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post #1 of 13 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 9:04 am Thread Starter
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Clutch failure

I bought my 2006LT new last spring. I have 10K miles on it & am looking at a clutch replacement that the dealer says may be due to "riding style".

If I accelerate hard from a stop & the rpms are higher than normal when I release the clutch, it will take some time for the clutch to actually engage, even though I have long since released the lever. This bike has done this since I first got it. I thought it was a safety feature at first. I mentioned it to one of the guys at the dealership & they told me to have them look at it the next time it was in for service. I kept forgetting to have them look at it until now. OK, so I'm an idiot for not having it looked at immediately. Totally my fault that I forgot, but what I want to know is why wouldn't the clutch engage fully whether the engine is under higher than normal rpms?

Last week, while riding 2 up on the freeway ( about 75mph), I noticed that if I tried to accelerate, my rpms went up. If I did it again immediately, not so much as the first time, if I accelerated a 3rd time, the bike would accelerate normally.

So, thinking it was a bad clutch, I took it into my dealer. Dealer thought it might be the drive shaft.

I read a post in the HOW by David Shealey that stated "The stupid thing about BMW's design of the clutch actuation system is that the path of a leak in the slave cylinder seal is forced out along the actuation rod through the transmission main shaft and into the clutch assembly.

Once you see a leak at the bottom of the clutch housing, it is too late, the clutch is already contaminated. "

Does the fast acceleration from a stop with the clutch taking longer than normal to engage sound like the cause is a leaking slave cylinder seal, or something else not related to riding style?

Could the mechanic diagnose this before taking out the clutch & tranny?

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #2 of 13 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 1:25 pm
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I typically fully release the clutch with in 1 second of starting movement, then hammer it and shift to second at 55 mph. ( I like to stay ahead of the pack) If you are slipping the clutch for several seconds on every start while running high rpms that will eat up this dry clutch.

I realize you were characterizing the current condition with that statement but before this happened how long did you slip the clutch at each start? You can get away with that on a wet clutch but not on the LT and most cars. Most of the failures we have encountered here have been from fluid contamination or bearing failure on the tranny input shaft not riding style.

But after re-reading your post it sounds like you were reving the engine up and slipping the clutch from day one and yes I beleive that may very well be the cause of the failure. My clutch is always fully engaged above 1500 rpm.

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post #3 of 13 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 3:13 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I typically fully release the clutch with in 1 second of starting movement, then hammer it and shift to second at 55 mph. ( I like to stay ahead of the pack) If you are slipping the clutch for several seconds on every start while running high rpms that will eat up this dry clutch.

I realize you were characterizing the current condition with that statement but before this happened how long did you slip the clutch at each start? You can get away with that on a wet clutch but not on the LT and most cars. Most of the failures we have encountered here have been from fluid contamination or bearing failure on the tranny input shaft not riding style.

But after re-reading your post it sounds like you were reving the engine up and slipping the clutch from day one and yes I beleive that may very well be the cause of the failure. My clutch is always fully engaged above 1500 rpm.
I am not slipping the clutch for several seconds, though that is how the bike behaves. I don't slip the clutch very much at all. Typically within 1 second or less. If I was taking excessive time slipping the clutch, I can certainly understand why that would cause excessive wear, but that is not the case at all. This is not my first bike, nor my first BMW dry clutch. My riding style has not gotten more nor less aggressive since I purchased this bike.

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #4 of 13 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 7:16 pm
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There are a number of posts about the clutchs, search for a bit more info. Fried mine at about the same distance (16000km) and was told "riding style". No sign of leaks. Luckily the dealer changed it under warranty, saving a few beans.

I have however changed my riding style slightly to try to overcome the short clutch life I experienced. Let the clutch fully engage at lower revs from stops, before twisting the throttle hard. Stay in 4th gear in traffic instead of 5th. I'm hoping these 2 things will add a lot of clutch life.

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post #5 of 13 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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You are lucky the dealer changed it under warranty if there wasn't any leaks. I'm hoping for a leak, because if there isn't one, it won't be covered under warranty. If it turns out my riding style really is too aggressive for this clutch, I'll change it, but it's the first time I've ever had this issue with a any bike & certainly not with my R1150RS. It would start from a stop just fine, clutch engaged quickly even under high rpm.

Kevin
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post #6 of 13 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 10:41 pm
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It could very well be the drive shaft sliping as it is a two piece assy isolated with rubber. Typically these just let go and don't exhibit a slip - grab type performance. Could have had a bad clutch from the get go also.

