Review of Vintage Triumph Hydraulic Clutch Conversion

So I installed the kit a few months back and have had a chance to ride around town on it (shorter than 30 miles at a clip).  But being in traffic around Boulder was a good test.

The pull of the clutch is lighter than with the old cable, but not as light as I thought it would have been.  Keep in mind my cafe is running a dry QPD belt clutch which is pretty much a Norton clutch with a huge diaphram pressure plate with a single set screw in the middle to adjust it.  So there isn’t a way to really fine tune the pressure of the clutch.  On stock Triumph clutches you would have the original pressure plate and three set screws with small springs. Those three little springs don’t press back with a lot of pressure.  So it’s possible that this installed on a “Normal Setup”, might produce extremely light clutch pull.  I may have to purchase another and try it on the stock TR7RV bobber I’m building now to see how light the pull can be.

A stock Triumph primary and clutch

A stock Triumph primary and clutch

IMG_0319

My cafe with custom QPD primary and clutch

As for the function, it’s great.  The clutch now has a ‘friction zone’ that is easier to work in, than that of the cable operated.  Even when hot from stop and go traffic the functionality of the clutch doesn’t change.  Where with the old cable system as the clutch would heat up along with the transmission fluid it seem to act different.  Almost as if the cable stretched and made your pull longer.

I know a lot of track folks out there will tell you the same thing, why would you want to get away from the simplicity of a cable replacement or adjustment?  Well if I was running this bike on the track then it would become a concern.  But right now, it’s going in traffic and simple back country roads, so I’m fine with giving us the ease of a quick switch out.  The past two times the cable clutch failed on me I didn’t have an easy fix anyway.  Both times it happened on the Distinguished Gentlemen Ride in Denver.  First year I ripped right through the cable at the lever and I didn’t have a replacement with me. Lesson 1, don’t buy cheap levers.  Last year, it felt as if the clutch and cable were stretching and I was making constant adjustments to the cable.  Finally on my way home, the shift assembly jammed up and there was no more pull.  When I got it home the little ball bearing was jammed up and the spring didn’t have enough pull to set it back in place.

The trouble maker

The trouble maker

That was the year that I decided just to go with the conversion.  Happy with it so far.

 

 

 

 

 

Pros so far: 

  • Easier pull
  • No change when the clutch heats up

Cons so far:

  • Cost
  • Maintenance is harder