Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 48 Old Jul 9th, 2016, 4:32 pm Thread Starter
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Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

As many know, I recently replaced my oil soaked clutch with a rebuild by Southland Clutch in San Diego. They machined both surfaces fairly lightly (I calculated a total removal between the two surfaces of 30 thousandths) and replaced the friction material on my OEM disk.

I had to return the disk for replacement of a bad rivet that Eagle Eye John Zeiler caught, but otherwise things looked good. Unfortunately, the results after assembly are less than satisfactory. The very first time I engaged the clutch, it had a severe {shudder, judder, chatter} (I see all three used to describe this phenomenon) with the engine at idle and in my garage on a level concrete floor.

I thought it might just be a high spot that needed to be worn in a little, but I dropped a note to Southland anyway. They said this was not normal and asked me to get back to them after a significant number of starts have been made. I have run nearly a full tank through and made probably 50 starts now, all fairly easy at RPMs varying from just above idle to 2,000 or so. I thought the other day that the shudder was gone as I rode nearly 40 miles and it didn't occur once. However, just as I was leaving the last stoplight before my house, it shuddered heavily. Since then, it seems to shudder more when cold and less when hot, but it is fairly random. Hard to believe something like this can be random. When it is smooth, it is really smooth just as smooth as it was before the rebuild.

I tried to get it to do this earlier today so I could get it on video while I had my wife with me to run the camera, but I could not get it to shudder no matter how easily I engaged the clutch. However, I washed the LT and when I went to move it into the garage, the shudder was back with a vengeance and I got it on video. I was along, so it had to be done at idle with me riding one-handed.

The shudder is worse at idle or low RPM and if I rev to 2,000 or so, it doesn't audibly shudder or chatter, but I can feel a slight pulsing as the clutch engages. However, at other times, it will be as smooth as silk. I am including a link to the video and I think you can easily hear what I hear if you turn your volume up.

I have read several articles on this and they give a range of possible causes, but I think I can rule out almost all of the causes other than improper machining by Southland or an improper friction material. Other causes, such as oil contamination I ruled out as this happened the very first time I engaged the clutch and I had cleaned the parts several times prior to assembly per the Clymer manual and I was quite careful as to how much grease I put on the splines and pressure plate pads.

Anyone have any other thoughts as to possible causes? I can't think of any assembly errors that would cause this, but I don't want to point a finger at Southland if there are other equally likely causes. I have not seen this before personally, but as I read more I see this is a fairly common issue with some of the new automatic DCT cars and can be do to oil contamination, improper friction material (I found a pretty interesting research paper on that topic alone) and software that doesn't engage the clutches properly.

I probably won't bother to tear it down again as the clutch works great otherwise. It disengages fully, shifts smoothly, and holds full throttle torque. If I remember to rev to 2,000 or so to launch, the chatter is nonexistent and just a light pulsing occurs. I normally wouldn't like doing this, but since the only fix now is to replace the clutch cover, pressure plate and friction disk, I am not too worried about damaging them as I have nothing to lose.




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post #2 of 48 Old Jul 9th, 2016, 7:48 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

That is an interesting sound. Curious to see how Southland responds.
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post #3 of 48 Old Jul 9th, 2016, 8:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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That is an interesting sound. Curious to see how Southland responds.
I plan to run two tanks through so that I have 500 or so miles and at least 100 launches. If it is still bad then, I doubt it will correct itself through wear.

I think all they would do is offer to machine the parts again, but that is trivial compared to what I have to do to R&R the parts!

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post #4 of 48 Old Jul 9th, 2016, 9:00 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Try doing a few 3500 RPM launches and really feather it (you should be smelling clutch) to burn off the high spots and see if it doesn't go away. It sounds like a high spot since you hear the banging with no appreciable decrease in RPM as you let out the clutch
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post #5 of 48 Old Jul 9th, 2016, 11:05 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Well, from the sound, I would guess you have two uneven surfaces, one metal and the other on the friction material tapping on each other as they rotate. If it was just one or the other, you wouldn't get the chatter as it rotated. John has the right idea, see if it can be minimized with a few zealous starts but one of your metal plates was not machined flush with the rotational plane.

