Clutch problem Survey - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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  #1  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 3:16 pm
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Clutch problem Survey

Having been a member of this esteemed forum for nearly one year, there are a few problems that keep cropping up with our LTs, the main one being slave cilinder failure and ultimately loss of clutch. If this happens to you whilst your LT is still under warranty (as happened to me) no problem. But if it should happen out of warranty - BIG$$$$. It would be interesting to run a poll amongst the members to ascertain how many LT owners have had this problem happen to them. What year model, at what mileage, in or out of warranty and has it ever re-occured with anyone. It would be interesting to work out the percentage of clutch failures amonst members. This may help in getting BMW to extend their warranty on slave cilinder faults due to (as mentioned many times here) poor design.

Model.......Miles at which clutch failed....Miles since repair...Re-occured (Y/N)
2006............. 2500...................................13500...... ........... No

The question also is "how come the system fails at a relatively low initial mileage and then once repaired it works fine (touch wood) from there on?

Just a thought!
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Last edited by birdman; Apr 27th, 2007 at 3:22 pm.
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  #2  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 11:24 pm
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Ok...

2001 model failed at 39k 3000 miles since repair no repeat yet
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  #3  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 11:51 pm
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Well.

No extended coverage on rear bearing.
No extended coverage for the top case latches.
No extended coverage for the defective design starter relays.
No extended coverage for the crash pans.
No extended coverage for rear engine seal.
No extended coverage for the trany seal.

I'd be happy if they solve the problems, like they did with the defective relays, and defective design computer mapping.

Bob
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 2:22 pm
mikey mikey is offline
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Clutch Problem Survey

I had one go on me due to the leakage getting on the disc, told the service rep at Mortons BMW about the drilling procedure and he stated that they wouldnt do it because "It doesnt make sense". I explained the procedure to him and the reasons why and so on and so forth and that the results have been positive by the members on this board who have done it and still no joy. Mine had around 6k on it and it was still under warranty. I also mentioned this to him that if this happened while i was out of warranty the next time, he stated to me that BMW covers the repairs for 2 years. just my .02$
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 5:06 pm
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clutch failure

My clutch failed at 19,500..........just after the warranty ran out. Got 1,000 miles on the repair so far............
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 5:09 pm
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dealers take on drain hole...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey
"It doesnt make sense"
I'm glad you brought it up - I wanted to share this and maybe get some clarification... I have been asking dealers around here about it. one of the dealers had heard of it and said this:

"Drilling the hole is pointless. By the time you actually see the fluid leak from this hole the fluid has already been down the clutch rod. If you have looked under your bike it will be very difficult to see this fluid leak from the hole you drill because it is hidden behind the swing arm. The hole does not bleed off the fluid if it leaks it just tells you it is leaking and by that time it is too late!!!! I have replaced the slaves and have not had come backs with the ones I have replaced!!! Also once you have started slipping and still driving, your pressure plates will need to be replaced due to hard spots caused by the slipping clutch. If it is not an engine main seal leaking I would not replace it. I have yet to have a main seal bad here since we have opened. This is a not needed expense from my experience."

SO, is the drain/weep hole not actually a drain hole, but just an indicator of a failing slave cyl? I do agree it would be nearly impossible to see fluid leaking because of the swingarm, but I thought the hole was for actually draining to prevent clutch contamination, not just indicating a problem. the part about the main seal is because I said, "as long as you are in there, can we replace the main seal so I don't lose another clutch after the slave job."

at least the good news is they haven't had repeat customers once they replace the slave & clutch.
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  #7  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 8:31 pm
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My story

