How to Upgrade the Clutch on a Hypermotard/Hyperstrada 821
A guide to replacing the clutch on a 2013-2014 Ducati Hypermotard 821 or Ducati Hyperstrada 821 to get rid of the tiny, grabby engagement zone that makes it hard to ride.
The clutch on the 2013 and 2014 Ducati Hypermotard and Ducati Hyperstrada is infamously bad.
The engagement zone is tiny — almost immediate. This means that at every launch, you're at risk of stalling or doing an accidental burnout or wheelie. It's very embarrassing. It happened to me a lot, and I've ridden a LOT of motorcycles! Suddenly it's amateur hour again.
And even if you don't stall or do a wheelie, you can only launch slowly. A slow launch? What's even the point of all that power?
This is a guide to fixing that clutch, making the Hyperstrada or Hypermotard 821 into an actually driveable, awesome, useable machine.
It's such a huge transformation that it boggles my mind that people would even attempt to use the Hyperstrada 821 or Hypermotard 821 WITHOUT doing the clutch fix.
So if you're hesitating — don't. Buy the kit. Invest a couple of hours and make the bike into a dream.
In this guide...
- Background about the grabby Ducati Hyper clutch — what causes it, and when it was rectified
- The two ways to fix the grabby Ducati HyperMotard/Hyperstrada clutch
- Tools and parts you'll need to fix it (either way)
- How to disassemble the Ducati 821 clutch
- How to fix the clutch by either replacing the clutch pack or adding an anti-judder kit
- How to re-assemble the clutch
Background — The Grabby Hypermotard and Hyperstrada Clutch
Some users don't experience the grabby clutch, but the majority seem to do so. It seems to be something that plagues only 2013-2014 Hyperstrada and Hypermotard 821 models.
The phenomenon is quite well-documented on major forums. I definitely have the grabby clutch on my own 2014 Ducati Hyperstrada that I bought used — and almost totally stock.
Luckily, in 2015, Ducati changed the design of the Hypermotard and Hyperstrada 821 clutch by adding a washer (called a belleville washer) to the design.
The new, upgraded clutch has a much smoother, normal feeling to it. See the below for diagrams of the 2013 and 2015 clutch design.
The Ducati Monster 821 always had an upgraded clutch design — it never suffered from the same problem as the Hypers.
In the standard design, there are 11 driving plates and 10 driven plates between them. There is no anti-judder washer (a "Belleville" washer).
In the updated design, there is an anti-judder washer that fit inside the outside driving plate, along with a spacer.
Once you've added that washer, the difference between the clutch with it and without it is night and day.
With the modified clutch you can launch quickly, do clutch wheelies (if that's your thing... it's not mine), and commute effortlessly.
This makes this one of the best bang-for-the-buck modifications for the Ducati Hypermotard or Hyperstrada.
To add this anti-judder washer to your 2013/2014 Ducati Hyper 821 look at the following guide. There are two ways!
Fixing the Hypermotard/Hyperstrada 2013/2014 clutch - Two ways
There are two ways to fix the Hypermotard/Hyperstrada clutch.
Method 1: Replace the whole clutch pack
The only difference between the 2013/2014 Hypermotard clutch and later ones is the clutch pack. Although some other part numbers change, the parts themselves are identical.
This means that you can fix your 2013/2014 clutch by simply swapping in a 2015 clutch pack (part #19020312A, priced around US$260 on eBay).
Because you don't have to replace the whole clutch pack, I'd only recommend replacing the whole clutch pack if your clutch is on the way out. If you've done 50,000 miles or 80,000 kms, then it might be a good idea. Otherwise, see Method 2 below!
Method 2: Add in a spacer washer (anti-judder kit) to your existing clutch pack
The second way you can fix the 2013/2014 Hypermotard/Hyperstrada clutch is by adding in a washer.
This is cheaper and easier (well, only about 20% easier, as you still have to open up the clutch).
The part you need is a DU 133/6 Anti-judder pack. They're available for under US$100 on eBay.
