KLT clutch, robust or weakling? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 16 Old Oct 27th, 2018, 12:44 pm Thread Starter
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KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

I watched a "Kirk video" intro to the KLT while looking for info to provide to the next owner of my beloved K1200LT.
I haven't watched much of Kirk's videos, but he should be commended for all the effort he has made that help folks with their K1200LT maintenance.

However, in the particular video I watched, he suggested that the KLT clutch is weak and needs to be "babied" or it will fail prematurely. (my words, not his).

So here's my question: Has anyone actually worn out a K1200LT clutch?
I'm not interested in clutch slave leaks and rear main seal leaks that took out a clutch. I know there are plenty of those reports. Do we actually have any reports of someone who wore out a clutch by slipping it too much? Any reports of someone needing to replace the clutch but no lube leaks whatsoever? Cases of clutch wear secondary to pulling an overloaded trailer, bad start off technique, slow speed maneuvering involving clutch slipping?

I always thought of the KLT "automotive" dry clutch as being fairly robust. Looking for objective data.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 16 Old Oct 27th, 2018, 1:34 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
I watched a "Kirk video" intro to the KLT while looking for info to provide to the next owner of my beloved K1200LT.
I haven't watched much of Kirk's videos, but he should be commended for all the effort he has made that help folks with their K1200LT maintenance.

However, in the particular video I watched, he suggested that the KLT clutch is weak and needs to be "babied" or it will fail prematurely. (my words, not his).

So here's my question: Has anyone actually worn out a K1200LT clutch?
I'm not interested in clutch slave leaks and rear main seal leaks that took out a clutch. I know there are plenty of those reports. Do we actually have any reports of someone who wore out a clutch by slipping it too much? Any reports of someone needing to replace the clutch but no lube leaks whatsoever? Cases of clutch wear secondary to pulling an overloaded trailer, bad start off technique, slow speed maneuvering involving clutch slipping?

I always thought of the KLT "automotive" dry clutch as being fairly robust. Looking for objective data.

Thanks in advance.
As commented in older posts by Jzeiler and others, the issue is not so much any specific weakness with the K1200LT dry clutch, it is mainly the fact that these dry clutches will not take a lot of REPEATED slipping abuse - this is often done by inexperienced riders during initial clutch release from a stop (in particular if their background is only with wet clutches).

Too much RPM on initial start will kill a BMW dry clutch pretty quick (both on K1200 and Boxer engines). I have seen pretty nasty pictures of these clutches that had only 20,000 miles.
See this tread: https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt...000-miles.html


In addition, the clutch diameter / surface of the k1200LT clutch disks (friction and pressure) are not really larger than a K1100LT, but it must carry / support stress of added horsepower (mainly 2005-2009) AND weight of the K1200LT thru its life.

Wet clutches tend to absorb / dissipate much of that heat / energy much better (using oil as the medium).


I have data for the relatively lighter K1200RS (about 635 lb wet). Based on my experience and also accumulated data thru 15 years on the K1200RS forum. Except for the clutch outer cover that is heavier (k1200LT), and the added horsepower (130 HP on K1200RS) this is the same clutch as the K1200LT:
- based on many clutch jobs done on the K1200RS forum , ON AVERAGE the wear was about 0.11 mm per 10,000 miles. In 98% cases the clutch was removed because of an oil leak into dry clutch area, not because of wear.

- Friction plate: given the 6 mm new thickness and the 4.5 minimum thickness, in theory... with no oil leak, an owner could do roughly 136,000 miles with a clutch friction plate (1.5 mm total material DIVIDED by wear of 0.11 MULTIPLIED by 10,000 miles). Of course, this is based on average data, so your mileage will vary depending how hard you are on your clutch.