Just wanted to make sure you weren't holding 3K rpm and letting the clutch bring the drive train up to match it from a dead stop. That 'll toast it for sure. I did that one time in 2nd gear after a pick up pullin a boat cut me off and I had to stop. I forgot to down shift to first and tried to do a high performance take off when he cleared and I could smell the clutch after that. That is why I alway make sure its fully engaged before lettn 'er rip.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #7 of 13 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 9:14 am
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If this was right from the start how was the fluid level in the clutch?

Manny
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post #8 of 13 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 9:28 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnata
Does the fast acceleration from a stop with the clutch taking longer than normal to engage sound like the cause is a leaking slave cylinder seal, or something else not related to riding style?
I'm no expert on this, but it sounds like the full pressure of the springs is not bearing on the clutch. Someone mentioned that if the reservoir is too full then fluid will not have room to return from the slave cylinder competely. Again, I am not an expert, but just for fun, pull the top off and draw off a little fluid, then see what happens. Hey, it's not scientific, but it's free!

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post #9 of 13 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 3:31 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
It could very well be the drive shaft sliping as it is a two piece assy isolated with rubber. Typically these just let go and don't exhibit a slip - grab type performance. Could have had a bad clutch from the get go also.

Just wanted to make sure you weren't holding 3K rpm and letting the clutch bring the drive train up to match it from a dead stop. That 'll toast it for sure. I did that one time in 2nd gear after a pick up pullin a boat cut me off and I had to stop. I forgot to down shift to first and tried to do a high performance take off when he cleared and I could smell the clutch after that. That is why I alway make sure its fully engaged before lettn 'er rip.
Well, that could be what I'm doing, John, but like I said earlier, I've never had other clutches behave this way, not even my RS. Perhaps I'm just expecting too much from such a heavy bike. I'll know for sure next week when they take it apart. I'll try to arrange to be there when they take it apart if at all possible.

I can tell you one thing, however this turns out, I'm going to make sure the clutch lever is all the way out before giving it the gas from now on. :-D

Manny,

I'm not sure what you mean when you say "If this was right from the start"?
I'm not certain the clutch was ever right. The dealer gave me an older model LT when I was having some service work done last year, perhaps a 2002-3 & the clutch on it behaved "normally". And when I bought the bike, I test rode different 2006LT & I don't remember the clutch on it taking so long to engage while under higher rpms.

John,

The bike was in the shop most of last week. I picked it up on Fri, because I had a class this weekend & didn't know if I'd need it for practice. The mechanic thought there was enough clutch left that I wouldn't have any problems, but he did tell me to take it easy, which I am doing. He also said he put a little more fluid in the clutch, so he wanted to see what would happen with it over the weekend after I rode it, so I'm going to leave well enough alone.

I'm taking it back in on Tues. They have the parts on order, but want the bike there for when they arrive. I'm going to arrange to be there when the mechanic takes it apart, if at all possible.

Thanks to you all for all the advice!

Kevin

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post #10 of 13 Old Aug 14th, 2007, 8:54 am Thread Starter
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I got the bike back on Friday. Dealer said it was the slave cylinder. The covered the whole repair under warranty. Yehaaa! Before they ordered the parts, I had to approve a $1350.00 repair bill. They did say it 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 don't know when the new style pads were added. My bike is an 06.

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 the gas until the clutch is fully engaged.

Thanks for all the advice!
Kevin

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post #11 of 13 Old Aug 14th, 2007, 9:09 am
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This clutches it...

I'm not understanding all the clutch operation direction from your dealer when the problem herein was with the bike itself?

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post #12 of 13 Old Aug 14th, 2007, 9:49 am Thread Starter
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They were responding to my question regarding why the clutch would be worn more than normal. They did not offer the advice until I asked. I felt I got lucky that the problem was with the slave cylinder. I am guilty of doing some of the things petevandyke talks about in this thread, so I might have wound up paying for a new clutch due to "riding style" soon anyway.

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post #13 of 13 Old Aug 14th, 2007, 10:19 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnata
I got the bike back on Friday. Dealer said it was the slave cylinder. The covered the whole repair under warranty. Yehaaa! Before they ordered the parts, I had to approve a $1350.00 repair bill. They did say it 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 don't know when the new style pads were added. My bike is an 06.

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 the gas until the clutch is fully engaged.

Thanks for all the advice!
Kevin
I'm glad for you that this was a warranty item. As for down shifting, I normally do not let out the clutch, but use the brakes to slow down. Brake pads are much easier to replace!

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