Rekluse Auto-clutch on KTM990S!

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by cyborg, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Rekluse z-Start Pro 101

    Installing a Rekluse www.rekluse.com zStart Pro auto-clutch in my 2007 KTM990S! :eek1

    Here are a few pictures of my recent installation of a very new Rekluse z-Start Pro for the big twin KTM (will work on any KTM 950/990 v-twin, SE, SM, SD). I did the work myself and this report is by no means a complete technical document, and is being supplied just for your curiosity. Accurate technical docs are supplied with the Rekluse kit and the KTM engine shop manual was my other reference.



    First, remove skidplate then place the bike on it's left side. I didn't drain any fluids and nothing leaked out of the bike even after a few hours sitting that way. I've done the canisterectomy and proper tank venting so no problems with fuel dripping. I put a few shop towels on the floor and put the bike on it’s crash guards and rear luggage rack, nothing else touched.

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    Remove clutch cover

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    Remove pressure plate screws and springs

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    Remove friction plates and steel plates, paying particular attention to the last special metal friction plate and 2-part Belleville clutch boss spring – those will be going back in later per Rekluse instructions. Then remove the clutch nut remove the center hub

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    Here is the clutch basket empty but still in place

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    Note this spacer ring, do not remove it.

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    Install the Rekluse center hub

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    Rekluse says to use the stock washer and clutch nut to attach the hub

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    but I didn’t think the nut threaded down far enough

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    so I removed the washer and put the nut straight down on the steel hub with Blue Loctite. I didn’t see any problem with doing that. This was a very early kit and I’m sure Rekluse will address the issue with production kits.

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    Next place the first Rekluse steel plate and then the re-used special thin steel plate (blue arrow) and inner 2-piece Belleville clutch boss spring (red arrow), detailed in Rekluse instructions.

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    Then load the clutch pack per Rekluse instructions, steel, friction, steel friction, etc. Stock friction plates are re-used in this kit.

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    After all the frictions and steel plates are inserted, install the Rekluse middle hub assembly. This supports the top pressure plate assembly.

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    It’s important to make sure to install the thrust bearing correctly per Rekluse instructions

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    Here it is installed.

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    Next install the engagement RPM wave spring. Engagement RPM can be set using various strength springs here. Rekluse can supply various tension springs and provide a proper spring in the kit based on the average idle speed of the KTM 990/950 engine.

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    The ball plate

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    All loaded up with steel balls. A few tungsten balls can be substituted for firmer engagement action but I’ve been happy with just steel balls in a variety of riding conditions.

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    And finally the top of the pressure plate is fastened down with 10 screws and Blue Loctite.

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    All done with auto clutch assembly! There are a few steps to measure the pressure plate/friction gap for proper setting, and can be adjusted with several thickness steel plates Rekluse provides. The Rekluse instructions explain this procedure and I found it very easy to check and adjust.

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    Remove middle rubber damper from the clutch cover plate since it will not fit with the new auto-clutch installed.

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    Then put the cover back on and have fun! Oh, you will need to follow a very simple Rekluse break-in procedure that takes all of 30 minutes, cycling up and down through various RPM ranges. This is detailed in the Rekluse instructions.

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    Rekluse inside!

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    How does it work? Well, I just came back from a 3600 mile 9-day 5-state (WA, OR, ID, NV, CA) ride with it that ranged from cold mountain passes to blazing hot 6-bar days, Bonneville Salt Flats speed runs, Blackrock Desert playa running, long IronButt days at spirited highway speeds, part of the trip 2 up with full luggage on super-tight twisty mountain roads. Off-road on rough 2-track trails, whooped out roads with deep sand washes, silt beds, sharp rocks, steep rocky hill climbs and slide-downs. Did a little bit of everything except deep water crossings, mostly because I didn’t see any. The Western states are pretty dry right now. Ride report soon...:wink:

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    The Rekluse auto-clutch performed flawlessly! :thumb In heavy stop and go traffic having an “automatic” is awesome. On rocky hillclimbs I just popped into 2nd and chugged my way up whatever was in the path. Never touched the clutch, this unit ‘feathers’ the clutch on gnarly terrain far better than I ever could.

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    This is my second Rekluse zStart-Pro, the other is in my Aprilia RXV550. So far I haven’t had to do any auto-clutch adjustments after thousands of miles on either bike, with especially brutal abuse on the Aprilia RXV. All I can say is the Rekluse folks are great to work with and these auto-clutches ROCK!! :clap

    :beer
    #1
  2. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Great write up Clif! :clap

    I've heard good things about the Rekluse on smaller bikes, but this is the first mention I've seen on such a beast. Looks like quality stuff.

    Where'd ya order from? Don't see the 950/990 on their website.
    #2
  3. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

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    There are two monumental advancements in offroad technology in the past 25 years, IMHO:

    Number one is the disc front brake
    Number two is the autoclutch

    I am a firm believer. When the going gets tough, it's tough to get going. An autoclutch takes another decision out of the task loading, and makes it more fun.
    #3
  4. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Thanks. I got it from Rekluse direct. This was a beta unit, #2 unit built and first tested on an Adventure model. Call them. They should be ready now.
    #4
  5. Ignore Amos

    Ignore Amos bruised, dazed & confused

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    I have a Rekluse in my 300 and 525...I could see why it'd make sense in the 950seR as well...shit, need to make more money!
    Thanks for sharing!
    #5
  6. Scootr

    Scootr Adventurer

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    Interested to see more opinions on this. Sounds good, but how well doew it really work?
    #6
  7. buzzardair

    buzzardair terraqueous Adventurer

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    Very good write up. Seems like a great idea especially for commuting in heavy traffic.

