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post #1 of 35 Old Jun 9th, 2013, 12:13 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy K1600GLT Clunk

Any news as to how to resolve the "Clunk" from natural to 1st at a stop? Does adding slick-50 to the tranny help? Drives me nuts! 6k miles and clunk clunk clunk all the time. Maybe I am just doing something wrong? This is my 3rd BMW. Been riding for over 50 years experience. I expect more from BMW engineers then the "clunk".
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post #2 of 35 Old Jun 9th, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

My Lt Had a "Positive" first gear engagement just like my K1600GTL(read in clunk here). It has never been a problem for me. As for the Slick 50 I would NOT add anything like that as the transmission is part of the motor & they all use the same oil along with the clutch.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #3 of 35 Old Jun 9th, 2013, 3:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Thanks for the encouragement. I will just hang in there for a few months to see if my clutch and throttle action improve with time. I do love the power of the bike. Seem to not matter which gear one is in when passing. Way amount of massive horse power! I had her over 120mph and still had room to go if I were not so chicken...or smart with age. goes from 80mph to 100mph in about a second and a half! My K1200 would never had done that. I guess me living in the desert there is plenty of safe road places to blow out the exhaust bugs. It is just the darn stop lights and the clunk that kills me!
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post #4 of 35 Old Jun 9th, 2013, 3:42 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

You can minimize the transmission clunk a bit by being smooth and precise. Also, pull the clutch in a little early, wait a bit, then drop into first. But it's simply one of the quirks of this fine machine (and most Beemers I've ridden, actually).

The instant pull in any gear is more torque than HP, although the HP is fun, too.

The GTL is electronically speed limited to 140 mph. The GT is not . . .

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post #5 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 4:00 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by e7navy1999
Any news as to how to resolve the "Clunk" from natural to 1st at a stop? Does adding slick-50 to the tranny help? Drives me nuts! 6k miles and clunk clunk clunk all the time. Maybe I am just doing something wrong? This is my 3rd BMW. Been riding for over 50 years experience. I expect more from BMW engineers then the "clunk".
I would guess your previous BMW's have had single plate dry clutches and you now have a wet clutch which behaves differently. A little drag is normal with any wet clutch resulting in a clunk mostly as you go from neutral into first - I had the same thing on my K1300S's
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post #6 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 6:03 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Both of my FJRs would wake up the neighbors when I shifted into first to leave for work in the morning.

I wish my RS would clunk...I can never tell when it's gone into gear.

With the 1600, it's just its way of saying it's eager to get going.

Last edited by JimE; Jun 10th, 2013 at 9:57 am.
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post #7 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 9:41 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I too find the clunk annoying, but have gotten used to it. It doesn't do it all the time and that probably annoys me the most. I just need to figure out if it is possible for me to do something differently.

I've read about how some eliminate the clunk most of the time, but it doesn't seem to work for me. Keeps me from slipping it into N at stop signals. Probably shouldn't for safety though, any way.

It does wake the neighborhood up in the morning when I leave .....

Dano
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post #8 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 10:57 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by e7navy1999
Any news as to how to resolve the "Clunk" from natural to 1st at a stop? Does adding slick-50 to the tranny help? Drives me nuts! 6k miles and clunk clunk clunk all the time. Maybe I am just doing something wrong? This is my 3rd BMW. Been riding for over 50 years experience. I expect more from BMW engineers then the "clunk".
Most every Motorcycle I have owned has done the neutral to 1st clunk. The best way not to have this happen is when coming to a stop, just before you stop down gear to first (skipping neutral) then after you stop pop it back up in to neutral. Then when you shift back to first everything in aligned and no clunk.

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post #9 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 12:01 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Thanks John - I'll give it a try..

Dano
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post #10 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 6:41 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Its just a K bike thing, don't be thinking that it will improve, it wont.

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post #11 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 6:49 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I'm just trying to figure out why anyone would want to go into neutral unless you are parking the bike. Even then you would want the bike in first gear so it doesn't roll away on you. Certainly you don't want to be in neutral while waiting for a traffic light.