If my memory is correct, one owner here who has more that 300,000 miles on his K1200LT (ZEKE) has also replied how many clutch jobs he had to do (not counting pre-emptive jobs because of an oil leak).
Thread is here: https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt...ther-100k.html
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John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
-------------------------------------------------
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Last edited by sailor; Oct 27th, 2018 at 8:17 pm.
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post #3 of 16 Old Oct 27th, 2018, 2:47 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
I watched a "Kirk video" intro to the KLT while looking for info to provide to the next owner of my beloved K1200LT.
I haven't watched much of Kirk's videos, but he should be commended for all the effort he has made that help folks with their K1200LT maintenance.

However, in the particular video I watched, he suggested that the KLT clutch is weak and needs to be "babied" or it will fail prematurely. (my words, not his).

So here's my question: Has anyone actually worn out a K1200LT clutch?
I'm not interested in clutch slave leaks and rear main seal leaks that took out a clutch. I know there are plenty of those reports. Do we actually have any reports of someone who wore out a clutch by slipping it too much? Any reports of someone needing to replace the clutch but no lube leaks whatsoever? Cases of clutch wear secondary to pulling an overloaded trailer, bad start off technique, slow speed maneuvering involving clutch slipping?

I always thought of the KLT "automotive" dry clutch as being fairly robust. Looking for objective data.

Thanks in advance.
I believe JZ wore one out towing a trailer. And I remember one magazine test where they were testing 0-60 and 1/4 mile times and the clutch got hot and quit working properly on a new LT.

Personally, mine was only about 5% worn when I replaced it after 54,000 miles. I extrapolated that it would have lasted 700,000 miles at the wear rate I saw. Now, the fact that half of it was soaked in gear oil may have lessened the wear.

My opinion is that the issue isn’t so much a weak clutch (when not soaked in oil or brake fluid), but a too tall first gear in the LT. If the first gear was about 40% shorter (idle speed in first gear of say 4 mph rather than 7.2 mph), I think the clutch would be fine and would take more abuse such as trailer towing. Any clutch will seem weaker and wear quicker when used with improper gearing.
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post #4 of 16 Old Oct 27th, 2018, 8:03 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Matt is correct mine started slipping (5th gear test) and I continued to ride it for 6 months before I tore it down. Nothing was leaking but the disc "fuzz" residue was slightly damp. I was close to the wear limit but at it and the disc only slipped once during each 5th gear attempt. It would not do it two times in a row. Yes it was how I started out with the trailer that did it in with too many revs as I slipped the clutch to start rolling. The new clutch has lasted well in excess of 60 K with no issues once I figured out how to launch with a trailer and kept the RPMs below 1600 until the clutch was fully engaged. No I do not consider it a weak clutch but you cannot abuse it like a wet clutch.

FWIW I went through 5 clutches in 13 years and 120,000 miles on my MGB.
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post #5 of 16 Old Oct 28th, 2018, 5:41 am
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

yeah Charlie done mine around 90k km the whole thing was toast all the clutch components needed changing what wasnt blue from heat was cracked and it was from slipping the clutch, mind you I started towing my camper at 30k km.

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post #6 of 16 Old Oct 28th, 2018, 1:29 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

I replaced the clutch on my 2004 at around 160,000 miles. The clutch disc had very little wear but was oil soaked from the failed o-ring.
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post #7 of 16 Old Oct 28th, 2018, 2:47 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
I replaced the clutch on my 2004 at around 160,000 miles. The clutch disc had very little wear but was oil soaked from the failed o-ring.
Dave,
This is pretty amazing - probably the most mileage with the least amount of wear I have seen in 15 years.
Even in the best cases, at this mileage most would reach at least half way to the minimum thickness on friction disk (about 5.25 mm)
Maybe a combo of all this:
- you are not hard on the clutch AND do minimal clutch slipping on start,
- you do not have do to a lot of city riding (stop-go traffic)

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K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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post #8 of 16 Old Oct 29th, 2018, 1:55 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

I replaced the clutch on my LT at 218k because I was there anyways replacing the bad alternator. Still had about a 1 MM left. Just replaced the clutch this time with 110,000k, but this was actually the clutch slipping from a blown o ring (the one under the nut) or main seal. I will post pics. The push rod was dry. That was my siebenrock clutch, supposed to work in oil. Ah NO. but anyways the clutch had almost no wear. You can go a long way if dont try jack rabbit starts. After you get going, ride it like you stole it.