I hope it smooths out at least some.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
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post #6 of 48 Old Jul 10th, 2016, 1:39 am
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Hopefully it will wear in. For all the labor this is a good case for OEM parts. I commend you for doing the work yourself.

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post #7 of 48 Old Jul 10th, 2016, 8:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Try doing a few 3500 RPM launches and really feather it (you should be smelling clutch) to burn off the high spots and see if it doesn't go away. It sounds like a high spot since you hear the banging with no appreciable decrease in RPM as you let out the clutch
Yes, my thought exactly. However, I decided to do a normal break-in first to see if anything changes and then review with Southland before taking more aggressive measures.

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post #8 of 48 Old Jul 10th, 2016, 8:37 am Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Well, from the sound, I would guess you have two uneven surfaces, one metal and the other on the friction material tapping on each other as they rotate. If it was just one or the other, you wouldn't get the chatter as it rotated. John has the right idea, see if it can be minimized with a few zealous starts but one of your metal plates was not machined flush with the rotational plane.

I hope it smooths out at least some.
That is my lead suspicion also. Either one or both surfaces were not machined flat (potato chip problem) or one or both were machined off axis so that the surface is not orthogonal to the axis of rotation.

I don't want to jump to the harsh approach just yet, but that is on the agenda. Just don't want to get it too hot and glaze the disk such that it starts slipping in high gear. I would rather deal with the shudder via higher RPM starts, than have a clutch that slips every time I pass a car.

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post #9 of 48 Old Jul 10th, 2016, 8:55 am Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Hopefully it will wear in. For all the labor this is a good case for OEM parts. I commend you for doing the work yourself.
In retrospect, I should have cleaned up my original parts, bought the basic Siebenrock from BBY, and put it back together. I would have saved $200, two weeks of time and likely had a better result!

I very nearly did that, but most of what I read online suggested this to be a risky approach. Kind of like replacing rings without honing the cylinders, so I decided to get the resurfacing done. I think a good resurfacing would have been best, but an improper resurfacing is worse.

If it stays bad and we have a hard winter, I may just get the ambition to tear it down again next winter. It will be much easier a second time and I won't need to mess with the crankcase ventilation or fuel injection systems.

The one good thing is that my off-idle hesitation/stumble seems to be gone. Not sure what I did to fix it, but it could be one of at least these three:
1. New oxygen sensor
2. Thorough cleaning of TBs
3. Disconnecting vacuum hoses to pulse valve.

I actually suspect the last one given how random the issue was. I don't know the algorithm for pulse valve actuation, but if there was a leak in the vacuum line upstream of that valve, every time it pulsed it would be creating a vacuum leak. And that would explain the fact that it would hesitate at one stoplight and then run fine at the next. I wish now that I had tried unplugging the electrical connector to that valve to see if that would have fixed it. However, now that in have the "non-US" plumbing, I don't have to worry about that valve.

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post #10 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 12:56 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Curious to know how this worked out? I have the same issue.
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post #11 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 4:20 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
Curious to know how this worked out? I have the same issue.
Matts issue was from improper machining of the old plates. Did you attempt to do the same or has this judder developed during use?

Gordon
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post #12 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 4:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Curious to know how this worked out? I have the same issue.
The issue is lessening over time, but still rears its ugly head occastionally. If I keep the RPM above 1200 at launch, the judder can be held at bay. I tend to rev to 1500 and then as the clutch engages a little, let the RPM fall back to 1200 or so as I would do in a normal launch. The judder only occurs at the initial clutch engagement. Once there is a little pressure on the clutch, the judder stops.

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post #13 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 6:07 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
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post #14 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 7:31 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
Hmmm, I wonder if it is the clutch or something like a binding U-joint. If it is the clutch, you should only get the judder while the handle is pulled in and starting out or feathering the clutch. If you have a vibration at any other time, you have a different issue. Is this only while you are working the clutch handle? Is it OK when fully deployed?

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #15 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 7:32 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Hi , I watched the video over at Adventure rider https://advrider.com/f/threads/2005-...ation.1345394/ wow is that thing hammerin' . Like jimvobadon , I am not a fan of ceramic and oil resistant clutch discs for this reason. But , maybe it will knock the high spots off & settle down..