If you don't need to replace your whole clutch pack, definitely use the anti-judder kit — it's cheaper and a slightly easier procedure (you skip a few steps that I mention below).
Below see detail for how to perform the swap. It should take you about 4 hours from start to finish, assuming you have a decent work area and all the tools and parts handy.
Tools/parts you'll need
I've included links to eBay & Amazon for your convenience if you don't have anything of the below tools.
- New 2015 Ducati Hypermotard clutch pack (19020312A) OR anti-judder kit (DU-133/6)
- 32mm socket, cheap on eBay (you might need this separately — doesn't come in most socket sets!)
- Metric sockets/hex keys (nothing exotic required)
- Torque wrenches capable of measuring up to 150 ft/lb (200 Nm), and down to 3 ft/lb (4 Nm). Here's a Craftsman 20-250lb one, and one of the second — good quality without being over-expensive
- ThreeBond 1211 gasket sealant or equivalent
- Rubber mallet (to open the clutch cover)
- Breaker/leverage bar (optional, to open the clutch cover, with a wood block to keep metal bits safe)
- 2 pieces of ~6 inches (~15 centimetre) of 3mm x 0.5 pitch (the normal pitch) threaded rod to hold the plates together. You can buy one piece and cut it in half. You can use a bolt, but you'll need to cut the head off... unless you magically get the right length (it's not 6 inches).
- 2 small nuts, and 2 optional wing nuts to fit the threaded rod (ask nicely and they'll throw them in). Wing nuts make it slightly lesss fiddly.
- Engine oil — 15W-50 is standard spec, but other specs work.
Part 1: Disassembly of the 821 clutch
Below are all the steps you need to replace your clutch and to get one that's smooth and jerk-free that lets you launch as fast as you want.
There are a LOT of steps because I want to make sure this is as detailed as possible. But that said, it's doable by the kind of person who has a space to work in and a full set of tools.
I'd also recommend a centre stand or a good rear wheel stand to keep it upright. Something about doing work like this with the motorbike leaned over and supported only on its kickstand makes me nervous.
1. Wash your bike (focusing on the brake/clutch area).
Try to get rid of as much grit from around the clutch cover as possible. When you open up the engine casing, this minimises the risk of debris getting inside a very clean area.
2. Drain the engine oil.
Start the bike and run it for a few minutes so the oil heats up a bit (say to 60 degrees C). This will help it drain.
Discard the oil if you're due for a change, planning on refilling it with fresh oil. Otherwise, store the oil in a clean container for re-use.
3a. Only necessary if replacing the whole clutch pack: Put your bike in 6th gear. This will help you later with leverage to undo a high-torque bolt.
4. Disconnect your clutch cable from your clutch lever.
Then, once tension is released, disconnect the cable from the clutch cover. (I found out during this process that this Ducati does not have a hydraulic clutch!)
4a. Remove the brake pedal
You don't have to do this, and you can work around it. But many people end up removing the brake pedal when replacing the cover, so you may save yourself unnecessary trouble by doing it now.
It will make life a lot easier and ensure there's no sealant in the wrong places.
The rear brake pedal is held on with a single large hex nut.
4b. (Optional but suggested) Unbolt the horizontal belt cover
Unscrew line of lower bolts from horizontal belt cover and just the forward bolt from the little joint cover. This gives enough play so you can slide it a bit and get it out of the way to remove the clutch cover.
5. Remove the 10 bolts holding the clutch cover on.
There are 3 different lengths — 6 short, 3 medium, and 1 long. The location of each kind is in the photos.
Make sure you go around with a flashlight and remove every bolt. I spent a little while trying to jiggle it off, not realising a couple of bolts remained.
Keep this diagram as a reference for later!
6. Remove the small tab that retains the clutch cable.
There's a little guide for the clutch cable — remove this.
7. Remove the clutch cover.
You need to use some force to remove the cover, but do NOT try to break the seal by prying it open with a screwdriver.
Start by using the rubber mallet to hit the clutch cover around its outer edge to try to break the seal.
