Here's the Drag Specialties Mainstreet hydraulic clutch kit. As you can see, it's complete and ready to be installed.
The Sportster already had custom chrome grips installed, so the chrome hydraulic clutch would be a great addition.
Just to be safe, the first thing Anthony did was disconnect the battery. That way there would be no surprises. With that done, he then removed the tension in the stock clutch cable.
The derby cover on the beltdrive was then removed to gain access to the ball, ramp, and cable coupling.
With the cover off, you can see the ball at the end of the cable, the coupling, and the ramp assembly. The next step was to remove the ball from the cable coupling.
With that done, Anthony began to remove the stock clutch assembly from the handlebars. He used some snap-ring pliers to remove the retaining clip and pin, and then was able to take off the lever.
He then loosened the Allen bolts to remove the clutch assembly from the handlebars. Since the back side of the stock clutch perch was going to be used with the new setup, Anthony set it to the side.
Then the old clutch cable was removed.
Next, the stock clamp was used to secure the new clutch onto the handlebars.
Anthony then installed the slave cylinder, attaching the ball into the coupling, making sure it was nice and secure.
Next, he unscrewed the end cap of the slave cylinder and removed the white spacer. Anthony then screwed the end cap back on and tightened it securely. After that he made a couple of pulls on the clutch lever to make sure everything felt right.
Once everything checked out, Anthony reinstalled the derby cover, and it was good to go.
Here's the finished product attached to the beltdrive. You may want to remove the yellow tag before you go riding, though.
The hydraulic clutch looks awesome and works like a charm. The clutch pull was much lighter, and after a quick test ride we could immediately tell this was going to be a major relief for the left hand. The best part was that it didn't take an entire afternoon to install.
Say what you will, but Sportsters are really great bikes. They're affordable, have plenty of good features, and, just like their Big Twin counterparts, have plenty of available options for upgrades. It doesn't matter what you ride, but one thing is for sure-no one likes pulling in a heavy clutch, especially repetitively in bumper-to-bumper traffic. One very useful upgrade we recently came across for the Sportster is the Mainstreet hydraulic clutch system. Engineered and manufactured by Magura in Germany, the kit is made available in the U.S. through Drag Specialties.
The installation of the Mainstreet hydraulic clutch kit provides a smooth feel and consistent clutch operation while making the clutch 40-percent easier to operate over the stock cable system. Drag Specialties offers the kit for both Big Twins and Sportsters, in 56-inch nonadjustable lengths for most stock applications, and 80-inch adjustable lengths for custom applications. The kits are available in black or chrome finish and work with OEM or aftermarket clamps. One of the best things about these kits is that they come pre-bled, so for most stock applications it's just a bolt-and-go setup. For this installation we chose the chrome 56-inch kit for '86-'07 XLs (MSRP: $449.95).
We went over to see our friends at LifeStyle Cycles in Anaheim, CA, where they installed the kit on their '03 Sportster project. It's important to note that some of the steps outlined in the installation manual didn't apply to this particular bike, since it went on an Evolution Industries open beltdrive system LifeStyle Cycles had previously installed on the bike (featured in the Vol. 39, No. 7 issue of HOT BIKE).
The install took a little more than one hour from start to finish. LifeStyle Cycle's mechanic Anthony Walton was on hand to perform the install while we snapped away.