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Clutch Noise - by Michael Moore on October 28, 2003

Are noisy clutches a problem?
Well, it depends on the noise. Ducati Monsters come with two types of clutches: wet and dry. A wet clutch simply means that the clutch is surrounded by motor oil; this is the same type of clutch that's on a car and most other bikes. Wet clutches are inherently quiet, so if yours is noisy then it might be an indication of wear or other problem. Generally bikes less than 800 cc (double check that 800) have wet clutches. The remainder of this FAQ relates to dry clutches; wet ones don't have dust to contend with.

800 cc and above bikes have dry clutches, so called because they have no oil surrounding them. With these types of clutches a certain amount of clatter at idle or with the clutch pulled in is normal. If the clutch has an open clutch cover (you can see the clutch plate spinning or the cover has spacers to leave a gap) the sound can be quite loud, often causing 'helpful' bystanders to tell you your bike needs service.

Other types of noise
In addition to the much-beloved Ducati dry clutch rattle, your clutch may give off a low groaning sound when taking off from a stop. Typically this means that the plates are slipping, either from wear or dust. To remove the dust, simply open up the clutch cover (the recessed screws don't need to be removed) and blow the dust out. If that quick fix doesn't solve the problem you can try opening up the clutch, removing the pressure plate and de-glazing the clutch plates. While you're at it, inspect the tabs that extend out to the basket and the basket itself, for notching or signs of wear. A small amount of notching is probably OK, but more than that means you probably need a new clutch. Assuming everything is OK, be sure when you replace the pressure plate that the notched threaded post matches up to the hole in the plate with the arrow marking.

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