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post #16 of 48 Old Oct 18th, 2018, 7:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
I just watched and listened to your video. Sounds exactly like my LT and at the same time. I had my clutch rebuilt by Southland Clutch in San Diego. My best guess was that their machining of my two clutch surfaces wasn’t exactly true leaving a high spot on one or both surfaces. Given that the clutch disk material always has some thickness variation around the circumference, I suspect that the thick spot on the clutch disk touches the high spot on the metal once a revolution causing the disk to grab, take up the slack in the drivetrain and then release letting the drive train “unwind” just in time for the next revolution and grab.

However, after reading some of the responses to your post in ADVRider, I am wondering if this isn’t also exacerbated by a different friction material. You used an aftermarket disk and I had mine rebuilt using aftermarket friction material. The Southland disk really seems to engage more firmly and solidly than did the OEM disk. So, the folks at ADVRider may well be correct that it is the combination of a high spot on the metal surfaces, which I suspect is always there to at least a 0.001” or so, and a friction material with a higher coefficient of friction than the stock material.

I have been launching a little harder than I used to using higher RPM and letting the clutch out more briskly and this seems to have not only reduced the severity of the shudder when it does happen, but seems to have lessened the frequency of occurrence. So, it may well be that some reasonable wear and tear will clear the problem over time. However, I have nearly 20,000 miles on my clutch and it still persists. So, it may take 50,000 to correct the problem. However, I do like the feel of the Southland clutch better than the OEM clutch and if it holds up the the harder launches, I guess I can live with that.

Officer, I really didn’t want to pop a wheelie, but I have this clutch problem that requires harder than normal launches.
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post #17 of 48 Old Oct 19th, 2018, 12:49 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Hmmm, I wonder if it is the clutch or something like a binding U-joint. If it is the clutch, you should only get the judder while the handle is pulled in and starting out or feathering the clutch. If you have a vibration at any other time, you have a different issue. Is this only while you are working the clutch handle? Is it OK when fully deployed?
bmwcoolk1200 - Yes, it's okay when the clutch is fully out and then it drives fine. This only happens when working the clutch and only under 2K RPM. Really only in certain starting out conditions, and very slow maneuvering/parking speeds. It also doesn't do it when it's cold and not warmed up.
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post #18 of 48 Old Oct 19th, 2018, 1:00 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Voyager - Like yourself, I too have been adapting: launching a little harder using higher RPM, and letting the clutch out faster.

I guess I can live with it. Only thing that worries me is, well the problem itself (lol), but also the fact that the folks at Beemer Boneyard said that this is not at all normal and that they have never had or heard of any issues with these clutches. Perhaps they would say that, but they do have a very good and solid reputation. Maybe this only happens occasionally, and the few people it's happened to have worked around it or gotten used to it, and thus BBY haven't heard about it? I don't know.

Anyway, I do need to get back down to the guys who installed it, and at least give them a chance to say their piece. Maybe they'll have some "Ah ha!" moment and fix it? Wishful thinking! I'll report back.
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post #19 of 48 Old Oct 19th, 2018, 5:00 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
Voyager - Like yourself, I too have been adapting: launching a little harder using higher RPM, and letting the clutch out faster.

I guess I can live with it. Only thing that worries me is, well the problem itself (lol), but also the fact that the folks at Beemer Boneyard said that this is not at all normal and that they have never had or heard of any issues with these clutches. Perhaps they would say that, but they do have a very good and solid reputation. Maybe this only happens occasionally, and the few people it's happened to have worked around it or gotten used to it, and thus BBY haven't heard about it? I don't know.

Anyway, I do need to get back down to the guys who installed it, and at least give them a chance to say their piece. Maybe they'll have some "Ah ha!" moment and fix it? Wishful thinking! I'll report back.
I suspect it is a “perfect storm” scenario where just the right factors are present to cause this issue.

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post #20 of 48 Old Oct 20th, 2018, 12:04 am
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
Seems to me your bike snuck out at night and ate a Harley. Then, the ghost of the Harley has shown itself by adding a well known and well loved, by some, Harley Shake. Change out your pipes to get a good deep growl and glue some H/D logos on your bike and your are good to go. In fact, you may find some new rider willing to pay a premium for your prototype bike set to hit the market in 3 years but you got your hands on this one from a connection through your cousin's wife's best friend's neighbor. Enjoy the shake and ride on

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post #21 of 48 Old Oct 21st, 2018, 8:44 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

UPDATE: Here’s the latest.