Zeke
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post #9 of 16 Old Oct 29th, 2018, 4:24 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
I replaced the clutch on my LT at 218k because I was there anyways replacing the bad alternator. Still had about a 1 MM left. Just replaced the clutch this time with 110,000k, but this was actually the clutch slipping from a blown o ring (the one under the nut) or main seal. I will post pics. The push rod was dry. That was my siebenrock clutch, supposed to work in oil. Ah NO. but anyways the clutch had almost no wear. You can go a long way if dont try jack rabbit starts. After you get going, ride it like you stole it.

Zeke
Oil proof from Siebenrock only means you can clean it and reuse it as it won't soak up the oil. Still not a " WET" clutch. LOL

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post #10 of 16 Old Oct 29th, 2018, 4:35 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Oil proof from Siebenrock only means you can clean it and reuse it as it won't soak up the oil. Still not a " WET" clutch. LOL
That may be true, but given the work required to do a clutch change, the last thing I would do is put a questionable disk back in.

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post #11 of 16 Old Oct 29th, 2018, 4:35 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
I replaced the clutch on my LT at 218k because I was there anyways replacing the bad alternator. Still had about a 1 MM left. Just replaced the clutch this time with 110,000k, but this was actually the clutch slipping from a blown o ring (the one under the nut) or main seal. I will post pics. The push rod was dry. That was my siebenrock clutch, supposed to work in oil. Ah NO. but anyways the clutch had almost no wear. You can go a long way if dont try jack rabbit starts. After you get going, ride it like you stole it.

Zeke
Thanks for the feedback on this.

Some of these K1200LT are way better than the averages on the K1200RS forum where NO ONE ever did 160,000 or 200,000 miles without reaching an oil leak point (from the O-RING or either the Seal). Maybe the K1200RS riders are harder OR the heat / power from the 130HP engine is bringing this issue earlier. Mine, bought new in 2002, started leaking at 54,000 miles after 6 years of usage (although the friction plate was still very good).

-------------------------------------------------
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K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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post #12 of 16 Old Oct 30th, 2018, 6:37 am
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Thanks for the feedback on this.

Some of these K1200LT are way better than the averages on the K1200RS forum where NO ONE ever did 160,000 or 200,000 miles without reaching an oil leak point (from the O-RING or either the Seal). Maybe the K1200RS riders are harder OR the heat / power from the 130HP engine is bringing this issue earlier. Mine, bought new in 2002, started leaking at 54,000 miles after 6 years of usage (although the friction plate was still very good).

Well I have to admit most of my riding is super slabs.So I'm not using the clutch much. But we have been to NS and rode up meat cove, and Grandfather mountain is interesting on the clutch. But the 1st one lasted forever and this one was the oring. Maybe just pure luck. This LT of mine has been near perfect. No issues at all, normal wear out items, but until the alternator went out at 218k it has been near perfection.

Zeke
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post #13 of 16 Old Nov 23rd, 2018, 4:05 am
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

What about Siebenrock clutch disc? Does it really provide more grabby feel than OEM?
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post #14 of 16 Old Nov 23rd, 2018, 1:12 pm
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

I have used the Siebenrock "better than stock" conventional disc and it seems better than the OEM and is cheaper. I have not used their oil proof disc, but several here have.

John
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2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #15 of 16 Old Nov 29th, 2018, 5:42 am
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
I have used the Siebenrock "better than stock" conventional disc and it seems better than the OEM and is cheaper. I have not used their oil proof disc, but several here have.
Does it last longer or does it allow you to slip clutch at low speeds?
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post #16 of 16 Old Nov 29th, 2018, 8:43 am
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Re: KLT clutch, robust or weakling?

The "better than stock" version is just better looking material, not any more robust than stock but cheaper. You just cannot slip a single dry disc for very long compared to a wet clutch.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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