Clutch Overhaul and Clutch Chatter Friction clutch plates come in several designs ranging from the stock solid fiber friction style (formerly asbestos) to friction material bonded to metal. The friction bonded to metal style comes in 2 designs which are either bonded to steel or aluminum. - original fiber,steel backed and - aluminum backed

ClutchAssemblyB2   ClutchAssemblyB3



While working in the clutch area, be observant on its surroundings and check for: Loose studs in clutch sprocket, wear on the clutch pressure plate where it sits against clutch sprocket studs and clutch release bearing condition.


Also check for primary chain wear, primary chain shoe tension spring, worn shoe, generator drive rivets loose, generator drive sprocket centered between chain links, worn clutch sprocket bushing and bearing, sprocket end float (loose nut inside transmission), engine drive shaft end float, transmission mainshaft end float, etc.

ClutchAssemblyB6      ClutchAssemblyB7


Clutch Pack Assembly:

Check steel plates for flatness, worn drive tabs, burrs, surface defects and excessive heat. Replace if not perfect.

ClutchAssemblyB8 ClutchAssemblyB9
ClutchAssemblyB10 ClutchAssemblyB11


 Ensure all the friction plates slide freely within the clutch sprocket studs. In past years some friction plates have been made with the notches not manufactured deep enough that will cause binding which will not allow the clutch to properly release during operation. If necessary deepen the friction plate notches with a file as the friction plates must have adequate clearance. Lightly oil friction plates before assembly. While this is not essential, it certainly is a plus during initial break in. The 1st plate to fit into the clutch sprocket (basket) is a friction, followed by a steel, then a friction, steel and so on and must end with a friction plate against the inner pressure plate until the clutch sprocket has been filled up.


ClutchAssemblyB12     ClutchAssemblyB13

The distance required between the 2 outside pressure plates must be between 1/8" and 3/16". This is important.


ClutchAssemblyB15       ClutchAssemblyB16

Free play is achieved by mixing and matching the plates which may require either 2 friction plates being run together, 2 steels or even a used original style fiber plate (usually a 3/16) which would be the last one being fitted. Keep in mind that when 2 plates are run against each other they are just acting as spacers and do not wear against each other therefore no wear is created. The last plate fitted that rests against the inner pressure plate must be a friction.


ClutchAssemblyB17       ClutchAssemblyB18



Kiwi aluminum clutch set:
Designed thinner so as to allow for more friction surface area which increases clutch life and improves releasing efficiency (smoother and quieter gear engagements). Special oil grooves have been designed so as oil escapes rapidly in order for the clutch to release quicker and easier. Its design and light weight (12-1/2 oz, 355 grams) makes it the best performing clutch on the market. Friction set only p/n KI-10160, Kit with friction set, 6 steels and 16 springs KI-10160K. A special 22B33R steel clutch plate is available in order to assist in obtaining the correct pressure plate distance. This plate is 1/8" thick vs the stock plate at 1/16. Sometimes the steel plate is close to the end of the clutch hub and this added material puts it in a safer margin while decreasing the pressure plate distance.

Clutch Springs:
Over the years there have been many replacement springs made for Indians some of which have inadequate tension and others that loose their tension over a period of time. Inferior quality springs will cause your clutch to slip and eventually burn up your clutch. Many people do not pick this slippage up until it is too late however slippage causes friction material loss which increases the allowable distance (beyond 3/16") which causes even more rapid wear from the reduced spring pressure. Slippage generates excessive heat which also reduces the springs effective tension therefore compounding the issue even further.

ClutchAssemblyB 20      ClutchAssemblyB21


Pressure Plate Plate Installation:
There are 2 types of pressure plates, the original steel and Kiwi designed aluminum.

ClutchAssemblyB24       ClutchAssemblyB25



 Ensure the clutch release bearing fits snug within the pressure plate seat, sits flat and if reusing an existing bearing check that the old release bearing cage has not become worn and made contact with races.

ClutchAssemblyB29       ClutchAssemblyB30

 Sit the inner plate on top of the springs ensuring springs sit perpendicular, align inner pressure plate notches with holes in outer pressure plate and compress using the 23T269 Clutch compression tool. This tool makes clutch installation easy and is highly recommended as it holds all the springs in place while installing the pressure plates over the studs.

Sit the inner plate on top of the springs ensuring springs sit perpendicular, align inner pressure plate notches with holes in outer pressure plate and compress using the 23T269 Clutch compression tool. This tool makes clutch installation easy and is highly recommended as it holds all the springs in place while installing the pressure plates over the studs.

ClutchAssemblyB32       ClutchAssemblyB33

If pressure plate distance is not the same all the way around (uneven) it could be due to wear on the outer pressure plate or the studs in the sprocket being at different heights.

A lock washer is used under each nut however today's answer to lockwashers is Loctite. When using Loctite only use BLUE Loctite, do NOT use red. Lockwashers are not required when using Loctite.



Clutch Chatter

ClutchAssemblyB35       ClutchAssemblyB36

Clutch chatter is an audible grinding/chattering noise when the clutch is being engaged and the bike is starting to move. This is especially noticeable in sidecar applications.

Clutch chatter is something Indian tried to deal with which usually proved unsuccessful. Indian at 1 point tried self centering clutch release bearings which was a failure and didn't solve the problem.

ClutchAssemblyB37       ClutchAssemblyB 38

We have been doing numerous studies and experiments with alternative clutch parts and come up with what has been a successful combination that we developed for racing and heavy duty sidecar applications (which certainly works with ease on a stock bike). We completely redesigned the clutch pressure plates and then made them from billet aluminum and hard anodized them for long life. This assembly captures the springs on both plates ensuring they remain positively located at all times even under heavy sidecar use. Not only is this assembly lighter (under 1/2 the weight of the original) but it is also more rigid which greatly reduces the chances of clutch chatter.

springs cockeyed in original assembly
springs positively captured in Kiwi assembly

Aluminum vs steel friction plates.

ClutchAssemblyB40B       ClutchAssemblyB40


As far as clutch release goes, they both release about the same. Wear on either the aluminum or steel plates themselves over the studs is non existent on both types however the BIG advantage of aluminum over steel is its light weight of approx 12-1/2 oz (355 grams) while the steel assembly is approx 2-1/4 lbs (1035 grams), a whooping 2-1/2 times heavier.

Steel friction plates have several disadvantages. 1/ It tends to throw the clutch assembly out of balance (when compared with fiber or aluminum) which in turn will cause premature failure on the mainshaft bearings and clutch sprocket bushing. 2/ Increased weight robs horse power which translates into decreased acceleration. Today's engineers and designers design such assemblies for light weight which not only increases acceleration but also decreases vibration. Ideally one wants to minimize the overall weight, not add to it.

As far as their friction abilities go, both do about the same job.

**For primary cover fitting see "Primary Installation"**

Any doubts about our testing exceeding normal riding conditions??????