I took the bike back to the shop on Friday afternoon. I was able to demonstrate the issue and immediately the owner said, “Oh no. That’s really bad. That’s not right. We’ll have to take a look at that.”

That made me feel a bit better. He gave me the option of leaving the bike there or bringing it back on Monday. I opted for the latter, figuring I could work around the issue and might use the bike a little over the weekend. The shop is about 3 miles from my house.

On my way back I hit pretty bad San Francisco Friday evening rush hour traffic, with a lot of stopping and starting. The vibrating started getting even worse. Bad enough that now I can hear a clicking and a sort of vibration when the clutch is fully released. This has got me thinking that it might be something else, and I forgot to mention this....(something that bmwcoolk1200 did mention as a possibility)....

When they were putting the bike back together a couple of weeks ago, they called me and said that one of the u-joints on the final drive was very stiff. They put it in a bath of oil for the afternoon to see if it would loosen up, and it did, so they put it back in when they put it all back together.

With this in mind, I had a closer listen to the rattle/vibration/shudder while stationary, and I’m starting to think it might indeed be coming from the final drive somewhere. Why it would be worse when the bike is warmed up, I don’t know?

Anyway, they are taking it in on Monday, so we will find out. Hopefully. Sigh.
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post #22 of 48 Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 10:39 am
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

I am very interested in hearing what they have to say
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post #23 of 48 Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 12:50 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
UPDATE:
On my way back I hit pretty bad San Francisco Friday evening rush hour traffic, with a lot of stopping and starting. The vibrating started getting even worse. Bad enough that now I can hear a clicking and a sort of vibration when the clutch is fully released. This has got me thinking that it might be something else, and I forgot to mention this....(something that bmwcoolk1200 did mention as a possibility)....

When they were putting the bike back together a couple of weeks ago, they called me and said that one of the u-joints on the final drive was very stiff. They put it in a bath of oil for the afternoon to see if it would loosen up, and it did, so they put it back in when they put it all back together.
This now sounds like possibly 2 separate issues or one that is getting worse. The clutch issue and possibly a binding u-joint but if something is amiss with the clutch, a vibration could happen as well while moving in addition to the issue you displayed while not moving on the video. I saw Saddleman received a badly machined clutch part once and had it replaced before installing but it was visually flawed and I am surprised it made it out the factory door.

I too am curious what they find. New hard parts like that don't have a large history of being bad out of the box.

Gordon
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post #24 of 48 Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 1:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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I am very interested in hearing what they have to say
Likewise. I am virtually certain that mine is a clutch issue only as it makes no noise once underway. Mine only shudders when first engaging the clutch when the final drive is not even moving yet. Southland Clutch consulted with a “BMW expert” who told them I had failed to engage the drive shaft correctly and the noise was the driveshaft flopping around. I sent them a video showing how the bike moved forward just fine so it clearly wasn’t the driveshaft now being engaged. Their “expert” then replied that he really wasn’t familiar with the K series BMWs and had no other ideas what might be wrong.

I find out his name and looked him up and he was an old airhead restoration guy. Probably hasn’t ever worked on a BMW less than 30 years old...

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post #25 of 48 Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 2:36 pm
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Unhappy Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

CORRECTION: When I said "one of the u-joints on the final drive was very stiff," I meant to say "one of the u-joints on the DRIVE SHAFT was very stiff."

Anyway, taking it down there now. I'll report back when I hear. Thank you all.
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Southland Clutch consulted with a “BMW expert” who told them I had failed to engage the drive shaft correctly and the noise was the driveshaft flopping around. I sent them a video showing how the bike moved forward just fine so it clearly wasn’t the driveshaft now being engaged.
When I first replaced my clutch I didn't have the driveshaft properly in place. The resulting noise is VERY obvious VERY loud and VERY scary...

It can be heard echoing in the swing-arm and was quickly diagnosed...

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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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When I first replaced my clutch I didn't have the driveshaft properly in place. The resulting noise is VERY obvious VERY loud and VERY scary...