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post #12 of 35 Old Jun 10th, 2013, 9:26 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Some people don't like to hold the clutch lever in at stoplights, or like to fiddle with things with a free hand while stopped.

Note that these are probably the same people who like the lighter clutch pull in the K16, yet still bitch about the "clunky" dual-ramp clutch that helps make it that way . . .
Why aint we riding likes this.

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post #13 of 35 Old Jun 11th, 2013, 2:56 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I've found that I can reduce or eliminate the clunk by preloading the gear shift lever a little before engaging the clutch -- just a little upward or downward pressure before clutching and shifting works wonders.

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post #14 of 35 Old Jun 11th, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Bad Karma sitting in neutral at a stop light....

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post #15 of 35 Old Jun 11th, 2013, 7:48 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I am not impressed with my bike, the clunk and drive line sloppiness is unacceptable to me. If the dealer cant fix this it will be sold very soon.

Life is to short to ride low quality bikes.
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post #16 of 35 Old Jun 12th, 2013, 6:51 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Question about sitting at the light in Neutral... There are several lights between me and "work" that seem to last a minute or more and once traffic has stopped, and I know I'm going to be there a while, I might put it in Neutral. There are other times, but not often.

I've tried the methods mentioned and they must require a little practice. Not really a big deal as I've gotten used to it.

We sure are nitpicking what could be one of the best bikes ever built.

Dano
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post #17 of 35 Old Jun 12th, 2013, 3:34 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I believe the key word is could have been. They missed the mark.

Still a great bike to ride when everything runs, parts not fall off, or the controls prevents it from starting.
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post #18 of 35 Old Jun 13th, 2013, 5:48 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

A few weeks ago, I took a "Ride like a Pro" MC instructional class. They insisted that it is important to always be in 1st gear at a light or intersection for safety sake. Having to move out of harms way in an instant is critical. Having to adjust foot position, engage tranny and let out clutch can be lethally time consuming.

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post #19 of 35 Old Jun 13th, 2013, 6:12 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I am going to stick my 2 cents worth in this thread and call it a day here. I have now owned 2 K1600 GTL's. I have had some running battles with other K1600 owners over the design and quality control of this bike because I am not one to close my eyes to faults that I perceive this model bike to have. What has been interesting is that not all K1600 owners seem to have a driveline clunk issue. Be that true or not I can't say, but both of my GTL's have had the driveline noise and I truly believe it is related to the slipper clutch design. Even with the known or perceived faults of this motorcycle it is still one exceptional ride.

I only wish that Corporate BMW would take note of what some of us are complaining about and take some sort of action to address these issues. While leaking water pumps will not normally leave you sitting on the side of the road, defective electrical control switches can leave you stranded. While a "slipper clutch" may sound like a great idea I personally don't think it is needed in the K1660. The K1600 has a lot of weight and DTC to help control rear wheel lockup and I believe the slipper clutch is over kill on this bike. Elimination of the slipper clutch would probably greatly reduce the driveline noise many of us hear. BMW could also re-map their throttle control so that there isn't such a dramatic "on-off" effect when opening or closing the throttle. And yes I full well know that by going into rain mode the throttle reacts in a more subtle manner, but improvements could be made to Dynamic and Road mode as well. I also know that there was some sort of an "update" that came out on the K1600's several months ago that was supposed to help take care of this problem but I never noticed a difference after getting the update.

I did get a chance a few days ago to ride one of the new liquid cooled 1200's and I heard no driveline noise in that bike at all and it is my understanding that it is also equipped with a slipper clutch. If it in fact is so equipped, I would like to know why the driveline in that bike is almost stone silent and the K1600 sounds like a thrashing machine at times.

Like many other K1600 owners I have found certain techniques to eliminate some of the noise and I find that I challenge myself while riding to make as many shifts as I can without a "clunk" coming from the driveline. I have noticed also that I hear much less driveline noise if I wear a full face helmet which may be a clue as to why some riders don't hear this noise. Unfortunately, I like wearing a 3/4 helmet most days so I get the full effect of the noise.

