Thanks for the input.
But you guys down under must love extensive teardowns. After reading your thoughts about changing the gear indicator switch on the transmission by tearing the entire rear end out of the bike, I was ready to say; I'll do without!
But, before I threw the switch back in the cage to return it to BMW, I thought I'd take a look at other non traditional options. I discovered that the switch change out can be far easier than your suggested approach.
Here's how I did it.
1) Remove the tupperware on the clutch side including the lower fairing.
2) Remove the exhaust system
3) Remove the shift linkage pivot from the frame cross member
4) Remove the reverse gear rod support bracket.
5) Support the rear wheel and remove the rear drive strut bolt from the frame cross member.
6) Remove the throttle side driver foot peg mounting plate.
7) Remove the 6 bolts holding the frame cross member and the cross member.
8) Loosen the clutch fluid line from the reservoir (don't remove). It will dribble a little fluid, but since its on the reservoir side you won't loose the bleed on the clutch slave cylinder.
9) Squeeze the two ends of the spring retainting clip on the gear indicator switch with a pair of pliers and pull off.
10) Disconnect the electrical connector above the anti-lock brake unit and route the cable down and out the bottom of the bike.
Reassembly is the reverse order.
As I pulled the switch off it was obvious why mine had been intermitant for over a year. The plastic housing crumbled in my hand and the electrical contacts were visible and green with corrosion. Because the switch is directly above the catalytic converter it heat soaks when the bike is stopped. After I install my new switch I warped it with 3-mil adhesive backed Aluminum foil tape as a reflective barrier in hopes of reducing the heat soaking (TBD
if it makes a difference).
If I were doing any kind of trans or clutch work, I'd recommend replacing the switch (even if it seem to be working). But, it is definitely possible to replace the switch without tearing down the rear wheel and drive unit as suggested.
I have 70K miles on my bike and have never been into it for trans seals or clutch issues. If and when I do need this, I'll definitely plan on replacing this switch to avoid going back in to do it a few months later.
Thanks again for you input Paul. I think I simply found a easier way.