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Old 08-30-2017, 10:33 AM
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VPC vs Stock Clutch (With or W/O SE Spring)

Hey All,
So when I bought my 2012 Ultra Limited it had a SE VPC in it. Not sure why it was upgraded from stock. I inquired at the dealership who I bought it from and who also did the install and they said the previous owner was having trouble finding neutral and the VPC resolved that. Maybe its just me but it never felt right. Lately I've been doing a lot of practice and I'm guessing all that riding in the friction zone an not letting the engine cool down is causing wear and tear.
I don't know all that much about engines/clutches so my question is should I look at a better VPC from AIM or ditch it all together and go back to a stock clutch with possibly a better spring?

Thanks in advance for helping me spend money : )
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:46 AM
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VPC vs Stock Clutch (With or W/O SE Spring)

First question: are you riding or building the bike for high performance?
By that I mean, do you ride it hard, pull a heavy trailer, race it?
Are you upgrading and tuning the engine for a hundred horses or more?
Some of these things would suggest a clutch upgrade, maybe a VPC, maybe something else, depending on your riding style/application.

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Old 08-30-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSurly View Post
First question: are you riding or building the bike for high performance?


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Riding, but Smart Dave put in a cam and tuned it at Pocono HD to give it some extra get up and go,. Thats the extent of the performance that I plan on adding
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:04 AM
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VPC vs Stock Clutch (With or W/O SE Spring)

I edited above, sorry.
How do you ride? Occasional stop light races? Loaded two up touring? Trailer?
Unless you are doing something in those areas, or you are experiencing slip, the stocker is likely sufficient.
Upgrading choices really depend on your riding style.
A VPC isn't really an advantage for heavy touring. Its forte is high RPM and you actually LOSE clutch grip at very low RPM. (But the lever pull is light! .... until you rev it)
For heavy touring, trailers, the SE spring does more for you, gripping at low engine speeds but lever effort is annoying.
If you really want to thrash it hard, have a really stout setup all across the range, the Bandit is the way to go.... but that is way overkill if you don't need extreme

Edit: BTW: cone riding motor cop style is tough on any clutch.

Guys with lots of experience in that game (KenR, Infidel, others) could weigh in on what works best for that.


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Old 08-30-2017, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSurly View Post
I edited above, sorry.
How do you ride? Occasional stop light races? Loaded two up touring? Trailer?
Unless you are doing something in those areas, or you are experiencing slip, the stocker is likely sufficient.
Upgrading choices really depend on your riding style.
A VPC isn't really an advantage for heavy touring. Its forte is high RPM and you actually LOSE clutch grip at very low RPM. (But the lever pull is light! .... until you rev it)
For heavy touring, trailers, the SE spring does more for you, gripping at low engine speeds but lever effort is annoying.
If you really want to thrash it hard, have a really stout setup all across the range, the Bandit is the way to go.... but that is way overkill if you don't need extreme

Edit: BTW: cone riding motor cop style is tough on any clutch.

Guys with lots of experience in that game (KenR, Infidel, others) could weigh in on what works best for that.


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Thats the exact issue I'm feeling, losing clutch grip at low RPM with the VPC. I don't do any of the above (stop light racing, riding two up or hauling a trailer) so it sounds like going back to a stock clutch is the way to go. Is there any benefit going with a heavy duty clutch spring over all stock setup?
Thank you for taking the time to respond, its much appreciated.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:39 AM
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I'm partial to Barnett clutches. I'd recommend a Kevlar extra plate unit. You'll maintain good feel, and you've got a bit more surface area to handle the extra power you're making.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone Stockman View Post
I'm partial to Barnett clutches. I'd recommend a Kevlar extra plate unit. You'll maintain good feel, and you've got a bit more surface area to handle the extra power you're making.
Thanks for the heads up I'm on Barnett's site pricing out their Kevlar clutch kits. This doesn't look like its going to be as expensive as I thought which is a relief.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain 41 View Post
Thanks for the heads up I'm on Barnett's site pricing out their Kevlar clutch kits. This doesn't look like its going to be as expensive as I thought which is a relief.
https://www.amazon.com/Barnett-Extra.../dp/B000GZT3U2
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:05 PM
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There are really a lot of options for clutch improvement.
a.) Basic approach is heavier spring (SE)
b.) better (claimed) plates, kevlar, carbon, etc that are stock dimensions, drop-in swap.
c.) then different pressure plates; VPCs, coil springs, other variants
d.) step up to a 'complete clutch' with a new smaller hub and wider plates (Barnett, Bandit, etc) including the pressure plate.
e.) Barnett also offers the whole clutch as above, *with* a VPC.