    I look forward to hearing more about it's manners off road.
    #7
  8. gefr

    gefr Life is a trip

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    What was the price you had to pay?
    thnx for spreading the info around.

    Another question for cyborg is: Did you hav a problem with the OEM clutch system? Did it drag or was it a step towards a better world? Cheers.
    #8
  9. The Cheat

    The Cheat Tard

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    can you still use the clutch lever? If so do you have any need? I have heard of people taking the clutch lever off and replacing it with a rear brake lever. Do you think this would be applicable to the 950?


    I have considered putting an auto on my 450 EXC, but until I ride one I don't think I will take the leap. On a scale of 1 to 10( 1 being "I can barely tell the differance" and 10 being "Holy shit this makes me one fast BA" how would you rate the auto clutch?



    BA= Bad Ass
    BAMF=Bad Ass Mother Fucker
    #9
  10. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

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    One thing i dont trust with them is slipping of the clutch. I want to know when my clutch is cooked so i can let it cool.
    With the rekluse you would lose the feel of the clutch and it will slip itself to destruction.
    I've experienced this with other rekluse owners, one on a 450exc his clutch plates seized to exist.

    In regards to them making you faster? Don't think so. It will make the riding through challenging terrain that much easier, especially hillclimbs.
    #10
  11. snowhawk jockey

    snowhawk jockey Slack Jaw Gaper

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    Edit to add: Nice review and install photos!

    I love the rekluse concept and would be an owner.

    I rely very much on engine braking riding the big bikes. I don't remember there being much, if any, engine braking on the rekluse equipped 450smr that I rode when I chopped the throttle. I would love the auto engagement effect on a nasty take off, but not at the cost of my engine brake. Maybe someday I'll learn enough rear brake skill to not need the engine brake, then I'll be set.

    The engagement spring effect reminds me of the one in my snowhawk clutch. The Rekluse spring construction is far more sophisticated than mine, which is just a coil, but they both can be replaced to provide different rates of clutch engagement.

    Glad to see them making one for the LC8.
    #11
  12. BLUE(UK)

    BLUE(UK) Long timer

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    The rekluse does have normal engine braking until you stop,if you roll forwards there is NO engine braking until you 'blip' the throttle when you will then have engine braking again.

    I have rode one(on a 450exc) and i want one,but here in UK they are like twice the price of US prices.(if you get a PM off me asking you to buy me a reklu......):D

    What i am interested in,is the fact that one cannot get clutch slave failure from this method? Is that correct?
    Can someone confirm this?
    If so,it's great and i am gonna start looking into one.

    Thanks to the origional poster.

    In fact,thanks to everyone on Orange crush.:D
    #12
  13. GSBrushy

    GSBrushy Banned

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    Hopefully all motorcycle manufacturers will start offering automatic transmissions as an option.

    Just think of the reduction in skill level required to ride !! :clap

    The transformation to scooters will be much easier for riders using an automatic.



    :hide
    #13
  14. apeirce

    apeirce So I was following Andrew

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    Thanks for the write-up.

    It seems very cool. I think the biggest problem for Rekluse is that people are very skeptical about them, and that at the price, they are not really a whim purchase.

    I'd have to ride one before I bought, and I don't know of any opportunitty to do so. If they are that good, I wish them all the success in the world.
    #14
  15. tn-steve

    tn-steve Addicted

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    Great write up and outstanding pictures! Thanks for taking the time to do this. :clap
    #15
  16. 950TRANSALP

    950TRANSALP Been here awhile

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    CM being on it's side might help keep the balls in place eh!
    K.B. just a thought !?!:huh
    #16
  17. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    They really are good, very good. Yes some people bash them as "needing less skill" but that's BS. You still have to know how to ride well over the given terrain, use throttle properly, brake properly etc... What it does is offload a tiring aspect of offroading a high-horsepower revvy bike, namely feathering till your left arm locks up (quite a few pros use auto-clutches BTW). I've been putting up with feathering dirtbike clutches on rough terrain for over 35 years and the Rekluse is such a welcome relief and workload reducer. I can enjoy the ride a lot more, plus stalling the bike (a modern 4-stroke problem) almost goes away completely.

    Yes on the "pro" model you can use the clutch normally above "engage speed", so you can still wear out your left hand if you want to, but it's not needed most times.

    The clutch works extremely well offroad. See my comments in the first post. The auto-clutch makes the Nimitz-class 990 DS bike much more fun to ride offroad and reduces the chance of dropping that big beast $$$.

    Keep in mind that most times, that steep nasty road or trail you just clawed UP using the handy auto-clutch, you still have to ride DOWN, and the auto-clutch will not help you there. Lots of fun 'trials riding' a 475lb "dirtbike" sliding both ends down steep loose slopes on brakes alone or fighting engine braking. :eek1 :lol3
    #17
  18. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Yes, that's correct. It would be next to impossible to assemble the Rekluse with the bike vertical, unless you are VERY fast fingered! :wink: Maybe by greasing up the balls so they stick, but why bother, it's trivial to pop the bike on it's side.
    #18
  19. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    For price, give Rekluse a call.

    My 2007 990S OEM clutch system worked just fine. No problems. I asked Rekluse for an auto-clutch for the big beast after having such a great experience with it on my raging animal Aprilia RXV550. The auto-clutch is a great tool. For those that can appreciate how much it helps, it's sweeeeeeet! :beer
    #19
  20. cpmodem

    cpmodem Orange Caveman

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    It seems that there is a big advantage to the auto clutch that you hinted at earlier. That is, that that there is no possibility of killing the engine if you mometarily lock up the rear wheel with the brake. Is this true? If it is, it would be a great advantage.
    #20