The 1st slave cylinder failed 8/03 @ 59,450 (NOTHING with the word CLUTCH covered by extended warranty) This I replaced myself.
Due to the fact that it was as dry as a bone, I did not replace any gearbox seals. Bad decision!
Transmission input seal failed 1 year later 8/04 @ 77,689 miles which WAS covered by extended warranty, but not the clutch which was contaminated with oil & had begun to slip. Dealer installed new slave cylinder as SOP.
New slave cylinder failed 3 months later 11/04 @ 85,475 miles. This was covered by the parts warranty.
The "Enterprise" now has over 137k with no further clutch issues.
BTW, it's my understanding that a leaking rear engine main seal will not contaminate the clutch. Remembering how it's designed I belive that's true. Mine's been damp @ the mating point between the motor & transmission for some time now & I don't pay it much mind.
JM2CW
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Old May 4th, 2007, 12:25 am
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2002 -- 24 000 miles -- still in the shop --

One week after the ABS unit went out -- still waiting the parts
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  #9  
Old May 4th, 2007, 4:38 am
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She going and going

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  #10  
Old May 4th, 2007, 5:01 am
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2003, just over 14,000 miles. No issues at all.

Yet.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 5:14 am
TimVipond TimVipond is offline
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I "wetted" my dry clutch at 36,000 miles on my 2000 LT. Covered by warranty. No other clutch problem for the next 100,000 miles, at which point I sold it and haven't heard from the new owner.

My 2006 now has 20,000 miles. No problems other than all my exhaust valves have the smallest shims that BMW makes, so I hope the clearances don't tighten up! Be sure to have your clearances checked at 12,000 miles for the 2006's as one of my exhaust valves had 1/2 of the minimum clearance! It took the smallest bucket available to get within spec.

With all the problems I had on my 2000, I am glad I got the extended warranty. Make sure you get one that covers the problems we see here such as clutch, transmission, final drive, throttle cables, ABS, radio, etc. However my 2006 has been so trouble free (maybe the kinks have been engineered out?) so I may not get the extended warranty on this one. I'll see how I feel at 35,000 miles.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 6:56 am
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For my 200 miles...

Bought '99 "Oh, Kay" with ~44K and in a week put on 100 miles. Brought the bike back to dealer to check the "weak" clutch. Says it's probably air in hydraulics, we'll take care of it at next service. Kool. Put on another 100 miles and get stranded that far from home without a clutch. Dealer said he wouldn't have sold me a bike if he knew it had a problem (even though I showed him there was). Still in the shop after 2 weeks and hasn't been torn into as yet. Sheesh! If it's due to wetness I'll press for BMW to foot the bill, otherwise it's all mine to pay.

Jer
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Old May 4th, 2007, 7:12 am
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Okay, reading thru this, it seems as if the rear drive failure has been replaced by clutch slave as the "Failure of the Month". I know what all the parts are and what they do. Not sure where they really are. My question is: What is causing them to fail? Is there something that the rider can do to baby the slave? To be easier on it, so as to avoid failure? I really don't want to have to fix this and can't afford to pay the dealer. If I can avoid it I would like to. I really don;t even want to spend the time looking it up on the service CD. I just want to ride my motorsickle.

This also looks like a small number of failures, but it is still a significant failure for the ones that have the problem.


Randy
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  #14  
Old May 4th, 2007, 7:13 am
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2002 with a measley 21K and slave cylinder is still good. I took mine apart about 500 miles ago a drilled the weep hole. Everything was dry so I put her back together and am hoping to add some serious (s)miles this summer.

Roy
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Old May 4th, 2007, 7:20 am
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Greetings all.

'99 LT here in Australia.

Both ABS sensors have died. That's about it for 45,000km.

Kindest regards to all.

