Guess I am just a CRAP rider then? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 8:24 am Thread Starter
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Cool Guess I am just a CRAP rider then?

Got my LT back yesterday after two weeks off the road, clutch was burnt out, no leaks no apparent reason just severely worn, at 20,000mls and not even three years old.
Whilst stripped the clutch slave was changed as a precaution and gearbox output shaft seal (slight leak) and push rod. One curios thing, the tech said that the clutch had been getting VERY VERY HOT! as shown by the blueing to the pressure plate, spring plate, housing etc.
I have been riding bikes for 30 years and never had a problem before, am I doing something wrong, riding it or am I just supposed to polish and look at the LT, maybe I will have to start riding my softail more?
Anyway, back on the road, running like a dream, it might be me but the clutch and gear chamge seem slicker, lighter. easier. Going to start saving for the rear drive failure next!
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post #2 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 8:25 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor1340
Got my LT back yesterday after two weeks off the road, clutch was burnt out, no leaks no apparent reason just severely worn, at 20,000mls and not even three years old.
Whilst stripped the clutch slave was changed as a precaution and gearbox output shaft seal (slight leak) and push rod. One curios thing, the tech said that the clutch had been getting VERY VERY HOT! as shown by the blueing to the pressure plate, spring plate, housing etc.
I have been riding bikes for 30 years and never had a problem before, am I doing something wrong, riding it or am I just supposed to polish and look at the LT, maybe I will have to start riding my softail more?
Anyway, back on the road, running like a dream, it might be me but the clutch and gear chamge seem slicker, lighter. easier. Going to start saving for the rear drive failure next!

Might as well save up for the abs after that


<evil grin>
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post #3 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 10:14 am
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Smile Try Practicing

Hi Stuart , Try practicing taking off by using the clutch only . Don't use any throttle , & try not to slip the clutch more that necessary . Don't do this wile out riding on the road , but some place were you won't get that run down feeling (;-Ľ). I do it all the time in my driveway & out back getting it in & out of the shed . This will help you to learn just were it takes hold. mine has a 300# wart on the side , and I try not to slip the clutch too much . It takes maybe 2-3 seconds or so from stoped to full engaged . But then again with the 300# wart , & if I do stall it , it doesn't fall over .My LT's clutch handle is at least 3/4 or more out before it starts to bite , and almost all the way out before it is full engaged . ....BUT If your motor is revved up and the clutch is slipped too much , things will get heated up . Hope this is of some help ...Patric ...

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post #4 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 10:31 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor1340
Got my LT back yesterday after two weeks off the road, clutch was burnt out, no leaks no apparent reason just severely worn, at 20,000mls and not even three years old.
Whilst stripped the clutch slave was changed as a precaution and gearbox output shaft seal (slight leak) and push rod. One curios thing, the tech said that the clutch had been getting VERY VERY HOT! as shown by the blueing to the pressure plate, spring plate, housing etc.
I have been riding bikes for 30 years and never had a problem before, am I doing something wrong, riding it or am I just supposed to polish and look at the LT, maybe I will have to start riding my softail more?
Anyway, back on the road, running like a dream, it might be me but the clutch and gear chamge seem slicker, lighter. easier. Going to start saving for the rear drive failure next!

Was that covered under warranty or did you have to pay for it?

Manny
Where is the nearest Tims?

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post #5 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 10:48 am
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Sounds like you had too much clutch fluid in the reservoir. That would keep the slave piston rod engaging the clutch... that would allow the clutch to "slip", overheat, etc.