Lots of options out there.

Two things of note:
1.) there are many upgrade options in the 300 dollar and up range for VPCs and other bits. Some kits are way more. Surprising (to me) is that the whole Bandit Sportsman clutch set up is $500. Something to keep in mind when comparing.
43.) If anyone is interested in any bandit product, you MUST call them...their website is literally TEN YEARS out of date. Clutch is great, website is useless


41.) we haven't even talked about the basket options, yet.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone Stockman View Post
I'm partial to Barnett clutches. I'd recommend a Kevlar extra plate unit. You'll maintain good feel, and you've got a bit more surface area to handle the extra power you're making.
That is what I am running in the Barge.
Lever pull is quite intense at times, not at
all like a stock clutch. However I am also running
the SE spring.


Don't know if different ramps will do any good to ease
lever pull.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:29 PM
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Ken and I will disagree on what each likes. He prefers the VPC with stock plates, I prefer a little heavier spring. VPC allows for a lighter lever pull with Alto carbon fiber plates. Both work well. My Alto plates lasted about a year running Castro Vtwin in the primary with heavy (competition style) practice. They are still in there, just not practicing much anymore. They still provide excellent grip at all RPM. Alto also has a lifetime guarantee, so if you manage to wear them out you get a new set free.

Barnett recommends ATF for their clutches. I won't run ATF in the primary because I don't believe it can stand the heat of running in the friction zone. A car transmission will rarely reach 200 degrees. I have seen primaries at practice measured at 450+ from the outside. For those temps a Vtwin synthetic makes more sense to me.

KenR can give you the complete rundown on the VPC. He has also done some semi-scientific research on clutches.

Whatever you do, don't run Kevlar. It will melt during practice. I've seen that too.

Proper and frequent adjustment will provide a long useful life from the friction plates.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:23 AM
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As seen below, I have smoked a stock clutch setup. After that I switched to the Alto carbon pack and the Barnett heavy (480 lb.) spring. That made a pretty tough pull on the lever so I added the Muller ramps which brought it back down. With BelRay primary fluid everything in there seems happy nowadays.

If I had to do it again I would just buy the Bandit or Scorpion and be done with it.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:39 AM
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Crap I think I jumped the gun. I called Barnett yesterday and ordered their Kevlar kit with heavy duty spring. I was concerned with how hard the clutch pull would be and he said the heavy duty spring makes it a little stiffer then stock. Doesn't seem to be the case, thinking I going to call this morning when they open and see if I can switch it to the carbon fiber or am I completely overthinking this? I practice for 25-30 minutes each time I ride and never think I will be at the skill level to compete so I don't think I'm going to abuse the setup that much. Proper and frequent adjustment sounds like something I should be doing, just need to learn how to do the maintenance myself. Thank you all for your time and advice, its much appreciated : )
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:43 PM
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I'm running the stock plates with the SE spring in the 'b'. Formula+ in the primary.

Motor's a mild 95, making 95/105 at the rear wheel.

Had some clutch slippage with the stock spring, but the SE spring solved that.

I do, however, keep the clutch adjusted and try to not abuse it too much.

Easiest (and cheapest) thing to do is put in the SE spring and go from there.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:46 AM
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The trick on clutch as noted is to select the proper clutch for the application. Case in point the VPC does nothing for low rpm operation. The VPC is designed to use centrifugal force to apply increased clamping pressure at higher rpm.

The black bike in my profile picture has an SE 120r engine in it. It makes over 100 ft lbs of tq at 1500 rpm. On that bike I use the SE Kevlar plates, SE diaphragm spring, AIM VPC clutch on a billet AIM pressure plate. I use Harley Formula plus in my primary and have very good service after five years of service.
I also have a 2010 Street Glide, that bike is a stage II 103 that makes 92 hp and 106 tq. On it I used the stock clutch, SE spring, with Formula plus and it worked for a while but I added a VPC to that bike when it started to run away from the clutch above 4000 rpm (thanks again Mike). Proper adjustment is essential to proper operation and many of the clutches listed are good products. I think my next "clutch" purpose will be a better basket for my dyna / 120r combo.
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