Installation: Magura Hydraulic Clutch for the KTM 790/ADV

The Magura Hymec Clutch Kit will dramatically improve the clutch pull and feel on your KTM 790 Adventure / R or Duke. KTM has been known in the industry for having some of the best clutch feel for the last 20 years. Unfortunately on the 790 they decided to go with a cable clutch. If you’re tired of a hard clutch pull or inconsistent feel then this complete hydraulic kit from Magura is the answer to fix any of the problems with the stock cable-type clutch. The Magura Hymec clutch kit is an easy to install alternative to a mechanical clutch. This system replaces the clutch lever and cable with a small, lightweight hydraulic system for improved clutch control.


Ian here from the Touratech showroom in downtown Seattle and today we’re going to be installing the Magura hydraulic clutch conversion on a KTM 790 Adventure R. This kit is unique in that it replaces the cable actuated clutch on this bike with a full drop-in hydraulic clutch system.


We’ve used kits like this in the past on the BMW F800 GS, and we were really happy with the way they worked. And when we get it on this 790, I’m expecting that compared to the cable clutch, it’ll have a little bit lighter pull, but a much smoother feel at the lever. With the cable clutch, you can sometimes feel a few little lumps as the cable is moving through its sheath, and with a hydraulic clutch, there won’t be any of that.


As far as life down the road is considered, the hydraulic clutch, you won’t have to worry about adjusting cable slack. You won’t have to worry about changing it out as it gets dirty or wears. All you need to do is refresh the fluid occasionally and it’s good as new.


Let’s open up the box and take a look inside. Inside the box you have the owner’s manual in a few different languages. You have the installation instructions. These are actually pretty detailed with color photos. You have the actual product itself, master cylinder, lever, hydraulic hose, slave cylinder, and these are the clutch cancel switch wires for cruise control or starting. These are heat shrink solder butt connectors. These are four washers used for setting the free play on the clutch, and this is a set of zip ties for securing the clutch hose to the frame.


To complete this installation, you’ll need a heat gun, some heat shrink tubing, tape, pliers, side cutters, Threadlocker, 17, 12, and 10-millimeter open-end wrenches, a ratcheting tool, some Torx bits and some Allen bits, as well as some sockets. With all that out of the way, let’s head over to the bike and get to work.


To install this hydraulic clutch kit, we’re going to need to remove the gas tank from the bike, so I’m going to start by taking the seat off and pulling off these crash bars. I’m not going to show you those steps, should be pretty straightforward. To give ourselves a little bit more room to work here, I’m also going to remove the clutch lever side handguard and I’m going to take the mirror off of the perch right here.


Now remove the two side panels. These aren’t held on with any fasteners, just two little press-in rubber grommets here and here, and then it slides forward. Do the same thing on the other side. Now remove the battery cover. It’s held in with two Torx T30 bolts on either side, one here and one here. Now remove the two upper side panels. These are each held on by five bolts. You’ve got one, two, three, four black bolts, and then you have five, right here, is the last one is a silver bolt. Once you have all the bolts out, there’s a little push right here, a little rubber grommet, and then the panel slides forward to come off the bike.


Now remove the lower tank cover from both sides of the bike. It’s held on with three screws. There’s two in the front here and one at the bottom. The bottom one, you need to hold a nut on the inside of the skid plate with a 10-millimeter wrench, and on the throttle hand side of the bike, there’s a drain hose for the evaporative emissions that just pops right out.

Just use your hand to pull off the trim ring around the gas cap to expose the two vent hoses that come into the top of the gas cap. Disconnect the two hoses from the top of the gas cap. Do them one at a time and put a piece of tape on the left hand hose. That way, you know which nipples to put them back on when the time comes.


Now that we got all the easy stuff out of the way, pulling the body work off, we’re going to go into a little bit finer detail about how to pull the tank off and get this clutch kit installed. We’re going to need to remove the high pressure fuel line where it connects to the fuel rail on the motorcycle. You do this by pulling down on the little green clip on our bike and then gently pulling the fuel line away from the fuel rail, which is mounted this way. Have a rag handy. There’s going to be a little bit of gas that comes out at this point.