This may or may not work. There are small tabs located on the clutch cover (see photo).
If you want to pry it off, use a pry bar cushioned by a wood block to gently pry the cover off and break the seal.
DO NOT attempt to insert anything hard like a screwdriver between the two mating surfaces. You can break the seal with a fine razor, though.
One method you can use is to use a bolt and a nut wedged under a few of the leverage points of the cover.
I used this technique and snapped one of the tabs off — but that's because I had a bolt left that I hadn't seen.
8. Put a tray underneath and wiggle that clutch cover open.
You should now be able to wiggle the clutch cover open. Some drips of oil will come out, so catch those.
There is a tab that fits behind the belt cover that might get stuck. The brake pedal will also get in the way. Wiggle the clutch cover and it'll come out gently.
9. WHEN REPLACING CLUTCH PACK ONLY: Insert 3mm threaded rods into exposed clutch.
You don't need to use the 3mm rods just yet if you're just replacing the two top plates (the anti-judder pack).
Insert the threaded rods as shown in the photo, and finger tighten a small nut nut to hold the clutch pack together.
You need to use a small nut here. You can't use a wing nut, because it won't fit through the hole of the pressure plate on top.
Without the 3mm threaded rods in place, the spring loaded clutch would separate when you took the clutch springs out.
10. Remove the four bolts holding the clutch springs and pressure plate.
These bolts hold springs down.
Relieve the pressure bit by bit on each one, going gradually around in a circle or in a Z motion.
If you didn't insert the 3mm rods, your plates will all now come out. That's why you should release pressure gradually — otherwise there'll be too much pressure on one bolt.
You need to thread the tiny threaded rod into the small holes, remove the clutch springs, remove the needed plates then reinstall it all.
At this point onward you've disassembled enough that you can either get out the whole clutch pack, or you can just take out the plates you need.
Part 2: Install your new clutch plates, or replace the clutch pack
If you're adding the anti-judder kit (and not the whole clutch pack), you can skip steps 11 and 12.
11. WHEN REPLACING WHOLE CLUTCH PACK ONLY: Remove the large central 32mm nut
This is tough. This is why you put the bike in 6th gear, to give you some leverage. Stand on the rear brake and use your breaker bar. With enough (gentle) force it will loosen.
12. WHEN REPLACING WHOLE CLUTCH PACK ONLY: Slide out the clutch assembly.
The whole pressure plate assembly should now slide out.
Loosen the 3mm nuts on your threaded rod to release the spring tension on the clutch pack.
In standard form, this is what the Hypermotard/Hyperstrada 821 clutch pack looks like.
There's some discussion about whether those plate thicknesses are correct or not, but the important part is that there are 11 drive plates, and 10 driven plates sandwiched between them.
13. Install your new clutch pack (or anti-judderkit)
Now, you either install your new clutch anti-judder kit or the whole replacement clutch pack.
If you're just installing your kit, you remove the two outermost plates, and replace it with the drive plate and driven plate you received in your kit, with the washers inside.
Don't omit to remove these two outermost plates! Otherwise you'll have too much pressure in the clutch pack and on the springs.
Note that, according to the service manual, the belleville washer goes on the outside (further away from the engine), with the small spacer on the inside of that.
Both fit inside the outer driven (friction) plate, which has a larger inner diameter.
An important consideration is how to fit the judder spacer and spring in the modified clutch pack.
As you can see from the manual above, the clutch sandwich is in this order:
- Front of clutch body
- Driving plate (with friction, a.k.a. friction plates)
- Belleville washer (on inside of driven plate)
- Spacer (on inside of driven plate)
- Driven plate (with teeth)
- Clutch pack — 10 driving plates, with 9 driven plates between them
The total of the above is still 11 driving plates with 10 driven plates. Don't add extra plates or you'll bork your clutch!
For orientation of the judder spacer and spring, see the below diagram:
I've seen more recommendations for option A, but also some commenters on Hyperstrada.com use option C.
