How to drive motorcycle with clutch? How does it work?

How to drive motorcycle with clutch? Learning how to drive a motorcycle with a clutch can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, it can be easy! In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of driving a motorcycle with a clutch.

We’ll cover everything from starting the bike to shifting gears. So don’t worry – by the end of this post, you’ll be an expert at driving a motorcycle with the clutch!

How To Drive Motorcycle With Clutch?

There are many things to take into account when learning how to drive a motorcycle with a clutch. Follow these eight easy steps and you’ll be up and riding in no time!

How to drive motorcycle with clutch

Familiarize yourself with the clutch

Before trying to drive a motorcycle with a clutch, it’s important to understand what the clutch does and how it works. The clutch is responsible for disengaging the engine from the wheels, allowing you to change gears. It’s located on the left handlebar and is activated by squeezing the clutch lever with your left hand.

Get comfortable with the gear shifter

The gear shifter is located on the right side of the bike, just below the seat. It allows you to change gears up or down. To change gears, move the shifter up or down until the gear you want is in line with the arrow on the shifter.

Find a safe place to practice

It’s important to practice in a safe area where there is little traffic. A parking lot or an empty country road are good choices.

Start out in first gear

To start out, squeeze the clutch lever with your left hand and gently give gas with your right hand. As you get more comfortable, you can slowly release the clutch while giving more gas, until you’re driving without using the clutch at all.

Learn how to use the brakes

The front brake is located on the right handlebar and the back brake is located on the left. To use the front brake, squeeze the right handlebar with your right hand. To use the back brake, squeeze the left handlebar with your left hand.

Practice shifting gears

The best way to learn how to shift gears is to practice in a low-traffic area. Start out by shifting from first gear to second gear, then from second gear to third gear, and so on. As you get more comfortable, you can start shifting gears while driving.

Be aware of your surroundings

Always be aware of your surroundings and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles.

Wear a helmet

It’s always important to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. In the event of a crash, a helmet can save your life.

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Follow these eight steps and you’ll be driving a motorcycle with a clutch like a pro!

What Is A Motorcycle Clutch?

A motorcycle clutch is a component that helps to disconnect the engine from the transmission. It allows the rider to change gears without having to shut off the engine. The clutch is engaged by squeezing a lever on the handlebars. When it is disengaged, the transmission will freewheel, which allows the bike to coast.

Many newer motorcycles have an automatic clutch, which eliminates the need for the rider to use the hand lever. Instead, the clutch is engaged by a computer-controlled system. This system is activated when the bike is in gear and the throttle is opened. When the rider releases the throttle, the clutch will automatically disengage.

How Does Motorcycle Clutch Work?

Motorcycle clutches use friction to engage and disengage the engine from the transmission. The clutch plates are squeezed together by the pressure of the springs, and when the clutch is engaged, that pressure is released, allowing the plates to move apart.

How to drive motorcycle with clutch

This creates friction between them, which transmits power from the engine to the transmission. When you release the clutch lever, a cam on the lever pushes down on one of the springs, which increases the pressure on the clutch plates and re-engages them.

This system allows for smooth shifting without stalling or jerking the bike around. It’s also responsible for keeping the engine running while you’re coasting or stopped at a light – otherwise, it would just stall out.

There are a few different types of motorcycle clutches, but the basic principle is the same in all of them. Understanding how they work is key to being able to ride one safely and smoothly. So if you’re curious about how your bike’s clutch works, read on!

The friction zone

The friction zone is the area where the clutch plates are squeezed together and power is transmitted from the engine to the transmission. It’s what allows you to shift gears without stalling or jerking the bike around. The amount of friction in the zone can be adjusted by changing the springs or by adding weights to the pressure plate.

The cam

The cam on the clutch lever is what pushes down on one of the springs and increases the pressure on the clutch plates when you release the lever. It’s what causes the plates to re-engage and transmit power to the transmission.

The springs

The springs are what creates the pressure that squeezes the clutch plates together. There are usually two of them, and they can be adjusted to change the amount of friction in the friction zone.

The pressure plate

The pressure plate is what holds the clutch plates together and creates the friction that transmits power from the engine to the transmission. It’s attached to the flywheel, and it can be weighted down to adjust the amount of friction in the friction zone.

The transmission

The transmission is connected to the wheel hubs and transfers power from the engine to the wheels. It can be a manual or an automatic transmission, depending on the type of bike.

The flywheel

The flywheel is attached to the crankshaft and spins with the engine. It’s what provides the momentum that turns the wheel hubs and powers the bike.

The clutch lever

The clutch lever is what you use to engage and disengage the clutch plates. When you pull it, it pushes down on the cam, which increases the pressure on the plates and re-engages them. When you release it, the springs create friction between the plates, and power is transmitted to the transmission.

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So now you know how your motorcycle’s clutch works! It may seem like a complicated system, but once you understand the basics, it’s easy to use. Be sure to practice shifting gears in a safe area until you feel comfortable doing it on the road. And most importantly, always ride safely and responsibly.

When Is Riding Your Clutch Useful?

