Rekluse Core Manual TorqDrive Clutch in ’22 Yamaha YZ450F | Track Tested
Rekluse Core Manual TorqDrive Clutch
Application: Tested here on 2022 Yamaha YZ450F
What It Is
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for several years, you should already know that Rekluse has been making waves in all aspects of off-road motorcycle racing. From the trail=-blazing Auto-Clutch assemblies that are a near-must for off-road racing (and used by several teams for motocross!) to the Core Manual TorqDrive assembly, we tested here, Rekluse has a rich history in performance in only a few years. The clutch kit includes a new hub and pressure plate, three sets of springs, a complete set of friction and metal clutch plates, and a set of basket sleeves. (The stock clutch basket is maintained.)
The secret sauce lies in the Rekluse clutch plates, which are thinner than stock. As a result, up to four additional clutch plates are added to the clutch assembly (depending on the motorcycle model), offering far more grip and more efficient power transfer. To combat pre-mature clutch basket wear, steel basket sleeves are inserted between the clutch basket fingers, mating perfectly with the narrower tabs on the Rekluse plates. The kit comes complete with standard, softer, and firmer clutch springs to completely fine-tune the system’s performance to suit both rider taste and optimize the performance of the engine.
Aesthetically, the Rekluse Clutch Cover is hard anodized and resists wear from the rider’s boot, and maintains a great look far longer than the stock cover. We had our Core Manual TorqDrive Clutch assembly installed by our friends at Doc MX Racing Services.
How it Works
The 2022 Yamaha YZ450F is a powerhouse, and one of the characteristics that we like best about the powerband is the massive low-end throttle response, right off of idle. The torque is a huge bonus when there is a jump placed right after a corner and getting a good drive is imperative to get over the obstacle. Make a mistake mid-corner on the Yamaha? No worries, as a quick fan of the clutch lever is all that’s needed to get the engine spitting fire again.
Always looking to improve both the performance and looks of our test bikes, we installed a Yoshimura RS-12 exhaust system on our YZ450F and found that it gave the bike a more aggressive exhaust note, much-improved looks, and stronger mid-range and much-improved top-end pull. While this is excellent for faster riders, our average testers missed the low-end throttle response that the system gave up in favor of the top-end gains. While we tried to recover the low-end torque with the Yamaha Power Tuner app, we were never able to completely restore the YZF’s immediate response.
And that’s where the TorqDrive comes in! We’ve got plenty of experience with the performance gains the product yields on other bikes (it is flat-out amazing on a Kawasaki KX450) so we knew that the Core Manual TorqDrive could bring back the off-idle snap we were missing. While we can’t imagine how unruly the YZ450F might become with the stock exhaust and a TorqDrive installed, it was just what the doctor ordered when it came to regaining the low-end that was sacrificed by the aftermarket exhaust.
When one thinks of improving roll-on power and throttle response, exhaust systems, lower gearing, and ignition mapping are usually the first things that come to mind. The addition of a Core Manual TorqDrive clutch, though, is quite possibly the best improvement you can make. While the $999 kit offers the best durability and performance, Rekluse does offer a TorqDrive Clutch Pack for $359 that works with your stock basket, hub, and pressure plate.
Where will you feel the performance of the Rekluse Core Manual most? Think about your favorite corner at your local track; one that you can power out of without taking a stab at the clutch lever. Whether you realize it or not, as you are rolling the throttle on, the clutch is slipping and all of the power is not being transferred to your rear wheel. With a Rekluse in, less power is lost due to clutch slippage and the result is monstrous traction and more forward drive. Don’t be surprised if you have to rethink your acceleration points and amount of throttle, especially when approaching jumps.
We’ve long been fans of Rekluse’s TorqDrive technology and we stand by our statement that dollar for dollar, TorqDrive is the best high performance value.