Perhaps one day BMW will take to heart what many of us have complained about and will do some re-design work to eliminate some or all of the noise. Until that day comes I will ride my K1600 trying as best as I can to keep my RPM's over 3500 which seems to eliminate a large amount of driveline noise. Sadly I can't keep my RPM's that high in some areas and then I have to be very subtle in my throttle and shifting techniques. The addition of a Kyoko throttle control unit has helped me greatly in better throttle control by adding some resistance to rotation of the throttle itself.

As least for the time being there is no other bike on the market quite like the K1600. For all its "issues" the K1600 is, in my mind, the most refined bike on the market. It is fast and it handles very well and it is very, very smooth. Is it "perfect"? No not by a long shot, but it is quite good. Better in fact than any other motorcycle I have ridden for the type of riding I do. Bear in mind, my feelings could change if and when a liquid cooled RT comes out but even that bike will never have the smoothness of a K1600.

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post #20 of 35 Old Jun 13th, 2013, 6:21 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by skytop
A few weeks ago, I took a "Ride like a Pro" MC instructional class. They insisted that it is important to always be in 1st gear at a light or intersection for safety sake. Having to move out of harms way in an instant is critical. Having to adjust foot position, engage tranny and let out clutch can be lethally time consuming.

You and Ride Like a Pro are 100% correct. There will come a day when you will want to quickly move from stopped position at an intersection and if your bike is in neutral you may as well be sitting in a recliner or a hospital gurney. Basic law of motorcycling: You can't move if your bike is in neutral.

Rick
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post #21 of 35 Old Jun 17th, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Have a look at this apparently there is a recall involving the gear box..
http://www.nzlii.org/cgi-bin/sinodis...uery=chris+bmw

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post #22 of 35 Old Jun 17th, 2013, 6:23 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

There currently is no official BMW recall regarding the K16's gearbox or driveline. Not in Europe, not in the US, and not in New Zealand.

The link references a single case where an individual owner was unsatisfied with his bike, and with the response from his local dealer, and so he sought recourse under New Zealand's Consumer Guarantees Act of 1993. The final resolution in that case only was a full refund of the purchase price of that customer's bike.

There is an upgraded part number for the Slant/6 transmission assembly. The old part # is 23 00 7 721 500 listed at $4291.99, and the new part # is 23 00 8 531 100. There is no clear indication of when this change took place, what month/year new bike builds received this new part, or even exactly what the changes are.

There is no indication of changes any where else along the driveline.

There may be a recall on this issue sometime in the future, but nothing is official until BMW announces it and lets the owners know that they can bring their bikes in for service/upgrades.

The likelihood of this happening is very small . . .

Ken
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'12 Mineral Silver Metallic K16GTLD, 59K miles and gone.
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post #23 of 35 Old Jun 20th, 2013, 6:44 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by e7navy1999
Any news as to how to resolve the "Clunk" from natural to 1st at a stop? Does adding slick-50 to the tranny help? Drives me nuts! 6k miles and clunk clunk clunk all the time. Maybe I am just doing something wrong? This is my 3rd BMW. Been riding for over 50 years experience. I expect more from BMW engineers then the "clunk".
I used to get this clunk on my LT during first couple of weeks. Then I think I learned to shift clunklessly. It takes a while to develop a proper technique for shifting, but once you get the feel, it works.
I have about 70k combined on both of my LTs and I'm clunk free,

BJ

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post #24 of 35 Old Jun 21st, 2013, 2:31 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Previous to my new r1200rt, I owned a 16 gtl, I found the clunk unacceptable for the price and quality that bmw put on this bike, to me I thought the bike very good but I couldnt live with this characteristic as bmw discribe, if bmw rectify this characteristic? Then I may consider another 16 in the future, but then again the new r1200gt sounds nice, but at the moment I am happy with my present ride with no anoying clunk.
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post #25 of 35 Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 4:20 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

The Mrs says the GTL will be the next bike, much to my delight. I've ridden a buddy of mines, who had a heart attack a week after his purchase. He asked me to "do the break in mileage", and who was I to refuse.....!