In normal everyday riding, there are just a few reasons why you may ride the clutch and find that method useful. If you are on a dual-sport or adventure bike tackling off-road terrain, then you may need to use your clutch more frequently.

How to drive motorcycle with clutch

Slow speed manoeuvres

Motorcycles tend to have quite tall first gears which make riding at a slow pace quite difficult without touching the clutch.

When undertaking your CBT, your instructor may have taught you how to feather the clutch.

The process of pulling in and releasing the lever without letting it stall or fully engage, all the while maintaining a steady pace on the throttle and keeping the throttle hand still.

The use of the clutch in this way controls the speed of the bike more easily and allows you to go slower.

This is really useful for slow-speed manoeuvres like performing a U-turn or moving your bike around in a tight space like a car park or driveway when complete control is key.

It is also a useful technique to master if you undertake a lot of city riding, when you may find yourself stuck in slow-moving traffic.

Hill starts

The second most relevant time you may find yourself riding the clutch is when you are moving from a stationary position when stopped on a hill.

You may find that you need to feed in more power with the throttle than usual to offset the toll gravity takes on you and the bike.

There are two things that can go wrong:

  • You use too much throttle and shoot off too fast, maybe even causing a wheelie.
  • You don’t give enough power, release the clutch too early and stall on the hill.

Neither of these is the ideal scenario.

The best thing here is to give more throttle than you would from a flat stop, but pull the clutch in a little to the friction zone and slowly release once you have a bit of momentum going.

Sand/Dirt riding

If you are on a dual-sport or adventure bike and find yourself riding in sand/mud/loose dirt then you may need to use your clutch more.

In terrain where you could slip out or the front wheel needs to be kept light, then you need to give a lot of throttle, however, that can mean you go too fast in situations where you don’t want to when you need ultimate control.

To counteract the power from the throttle, feathering the clutch can keep the speed down along with trailing the rear brake.

Another really useful skill for adventure riders and off-roaders is learning to wheelie. Yes, wheelies are just for the hooligans among us, that tear up the streets and give us all a bad name, right?


Wheelies can be really useful for big heavy adventure bikes to get over obstacles when riding off-road like bit potholes, tree branches etc. that otherwise can’t be avoided.

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However, it is another situation where you legitimately might need to keep the clutch in the friction zone, in and out, to help gauge the height and length of your wheelie.

When Shouldn’t You Ride Your Clutch?

I mentioned earlier there are times when you definitely shouldn’t and don’t need to ride your clutch, it is important to take note of these as there are other ways to ride that leave your clutch well alone.

How to drive motorcycle with clutch

Pulling it in at corners

Some riders pull their clutch lever all the way in before a bend, freewheeling the bike around the corner.

This is not good practice. When entering a bend you should be in a suitable gear to both take you in and out comfortably and safely.

You don’t want to be going into bends too fast so you lose control or be in too high of a gear that you don’t have enough power to pull you out.

Pulling your clutch in fully gives you no control over the speed and you cannot quickly blip the throttle to power out of the bend or even in the middle of the bend to counter your steering.

Best practice is to make sure you are assessing the road ahead so you can select the correct gear and slow down before approaching the bend.

Going down hills/traffic lights

Some riders trying to save fuel will fully compress the clutch lever as they roll down a hill, the fuel saved is very minimal and again this is not good practice.

With the clutch compressed there is no engine braking and therefore your brakes have to work harder to slow you down and bring you to a stop.

Bikes with fuel injection shut off the fuel delivery when you close the throttle anyway, so there is very little if anything to be gained.

Another bad habit is when riders disengage the clutch when rolling to a stoplight. Then when stationary they select 1st gear.

It is much better to work down the gears when slowing down as the engine braking will assist with slowing you down and you are in gear ready to move off again.

Many accidents occur when a rider is hit from behind in slow-moving traffic, if you are aware of your surroundings and in gear sometimes this can be avoided by moving off slightly if you see a vehicle approaching.

This technique is not able to be used if you are not in gear as by the time you have engaged the clutch, it could be too late.


How to start a motorcycle with clutch?

There are a few things you need to do in order to start your motorcycle with a clutch. First, make sure that the bike is in neutral. You can do this by checking to see if the gear shift is in the “N” position.

Next, hold down the clutch lever, and then start the engine by turning the key. As soon as you hear the engine running, slowly release the clutch lever. If everything goes according to plan, your bike should start moving forwards!

Do you hold clutch while driving motorcycle?

The only clutch use should be during the slowing process if downshifting is necessary to achieve the proper entry speed. Once that speed is reached (normally by use of the brakes), clutch use is unnecessary.

Do you have to pull the clutch everytime you shift a motorcycle?

Some motorcycles with great big flywheels and big gears, like many Harleys and some BMW Boxers, need the clutch – or at least a little clutch – for nearly every shift. Most sportbikes only need you to use the clutch to pull away from stops and for the shift from first to second gear.

Above is information about How to drive motorcycle with clutch? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of How does motorcycle clutch work? Thank you for reading our post.

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