Paul Harrington
AU

E: corcaigh@internode.on.net

ps, I hope I haven't cursed myself now say this.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 6:41 pm
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2003. Slave cylinder started leaking around 18,000. Just got it back. 250 miles so far. I'm the second owner and I think the bike sat too much before I purchased it. That's not likely to happen in my house. Both me and the su ride it. I told her ride the hell out of it. That's what she wants. That's what she needs. The bike that is.
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  #17  
Old May 4th, 2007, 8:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhammetter
"Drilling the hole is pointless. By the time you actually see the fluid leak from this hole the fluid has already been down the clutch rod. If you have looked under your bike it will be very difficult to see this fluid leak from the hole you drill because it is hidden behind the swing arm. The hole does not bleed off the fluid if it leaks it just tells you it is leaking and by that time it is too late!!!!
Well... I drilled my weep hole last fall at a tech session and my slave was leaking. The hole was wet and the felt pad on the rod was so wet that I could squeeze the fluid out. In fact that is what I did. I ordered my parts and the parts got back ordered. Last season there was a lot of new bikes with slave failures so I figured that I would wait and get something really new and I got the new design. Basically I figured that the hole would help so I kept on riding and rode another 2K before my parts came in but it was also end of season.. so I waited till this spring to do the swap out. I did not ride in the spring as I didn't want to push my luck..

This is a picture of the actuator rod with the old felt and the new one going in.. The felt was still as dry as I make it last fall when we put it back together...




This is a picture when I removed the slave. I could not believe how dry it was..





When I look carefully in the picture I think I can see a trail coming down from the weep hole. I took this picture immediately after I removed the slave..

Either that is a fluid trail or my slave stopped leaking.. I think that is a very remote possibility.. what do you think?
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  #18  
Old May 4th, 2007, 9:48 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhammetter
. . . one of the dealers had heard of it and said this:

"Drilling the hole is pointless. By the time you actually see the fluid leak from this hole the fluid has already been down the clutch rod. If you have looked under your bike it will be very difficult to see this fluid leak from the hole you drill because it is hidden behind the swing arm. The hole does not bleed off the fluid if it leaks it just tells you it is leaking and by that time it is too late!!!! . . ."

SO, is the drain/weep hole not actually a drain hole, but just an indicator of a failing slave cyl? I do agree it would be nearly impossible to see fluid leaking because of the swingarm, but I thought the hole was for actually draining to prevent clutch contamination, not just indicating a problem. . . .

at least the good news is they haven't had repeat customers once they replace the slave & clutch.
IMHO, your dealer is not thinking very clearly. First he says that you would not see the fluid that drained out of the hole ("If you have looked under your bike it will be very difficult to see this fluid leak from the hole you drill because it is hidden behind the swing arm.") and then he says that the hole will not drain the fluid ("The hole does not bleed off the fluid if it leaks it just tells you it is leaking. . ."). The purpose of the drain hole is to drain the fluid that otherwise would rise to the level of the actuator rod (which is in the center of the housing), not to provide a visual indicator (although it will do that too after enough time. If you check you will notice fluid at the bottom of the tranny housing when enough fluid has drained out.) I would go back to the dealer and propose a sporting challenge. I'd have a small plastic bottle, about the same size as the slave cylinder housing, and a syringe or even a drinking straw. I'd put a pencil through the bottom of the plastic bottle, right in it's center, and I'd drill a 5/16" hole in the side of the plastic bottle. Then I'd say to the dealer, "Here's a proposition that can make you some money. If we turn this bottle on it's side we have a pretty good model of the slave cylinder housing. The pencil is the actuator rod, and the drain hole, which you say will not drain fluid, is in the bottom wall of the housing. I'm going to start squirting DOT4 brake fluid into the bottle, a couple of squirts, then a rest, then some more squirts, etc., just like it was leaking past a seal in the slave and getting into the housing. Since the fluid will not drain out of the bottle, eventually it will reach the level of the pencil. As soon as the fluid touches the pencil, I'm gonna give you $50.00. You don't have to give me anything at any time, you cannot lose any money no matter what the outcome. Oh, yeah, I'm gonna do this while holding the apparatus over the hood of your car. But that shouldn't worry you, no fluid will drain out."

I bet he finds the free $50.00 uninteresting at that point.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:02 pm
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Thats funny! Good idea though.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:04 pm
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'05 model - failed at 2800mi - 4200mi since repair - no reoccurrence
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  #21  
Old May 4th, 2007, 10:06 pm
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My '05 slave cylinder failed at 1,160 miles, taking the clutch with it. Everything was replaced at the 600 mile service, done at that time. 30,300 miles on it now, with no reoccurence.
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  #22  
Old May 5th, 2007, 7:02 am
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'99 slave failed at 55,125 miles. Replaced slave, clutch, main seal and drilled the drain hole. Now have 67,202 and she's purring like a kitten.

