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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, hopefully this isn't to stupid of a question but I after many years of not riding I got back into things and went to an open lapping day, one thing led to another and after six more track days I got myself a track prepped 748 with the intention of doing some club racing next season. Although I am currently pretty slow, one of the few things that I think I do OK is getting off of the line (result of being to poor to go to a real track and spending time at a drag strip instead, and light to light drag racing with others equally as young and dumb). The way I would get my old R6 off the line would be to bring the motor to 10 grand or so, and slip the clutch at a rate where I could keep the throttle pinned and the revs mostly constant, either disengaging the clutch slightly or backing off the throttle when the front wheel came off the ground. The wet clutch in my R6 seemed to tolorate this OK as it still is original after 14 years/20k miles (there's about a 10 year period of next to no use in that bikes life).

From what I gather the dry clutch in my 748 won't deal with abuse as well as a wet clutch, but since the bike is eligible for a number of classes I can expect something along the lines of up to four sprint races in a race weekend, throw in practice launches and it adds up to a decent number of abusive starts. Am I correct in my assumption that the dry clutch would not like this sort of treatment, and to what extent? Basically should budget for a couple of sets of new plates through the season, or should I expect a dry clutch to die a glorious death quickly when abused in such manner? If anyone is doing club racing without a sponsor throwing clutches at them has any thoughts or suggestions as well that would be great. Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forums!

I had the same conundrum and was also a very good starter on my Ducati's with dry clutches.

Honestly, I rode a lot, every other weekend I was on the track practicing or racing all year long, so my clutches got a lot more abuse then simply 4 race starts per weekend. However, they held up pretty good and honestly, it's about mid-pack where you see the problems occur and generally only one or two disks go bad at a time. If you buy 2 packs, you could easily get a few years out of them, replacing one or two failed disks every season. I'd say for the amount of abuse I put into my clutches, they lasted me pretty well.

Two things to note however, the standard Ducati performance clutches can't tolerate the heat and they literally crack apart. I had nothing but problems with them so I switched to a sintered disk for racing and it fell apart as well. Honestly, the best disks I found were sold by motowheels which they labeled as their own in-house clutch disks. You may call them and see if they still have any OR can point you to where they got them from. But they were a single material disk, no gaps between the pads. For some reason, they took the excess heat and dealt with it. I had not a single failure with those "unnamed" disks and to this day, I have yet to find anything better.

Everyone struggles to get their Ducati's off the line, it was a common issue when I was racing. But if you have the skills, they're actually one of the easiest bikes to launch and instead of the worn clutch material getting into the crankcase oil, it turns into dust and goes out the side of the engine, which is a very nice thing with dry clutch bikes. So over-all, I vastly prefer the dry clutch over the wet and feel the wear for racing, isn't that much worse. Just keep a few spare disks handy and you should be fine.
 

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I wouldn't consider race starts or manual slipping on corner entry to be abuse. We raced Ducati's for years and generally got a full season out of a clutch pack. They holeshot as good as anything out there.
 

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Just remember...most MotoGP bikes have dry clutches...that is all :)
 

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'12 848evo, '13 Hypermotard SP, '94 CBR600f2 track bike, '06 CBR600rr track bike
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Just remember...most MotoGP bikes have dry clutches...that is all :)

LOL superbikes too. And I have seen both fail, probably depends on the rider more then anything.
 

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And I have seen both fail, probably depends on the rider more then anything.
+1 depends on the rider and riding conditions -)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input - it does sound like I may be being a bit to paranoid about burning out clutches too quickly, however in response to the MotoGP notes, those folks can replace clutch packs on a whim, in any top level sport the rules of $ go a bit out the window, so using that as a "you should run with these bits too" argument seems a bit myopic (hell, top fuel dragsters rebuild engines after every run as far as I know). Anyhow, I appreciate the input and won't be too afraid to launch the bike like I have a pair :)
 

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True, but your question was "how well do they take abuse?". You'd be amazed how much more abuse they take from the top runners in GP in a 30 lap race. Everything increases exponentially with faster pace. Same reason why I can make a set of race tires last 300 laps or more, whereas the pros shred through them in 20-30 laps.

With that said, you can really burn through a clutch pack very quickly if you're not using it right (especially during launches), but that can happen with dry or wet clutches as well.
 
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