The "Clunk" is characteristic if High Torque/High HP engines using a wet clutch and driveline dampner. Harleys do it, so do Star, Kawi, Vtwins and the Suzukis. There is no "cure", it won't "break in" and it is not "Low Quality" if you didn't have that play dampened by the shock dampener of sorts, simply putting a high torque motor in gear would wear the tranny or primary drive out over time. Selling a bike and taking a depreciation hit over this design feature is rather foolhardy, IMO. You are riding a very heavy bike with a big motor, you NEED that dampened "play" in the primary drive. PERIOD' Embrace the fact that you are connecting 160+ HP to a tranny on a bike that may well be dressed to 1300 lbs in kitted out running order. They all do it in some form or another...

That being said, if you pull the clutch and let it out slightly, pull it fully and drop it in gear without the rear brake depressed, you "may" find the sweet spot where the primary drive or "dampener:" is preloaded and won't clunk. It's luck more than technique though.

I'll gladly take someone's low mileage "klunker" off their hands if they want to make an offer and absorb thousands of dollars of retail depreciation on my behalf over a problem that doesn't exsist though. Just sayin.

ETA...Mt RT does it every once in a while too...Of course you could just start buying bikes until you found one that uncharacteristically doesn't make any unacceptable noises...LOL Electric scooter?

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post #26 of 35 Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 8:45 am Thread Starter
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Hey Ric, right on target with your post. I always ride with a full face bell. I did ride to get a DVD from Red box with no helmet and noticed a whole slew of noises. The lifters seem to click very loudly at low RPM's. And yes the clunk is much louder with no helmet.
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post #27 of 35 Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 3:03 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

After my research and discussions with the dealer I agree that they all do this and it is a part of the design, I am still surprised that they could not get the tolerances better. (I guess some are more some are less)

Nevertheless I still decided to put mine up for sale and go back to an Harley again.

I does not seem like me and the K1600 are getting along as good as we should.

I had one chrome list come lose that was replaced by the dealer, and mine have not had any of the electrical problems mentioned in relations to hand controls.
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post #28 of 35 Old Jul 20th, 2013, 12:53 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarider
Most every Motorcycle I have owned has done the neutral to 1st clunk. The best way not to have this happen is when coming to a stop, just before you stop down gear to first (skipping neutral) then after you stop pop it back up in to neutral. Then when you shift back to first everything in aligned and no clunk.
This will only work if you keep the clutch pulled in. And if you are going to hold the clutch in, why not just leave it in gear?

As soon as you let the clutch out, you are spinning the input side of the transmission and the gears are no longer aligned.

The clunk is somewhat of a characteristic of wet multi-plate clutches. Even disengaged, the plates are so close that the viscosity of the oil will cause some rotation of the input shaft of the transmission. This is what causes the clunk. A dry transmission doesn't normally have this problem, but has a different problem. My LT often won't shift into first as the gears aren't aligned and aren't rotating. However, this is easily overcome by holding pressure on the shifter and lowly engaging the clutch. As soon as the input shaft begins to rotate, the bike will pop into first.

Having said this, I rode a FJR1300 recently that barely clunked going into first and shifted like a dream through the other gears. A very slick clutch and transmission, much better than any BMW (RT, LT, GTL) I have ridden. And the fuel injection was as smooth as my old carbureted Kawasaki's - FAR better than any BMW. BMW should hire out their fuel injection system design.

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post #29 of 35 Old Jul 20th, 2013, 3:40 pm
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Talking Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
There currently is no official BMW recall regarding the K16's gearbox or driveline. Not in Europe, not in the US, and not in New Zealand.

The link references a single case where an individual owner was unsatisfied with his bike, and with the response from his local dealer, and so he sought recourse under New Zealand's Consumer Guarantees Act of 1993. The final resolution in that case only was a full refund of the purchase price of that customer's bike.

There is an upgraded part number for the Slant/6 transmission assembly. The old part # is 23 00 7 721 500 listed at $4291.99, and the new part # is 23 00 8 531 100. There is no clear indication of when this change took place, what month/year new bike builds received this new part, or even exactly what the changes are.