Second point of caution: offset the last clutch plate you install.
The last clutch plate (outermost), whether it's from the new clutch pack or from your anti-judder kit, has to be offset.
When disassembling the clutch for the first time you may have noticed an alignment marker on the casing of the clutch and on the outermost plate. Make sure those are lined up.
How to re-assemble the clutch
Basically, re-assembly and re-installation is the reverse of what you did above.
14. Re-compress the clutch pack.
Use the 3mm threaded rod to re-compress the clutch pack.
If you removed the whole clutch pack (to replace it with the update one) you can now slide it back into the bike.
If you just replaced the outermost plates, you are just using the 3mm rod to compress down the pack (to the point where it's easy to re-install the springs).
15. (If you removed the whole pack) Tighten the 32mm nut to 140 ft-lbs (200 Nm)
Stand on the rear brake for this to get enough leverage.
16. Re-install the clutch springs (with washers) and pressure plate.
Put the washers under the clutch springs.
Tighten the 4 bolts to 5 Nm (spec is 4.5-5.5 Nm).
Don't torque the clutch pack retainer screws too tightly or they will snap.
17. Remove the 3mm threaded rod.
You no longer need it to keep pressure down.
18. Remove the rear brake pedal if you didn't earlier.
The rear brake pedal is held on with a single large hex nut.
Removing the brake pedal makes it much easier to put the clutch cover back on.
19. Clean both mating surfaces (clutch cover and crank case).
Remove any old gasket compound, and degrease with acetone.
- DO NOT use finger nail polish remover - it contains oils.
- DO NOT scrape either surface with anything metal.
A wire brush and some brake parts cleaner gets the old gasket off quickly.
Inspect your exposed clutch cavity to ensure that no sand, dirt, tools, etc fell in.
20. Practice re-fitting the clutch cover before putting sealing compound on.
Practice reinstalling before applying silicone gasket.
The clutch cover is a tight fit. Figure out your technique before you have everything covered in silicone.
You have to angle-and-twist to get the cover back on.
21. Apply an even bead of ThreeBond (or equivalent silicone gasket) around the entire mating surface of the clutch cover.
Make sure your go all the way around the bolt holes — make small circles.
22. Refit the clutch cover.
Tighten the 10 bolts to 13.5 Nm. There should be an even amount of silicone around the entire circumference of the clutch cover.
23. Re-install the clutch cable and the clutch cable retaining tab.
Confirm that the clutch functions - you should be able to see clutch actuation through the oil fill hole.
You may need to adjust your cable slightly at this point. Some users find it hard to find neutral.
If you can't find neutral, find the adjuster near your knee on the right side of the motorcycle.
Pull the sleeve towards the front of the bike, and use a wrench (10mm) to open the 10mm nut. That nut locks the adjuster into place. After you've opened it, you can adjust it by hand until you can find neutral easily.
Set the lever adjuster in the middle of its range, use the side adjuster to get close to the right free play, and then fine-tune at the lever.
24. Re-install the rear brake lever.
I didn't take photos of how this went together with the spring, assuming I could figure it out... haha.
25. Wait for 24 hours for the Threebond (or silicone gasket) to cure.
Do not rush this! Wait for it to cure. Go for a ride on your other motorcycle... or go shopping!
26. Refill with oil.
Start the bike, confirm oil level, and check for leaks.
Confirm clutch operation at low speed.
See the bits below. These were hard for me, so I'd recommend you review them to avoid pain.
The hardest parts of this procedure were, for me
- Removing the clutch cover. The damn thing had so many other bits in the way. It took a lot of wiggling to get it out.
- Re-fitting the clutch cover. Quite stressful, given that there's silicone sealant to worry about. I left it to the following morning. Do the practise runs! Dripping oil afterwards = sad face.
- Clunking sound when turning engine over. You may have fitted either the offset clutch plate incorrectly, or put too many plates. This hasn't happened to me, but it has happened to some!
If in doubt of course, contact your nearest Ducati-trained technicians.