Motomania clutch kit

Here is all you wanted to know about this kit, that will procure you a wonderful clutch...

I am the owner of a 907ie since 1990, and I realized quickly that its dry clutch, similar to our ST's clutch, is really noisy when no gear is engaged, but is also noisy when you accelerate in town, especially when the engine is hot.

By chance, I read, in a dutch-speaking motorbike neswpaper, that a Ducati dealer, based in Aarschot (Motomania) had set up a kit that solves the above problems. I ran there and ask him to install a kit on my bike. Really satisfied, I realized that my clutch was now how it should always have been, and I ride 40000 km morewithout doing anything to my clutch. My bike has now 70000 km and nothing has been changed in the original clutch, modified with the kit. Meanwhile, I convinced a friend to buy an ST2, and he immediately wondered about his clutch behaviour : he was even ready te sell his bike, because of the clutch... I convinced him to install this kit, and he is now happy with his bike...

I bought an ST4s one year ago, and I could realized, after 10000 km, that the clutch was becoming noisy. I went back to Bart Grauwels shop (Motomania owner and also engineer) to have the kit installed on my ST4s. As I know you're interested by this kit, here is a small installation manual.

I can certify one thing : the result of the installation is still amazing, and I still cannot understand why Ducati doesn't install it before delivery, although they know it and it would be that much expensive. For those who are interested by this kit, you have two solutions : go to Matomania, 30 km north-east of Bruxelles (Belgium), otherwise buy it at Motomania by phone or mail and install it yourself. The installation manual is below.

First, what is the exact reason of the noise and how is our clutch built ? it's made of a clutch housing (the outside element tied to the transmission) and of a nut (the inside element tied to the engine), of alternate smooth plates and furnished plates, which tie the clutch housing and the nut, and then springs (who bring progressivity in the action) which are fixed on the pressure plate. Ducati as chosen for our ST's a dry system, when some Mostro's and all the japanese bikes have got a wetclutch working in the engine oil. In such a cas, the behaviour is smoother and more silent, but all the plates wear bits go into the engine oil.

On our bikes, there is a large gap between the plates and the clutch housing, when they are not pushed by the pressure plate. This gap allows the plates to vibrate against the clutch housing, damaging the plates and the housing. Motomania kit sets this gap to zero, which eliminates the noise, even on neutral and when selecting gears. According to Bart, it also enhances the longevity of all the clutch mecanism by 2 !

This kit is made of three parts, engineered by the guru himself (from left to right on the photo below) :

The installation is performed as indicated below. You do know need any particular tool. In the following text, "outside of the clutch" means towards the clutch cover, "inside of the clutch" means towards the engine. :

  1. Remove the clutch cover, on the right side of the engine.

  2. Remove the 6 springs on the pressure plate and remove the pressure plate.

  3. Remove all the plates from the clutch housing.

  4. Find the smooth and conical plate in the original plates set. It is usually in second position from the inside of the clutch (but not always). To find it, look for a little punch near the outside mark. On some old bikes, the first inside plates may be a furnished plate. If so, when mounting bakc the plates, it will have to be replaced by a smooth plate.

  5. Remove this conical plate. If the clutch has already been modified, you may find several conical plates. They must all be removed and replace by normal smooth plates. Smooth plates can be found with two thickness : 1,5 mm (Mostro's original) and 2 mm (ST's original).

  6. Set up the thick smooth plate in the clutch housing, with the rounded edge against the bottom of the housing. You may need to push a little hard to install it.

  7. Set up the smooth and conical plate against the first, with the summit of the cone towards the inside of the clutch.

  8. Set up the semi-furnished plate against the previous one, with the furnished side outside of the clutch (towards you).

  9. Re-install all the other original plates (except the conical plate which has been removed) beginning by a smooth plate. The last plate shoulde be a smooth one, against the pressure plate, and the entire plates set should include 7 smooth-furnished couples.

    If the clutch is quite new, which was my case after 10000 km, the entire plates set may become too thick to be installed in the clutch housing : you must have 2,5 mm between the outside side of the last plate and the top of the nut, to have a correct contact between the nut and the pressure plate. If the plates set is too thick, you need to replace 2 or more 2 mm smooth plates by 1,5 mm smooth plates, coming from a Mostro clutch, Bart or any Ducati dealer may provide them to you.

    In some cases of brand new clutches, you may even have to remove one smooth-furnished couple and a add a second smooth plate at the outside of the plates set to keep the right thickness. Don't worry, your clutch will work fine, even on big gas opening...

    In other cases, if your clutch is really old (more than 30000 km), the vibrations may have engaged the steel part of the nut in the alloy part. In such a cas, you have two solutions : change the nut (expensive) or install or specific Ducati part in the nut to eliminate the gap between the nut and the clutch housing.

  10. Set up the pressure plate, setting the mark face to face, as indicated by the pencil on the photo below.

  11. Put the cover back on the clutch.

  12. Wash you hands, start your engine, notice you hear its real noise for the first time ;-) and have a test ride... Show your bike to other STists who will certainly want the same...

Total duration of the installation : half an hour for a belgium guy, a little bit more for a french guy ;-)

Marc POELS alias Sleop