It can be heard echoing in the swing-arm and was quickly diagnosed...
And I am guessing your bike didn’t go very far forward either.

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post #28 of 48 Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 7:44 pm
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And I am guessing your bike didn’t go very far forward either.
Luckily still on the lift and my good sense told me not to ride it...

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post #29 of 48 Old Oct 31st, 2018, 7:00 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

UPDATE: I heard back from the owner of the shop today. They think the issue is a "cam shaft position sensor." He said he plugged in a diagnostic computer and it said the sensor was faulty. They temporarily replaced the position sensor with one from another bike, "and everything runs fine." Their BMW mechanic took it out for a "long ride" and it was supposedly fine when he got back too. The owner said he has to take a trip to the East Bay tomorrow and back, 30 miles or so, and said he would use the bike for that trip and see how it performs. If everything is then still good, he'll replace the temporary cam shaft position sensor with a new one (that presumably I'll have to pay for).

I have to say I am E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y skeptical. He also said that after I left the other day and the bike cooled down, the issue seemed to "go away." This I fear this is one of those really frustrating situations where the shop never drives the vehicle long enough, or in such a way, as to reproduce the conditions one experiences in real life.

The vibration is very, very severe and dreadful. Actually scary, like the engine is going to separate. BUT...it only happens when it is warmed up sufficiently, AND you are stop-starting in very slow or almost stopped conditions. Or stop-starting on a hill. Or maneuvering back and forth into a parking spot. All while the vehicle is well warmed up. Sorry if I'm repeating myself.

My mother always says, "Don't meet trouble halfway." So, perhaps I need to have a bit more faith. I'll wait to hear back tomorrow.
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post #30 of 48 Old Oct 31st, 2018, 9:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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UPDATE: I heard back from the owner of the shop today. They think the issue is a "cam shaft position sensor." He said he plugged in a diagnostic computer and it said the sensor was faulty. They temporarily replaced the position sensor with one from another bike, "and everything runs fine." Their BMW mechanic took it out for a "long ride" and it was supposedly fine when he got back too. The owner said he has to take a trip to the East Bay tomorrow and back, 30 miles or so, and said he would use the bike for that trip and see how it performs. If everything is then still good, he'll replace the temporary cam shaft position sensor with a new one (that presumably I'll have to pay for).

I have to say I am E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y skeptical. He also said that after I left the other day and the bike cooled down, the issue seemed to "go away." This I fear this is one of those really frustrating situations where the shop never drives the vehicle long enough, or in such a way, as to reproduce the conditions one experiences in real life.

The vibration is very, very severe and dreadful. Actually scary, like the engine is going to separate. BUT...it only happens when it is warmed up sufficiently, AND you are stop-starting in very slow or almost stopped conditions. Or stop-starting on a hill. Or maneuvering back and forth into a parking spot. All while the vehicle is well warmed up. Sorry if I'm repeating myself.

My mother always says, "Don't meet trouble halfway." So, perhaps I need to have a bit more faith. I'll wait to hear back tomorrow.
They didn’t fix the problem.
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post #31 of 48 Old Oct 31st, 2018, 10:56 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
UPDATE: I heard back from the owner of the shop today. They think the issue is a "cam shaft position sensor." He said he plugged in a diagnostic computer and it said the sensor was faulty. They temporarily replaced the position sensor with one from another bike, "and everything runs fine." Their BMW mechanic took it out for a "long ride" and it was supposedly fine when he got back too. The owner said he has to take a trip to the East Bay tomorrow and back, 30 miles or so, and said he would use the bike for that trip and see how it performs. If everything is then still good, he'll replace the temporary cam shaft position sensor with a new one (that presumably I'll have to pay for).

I have to say I am E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y skeptical. He also said that after I left the other day and the bike cooled down, the issue seemed to "go away." This I fear this is one of those really frustrating situations where the shop never drives the vehicle long enough, or in such a way, as to reproduce the conditions one experiences in real life.

The vibration is very, very severe and dreadful. Actually scary, like the engine is going to separate. BUT...it only happens when it is warmed up sufficiently, AND you are stop-starting in very slow or almost stopped conditions. Or stop-starting on a hill. Or maneuvering back and forth into a parking spot. All while the vehicle is well warmed up. Sorry if I'm repeating myself.