By the way, the dealer did the work, and as of this week, I now have more invested in repairs and farkles than I paid for the bike. Mostly farkles
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  #23  
Old May 5th, 2007, 7:59 am
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'99, 54K, no clutch or slave problem, but I did pull the original slave to drill the drain hole (no evidence of a leak from the slave when I got in there), and replaced the slave with a new one.
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  #24  
Old May 5th, 2007, 8:40 am
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My '99 just had the dreaded rear main seal leak at 59,000 so I had the dealer replace the clutch and slave cylinder while they were in there. They were both still good but I felt I did'nt want to pay that labor cost twice. The most ironic part of this was when I asked the service writer to include drilling the weep hole for the slave cylinder he looked at me as if I had a third arm growing out of my chest. I told him it was on this forum extensively, to which he said "Oh, so you just found this on the internet somewhere" and I replied that it I didn't "just find it on the internet", I found it on a website that YOUR DEALERSHIP IS A PROMINENT SPONSOR ON ITS FRONT PAGE! His answer to that was "Oh." So they did it.
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  #25  
Old May 6th, 2007, 2:20 am
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My clutch woes

Yesterday trailered my 99 lt with 48K on it to the dealer for repair. The clutch started slipping last weekend. I RR the slave cylinder in January. I noticed oil leakage at the bottom of the trannie, Dark in color about two weeks ago, before the clutch slippage. As we all know that it could be tranne or engine seal. Here is what bothers me. BMW knows that this and rear drive and ABS unit have been consistent way too often. Yet in the later models 04-05 and some 06's this is still a problem along with the other above listed problems. We pay way too much for these machines to worry about these issues and the issues continue to occur. I have read where BMW also has problems with their vehicle engine seals leaking as well. Sounds like they need to fire that unit of BMW for using and designing bad seals. I hope that they focus on these issues when designing the new LT, or I will be looking for a more reliable MC.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 5:19 pm
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Old May 16th, 2007, 6:47 am
cbrxxdrv cbrxxdrv is offline
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Clutch Survey

2000.......23000 miles......slipped in high gear when at low speed with a
roll on of power. All was dry. I drilled the slave cylinder hosing and replaced clutch.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 7:04 am
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After 20 days

I got my girl back! New clutch and I had them replace the slave. The wrench found 2 'brittle' seals on the swing arm???, so they were also replaced. Got out for just under $1170 after 20 works days in the shop. I'm totally thrilled she's back and I can add all the stuff I've picked up for her while down. Thanks to all that I've successfully purchased from.
She had 44K when I got her with a very weak feeling clutch that the service mgr said was air in the hydraulics after I put on only 100 miles. Well, 100 miles later and that far from home, no clutch. Bummer sitting on the side of the road letting concerned bikers know I was OK. I'll be sure to do the same for others of us in need. Too bad all that could help was a tow truck.

Jer
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Old May 16th, 2007, 7:31 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jers99lt
Got out for just under $1170 after 20 works days in the shop.
I believe that is the lowest price I have ever heard. Unfortunately, I don't think a dealer could stay in business doing this much work for 1170 bucks... so I hope they don't price all of their work the same (for their sake).
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Old May 16th, 2007, 7:45 am
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Deep discount

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean_BMW
I believe that is the lowest price I have ever heard. Unfortunately, I don't think a dealer could stay in business doing this much work for 1170 bucks... so I hope they don't price all of their work the same (for their sake).
I had only put 200 miles on a bike that the dealer said was checked out and had up to date service. I'm sure they felt a bit responsible for me being stranded and paying $475 for towing. The owner has been servicing my car for the last 8 years. He gave me a heck of a deal on the purchase price, too. I've "Brought My Wallet" to him many times and I'm sure many more to come.

