Hydraulic Clutches

  • Hydro clutches seem to be a hot topic at the mo and I would really love to have one on my MX125. There are many arguments for and against hydraulic over a cable clutch and this article covers the pro's and con's of cable vs hydro clutches rather nicely;


    However sadly buying a ready made kit is a rare beast, unless you opt for the Magura kits. Which are standard OEM on several brands namely KTM's, Husky's and some Honda's etc. The Magura kits are uber cool and do not require too much modding to make them fit, however they are damn expensive at £280+ and the cost of them often does not justify itself.


    There are quite a few cheap Chinese kits available mostly through ebay, but too be honest they look very cheap and tacky. And most likely will not last as the build quality is not very good. So other than going down the DIY route and producing a kit yourself, there are not too many options available. I have been doing some research and I have discovered a cheaper alternative to the Magura kits. It's still not that cheap at £175, but it is over £105 cheaper than the Magura equivalent, plus it uses Brembo parts which as we all know, are a high quality manufacturer. Ducati's, KTM's, BMW's and some other large sports bikes like Honda's and Kawasaki's have ran this set-up, so it should be a reliable product. So enter the Brembo Mecdraulic clutch;

    0_1528841319254_Brembo Mecdraulic Clutch-1.jpg

    Some of you may already be familiar with it and may have looked into buying one? There still not that cheap if you compare it to the cost of a complete cable set-up circa £80-£100. But if you want the luxury feel of a hydro clutch, then this is a good alternative at a more palatable cost. I have discovered these dudes in Germany who will sell you a custom PBR Mecdraulic kit as shown above, which is tailored to your specific bike. All you need to do is supply them with the cable length you require and the length of the piston rod, which determines the slave cylinder length and they will custom manufacture a ready made kit for you.


    The kit uses a Brembo PS12 master cylinder, with a built in mirror mount and a PBR slave cylinder, it looks top quality and should provide a real smooth action. So what do y'all think, is this a worthwhile upgrade or not???

  • I'd love to have an hydraulic clutch, but i don't think there's good enough reasons for me to buy it, considering they're really expensive and all.

    Though they feel amazing, and soft, so go for it

  • I have a hydraulic clutch on the gasgas, which funnily enough even my benelli hasn't got. It's night and day, much more precision and control. Which is definitely a bonus on an off-road bike.

  • Whats your experience with the chineese ones, since you know about the build quality? Genuinly interested.
    The cheap adjustable brake/clutchlevers work perfectly, if I wanted a hydraulic setup, my pennys would go towards some of the chineese kits.

  • @NINJA I will have you covered with the Hydraulic clutch on a Rotax engine bud.

    But interestingly Honda actually does an OEM one for these engines.

    alt text

    That is a Rotax 122 engine with a Hydraulic Clutch fitted from Honda.

    The Hydraulic conversion I'm working on totals up to just under £100.

    Ducatti 996 Master/Slave. Can get brand new Slaves for £60, masters for £30. Some silver steel for £5 and some nice levers. As said, when it's done I'll post about it. But until then my lips are sealed...

    The way the guy done it on the other forum isn't the best. After speaking with my engineer he has advised going down an alternative route.

  • @jens-eskildsen I have no 'hands on' experience, I'm just comparing like for like and some reviews from other forums. Where people have bought cheap kits which haven't lasted very long. As the saying goes "Quality does not come cheap" and I'd rather pay a bit more for a quality reliable product, which will perform well and last a few years. 😉

  • Okay, just wanted to know if it was your experience, or just information that was passed on. What went wrong with them? Its kinda a simple device when you think about it, seals,pressure and fluid, so for some it might be worth it, especially if you know a certain seal is prone to leaking, so it can be replaced before its put to use. :smiling_face:

    I know quality (often) isnt cheap, but theres usually something in between the high end stuff, and the super budget ones. Our dt125r's is a pretty good example of that. They arent exactly top of the pop, but works well enough for us.

    A hefty pricetag doesnt always assure you quality, you can find examples of failed magura units aswell, but aftermarked, and the ones that come stock on some bikes.

    I like the simplicity of the cable, it the pull is so easy on theese little bikes, with the long stock clutchlevers.

    "and I'd rather pay a bit more for a quality reliable product"

    "however they are damn expensive at £280+ and the cost of them often does not justify itself."

    So which one is it? You say you'd pay more, but also that the expensive ones isnt worth it. :grinning_face:

  • @jens-eskildsen The most common complaint was of seals degrading quite quickly, with slave cylinders leaking over engine cases etc. Also poor fitment and having to modify parts to fit or extra long fluid lines. However the kits used may have been a 'universal' kit and not a bike specific kit? There were several threads I found and I have not bookmarked them, so I was just going from memory using a general consensus really.

    And yes I have also seen reports of failed Magura units too, whether this was down to mechanical failure or user abuse was not always clear.

    You seem confused as to which parts of my statements refer to which product. Yes paying top dollar does not always assure the buyer of the finest products available, but usually a higher price tag should reflect upon the quality of the raw materials/components used and the manufacturing process/finishing which are used to make it.

    1. "and I'd rather pay a bit more for a quality reliable product".

    This quote refers to the Mecdraulic kit I spoke about. As that kit uses Brembo parts who as I'm sure that you would agree, are a reputable manufacturer who sells quality parts.

    1. "however they are damn expensive at £280+ and the cost of them often does not justify itself."

    This is a direct reference to the Magura kits, as stated in the first part of that sentence, " The Magura kits are uber cool and do not require too much modding to make them fit".

    1. "So which one is it? You say you'd pay more, but also that the expensive ones isnt worth it."

    To clarify for example if a cheap kit costs £60-70 and fails within a short period of time and then needs parts replacing, it is not a financially viable prospect. As over time the cost of repairs would most likely equal a higher priced unit. Which would have hopefully not failed within the same time period? The Mecdraulic kit is a more reasonably priced kit at around £175, which uses quality Brembo parts and therefore it should be a more reliable unit? The Magura kits are top of the line units, which is reflected in their price tag of £280+. I hope that clears things up for you??? 😉

  • Bought a cheap eBay hydraulic clutch kit when first got my DT, slave cylinder seal shat itself about 5 rides in and had to ride home with no clutch. Also the cast for the parts was hilariously bad, I've never seen such a poor finish if I'm honest.

  • @jens-eskildsen Our bikes were priced about right to be fair, you have to appreciate, they are not exactly top dog. Conventional forks, steel frame, steel swingarm single pot calipers.

    I'd say bang for buck the DTR was priced about right, couldn't justify that higher price tag for some basic parts.

    That's what I adore about the Aprilia RS MX, priced only a little bit more than the DTR yet the spec on those are insane, ally frame, swingarm wheels, four pot radial calipers. USD's. The list goes on. The same goes for Cagiva.

    Then flip the coin and look at KTM, demanding 7K for some of their stuff. Sure, they rival the Aprilia in equipment (note hydraulic clutch as stock), but it's an extra 2K. Bang for buck, the DTR wasn't cheap, but it wasn't overly expensive. It used basic parts that would need little to no maintenance.

  • Calum, totally agree!

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