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post #6 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 11:20 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Sounds like you had too much clutch fluid in the reservoir. That would keep the slave piston rod engaging the clutch... that would allow the clutch to "slip", overheat, etc.
Damn....I was just going to say that but you beat me to it....
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post #7 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 11:22 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Sounds like you had too much clutch fluid in the reservoir. That would keep the slave piston rod engaging the clutch... that would allow the clutch to "slip", overheat, etc.
How do you figure that? The slave piston will only be moved by as much as the master piston tells it to, regardless of whether the fluid is down to minimum or overflowing.
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post #8 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 11:59 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor1340
Got my LT back yesterday after two weeks off the road, clutch was burnt out, no leaks no apparent reason just severely worn, at 20,000mls and not even three years old.
Whilst stripped the clutch slave was changed as a precaution and gearbox output shaft seal (slight leak) and push rod. One curios thing, the tech said that the clutch had been getting VERY VERY HOT! as shown by the blueing to the pressure plate, spring plate, housing etc.
I have been riding bikes for 30 years and never had a problem before, am I doing something wrong, riding it or am I just supposed to polish and look at the LT, maybe I will have to start riding my softail more?
Anyway, back on the road, running like a dream, it might be me but the clutch and gear chamge seem slicker, lighter. easier. Going to start saving for the rear drive failure next!
Do you ride with your hand covering the clutch lever? Are you possibly applying a little pressure to the lever that could be engaging the clutch slightly, causing the excessive wear? What you experienced is not normal wear (unless you're drag racing or doing stunt shows with your LT a lot), but I recall a very similar report from a year or so ago. The guy actually rode with the cluth level pulled in a little bit all the time, just in case someone cut him off and he had to execute an emergency stop. IIRC he fried his clutch in about 10-12K miles.

So, if you do, I would recommend stop doing that.

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post #9 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 2:02 pm
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Thor'

I burned out my clutch in just 15000 miles. When I took it in, I expected it to be a warranty issue but was told the problem was my riding style. I had to pay for the replacement. The point is not trying to learn to take off without slipping the clutch too much or putting too much pressure on the clutch handle while you ride, it's the fact that it is a heavy bike with a weak clutch. If you are too aggressive accelerating or clutch breaking, the clutch can't handle the load. "Ride it like you stole it" and you will burn out the clutch. Ride it like a touring bike and it will last a long time. Just my humble and probably not popular opinion.

Steve
2004 LT
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post #10 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 2:06 pm
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North south CRAP

FYI in Miami CRAP runs north and south
Court , Avenue, Road and Place all run that way. While street, Blvd, terrece and Way all run east to west
Took me awhile to figue that out, and yes there can be a name (Like Flaggler) that is used on all of them.
So visit Miami and ride north to south, then your a true crap rider
Rock

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Living well is the best revenge
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post #11 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 2:30 pm
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good question..

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbeemer
How do you figure that? The slave piston will only be moved by as much as the master piston tells it to, regardless of whether the fluid is down to minimum or overflowing.
The reservoir holds fluid for the clutch actuation. It also has to have a little "air space" so that when fluid expands there is somewhere for it to go. Being a "sealed system", if to much fluid and not enough airspace is the condition, then the "slave" cylinder piston will not fully retract. That will leave pressure on the clutch parts.

Or it could just be that the "slave" cylinder is binding internally .... and there's plenty of "space" for the fluid movement.

Or, I could be wrong.

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post #12 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 5:58 pm Thread Starter
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Red face Thanks for the replies

I do not feel like I slip the clutch, but maybe I do, I take on board the suggestions and will try to adjust my clutch hand but I do like to ride fast and hard. None of my other bikes have ever had clutch problems and they were all ridden the same way including my other current steed a 97 softail with 25,000mls on the clock.
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post #13 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 6:34 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenia
If you are too aggressive accelerating or clutch breaking, the clutch can't handle the load. "Ride it like you stole it" and you will burn out the clutch.
Oh shit! I always use engine braking, always have, better change that habit then, I've replaced one clutch after 10K, and am currently at 20K.

Rgds
Mike

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post #14 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 6:58 pm
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Hey All;

Maybe Im the exception. I have 2002 with 75000 and I ride hard in Florida wheres its hot and the traffic makes you pull in the clutch all the time.
I ride it like I stole it,I still take her to 7000 rpms once in a while, but I dont slip the clutch at stoplights. Recently I have tried to get the clutch to slip while riding, Giving it full throttle at 40 in 5th gear. Still waiting for the slip. Well now that I said it I better get ready for a new clutch. Murphy's law sucks.


