August 2000 News 
Home / Features / King clutch update
   KING goes to Wauseon
   By Rob Olsen

With great reviews and support Rob and Duff travelled to the Wauseon meet in Ohio. With us we took our newly released steel and spring kits. It was a very well attended meet, with an excellent selection of antique parts and approx 500 vendors. 

There was a tremendous response to KING clutch, attracting good crowds and plenty of questions. I also took my new Henderson cylinders which caused some stir in those circles. 

Our new steel clutch plates are again an innovation taking from modern applications. Each plate has a textured surface to aid in engagement and release and, unlike OEM products, will not cause a suction effect. We studied rockwell hardness of the Indian clutch hubs to ensure our new steels will not cause any wear but would be more durable than OEM steel.

Bear in mind, though, that all the testers, whose opinions can be read below, were using OEM style steel plates, so KING Kevlar fiber plates work very well with any kind of steel plate in good condition, it will just work even better with KING steel plates.

The new springs, modeled after NOS indian springs, are double ground to provide even pressure, and heat treated to set spring tension as opposed to cheaper springs, manufactured and set machine wound. 

The KING clutch products are all packed individually, allowing you to custom select only the parts you need. Our high tech fiber plates are made from the finest materials including 6061-T6 aluminium core plates to which Kevlar fiber is bonded under 40 tons of heat and pressure. The 6061-T6 aluminium core plates ensure that the clutch studs will not be damaged, We could have used a cheaper steel core but this would cause damage to the studs as well as adding steel filings to the primary oil, unnesessary weight and heat. Each KING clutch product is all top quality materials. Each KING clutch product carries our LIFETIME warranty on all Kevlar fiber plates. 

At our next meet in Davenport we plan to introduce the HD line of KING clutch products covering big twin years 1941 to 1984 and our line of Henderson and Indian 4 KING clutch kits, as well as kits for the vertical Indians. 

At the Wauseon meet Duff's moto valves sold completely out. An excellent invention to relieve internal crankcase pressures. We were really happy to meet the many VI'ers that came to visit the KING clutch booth, it was great to meet all of you, and we hope to meet again at Davenport. The KING booth will be at spot F-10. The most common response to the KING clutch products at the Wauseon meet was, that it was about time someone came up with a better clutch for the Indians.

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KING Distributors (dealers wanted!)

Australia: Jim Parker Indian website
Canada: Rob Olsen
Europe: Mat Elvenkemper, Germany
New Zealand: Paul Hanes
USA: Terry "Duff" Duffy, Ohio

KING Dealers

Australia: Jim Parker Indian website
Canada: Rob Olsen
Europe: Jürgen Mattern, Germany  website
New Zealand: Paul Hanes
Ed Glasgow, New York  website
Yellow Spear Restoration. Richard Ollhof, W5424 Taylor Street, Merrill, WI 54452. Phone 715-536-8649 
Stan Jessup, Oregon (Updated!: website)
The Shop, California  website

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KING Worldwide Recommended Retail Prices

Kit 1, Fiber Plates$119.95 + local sales tax. (8 Kevlar fiber plates for Chief, Sport Scout, 741 and 45" 101). 

Steel Plates: $36 + local sales tax (6 textured steel plates for above models).

Springs: $16 + local sales tax (16 double ground and heat treated springs for above models)

Kit 2: 169.95 + local sales tax (8 Kevlar fiber plates + 6 steel plates + 16 springs for above models)

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Click on pictures for full size

Rob (left) and Duff with the KING Clutch  booth at Wauseon. Photo by Dennis Hillison.

KING Kevlar and steel plates for Indian twins.

Click on links for more info:

Dealer & Distributor list here

Worldwide Retail prices here

Tester Feedback here

How to fit the KING clutch here

KING steel plates. Note texturing for clean "non-suction" release.

KING springs. Double ground and heat treated. Better picture coming soon, but the first batch sold out at Wauseon before they were photographed.

Rob's Henderson cylinders!
Being finish machined soon...

Manufacturers of Indian Parts.

You, too, can have pages like these in the VI mag. Pretty much all it takes is that you tell us about your stuff. Come on, what have you got to lose?


Tester Feedback (-and, no. Nobody paid these people!)

From Darren Chafin, USA 7.6.00

Hello Folks! 
I have some exciting news! I bought a King clutch from Duffy last weekend.  But first, I have been told that my Indian 80" Chief shifts very well.  It has however always required that I retard it to shift into first gear.  Otherwise I get a real clash and a real grinding sensation.  I have never really liked that first shift, as I know what it is doing to my tranny.  Shifting from first to second to third, I have always needed to hesitate between each gear to give the transmission a chance to slow down.  Now that you know what kind of problem I had, I will tell you how to fix it!!!  BUY A KING CLUTCH off of Duffy!!!  You would not believe the difference in performance.  The transmission shifts so nice!  Going into first gear, you get a clunk, not a grind or a stall,  a nice positive shift into first gear.  It even shifts into first better that my 98 HD.  Second of all there is no need for a hesitation for the tranny to slow down to change from first, to second, to third.  It shifts so much nicer that the old clutches that never really disengage.  This clutch disengages 100%.  I'm telling you if you buy this clutch there is no disappointment!  For those of you that think it is to pricey,  think of it this way, O.K. its a little more than the old stock clutch, but you didn't fix the grind problem.  Not to mention the early and premature transmission failure.  Even had one rebuilt? Not cheap!  Do this and solve the problem!     This is not a sales pitch! This is a total result of my OWN doing.  Duffy had no say in this memo.  Do yourself a favor and see for yourself !   My next project is to try the Moto Valve.  If the clutch works this well the valve is bound to work just as well. Hats off to you Duff for a fine job well thought out. 

