Clutch issue - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Oct 18th, 2007, 3:06 pm Thread Starter
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Clutch issue

Last Sunday my clutch started slipping in 5th gear above 5000rpm. I read the slave cylinder/clutch contamination in horror, and I hope this is not what is happening to me. Bike has 16,000 miles on it, I bought it used a year ago and only put 2500 gentle miles on it. I cannot see any fluids leaking, the clutch reservoir on the left handlebar was a little low and I added some fluid. Is there any other adjustments to the clutch that I can try? How would I know if my clutch is suffering from the dreaded slave cylinder disease?

Current rides:
2003 BMW 1200 LT (bought in 2006)

Past rides:
97 Kawasaki ZX11(bought new in 1997, sadly sold in September 2014)
89 Honda Hurricane (sold)
88 Honda Hurricane (traded on an SUV)
86 Kawasaki 1000R (stolen but recovered)
84 Honda 750F (traded on 1000R)
81 Suzuki GSX1100 (sold)
78 Suzuki GS750 (traded on GSX1100)
74 Yamaha RD50 (sold)
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post #2 of 13 Old Oct 18th, 2007, 4:08 pm
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Thumbs down Doesn't sound good...

hmmm.... I haven't experienced the slipping clutch you describe but everything I've read points to a problem with your clutch slave cylinder. Though, it could also be your seals as well. The tip off is your topping off the clutch fluid reservoir. I have an '03 with 33k miles and I've not added a drop of fluid and the level has remained essentially constant.

I do not believe there are any adjustments to the clutch operation. So, I doubt that is your problem..

I hope I'm not the harbinger of bad news but....

Tom

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post #3 of 13 Old Oct 18th, 2007, 5:17 pm
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To what Tom said I will add that as the clutch disc wears out the fluid level goes UP (not down). So the fact that you had to top off the clutch fluid makes me believe you have a leak. most likely at the slave cylinder.

There is a minute clutch adjustment than can be done at the clutch lever by turning the numbered wheel, but I doubt this will cure the issue you described.

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
IBA# 71594
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06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



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post #4 of 13 Old Oct 18th, 2007, 5:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
To what Tom said I will add that as the clutch disc wears out the fluid level goes UP (not down). So the fact that you had to top off the clutch fluid makes me believe you have a leak. most likely at the slave cylinder.

There is a minute clutch adjustment than can be done at the clutch lever by turning the numbered wheel, but I doubt this will cure the issue you described.
All that adjustment does is move the position of the handle away from/closer too the grip to allow for larger/smaller hands. It has absolutely nothing to do with the clutch actuation system itself.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #5 of 13 Old Oct 18th, 2007, 8:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
Last Sunday my clutch started slipping in 5th gear above 5000rpm.
I bought it used a year ago and only put 2500 gentle miles on it.
Gentle miles over 5000 RPM in 5th gear. I think your definition of gentle is a bit different than mine.

Manny
Where is the nearest Tims?

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post #6 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 5:11 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
Last Sunday my clutch started slipping in 5th gear above 5000rpm. I read the slave cylinder/clutch contamination in horror, and I hope this is not what is happening to me. Bike has 16,000 miles on it, I bought it used a year ago and only put 2500 gentle miles on it. I cannot see any fluids leaking, the clutch reservoir on the left handlebar was a little low and I added some fluid. Is there any other adjustments to the clutch that I can try? How would I know if my clutch is suffering from the dreaded slave cylinder disease?
I bought my '03 with 15k miles on it and at 19k started getting clutch slippage. Mine turned out to be a failed rear main seal, but I had other leaks going on too.

I think you need to start making the decision whether you're going to pay four figures to get this fixed, or whether you want to take on the clutch job yourself. Doing it yourself will require some special tools, some good manuals, and a good bit of research on this site. But it will also give you a fantastic education about your machine, and you'll know that every detail was done exactly right. While you're in there, you can do all sorts of other preventive stuff (e.g. drill the weep hole).

If you decide to do the job yourself, make that known here so those of us with lessons learned can pass them along to you.

Dave

'03 K1200LT-C Dark Graphite
'96 Triumph Sprint 900 British Racing Green (traded)
'95 Yamaha Virago 750 Pearl/Black (sold)
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post #7 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 12:21 pm
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Do you have a weep Hole?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
Last Sunday my clutch started slipping in 5th gear above 5000rpm. I read the slave cylinder/clutch contamination in horror, and I hope this is not what is happening to me. Bike has 16,000 miles on it, I bought it used a year ago and only put 2500 gentle miles on it. I cannot see any fluids leaking, the clutch reservoir on the left handlebar was a little low and I added some fluid. Is there any other adjustments to the clutch that I can try? How would I know if my clutch is suffering from the dreaded slave cylinder disease?
Hi,

You need to look under the bike and see if you have a weep hole drilled in the slave cylinder cavity. Based on your description I would guess not.

I went through the procedure a few weeks back and I had transmission oil (from leaking seal) there. Not bad enough to trash my clutch, but, definitely a "near miss". I now have the hole to give me indication in the future.

How handy (and patient) are you?

Will you be doing it yourself or bringing it to Charlotte? I'm told it will cost somewhere in the $1600.00 ball park.

