Otherwise, you might wander to and fro in search of how to change dirt bike clutches

More interesting pieces you can check for your current/upcoming wilder dirt bike:

How To Start A 2 Stroke Dirt Bike? [A Complete Guide]

10 best dirt Bike helmet for round head

Md. Saifur Rahman

Dirt bike riding was a fascination for Saifur since he was a child. Later that fascination turned into a passion and his profession. Apparently, it may seem that tips and tricks are useless for bike riding sometimes, but you may find them really useful after reading his blogs. Saifur is a regular rider.

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