Rekluse Auto Clutch—A Brief History

How this improved auto clutch became the leader

Rekluse Auto ClutchDrew Ruiz

In 2002, Al Youngwerth installed an aftermarket automatic clutch on his off-road bike in an effort to make riding the rocky, rutted, and often muddy trails around his Idaho home more enjoyable. The clutch kit kept Al's bike from stalling when he got bogged down and allowed him to focus on his lines through tricky terrain, but he wasn't happy with the product's performance or reliability. As with so many entrepreneurs before him, Al figured he could come up with something better.

Several months later—and with help from Sean Brown, an engineering student in the Tech Help program at Boise State University—Al had a working prototype. Today Rekluse is the leader in automatic clutches, and Youngwerth's innovation is relied upon by top-level off-road racers and enjoyed by everyday enthusiasts on everything from hardcore woods bikes to big-inch Harleys.

The key feature of a Rekluse clutch is the expanding pressure plate. As revs rise, a Teflon ramp-and-wedge system causes the plate to widen, applying pressure to the clutch pack. The result is smooth and predictable engagement and disengagement. You don't need to use the clutch lever to start or stop, but it's still fully functional and easily utilized to shift gears or help lift the front wheel over obstacles.

Rekluse clutches are available for nearly every off-road bike, as well as select dual-sports, adventure bikes, and cruisers. Kits come in several flavors, from simple pack swaps that cost $599 and take 30 minutes to install, to complete kits that include machined-from-billet hub and pressure plates. And while Rekluse clutches have been proven the world over, they’re made in America, and the company is run by the same BSU Tech Help engineer that helped kick-start the project.