There is no indication of changes any where else along the driveline.

There may be a recall on this issue sometime in the future, but nothing is official until BMW announces it and lets the owners know that they can bring their bikes in for service/upgrades.

The likelihood of this happening is very small . . .

Agreed......very, very small indeed!

Rick
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post #30 of 35 Old Sep 21st, 2015, 6:06 pm
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Don't you just love it when a consumer stands on his digs, invests in his convictions and has a win. How many times have we all said I am not happy and I will take this to court only to slink away and do nothing. I have several times. More of us should take note and then the retailer might take notice when we say see you in court. I rode one the other day and thought it was the best motorcycle I have ever ridden. The CLUNK stopped me from purchasing it. It’s like Harley telling me the tappet rattle is normal and if I didn't like it put louder exhausts on it. Congratulations on the win.
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post #31 of 35 Old Sep 22nd, 2015, 12:20 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Hay View Post
I rode one the other day and thought it was the best motorcycle I have ever ridden. The CLUNK stopped me from purchasing it.
Congratulations on a (non) buying choice.

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
IBA #31242 (SSx2, BB, BBG)
MOA #136148

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post #32 of 35 Old Sep 22nd, 2015, 2:25 am
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Some people respond to disappointment by tilting at windmills, and some just get on with their lives.

If I randomly get a loud clunk from the transmission, I just figure I was being lazy and/or sloppy, and perhaps I need to focus a bit better on being smooth and consistent.

Then I just twist the right grip and power away . . . :k16:

Ken
SoCal
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 20K miles and counting . . .
'12 Mineral Silver Metallic K16GTLD, 59K miles and gone.
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 32,690 miles & now rebuilt!
'07 Dark Graphite Metallic K12GT, 138,220 miles & now rebuilt!
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

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All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from . . .
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post #33 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 1:18 pm
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Location: Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA
Posts: 184
Re: K1600GLT Clunk

I just had to replace my drive shaft due to a pin hole in the rear boot that allowed water in and rusted/froze one half of the back u-joint.
I can tell u the final drive and the shaft are not part of the clunking issue.
The 1\4 to 1/2 in play is towards the clutch/tyranny.
I as well as others have learned how to minimize the embarrassment of on to off throttle control and the jerkiness of it.
Yes, other than this issue (and the wind issue), the bike is wonderful!
I paid 13k for a used bike. If I paid 25-30k for a new one that had this same clunkiness, I would be really upset!

Pretty stupid on BMWs part, not to address this, it really is a joke.
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post #34 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 8:53 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Lawrenceville, PA, USA
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoker100 View Post
I just had to replace my drive shaft due to a pin hole in the rear boot that allowed water in and rusted/froze one half of the back u-joint.
I can tell u the final drive and the shaft are not part of the clunking issue.
The 1\4 to 1/2 in play is towards the clutch/tyranny.
I as well as others have learned how to minimize the embarrassment of on to off throttle control and the jerkiness of it.
Yes, other than this issue (and the wind issue), the bike is wonderful!
I paid 13k for a used bike. If I paid 25-30k for a new one that had this same clunkiness, I would be really upset!

Pretty stupid on BMWs part, not to address this, it really is a joke.
The 2013 I rented was terrible in this regard. The 2015 I rented last summer seemed better or maybe I was just better at pulling in the clutch before rolling off the throttle. If they continue their current rate of improvement, by 2021 the driveline lash should be about the same as the LT.

2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise"
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Voyager is offline  
post #35 of 35 Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 9:34 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: West Linn, OR
Posts: 16,212
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Re: K1600GLT Clunk

Yep, right up until the LT's final drive implodes...

Ken
SoCal
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 20K miles and counting . . .
'12 Mineral Silver Metallic K16GTLD, 59K miles and gone.
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 32,690 miles & now rebuilt!
'07 Dark Graphite Metallic K12GT, 138,220 miles & now rebuilt!
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

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All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from . . .
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