Clutch - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Dec 11th, 2007, 11:02 am Thread Starter
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Clutch

As some of you know from my previous posts, I'm mechanically challenged. I draw the line after putting gas into my bike. Anyway, I have a question regarding the BMW clutch. It seems that every bike I have owned before coming to BMW had a wet clutch. Both my LT and, now, my RT have dry clutches. Which is better ? Are there advantages in having a dry clutch ? With the cost of these machines, one would think that they would have the better of the two. Is this the case and can someone describe the differences ? Again, I have the mechanical aptitude of a trout, so when describing the clutches, tell me like you would explain it to your wife.

Thanks, Roy
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post #2 of 7 Old Dec 11th, 2007, 4:38 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royal
so when describing the clutches, tell me like you would explain it to your wife.

Thanks, Roy
OK, since you asked... here it is:
Honey, the clutch thingie inside the dirty box attaches to the crankshaft thingie, and is comprised of discs (remember the LP vinyl records? No , I am not inferring that you are old...!) and can have oil, a great moisturizer (let's call it Jergen), or it can be dry, like the martinis you like so much. The kind with moisturizer has more LPs in it and can stick together a little in the morning when cold (Yes, just like spooning). The martini kind does NOT like moisturizer at all. In fact it slips like you did the other day getting out of the tub.
You will find the moist kind on bikes with the engine sideways, like the dog on our bed, and the martini kind where the motor and the tranny (no, that is NOT short for transsexual!!!) are in line with each other. It is easier to work on the Jergen because you can access it directly from the side of the bike. The martini requires that you take everything off (yes just like you do once a year... on Valentine day. Because of the work involved many prefer to take the bike to the dealer, and that costs even more than what you paid for those shoes. I mean how else is he able to afford a condo in Hawaii???
Which is better? Who cares... as long as it matches you new purse.

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post #3 of 7 Old Dec 11th, 2007, 4:57 pm
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zippy - great wifey-type expanation. I loved it.

Here's another shot at it - dry clutches, like on your beemer are just like a car, where as zippy says, the shaft that hooks up to the pistons and rotates as they go up and down is in line with the clutch and the transmission - no belts or big, wide chains in the mix. All front-to-back alignment.

A wet clutch - like on the side of an HD - are driven by a big, wide chain, called a "primary chain" that also loops over a sprocket on the end of the sideways mounted driveshaft (hooked to the pistons that go up and down). The chain needs a lot of really good lubricant (oil bath) to keep it from disintegrating, and since they share the same mechanical "space", the clutch has to be "wet" too. Some HD riders replace the chain with a belt and a dry clutch - some say it's a better design.

Since "wet" clutches exit in an oil bath, there is always opportunity for gasket leakage - no fun. Dry clutches don't need oil-resistant gaskets to survive. In my book, dry is preferred for managing higher horsepower and torque.

Old school Brit bikes are sideways aligned crankshafts, too. Some had wet clutches, some dry - go figure.

-Brian

Brian Vandivere
2008 RT

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post #4 of 7 Old Dec 11th, 2007, 7:25 pm
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Well I always figure that if it is a good idea , then Detroit will wave it on most there cars . Most cars I know of have dry clutches . That is just my opinion , and I could be wrong ...Patric ...

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post #5 of 7 Old Dec 11th, 2007, 8:11 pm
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Zippy...great response. Even my wifey laughed...and then asked me if I didn't have something better to do....

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post #6 of 7 Old Dec 12th, 2007, 8:04 pm
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Which is better...a dry clutch or wet?

That is kinda' like asking "Which vehicle is better...a convertible or a hardtop?"

Frankly it depends on a lot of factors, most of which are mentioned above. But...IMHO the real problem with the LT's clutch is not that it is dry vs. wet. Frankly, it is underated (i.e. - not beefy enough) for the demands of the bike. Not to mention that the design on the Slave Cylinder is poor, causing leakage which then ruins the clutch (not the fault of a dry clutch).

Final analysis...I love the wet clutch on my GT. NEVER slips....grabs like crazy and I guarantee you I can change it in less than 1/8 the time needed to change an LT clutch!

Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
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post #7 of 7 Old Dec 15th, 2007, 7:24 am
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Nice, Gilles! I had no idea that you were an engineer. We may need a few more technical explanations....

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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