Wet Clutch vs. Dry Clutch - What’s the Difference?

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

As you might expect, the difference in the two is pretty simple and self explanatory, but we’re going to dive into some of the pros and cons of each.

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Wet clutches, which are used on most road-going sport bikes, have the clutch pack inside the crankcase, which allows the engine oil to coat the clutch components and keep things cooler and quieter. They are also somewhat easier to use thanks to their wider engagement range, and they stand up to a lot more abuse than a dry clutch. However, the oil causes some drag on the clutch, which eats a bit of horsepower.

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Meanwhile, dry clutch – where the clutch pack is kept separated from the crankcase and away from the oil, which reduces the fluid drag. In an all-out race bike, you want every bit of horsepower available so the difference could be worth the trade off. Dry clutches are noisy, and they don’t stand up to abuse like a wet clutch, but an experienced rider should be able to make them last quite some time.