From Torkel Kristoffersen, Norway 7.18.00 - 8.5.00


I received my new KING clutch from Mat Elvenkemper today. I could hardly wait to get out in  my garage.  I have a 1936 Chief with a 1947 motor. This bike has given me constant trouble with the clutch. It never released properly, and initially there was trouble with slipping as well. 

Slipping disappeared when I bought new springs. 
New fiberdisks made no change. 
New steelplates made no change. 

Carefully checking that all disks were straight, Removing all signs of sharp edges etc. made no change. Changing to a thinneroil made no change to clutch function, but it gave more noise from the gearbox. If I had the clutch adjusted so it did not slip, it would make the most horrible and expensive sounding noises when shifting to first gear. When changing gears at speed the gear stich did not move freely, and I could hear grinding cogs. 

So. This afternoon I swapped the Raybestos fibre disks for aluminum and kevlar KING disks. The clutch was adjusted as recommended by the Indian factory with approximately 1/2 inch play at the rear of the pedal. I filled the clutch and transmission which are not separated with SAE 50 oil. A step on the kickpedal revealed that it released a lot better than previously. Then I started the engine, and when changing to 1st for the first time there was a grinding sound, but nothing like what I have experiensed before. 

When driving, it shifted gears so smoothly I could hardly beleive it. Took it to a hill and it picked up speed from 60 to 75 mph without sign of slipping. This is like a new bike. I have only driven 20 miles tonight, but it seems the KING clutch has solved all my problems. Am I testing the first KING clutch in Europe? Further reports will follow

KING clutch user report. PART II

I decided to do the important things first, so I took the Chief out for a spin
Outside temperature 19 degrees centigrade.
I started the engine, and after a few seconds of idling I changed to first gear. It said "klong". Nothing more, and nothing less, just a reassuring "klong" to tell that I had found the gear. While riding, the clutch worked perfect. I only managed to get some noise when changing from third to second at a fairly high speed. This is a sign of a chrash gearbox, and no clutch can prevent that.
In all I now have logged 55 miles with the KING clutch. I think it is the final solution.


The summer has been bad in this part of the world. Maximum temperatures slightly above 20 degrees centigrade, and rain most afternoons. Have now logged 300 miles after installing the king clutch. As mentioned earlier I have SAE 50 oil in gearbox and primary as this is recommended by the factory for temperatures above 60 degrees Farenheit. These are my experiences so far with KING clutch in a 1947 motor.

 -  When starting the engine cold, dropping to a high idle and shifting to 1. gear there is a grind, but nothing like what I experienced before.

 -  Shifting between the gears when riding is the best I've ever experienced on an Indian. Troublefree.

- With engine heated up there is only a clank when shifting to first at a standstill.

 - Tried to heat up the clutch by slipping it as lot. It did not produce the funny sound and feel that you get with ordinary Indian clutches. KING seems not to be influenced by a lot of slipping at successive hill starts.

- Clutch engagement is a lot smoother, and seems to take place over a longer pedal movement. This adds to the driveability of the bike.

 - I checked the transmission oil. After 300 miles it is still clean, and not dirty as with the old clutches.

- The clutch releases completely, and has shown no tendency to slip when engaged.

My brother has a 1953 Chief with separate oil in gear and transmission. His reaction is that KING is a lot better, and he will have to buy one as he thinks that mine is perfect.

My advice so far is for everyone to buy KING clutch. It has solved all my problems with a real trouble clutch. KING clutch adds even more joy to the Indian driving.

From Jim Parker ( 8.5.00

We've just fitted our first King clutch.
The machine we used was a very regularly and hard ridden 347, which had been running a NOS fibre kit.
Three of us took it for a short ride, to asses how that particular bike was shifting before the change.
It was a particularly gratey one for the initial shift into first, hot or cold, but had what I would consider to be good smooth shift, up and down through the rest of the gears.
Out with the old, and in with the King, as per the instructions, (except that we decided to fit the plates inverted, because everting is upside down here, you know.......)
The difference was staggering!
Initial gear selection was smooth and silent - no need to "cheat" the selection by rolling the bike forwards when stationary, and the shifting when underway had a lovely positive feel to it.
It was smoother, and made shifting both ways a delight!
It had no tendency to slip on engagement, when trying to hurry the shift.
The real test came the next day, when it had been sitting overnight.
I usually disengage the clutch and kick the engine through a couple of times before the initial start for the day, to break-up the plates, and reduce the awful noise that can come from sticking plates.
I didn't do it this time - just started the machine, dropped down to a FAST idle, and then straight in to first - silently!
We were all very impressed.
The "silent" stationary gear engagement, plus the better disengagement when underway should also result in longer gear life, and less "fir" floating around in the transmission, wearing everything out - only time will tell.
The only other question is longevity, and this machine is ridden long and hard, so results should come in soon.
Well done Terry and Rob.

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More Tester Feedback here

Looks to me like we can kinda conclude the KING clutch actually works pretty good! :-)

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