My mother always says, "Don't meet trouble halfway." So, perhaps I need to have a bit more faith. I'll wait to hear back tomorrow.
With Matt, they didn't fix the problem. Ask them how a camshaft position sensor is affected by the clutch being let out? As far as I know, the LT does not even have one. There is the hall sensor for crank position but that always reads faulty as the engine isn't turning when it is checked by the system. It has to be cleared and then started and run to see if it sets a code while running. It is also an air gap so no contact to make any noise or vibration. SMH

Stay SKEPTICAL my friend.
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post #32 of 48 Old Nov 1st, 2018, 5:50 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

He has a GS and yes it does have a cam position sensor. He was just experiencing the same sounds as Matt on his LT was.

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post #33 of 48 Old Nov 1st, 2018, 6:23 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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He has a GS and yes it does have a cam position sensor. He was just experiencing the same sounds as Matt on his LT was.
My bad then. It is still an air gap and should have nothing to do with clutch engagement.

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post #34 of 48 Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 2:39 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

My God......that repair sounds like one I had once. I took a 1979 GS 1000 Suzuki in for a warranty repair. Horrible vibration. I had already told them the roller bearing crank was twisted and out of line. I had put dial indicators in the cylinders to check TDC. It was off a mile ...........I got a new clutch.

I had a friend out of state at a dealer fix it right and I welded the crankshaft pins before we put it back together.....
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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He has a GS and yes it does have a cam position sensor. He was just experiencing the same sounds as Matt on his LT was.
I still can’t believe a cam position sensor being bad could cause that sort of racket when the clutch is first being let out. I guess we will see when he gets it back. It sure sound like my LT, maybe even a little worse as would be expected from a twin vs. a 4.

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post #36 of 48 Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 3:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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UPDATE: I heard back from the owner of the shop today. They think the issue is a "cam shaft position sensor." He said he plugged in a diagnostic computer and it said the sensor was faulty. They temporarily replaced the position sensor with one from another bike, "and everything runs fine." Their BMW mechanic took it out for a "long ride" and it was supposedly fine when he got back too. The owner said he has to take a trip to the East Bay tomorrow and back, 30 miles or so, and said he would use the bike for that trip and see how it performs. If everything is then still good, he'll replace the temporary cam shaft position sensor with a new one (that presumably I'll have to pay for).

I have to say I am E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y skeptical. He also said that after I left the other day and the bike cooled down, the issue seemed to "go away." This I fear this is one of those really frustrating situations where the shop never drives the vehicle long enough, or in such a way, as to reproduce the conditions one experiences in real life.

The vibration is very, very severe and dreadful. Actually scary, like the engine is going to separate. BUT...it only happens when it is warmed up sufficiently, AND you are stop-starting in very slow or almost stopped conditions. Or stop-starting on a hill. Or maneuvering back and forth into a parking spot. All while the vehicle is well warmed up. Sorry if I'm repeating myself.

My mother always says, "Don't meet trouble halfway." So, perhaps I need to have a bit more faith. I'll wait to hear back tomorrow.
What’s the verdict? Fixed or not?

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post #37 of 48 Old Nov 2nd, 2018, 4:22 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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My bad then. It is still an air gap and should have nothing to do with clutch engagement.
Yeah I know, my experience with bad cam position sensors is the engine don't run at all. It will be interesting to see the final outcome.

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post #38 of 48 Old Nov 3rd, 2018, 9:29 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Yeah I know, my experience with bad cam position sensors is the engine don't run at all. It will be interesting to see the final outcome.
Yep, hope we get an update soon.

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post #39 of 48 Old Nov 4th, 2018, 11:17 am
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

The description of your clutch problem including the intermittent exacerbation sounds exactly like the situation I had in my "Camaro" after a clutch job. That turned out to be an uneven pressure plate. I don't know if the pressure plate surface was machine uneven or the pressure springs were dissimilar. I changed out the pressure plate with the old one and the problem was gone. Good luck.
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post #40 of 48 Old Nov 12th, 2018, 9:09 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

UPDATE: My sincere apologies for not updating earlier. I’ve had a lot going on.