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post #15 of 30 Old Jul 25th, 2007, 8:10 pm
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Just my 2 cents. Keep your hand off the clutch until you NEED to actuate it. You can make a panic stop out using the clutch. Sounds to me like you are "riding" it. Common with cars (left foot on the pedal) - easy to avoid just don't touch it.

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post #16 of 30 Old Jul 26th, 2007, 12:44 am
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I'd have to disagree on several points.. The LT's clutch is VERY robust...It's a car clutch after all.

You have to slip it a certain amount to get the fat pig rolling. That shouldn't cause the failure that you've indicated..And certainly not downshifting or engine braking.

Are you driving it like a drag racer ??? Full throttle and drop the clutch ?

Doing any burnouts ?

Unless you're doing that then I'd be hard pressed to believe that it's your driving style..

Driving with the clutch covered and partially actuated might cause the type of damage you are indicating.. Or driving like speed racer...You can abuse it to that point but it takes a lot of abuse to get it there.

Perhaps there was a problem with the clutch actuating assembly as a whole that was not letting the clutch fully engage...

The main reason the clutch fails of the LT is because it gets contaminated by oil or Dot4. When that happens then it starts slipping and can then blue the pressure plate..



John

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post #17 of 30 Old Jul 26th, 2007, 1:18 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenia
Thor'

I burned out my clutch in just 15000 miles. When I took it in, I expected it to be a warranty issue but was told the problem was my riding style. I had to pay for the replacement. The point is not trying to learn to take off without slipping the clutch too much or putting too much pressure on the clutch handle while you ride, it's the fact that it is a heavy bike with a weak clutch. If you are too aggressive accelerating or clutch breaking, the clutch can't handle the load. "Ride it like you stole it" and you will burn out the clutch. Ride it like a touring bike and it will last a long time. Just my humble and probably not popular opinion.

Steve
2004 LT
An opinion for sure, but not one that rings true in fact about any of the 3 LTs I've owned. I've ridden each one of them hard - high speeds, hard cornering, up and down shifts at all RPMs, using engine braking, etc. - and none of them ever had a clutch failure. Had about 38K on the 99, 26K on the the 02, and approaching 28K on the 05. Oh, I've toured on them, too, and the clutch didn't fail then, either.

One of the first things the dealer told me when I bought my my first BMW in 1996 (an RT) was that you need to use the clutch like an on/off switch, not feathering it like you do with a multi-plate wet clutch. I worked on changing my riding style to accommodate that on all 6 BMW bikes I've owned and never had a clutch problem, and they've all been ridden hard.

David Taylor
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post #18 of 30 Old Jul 26th, 2007, 4:55 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
The reservoir holds fluid for the clutch actuation. It also has to have a little "air space" so that when fluid expands there is somewhere for it to go. Being a "sealed system", if to much fluid and not enough airspace is the condition, then the "slave" cylinder piston will not fully retract. That will leave pressure on the clutch parts.

Or it could just be that the "slave" cylinder is binding internally .... and there's plenty of "space" for the fluid movement.

Or, I could be wrong.
I think you may be wrong, but not for the reason you give! The fluid doesn't expand. If it did it no hydraulic system would work as they rely on the fluid not being compressible. OK, at extreme temperatures and pressures they do change volume, but we're looking at normal use. When fluid is moved from the master to the slave, it creates a partial pressure in the air left above the fluid in the master cylinder - which is why there is usually a tiny air bleed hole to compensate. Inside the master cylinder is usually a thin rubber gasket that prevents any fluid blow-back out of the bleed hole onto your nice shiny bike - not good. If the bleed hole is blocked AND there is no airspace at all I could see a problem with operating the clutch, but the fluid volume always remains constant and is simply moved from the master to the slave.

On the other hand a binding slave cylinder sounds very plausible, as does 'heavy' use of the clutch. Even if it is a 'car clutch' I have known cars burn out clutches in under 10k miles when used aggressively, so why not a bike? I have even known clutches go in 5 miles - but that was exceptional and down to nitrous!

