Auto Clutch for Supercross?
Q: You’re running something a little different for a clutch this year that we don’t often see in Supercross.
A: Yeah, it’s a Rekluse full automatic clutch. Pretty much you don’t ever have to touch it if you don’t want to. You can put it in gear without pulling the clutch in. It’s pretty much like a Cobra 50. It’s good for as far as preventing stalling the motorcycle or any sort of thing like that. It helps compensate little bitty mistakes that you make.
Austin from Rekluse came down and we did a bunch of testing on it. We put the OEM clutch in there and then we put this one in there, and I thought it was kind of a crazy, bizarre thing when I tried it. I was like, “Man, this isn’t going to work.” But now I really like it. It’s something different. I think during the Outdoors it will definitely be a big positive. Everyone gets tired at the end of the moto where you’re just four-finger clutching it. You’re just tired. This thing here you can just kind of be smooth and fluid and when you need the clutch it’s still there. I think it’s a positive and I think in the future you’ll see a lot more people using them. I have people ask me about it all the time.
Q: How about starts? How are you doing it for Supercross?
A: It’s pretty much the same thing on the starts. Some people say it takes off just a little bit of an initial hit as far as the start. I can’t tell the difference and I’m pretty picky when it comes to that type of stuff. I can’t tell the difference in it. I know there are a couple other guys running it and they say the same thing; they really can’t tell. You’ve got some riders that are really, really finicky about pulling their clutch or this or that. I don’t think it really makes that big of a difference whatsoever.
Q: But coming out of the gate are you using the clutch still or are you just dropping the hammer on the throttle and going?
A: No. You’re definitely using the clutch. I definitely use it probably less than I used to, but I still use it a bunch, especially Supercross. You’ve got to keep the RPMs up for sections where you need your clutch: on-offs, the whoops, and stuff like that. You still use it as much as possible, but if you don’t want to use it you don’t have to. It’s pretty good.
Q: How about on the engine braking side? What does it do there?
A: There is no engine brake. So when if you would roll a jump...it’s pretty much as if kicking your bike in neutral. So, I guess that’s where it goes back to the whole stalling thing. If you roll a jump or you’re not on the brakes it’s pretty much your bike is in neutral. Your bike feels a little different, so it takes some getting used to. But I would say that’s the only thing that really is a big difference. You’re definitely not putting your bike in neutral as much as you used to because you have to start it and whatever, but people have a bad tendency to come up and rev your bike up to see how it sounds. You’ll still be in first gear and the clutch is out so they think it’s in neutral. They’ll come up and rev it up and the thing just takes off from underneath you. We did it a few times when we first were testing it. My dad would rev the bike and the thing would just ghost ride from underneath me. But that’s a big thing to watch out for, is putting it in neutral every time you come back to the trailer.
Q: I’m sure he’s just trying to help you out.
A: Yeah, for sure. I got mad a few times because I’m just sitting on the bike and he comes up and it was just… “What’d you do that for?”
Q: But with the lack of engine braking, you can’t be lazy and you have to concentrate more on your braking?
A: Yeah, definitely. It’s pretty much like riding a two-stroke 125, where they didn’t have any of that. That’s exactly what it is. It’s more so riding a two-stroke than a four-stroke where that was the big transition, from the two-stroke to the four-stroke. Everyone was like, “I have so much engine braking. You don’t have to do this or that. It has more power…” It’s pretty much all that but like the two-stroke used to be.
Q: But you get lazy with your braking on the four-stroke?
A: Yeah, you do. That’s the thing; whenever we first started riding it I was coming in the corner, I was going over berms...I was coming in way too hot. I think it kind of mellows and kind of smooths you out a little bit because you have to brake harder so you drive the corners definitely deeper. Sometimes I’d go through a corner and I’ll be like, “Dang, I just went through that thing and I didn’t even touch the brakes at all!” I used to rely on it so much.
Want more info on Rekluse's line of automatic clutches? Check out www.rekluse.com