The Oil Trap: Meets or exceeds???? Just one more way to say “Not certified”
Recently I had a customer come to me with a grenaded clutch on a late-model Japanese 4-stroke dirt bike. Seemingly typical of dirt bike riders, the customer claimed to ride it hard and abuse the clutch on a regular basis. He said it was the third clutch he had been through in a year.
While some racers will go through a clutch per enduro, or a clutch per couple of scrambles, it doesn’t seem to me that all but the most serious riders should be going through today’s clutches at that rate. With excellent metals and very strong fibers, a clutch should last quite a long time, even riding every weekend.
As I broke in to the clutch itself, I found the basket, springs and other related hardware to be in great shape. I found the fibers and the metals in the clutch however were worn and I found a dark build-up on the fibers (not really burnt, but almost like a stain). Immediately I asked the customer what oil he was running and he told me “I change the oil with heavy-duty oil every ride”.
The Wal-Mart special. At $12 per gallon it seemed like a steal. The motorcycle dirt-bike community is especially fond of these kinds of oil because it’s cheap, and is not an “automotive” oil, as it’s meant for diesel engines like in heavy rigs.
Now I understood what the build-up might be: Additives from the oil.
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