The question I have for Thor is did you notice any clutch burning during use? I sometimes get that awful smell when I do a 'traffic lights grand prix' and I'm fully loaded - 2-up and all our luggage - when the clutch has to work really hard. I wouldn't classify that as 'crap', just using the bikes power to maximum effect
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post #19 of 30 Old Jul 26th, 2007, 6:51 am
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clutch slippage

You're not going to burn a clutch unless you slip it. Slippage builds heat and Fast! My LT slipped only ONCE that I can remember before I replaced the clutch and it was blued and burnt. I've driven a truck for 20 years and I am always in tune with rpms and speed. I work in a transmission shop and most of the clutches we replace are high mileage or out of some kid's 4 cylinder hot rod. I often cover my clutch in traffic but I make sure my hand is just resting on the handle with fingers out so I don't put any pressure on it. It's the way I was taught to ride..............

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post #20 of 30 Old Jul 26th, 2007, 9:34 am
 
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Don't know about the LT but the R and RT call for almost 1/4" of free play in the clutch lever. Even if your hand was resting on it I doubt it would pull far enough to start slipping?
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post #21 of 30 Old Jul 26th, 2007, 9:46 am
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clutch trouble

Same thing just happened to me, 55000 kms, starts slipping in 5th gear, not happy camper for sure. My dealer said it was because I tow a trailer, my uni-go suitcase on a wheel, give me a break, 30 years riding as well, got a 110,000 out of my last bike and clutch. just a weak design, funny I thought the dry clutch would be a advantage when purchasing. who would have known. I love the bike but for the premium price I expect better. IMO!
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post #22 of 30 Old Jul 27th, 2007, 10:02 am
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I used to work at a Honda dealer and they had a bike in warrenty with a failed clutch. They too, did not cover the clutch for the same reasons described here. They did replace the clutch at a very reasonable cost to make the customer happy.
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post #23 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 3:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen
I'd have to disagree on several points.. The LT's clutch is VERY robust...It's a car clutch after all.

You have to slip it a certain amount to get the fat pig rolling. That shouldn't cause the failure that you've indicated..And certainly not downshifting or engine braking.

Are you driving it like a drag racer ??? Full throttle and drop the clutch ?

Doing any burnouts ?

Unless you're doing that then I'd be hard pressed to believe that it's your driving style..

Driving with the clutch covered and partially actuated might cause the type of damage you are indicating.. Or driving like speed racer...You can abuse it to that point but it takes a lot of abuse to get it there.

Perhaps there was a problem with the clutch actuating assembly as a whole that was not letting the clutch fully engage...

The main reason the clutch fails of the LT is because it gets contaminated by oil or Dot4. When that happens then it starts slipping and can then blue the pressure plate..



John
My 2006LT has a little over 10k miles on it. It seemed to start slipping in 5th gear a week ago. Went for a ride last weekend & was able to repeatedly get it to slip, so I took it in this week. Dealer just called & said since it is a wear item, I would need to approve the repair cost in advance in the event that they might attribute the failure to riding style.

I do ride it hard, but I certainly do not ride the clutch. When taking off from a light, I have noticed if my RPM is a little high, it will take the clutch a while to fully engage. I notice this more often when riding 2 up.

Is there any way to tell for sure that oil or DOT 4 contaminated the clutch and not my "riding style". I've been riding on and off since I was 12 years old ( I'm 51 now) & have never burnt out a clutch on a motorcycle.

I feel like I'm at the mercy of the dealership. Any advice on how to respond to what they might tell me once the mechanic tears it apart?

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #24 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 8:25 pm
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When this happened to me, the only thing I could think to do was ask the dealer to see the parts they replaced. I trusted they were being honest.
Let us know how it turns out. I complained to the dealer and to someone higher up the BMW chain about a clutch that failed so early and got no sympathy or help with replacement costs. I was told that the LT is a heavy bike and my riding style caused the problem.
I too am just a crap rider.

Steve
04 LT
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post #25 of 30 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 12:38 am
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I thought I might ask them to see the parts they replaced. They are normally pretty reasonable on parts/service work, compared to some of the prices I've seen quoted from others for similar service. I bought the bike from them new & have them do all my service work. If I wind up having to pay for this thing out of my pocket, I'll probably be switching brands or bikes. I do ride it fairly hard, lots of down shifting engine braking, quick acceleration, but I expect this bike to be able to stand up to this sort of treatment. I don't intentionally spend a lot of time with my hand on the clutch nor do I necessarily take longer than normal to let it out. In other words, I do treat it like an on/off switch.