So the green clip is now pulled down. This is what keeps the fuel line latched onto the fuel rail, so now we can gently wiggle it and pull the fuel line away from the rail. We need to close these crossover pipe valves on both sides of the gas tank, and then compress these little spring clips and pull this crossover fuel line off. Make sure that you’ve closed the valves on both sides of the tank before you pull this hose off or you’ll dump tons of gas on the ground. Have a rag handy when you pull the hose off, because it’s going to leak a little.


There’s one electrical connector to remove on the throttle side of the gas tank. On the clutch side of the gas tank, there’s one electrical connector to remove, and then you need to snip this zip tie that’s connecting the wire to the main fuel line. Now remove the four tank mounting bolts using your six-millimeter Allen drive tool.


At this point, the tank should be ready to lift off the motorcycle. Hopefully, you guys are smarter than me and you drain most of your gas out before you did this job. Now that you’ve got the tank lifted off, make sure you can find all four of these rubber bumpers, these tank mounts. The top two will most likely fall out when you lift the tank up, but the two for the lower mounts are probably still stuck in the tank. If you found all four of them, now you can move on to the next step.


To remove the clutch cable, first we have to loosen the adjuster all the way to make sure we have enough slack down at the bottom. You do that by loosening the adjuster nut, and then turning this clockwise to screw the adjuster all the way down into the clutch perch. Use a 12-millimeter spanner wrench to loosen these two nuts on the clutch cable to get enough slack to remove it from the arm here. Remove the end of the clutch cable from the actuation arm by pushing in on the clutch cable and just removing it from the cutout here. Remove this outside nut completely from the cable housing, and then slide the cable housing backward to allow the cable to pass out through this cutout in the bracket.


Now that the cable is free from this bracket, we’re going to move to the other side of the motorcycle and start removing the clutch cable from where it’s zip tied to the frame. To remove the clutch cable from the frame of the motorcycle, we are going to take out this one bolt here, three zip ties along the run here, and then one bolt up at the top. You’re going to use a Torx T30 to take out the two bolts, and then just a pair of side cutters to clip the zip ties.

Now that the two clamps and all the zip ties are removed, we can just pull the clutch cable free from the frame. Remove the two bolts, holding the clutch perch to the handlebar using a five-millimeter Allen. All that’s left is to snip these wires that come out of the clutch switch, and then we just need to pull everything free from the bike.


Congratulations if you made it this far. We are now reassembling the motorcycle with new parts, so in order to do that, you’re going to grab the complete Hymec clutch kit here and you’re going to remove the eight-millimeter head bolt, and then position this guy onto the handlebar with that one bolt. You can keep it loose, just tight enough that it’s not going to fall off the bar here while we’re working.


Now you’re just going to run the slave cylinder all the way down through the exact same path that the OEM clutch cable took. So grab the two clamps that you took off of the stock clutch cable and slip them over the hydraulic hose. And now just install the bolts really loosely in their two positions. Remember there’s one up here by the steering head, and then one down below by the rear shock. So grab two of the zip ties and this’ll help us finish up just the basic routing of this pressure hose. The two zip ties go right where the stock cable was connected, just here and here. Make sure you keep these zip ties very loose. You’re just looping them around the hose at this point just to keep it in line.


To adjust the free play on this hydraulic clutch kit, you have to use these spacers that go in between the slave cylinder and the actual clutch bracket. So to start off with, take two of the spacers, slide them over the arm all the way down until they bottom out, and then install the slave cylinder into the bracket the same way that the cable clutch did. Now you’re going to pull on this actuator arm and make sure it’s fully extended, and then bring the clutch release arm down and hook it in there just like you did with the stock cable.