Finally heard back from the shop last Monday. The owner (who is not their BMW mechanic who did the work) has taken charge of the issue. He’s the one I’m communicating with. He said that they replaced the cam shaft position sensor, and that’s he was using the bike himself the past three days, on the freeway, around town, up hills, well warmed up, and that it seemed to be running fine. He also said he cleaned the coil connectors and that it was starting better. I do believe the guy is sincere, and I went down on Wednesday (Nov 7) to pick it up. A little excited, but still a bit skeptical.

I drove it across town in traffic – in conditions that would previously bring the problem on – and by the time I got back to my place it was doing the ‘Clutch Rattle & Roll’ a little….but not quite as bad as before. The clutch seems to be gripping, or “catching” the vibration and stopping or reducing it, better than before. Here’s a video where I’m stationary, similar to the first video in this post, same conditions:


It also looked like they’d put over 130 miles on it, so that may have helped the clutch “bed in” as some here have suggested. I drove it over to Bezerkeley on Friday, and on the way back hit a bit of stop-start traffic on the Bay Bridge and downtown SF. The shudder was there again but I was able to power through it, again burning some clutch. I did “feel” as I was burning clutch that it was a little rough, but I think I’m partly paranoid at this stage. I also thought I felt a slight “clicking” or different type of rattle on the left side – SEE BELOW!

Next time I started it up on Sunday morning, again I thought I heard a “click-clickety clink-clink clickety-click” on the left side, but it went away. I drove up north about 30 miles. I thought I heard it again that evening driving back. When I got home I just put it on the sidestand in neutral and stood there and listened. There IS a click-click!

See two videos below:



What the hell is that? Cam chains? AGAIN?!!

Now what? Do I just do a James Dean and drive it off a cliff?
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Time to find a shop that knows what the heck they are doing.
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post #42 of 48 Old Nov 12th, 2018, 10:50 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Time to find a shop that knows what the heck they are doing.
I knew they hadn’t fixed the clutch. I have no idea what the clicking is. You need a shop that understands the R series engine and clutches. Where do you live?

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post #43 of 48 Old Nov 15th, 2018, 10:28 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

I am pretty sure the clicking is the cam chain hitting that cylinder cover. I can feel it if I put my hand there.

I am in San Francisco. Up until this point I have always taken it to BMW San Francisco and never had a problem. They are not responsible for this.

Without getting into a super long-winded story...when I initially found out (from BMW) back in July that I had a broken cam chain tension rail, I was going to sell the bike because BMW wanted $3,500 to fix it. But a friend persuaded me to buy the parts to do the job, because he "knew a guy" who would do it for $500. (If it sounds too good to be true...).

Anyway, that guy fell through (surprise, surprise). I had already spent $1,300 on parts, including a new clutch, so I started to look around for a different shop in the city to do the job. I figured I'd already spent the money on parts, I might as well see it through. That's how I ended up where I am now. The place I took it to quoted me $2,250 + additional parts. It took them 5-6 weeks. When I finally got it back they charged me $3,228. So, total outlay of $4,500. Yes, I feel like an idiot.

My advice to anyone in a similar situation: GET A NEW BIKE!
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post #44 of 48 Old Nov 15th, 2018, 11:18 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

They really took you for a ride. Sorry. Just pulling the rocker cover and installing and new cam chain rail is about 3 or so hours. You start adding valve check, clutch work and it goes to 10 or so. I can see you were at their mercy and they showed none. Same job here I would have charged you 400 and part you had, plus gaskets/0-rings etc. that you may have over looked.
Now. Don't look back but summer is comming and ride the heck out of it. I suggest Hwy 12 in southern Utah.

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post #45 of 48 Old May 2nd, 2019, 9:00 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

UPDATE: Thought I'd give you all an update on my clutch issue, six months on.

Bottom line, my new clutch did "bed in" as some have suggested it would. The "shuddering" gradually went away over a few weeks and a few hundred miles.

The bike doesn't "feel" quite the same as it did before, but bear in mind it was completely taken apart. I do get quite a bit of vibration at about 4,000 rpm. Definitely more than I used to. In top gear that equates to about 72 mph. At about 4,500 rpm, or 80 mph, which I like to cruise at on the Interstate, it slightly "numbs" me from vibration, but I get kind of used to it. Perhaps something to do with the aftermarket oil-resistant clutch?