Jer
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Old May 16th, 2007, 9:57 am
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issues at high milage

I am courius, I see alot of these problems around 50K on the bike. I wonder if other makes are able to go this far before needing these kind of repairs. 50 - 60 -70K miles on a bike and then spend a couple of grand. That is enjoying life for a fair price in my book. Don't get me wrong I hate to spend money like the next guy but I wast a lot more on dumb s$%t and get a lot less enjoyment out of it.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 12:22 am
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So I have a extended waranty on my bike through 2010 that covers all seals but not the clutch. So what if a seal failure causes the clutch failure? Any bets? I'm going to call and ask. Do you think if the clutch wasn't covered I would just be responsible for the clutch parts and the dealer would bill the labor to the waranty? Any experience with this? I'll let you know.
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  #33  
Old May 17th, 2007, 1:34 am
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Location: Denison, TX, USA
Posts: 479
Miracle Clutch??

Model.......Miles at which clutch failed....Miles since repair...Re-occured (Y/N)
2006............. 2500...................................13500...... ........... No

1999........... 105000............................... 4000...................NO

Just as a curious note after replacing the slave cylinder drilling the hole, put it back together to check slippage. Sure enough it had wet the clutch, slipped like crazy. Rode it about a 1000 miles waiting on fund to purchase the parts. Order the parts, check out the slippage, low and be hold it stop slipping. Still going strong.
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www.uni-go-trailers.com




BMW States
BMW years and miles, 32 years 500K+

AMA, CMA, IBA, POG, MSF, FHP, etc

'99 K1200lt
'76 R900/6
Various Vintage Dirt Bikes
-Greeves (Sold), Pentons, Hodaka, etc.

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  #34  
Old May 17th, 2007, 10:26 pm
dhendy dhendy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Snellville, GA, USA
Posts: 92
Clutch Upgrade

I think my clutch is slipping with 30K miles -- 2003, out of warranty.

Asked dealer if there was a "tougher" clutch. Was told there is ceramic clutch that was more heavy duty for an extra $100. Should I get it or just go with standard?
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  #35  
Old Jun 10th, 2007, 3:05 pm
teejay teejay is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Preston, Lancashire, UK
Posts: 108
Angry

1999 ~ 1st one @4300 miles. 2nd one 28000 miles. Slipping again today @ 31800 miles
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  #36  
Old Jun 11th, 2007, 8:08 am
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fuji1 fuji1 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: bethlehem, pa, USA
Posts: 4
doing my research

Guys,

First I am really impressed with your community. I owned a Honda Pacific Coast a few years ago. The bike was supposed to be bullet proof but had nagging problems also.

I now own a Suzuki Burgman and really enjoy it. So I'm thinking of an LT for extended touring and keeping the scoot for local stuff.

What does clutch/rear repair usually cost? If I go used I'm getting the feeling that I should look for a bike with some miles on rather than a low mileage bike that sat.

Thanks,

Joe

PS maybe the wrong spot to post this but since the info is what I'm looking for I thought I would.
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  #37  
Old Jun 11th, 2007, 5:14 pm
jamiekiel jamiekiel is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Russellville, AL, USA
Posts: 141
Model.......Miles at which clutch failed....Miles since repair...Re-occured (Y/N)
2002............. 32000...................................3000...... ........... No
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2002 K1200LT Silver
2005 Harley Davidson Springer Classic
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  #38  
Old Jun 11th, 2007, 9:39 pm
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bmwusmc bmwusmc is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Henderson, NV, USA
Posts: 275
Purchased brand new 2005 LT. One week after buying it and with only 1300 miles on it the hyd clutch failed and ruined the clutch assembly also.

Two weeks later after repairs, I was back in the saddle. Have 45,000 miles on it now with no problems since..

Oh, everything under warranty except for trip expenses which BMWNA did not reimburse as they said they would..(that's another story)
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