Club, Endurance and Isle of Man racer, been riding bikes since 1970 something, got the bug sitting on the back of my dad’s 400 Four. First ride was an Italjet followed by RM80 and YZ125 dirt bikes, current bikes range from agricultural to exotic. Writing about bikes for four years.
How to transform the performance of your hydraulic clutch. Believe the hype the Ducati 916 and the 996 clutch is heavy and you get arm pump in the first twenty minutes.
I bought a Ducati 996 SPS/F as a project bike. It had been stored and idle for some time and needed some TLC. The first time I took it out, I quickly realised that all the hype about the heavy Ducati clutch was not hype at all; the clutch was a lot heavier than any heavy duty race clutch I've used so I decided that an upgrade would be essential.
The clutch on my Honda SP2 also had a problematic leak so I decided to give it some attention too, courtesy of some Oberon Performance clutch salves, which are CNC machined from T6 billet alloy for lightness, strength and eye-catching good looks. The Oberon performance clutch slave cylinder is designed to improve the efficiency and looks of the original clutch slave cylinder.
The enhanced 29mm piston reduces the heaviness of the original clutch action. The Oberon piston has a bigger diameter than the OEM piston, which gives it more power with reduced lever pressure.
Each quarter of a millimeter change to the piston diameter either increases or decreases the distance that would be travelled by the push-rod, this has a direct relation to the amount of effort required at the clutch lever, therefore making the clutch easier with each small increment of piston diameter increase.
Fitting was really easy and it took me half an hour to fit both. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. Bleeding was really simple with the help of a brake bleed kit which allowed me to pull all the old fluid out and replace with new. The Honda slave has a bleed nipple on the slave itself and the Ducati bleed nipple is part of the banjo bolt.
The Ducati had different length push rods retrofitted. Oberon explained that if this was the case they had made allowance and the slave could still be fitted. If you have the original bar they supply an extension bar in so you are covered either way.
The piston seals are manufactured from Viton rubber which is frozen and then CNC machined with a 'U' profile which seals better than the standard 'O' rings. The ‘U’ profile has been developed for hydraulic use.
The piston itself is protected with a back-plate to prevent ingress of dirt and subsequent piston wear, this also gives a smoother lever action.
To test the difference in the force needed to pull the lever after the slave was fitted, I used a scale with a hook on one end attached to the lever and pulled to see the weight. I did the before and after fitting. On the Ducati the force needed was 40% less after the slave was fitted. On the SP2 is was 50% less.
This is a cheap and effective way to avoid arm pump.
Oberon Performance's slave cylinder comes with a lifetime (return to base) warranty as standard - including parts and labour.
Tested: Oberon Performance clutch salves