It has always been impossible to do a burn out on this bike, because the clutch would never fully engage in 1st while the rpms were up. Not that I do burn outs, but I've always been a little concerned that something was wrong because of this. Definitely my fault for not having them look at that symptom sooner, but when it first happened, I thought it was a safety feature.

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #26 of 30 Old Aug 5th, 2007, 7:29 pm
 
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The C(lutch) R(eliability) A(lways) P(eeves) me as well

When I had my 2002, I had the slave cylinder repaired as it had leaked fluid onto the clutch. With the 2005, at just under 24,000 miles I felt I wasn't riding the bike right. Well, the slave cylinder was done in and my clutch looked like poop. The slave cylinder did not leak (no root cause given), but the clutch was replaced because of another seal.

During my discussion with a very good service person, he let me know that slipping the clutch is no good. However, I find it very difficult for me to use the clutch lever like a an on/off switch without thinking I'm going to stall the bike out.

I do a lot of city riding (stop and go) and love to head to West Virginia were the bike is ridden like a sport bike rather than a touring bike.

Maybe we all need a little schooling on how to use this particular clutch correctly.

Pete
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post #27 of 30 Old Aug 5th, 2007, 8:16 pm
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Perhaps, but if the clutch lever is released all the way, shouldn't the clutch be fully engaged regardless of how much gas the operator is giving the motor? I find it pretty easy to use it like an on/off switch most of the time. But what I'm referring to isn't the motor revving while the clutch lever is partially released, it's the motor revving faster than it should with the clutch lever fully released.

I'll know for sure what's happening later this week when the mechanic takes it a apart.

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #28 of 30 Old Aug 5th, 2007, 9:45 pm
 
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"IF" I could find me a 1200Lt or RT that could take off by releasing the clutch lever, w/out any throttle input on level ground I will buy now! Doubt it! Oh, doesn't everyone sqeeze thier clutch while riding 60-80mph on straights? Squid on an LT? . I would suspect most members here have rode other bikes. Riding style due to clutch failure? I say nah. Maybe BMW owners should stick up for one another and blame BMW! NOT FELLOW RIDERS. Oil leaks, Brake fluid leaks, faulty parts, ect.. Oh, did I mention leaks?
Maybe a few BMW loyalist enjoy getting "bent over" and do not really care!
I personally would be very pissed about my "hard earned dollars" spent !
If I pay the most I want the best!
Sonnata, take a look at the clutch replacement thread ya prob. got a main seal leak bro.( or slave cylinder leak )
Just my .02
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post #29 of 30 Old Aug 6th, 2007, 3:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnata

I do ride it hard, but I certainly do not ride the clutch. When taking off from a light, I have noticed if my RPM is a little high, it will take the clutch a while to fully engage. I notice this more often when riding 2 up.
IMO the only time that should happen is if the clutch is way too hot.. I don't know what hard riding has to do with it. Once the clutch is engaged the LT does not have enough engine torque to rip a good clutch loose at any speed.

Something is/was mechanically wrong or your technique is totally wrong.

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #30 of 30 Old Aug 14th, 2007, 10:32 am
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I got the bike back on Friday. Dealer said it was the slave cylinder. They covered it all under warranty. Yehaaa! Before they ordered the parts, I had to approve a $1350.00 repair bill. They did say the clutch was worn more than normal, so I'm definitely changing some of my riding style. They also said to take it easy downshifting when riding 2 up when coming to a stop, maybe use brakes only in such situations.

Mechanic said since the new brake pads have come out, he doesn't remember ever changing a set.

I have been practicing my take offs a little more & am able to keep the rpm around 1200-1500 while slipping it into gear. Just have to slip the clutch a little slower, but I don't get on it until the clutch is fully engaged.

Thanks for all the advice. You folks are the best.
Kevin

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
sonnata is offline  
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