Sorry for your pain

Joe

2005 KLT "Old Blue"

Bruno the "Bugg"


Democracy will only exist until 51% of the population believes they can live off the other 49% .
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post #8 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 3:38 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newf
Gentle miles over 5000 RPM in 5th gear. I think your definition of gentle is a bit different than mine.
My other bike is a ZX11. Anything under 100 mph is gentle!

I'm not sure I have the skills, tools, patience or time to work on the BMW myself. Sometimes a man has to realize his limitations! I can do a lot of things on the ZX11, but that bike is so simple compared to a 1200LT. The mechanic that tuned my ZX11 told me he could do most anything on a K1200LT, except stuff that needs the factory computer. He works on all kinds of bikes, and came highly recommended from another biker friend. His shop is MotoGizmo here in Columbia. The closest BMW dealer is Charlotte or Greenville.

No, I truly did not abuse the bike, I just ran it up to 5000rpm because it just did not feel right. I took the bike out yesterday again, could not make it slip with a full throttle launch from a standstill, but as soon as I get it up in 5th at about 80 mph, and I open the throttle fully, it starts to slip. I guess I will ride it until it self destructs, either fixing it now or fixing it later will cost about the same!

Current rides:
2003 BMW 1200 LT (bought in 2006)

Past rides:
97 Kawasaki ZX11(bought new in 1997, sadly sold in September 2014)
89 Honda Hurricane (sold)
88 Honda Hurricane (traded on an SUV)
86 Kawasaki 1000R (stolen but recovered)
84 Honda 750F (traded on 1000R)
81 Suzuki GSX1100 (sold)
78 Suzuki GS750 (traded on GSX1100)
74 Yamaha RD50 (sold)

Last edited by hagar; Oct 19th, 2007 at 4:23 pm.
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post #9 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 3:50 pm
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
I guess I will ride it until it self destructs, either fixing it now or fixing it later will cost about the same!
...or not! Depending on where you are when the clutch just won't hold up. Better in your driveway than on the highway during commute hour, but obviously better in your terms than whenever fate says so. Just my $.02.

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
IBA# 71594
2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #10 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:11 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
--------------------I took the bike out yesterday again, could not make it slip with a full throttle launch from a standstill, but as soon as I get it up in 5th at about 80 mph, and I open the throttle fully, it starts to slip. ------------------------------------
That is the classic symptom of a fluid contaminated clutch. Full throttle in low gear accellerates the bike hard, but that does not usually tax the clutch as much as full throttle in 5th gear in the high torque area of the power curve. The most common symptom when the clutch is getting contaminated is just what you see, full throttle in 4th/5th gear, then slipping as it gets to the 5-6,000 RPM range when the torque gets high enough to cause the clutch to slip.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #11 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:14 pm Thread Starter
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To be honest, if I ride alone, I much prefer the ZX11. The BMW is for my wife. Granted, she probably will not be happy if we get stranded, but we seldom go more than 70 miles from home, and only ride on weekends. That's her idea of "a day's ride".

I commute some with the ZX11, lately about once or twice a week. It's 10 years old with 13.5k miles, on only the 3rd battery, second set of tires and brake pads, original chain, and except for getting the carbs gummed up not riding it for a while, I have not had a days trouble with the Kawasaki, not even a flat tire.

Current rides:
2003 BMW 1200 LT (bought in 2006)

Past rides:
97 Kawasaki ZX11(bought new in 1997, sadly sold in September 2014)
89 Honda Hurricane (sold)
88 Honda Hurricane (traded on an SUV)
86 Kawasaki 1000R (stolen but recovered)
84 Honda 750F (traded on 1000R)
81 Suzuki GSX1100 (sold)
78 Suzuki GS750 (traded on GSX1100)
74 Yamaha RD50 (sold)
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post #12 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:18 pm
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
To be honest, if I ride alone, I much prefer the ZX11. The BMW is for my wife. Granted, she probably will not be happy if we get stranded, but we seldom go more than 70 miles from home, and only ride on weekends. That's her idea of "a day's ride".

I commute some with the ZX11, lately about once or twice a week. It's 10 years old with 13.5k miles, on only the 3rd battery, second set of tires and brake pads, original chain, and except for getting the carbs gummed up not riding it for a while, I have not had a days trouble with the Kawasaki.
Then perhaps your bike could become the center of a tech session, working at your own pace since you don't rely on it for commuting... Just a thought, and an excuse to have a bunch of LT riders come over to your house to help you taking the beast apart.

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
IBA# 71594
2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #13 of 13 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:30 pm Thread Starter
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I'd love to have some help and advise, but I don't think we have too many K1200LT riders or experts down here in Columbia. Maybe I can take it to the next one near Charlotte.

Current rides:
2003 BMW 1200 LT (bought in 2006)

Past rides:
97 Kawasaki ZX11(bought new in 1997, sadly sold in September 2014)
89 Honda Hurricane (sold)
88 Honda Hurricane (traded on an SUV)
86 Kawasaki 1000R (stolen but recovered)
84 Honda 750F (traded on 1000R)
81 Suzuki GSX1100 (sold)
78 Suzuki GS750 (traded on GSX1100)
74 Yamaha RD50 (sold)
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