How to replace rusty or old clutch springs on a Ducati with a dry clutch.
If you've got a dry clutch on a Ducati motorcycle — pretty much every large-capacity Ducati motorcycle pre-2010 or so — then you probably have an open clutch cover.
If you do, then you'll see the clutch springs might be rusty. If you don't have an open clutch cover — take the cover off and have a look. It's usually just 4-6 bolts and it's worth having a look.
Here's what my clutch springs looked like with the cover off:
A bit closer up, the rusty springs (apologies for my oily gloved hand):
If you've got rusty springs on your clutch, then you should replace them!
Luckily there are lots of options for replacements and they're really not expensive. Plus, replacing them is quite easy to do!
What you'll need is:
- A hex key set (metric, just 4mm and 5mm should be fine)
- Replacement springs
- Optional — replacement caps (I took this option)
How to replace the dry clutch Ducati springs
Nobody explains this on the internet. Probably because it's so easy!
Step 1: remove the clutch cover.
On many Ducati motorcycles, you don't even have to remove the fairing if you're careful. You just need one allen key - usually a 5mm.
Lay out the bolts in a pattern on a piece of paper so you remember where the long ones go and where the short ones go.
Step 2: Replace the springs and caps, one at a time.
It's tempting to undo all of the springs and caps at once, but that'll make your life more difficult, because it'll be harder to put the clutch retainer back on.
If you just undo one at a time, it does create an unbalanced force... but you're not going to go riding like this!
Of course, if you're replacing the whole clutch pack, now is the time.
Tighten the bolt up but not all the way just yet.
Step 3: Torque the bolts down to 5Nm.
A lot of old hand mechanics just tighten the clutch "by feel".
But the official torque spec for this size bolt is 5mm for every Ducati I've owned, from superbikes back to ancient Ducati monsters.
A word on open clutch covers
When I got my first Ducati motorbike, I thought open clutch covers were cool.
You could see the parts moving! It was louder!
Open clutch covers are cool. They're unique to Ducatis, after all (even though my R1200S also had a dry clutch)
It quickly got old, and I went to a sound-blocking clutch cover.
Looking at that Multistrada 1000DS... man, that clutch was ugly and in need of some beautification, anyway!
But irrespective of that, an open clutch cover will inevitably expose your clutch to moisture and debris. This doesn't have to be a problem, but in a humid environment — or one where there's a lot of salt — you'll end up in trouble.
That's how this particular 1098S ended up with rusted springs. Moisture from a humid Queensland environment, and they were never changed.
But hey, it's up to you!