The clutch on a motorcycle is what the rider uses to change gears as he rides. Clutches can burn out, which basically means that they wear out and no longer work the way that they should. The clutch works by causing friction between two metal plates that have grooves. When these grooves get worn down, it causes the clutch not to work as well.
If the motorcycle clutch is defective in any way, it will not work properly. A defective clutch will cause the motorcycle to either simply stop working or to burn out due to improper wear. If this is the case, you will generally notice it within the first ride or first few rides.
Regular Wear and Tear
A rider can do everything properly with motorcycle and clutch maintenance, but most things wear out or wear down eventually, and so too will the motorcycle clutch. Ensuring your clutch is adjusted correctly and lubricated is important, but the clutch will still wear out, depending on the use of the motorcycle. The general time frame to check or change the clutch is about 50,000 miles.
If a rider “rides” the clutch, she will wear it out faster than normal. Riding the clutch means that the rider keeps the clutch pushed in a little on a constant basis, which will weaken the clutch, the springs and other parts on the clutch. The clutch on a motorcycle is on the handlebars of the bike as opposed to a car, which has the clutch next to the brake pedal on the floor. A motorcycle rider who keeps his fingers pushing on the clutch lever is riding the clutch.
Steep or Rough Terrain
If the primary area that the motorcycle is used in is hilly or rough and causes a lot of starting and stopping, it will cause the clutch to burn out faster. Shifting up and down, depending on ascending or descending landscape, makes the clutch work harder and more often.