Sneak Peek Into Slipper Clutch

When anyone mentions the word ‘bike’, most people think about speed. For decades, these machines are known to move at varying high speed depending on the model. Anyone would slow down at a sharp corner while riding at high speed. Most people will most likely shift to a lower gear to ensure safety as well as less damage to the gearbox. But, for some riders, speed does not matter. If you have been to a bike race, you have seen that sharp corners do not limit the riders from speeding. In fact, they will keep shifting gears from time to time.


So, what makes this possible? What helps keep these bikes from damage? … The slipper clutch aka the back-torque limiter clutch. You can find these clutches in any clutch shop like STM Clutch.


Introduced on Hogslayer – a record-holding racing bike from the 70’s – by TC Christenson and John Gregory, the slipper clutch is a clutch specialized for allowing the clutch to slip slightly until the speed of the engine equals the biker’s speed level. Found in any shop with clutches like STM Clutch, the slipper clutch is a highly-recognized technological development from the 70s that made a great impact in the bike world. Since then, all Moto GP racing bikes have slipper clutches that aid in a swift movement.


So, exactly how does the slipper clutch work? Well, this article will help you understand.


At STM Clutch, we have handled a lot of clutches. In normal ones, the braking force of the engine is moved to the rear wheel through the shaft drive (chain drive), which makes the rear wheel shake, lose traction, or jump. Now, this is where the slipper clutch comes in. Usually, it helps bikes – mostly highly shifty bikes that have massive breaking force that may cause a bike to lose control – to move swiftly without causing any accident or collision.

When you go to many clutch shops, they can show you the difference between the slipper clutches and the normal ones by showing you the clutch hub in detail. When you take the slipper clutch apart, this difference becomes clear as the clutch base is on the right while the clutch hub is on the left. The clutch base also has the ball and ramp while the clutch hub holds the engagement dogs. At STM Clutch, we have clutch hubs with ball bearings and those without.

In the usual bike operations, the engagement dogs are pushed on each other as the engine attempts to turn the rear wheel. The clutch then drives the bike forward as in normal clutch operations. When there is hard braking or high deceleration, this specialized clutch forcefully brings the ramps together. They then slide upon each other, causing the absorption of the engine’s braking force. This, then, elevates the hub from the base towards the pressure plate. The clutch slides until the whole braking force is taken in. After absorption, the clutch then proceeds to function as a normal clutch. Most people call the tool “spring-loaded ball sliding-up ramp.” The slipper clutch slightly disengages from the engine, helping in the absorption of all the braking force.


Now you have a clue on what the slipper clutch is and what it does. Come to STM Clutch, find out more, and even get to see a few different kinds for yourself.


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