Baker's New King Kong Klutch - First Look

1. Baker's King Kong Klutch claims to have the highest torque capacity of any wet Big Twin clutch. The King Kong Klutch is a wet system and is shipped with pre-soaked plates. It is designed to fit most Harley-Davidson models ('90-'06 Big Twins, excluding '06 Dynas) and, of course, custom applications. Note: Baker recommends the use of ATF fluid with this setup; they feel it has better lubrication characteristics.

2. The steel drive sprocket is available with a 35, 36, 37, or 38-tooth design.

3. The Baker setup has a large, one-piece, hard-anodized billet presser plate and comes with three different spring weights to choose from. Yellow 240-lb light, red 360-lb medium, and blue 480-lb heavy duty. For a stock 88ci, the yellow 240-lb would work fine, but if you're running with a 100ci to 124ci or bigger, then you will want to find a happy medium between the red and the blue. The stock H-Ds have a three set-up configuration: one presser plate, one diaphragm spring, and spring retainer.

4. The Baker clutch basket uses a one-piece hardened steel unit-not cast and cut-and the same goes with the inner hub for less wear resistance.

5. The King Kong Klutch comes with 20 one-sided 7-inch diameter friction plates to balance temperature and heat dissipation. Heat is the main enemy of clutches, so each plate has a proprietary high-energy friction material for friction efficiency and longer life.

6. Stock H-D clutches consist of eight steel plates staggered between nine friction plates.

7&8. Here you can see how much larger the 7-inch Baker King Kong Klutch plate is over stock. Then here's a closer look at the two: the difference between the stock H-D clutch on and the Baker plate. You can see that the Baker King Kong Klutch plates have the friction material covering the whole surface, whereas the stock plates have material spaced about 1/4-inch apart.

9. The starter ring gear is a 66-tooth design and 23-percent thicker than stock. As you can see, the starter ring is part of the outer basket, making for a one-piece design, unlike stock, in which the ring gear is riveted onto the clutch basket. With this clutch assembly you need to replace the factory 10-tooth starter pinion gear on '93-'07 bikes with the Baker 9-tooth starter pinion gear (Part No SP1000). Stock H-D on the right, and the Baker 9-tooth on the left.

10. Last, when combined with the Baker Function Formed Primary, we may have found an unstoppable set-up.

Here at Hot Bike, we strive to stay on top of the most innovative parts to hit the American V-Twin industry, so we're bringing you a new tech piece entitled First Look. With this series, we will search out the newest parts and get you the inside scoop on what they are and how they work.

Baker Drivetrain's new King Kong Klutch, as described by company owner Bert Baker, is "a gorilla in clutch grip, but a mouse in clutch effort." So what kind of gorilla force are we looking for in a good clutch-one that can keep you in place as you come to a stop, or one that can hold steady at the drag-racing line? And what about the size of the motor? To answer these questions, generally the bigger the size (big-inch), the more effort is needed to keep you and the bike from creeping when stopped. We all know that stock works well with stock, but if you have a big-inch motor, then you know what we are talking about when you hear "the bike is creeping."

As you come to a stop, finding First gear and then Neutral, the effort to get the bike into and out of gear may seem hard or stiff. What is happening here is that as you pull in the clutch, the surface area between the friction plates and the steel plates are engaging, braking, and stopping the power of the motor to the mainshaft of the transmission. But if the power of the motor is greater than the strength of the clutch (the springs), then the clutch will not be able to hold and the bike may start to creep.

Part of understanding this comes from knowing what the clutch is and the job of it. The clutch is a series of spring-loaded plates that engage and disengage power from the engine to the transmission when pressed together, connecting the transmission to the engine crankshaft. When a rider wants to shift gears, he uses the clutch to disconnect the transmission from the engine crankshaft. Once the new gear is selected, the clutch re-establishes the connection.

No pressure on the lever means that the clutch plates are engaged (driving), while pulling the clutch lever back towards the handlebars will disengage the clutch plates, allowing you to shift gears. Stock motorcycle clutches are usually made up of a stack of alternating steel and friction plates. One set of plates has lugs, or ears, on its inner diameter that key it to the engine crankshaft, while the other set of plates has lugs on its outer diameter that key it to a basket that turns the transmission input shaft. The plates are forced together by a set of coil springs when the clutch is engaged. With this being said, Bert found that with all the upgrades to transmissions out there, there was not a lot made to the clutches holding them.

The ideas for the King Kong Klutch came to Bert over three years ago, after seeing a set of Cadillac five-speed automatic transmission plates. He saw just how massive they were and that is when he started thinking about the whole "Bigger is better" philosophy and how to improve on stock clutches. Bert figured that he needed to fit a larger clutch plate into a stock primary-the more surface area, the better the holding power. So they needed to design a new clutch basket to hold larger clutch plates.

The King Kong Klutch is intended to offer a solution for larger motors and for OEM replacement clutches. Some small modifications are necessary for fitment in a stock primary. It gains holding power while retaining a light clutch effort, which is also great for those riders stuck in stop-and-go traffic.