I've put about 4,000 miles on it since the big job. I recently drove it from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and back to San Francisco. Drove like a champ, no worries. I drive it around the hills of SF most days, and so far the new aftermarket clutch has held up. Fingers crossed. Note: there is a similar thread on this over at ADVrider where I posted a similar message. A guy there, AndyM had the same issue as me, and his aftermarket oil-resistant clutch died at 5k miles. Hopefully that won't happen to me.

One final thing. Back in November. The “clickety-click click” on the left side cylinder that I had? I had lost faith in the shop that did the big repair job, so I took the bike back to San Francisco BMW where I normally go - and will forever go from now on! Mario there, who is a great guy, immediately found a bolt inside that had not been tightened down properly. It would work its way out and hit the cylinder case! Near the cam chains! He tightened it down properly and checked a few other things. The other shop, in fairness, did agree to pay for any charges incurred from BMW. That was basically the end of the saga.

Thanks for all your help everyone. It's almost summer. I have a bike! Ride safe. :-)
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post #46 of 48 Old May 2nd, 2019, 9:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by qmacker View Post
UPDATE: Thought I'd give you all an update on my clutch issue, six months on.

Bottom line, my new clutch did "bed in" as some have suggested it would. The "shuddering" gradually went away over a few weeks and a few hundred miles.

The bike doesn't "feel" quite the same as it did before, but bear in mind it was completely taken apart. I do get quite a bit of vibration at about 4,000 rpm. Definitely more than I used to. In top gear that equates to about 72 mph. At about 4,500 rpm, or 80 mph, which I like to cruise at on the Interstate, it slightly "numbs" me from vibration, but I get kind of used to it. Perhaps something to do with the aftermarket oil-resistant clutch?

I've put about 4,000 miles on it since the big job. I recently drove it from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and back to San Francisco. Drove like a champ, no worries. I drive it around the hills of SF most days, and so far the new aftermarket clutch has held up. Fingers crossed. Note: there is a similar thread on this over at ADVrider where I posted a similar message. A guy there, AndyM had the same issue as me, and his aftermarket oil-resistant clutch died at 5k miles. Hopefully that won't happen to me.

One final thing. Back in November. The “clickety-click click” on the left side cylinder that I had? I had lost faith in the shop that did the big repair job, so I took the bike back to San Francisco BMW where I normally go - and will forever go from now on! Mario there, who is a great guy, immediately found a bolt inside that had not been tightened down properly. It would work its way out and hit the cylinder case! Near the cam chains! He tightened it down properly and checked a few other things. The other shop, in fairness, did agree to pay for any charges incurred from BMW. That was basically the end of the saga.

Thanks for all your help everyone. It's almost summer. I have a bike! Ride safe. :-)
I am not 100% certain on this, but I suspect that BMW balances the assembled clutch as an assembly. At the very least, they mark the heavy spot on each part and then stagger them during assembly. That is why the service manuals tell you to mark the parts and then assemble them in the same orientation.

If you bought all new metal parts, which is what I believe you did, then I would hope they had a paint mark on the heavy “side”. If that is the case, the installer should have staggered the heavy spots to help balance the assembly. Given all of the issues you had with the person who did the original work, I suspect they did not stagger the parts and you likely have a slightly out of balance clutch assembly. That is my best guess.

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Last edited by Voyager; May 3rd, 2019 at 7:56 am.
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post #47 of 48 Old May 2nd, 2019, 9:29 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I am not 100% certain on this, but I suspect that BMW balances the assembled clutch as an assembly. At the very least, the mark the heavy spot on each part and then stagger them during assembly. That is why the service manuals tell you to mark the parts and then assemble them in the same orientation.
Not sure on the K bikes, but this is what I've been told for R bikes (oil and airheads anyway). It makes sense. If you are replacing parts the assembly can be balanced by having the heavy parts out of phase - this is the "goodenough" method.
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post #48 of 48 Old May 2nd, 2019, 9:33 pm
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Re: Clutch shudder, judder, chatter, etc.

Yes you put the paint marks 120 degrees apart, If you can as it is not always possible.

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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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