Now we have to check the free play on the clutch slave cylinder. And the way you do that is give the clutch lever a few good pulls to make sure everything’s settled where it’s going to be, and then come down here and look at a spot on the shaft here. I like to mark it just with my fingernail, and then pull out on the adjuster arm, on the clutch arm, and then look at the distance that the arm moved where your thumbnail was. You want to be able to see about four to six millimeters of movement, and ours is exactly right with two spacers.


Now that our free play is set correctly, we want to just give this silver metal piece of the clutch actuation arm, give this a squeeze with a pair of pliers just to tighten that gap up so we know this arm’s never going to squeak out while we’re riding.


Now it’s time to turn the bars full lock, one side to the other, and make sure that the cable or the hose routing is correct and it’s not kinked or pinching anywhere. Once you’ve confirmed that the routing is correct, tighten down the zip ties and the clamps. The clutch switch is actually a really simple wiring circuit. It doesn’t matter which of the two wires you connect to the other, so long as the clutch side is connected to the bike side.


So all you got to do is just make sure that you have enough wiring that you can overlap the two ends by about an inch or two, and you want to strip back about a quarter inch of insulation from all of the conductors and make sure that you’ve cut back the protective sheath on both of these wires so that you’ve got room to work with. And take a piece of heat shrink tubing and slide it over one of the ends. You’re going to use this to cover up the connectors when you’re done.


And now take the included solder heat shrink connectors and just pick one of the wires. I’m going to go black to black, just to make things easy here. So slide it over the black wire on the clutch side, and then slide the black on the bike side into the same fitting. Make sure that the conductor wires intermesh with each other inside, and then line that up directly underneath the solder that’s in this connector right here.


Now when it’s all held together, we’re just going to use a heat gun to apply some heat to this. It’ll shrink up the heat shrink tubing and it’ll melt the solder all in one go. Now we’re just going to do the exact same thing on the other pair of wires. Just throw a zip tie around the clutch cable wires just to make sure it stays in place while you ride. The hydraulic clutch kit is now fitted on the motorcycle. It’s time to reassemble the bike.


First step is getting the gas tank back on the machine. Make sure that you have the two rubber isolators that go in the upper mount positions. Keep them handy because you’re going to need to fish them in there before the gas tank is set all the way down. Now’s the time to check and make sure that all four of the rubber isolators are in between the gas tank and the frame of the motorcycle. There’s two on the top and there’s one here and one on the opposite side. Yep. All good.


So ready for the top two bolts. I recommend installing a little bit of Threadlocker on these bolts. Make sure you have the aluminum spacer and the rubber bumper and the bolt itself. Drop them in like this and then you’ll have to slide the tank forward just a little to get the bolt holes to line up, and then tighten her up.


Now it’s time to reassemble the motorcycle. The gas tank has to be installed first, and make sure that you get the fuel connection at the fuel rail and be certain that that connector is pushed all the way in and the green clip is fully seated. Otherwise, you’ll have a leak there. Connect the crossover pipe underneath the tank. Don’t forget to open up both of those crossover valves after you’ve got the pipe in. There’s two electrical connectors, one on either side at the bottom of the tank, and then the two hoses up by the gas cap. Remember which one went on which side. On our bike, I marked the one on the left side with a piece of tape.


After that, you fit the lower tank protectors. Remember they’re held on with three bolts per side. Install the upper tank shrouds with five bolts per side. Install the battery cover that has two bolts on either side. Install the two tail pieces. Remember that those slide backwards and then have two grommets at the front that pop into place. Now, just put the seat on and don’t forget to put the clutch side hand guard back on. And we’re ready to make some adjustments.


So the bike’s totally reassembled. Everything’s ready to go. The last thing we need to do is just check to make sure we didn’t introduce any fuel leaks and make sure that the clutch disengages all the way. The way that you do that is have the bike running. Make sure you get the kickstand up, hold the clutch in, click it into gear, and then just make sure you can find neutral again with the engine running when you got the clutch lever pulled all the way into the bar.


If you want to learn more about parts we make for this motorcycle, visit our Touratech website And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click that notification bell to know when we release new videos just like this. Thanks and have a good ride.

Touratech USA