Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
I woulld like to discuss this topic a bit deeper. The reason being that this past summer I was helping a friend who was on his way to do the Nordkapp- Gibraltar (from Northernmost point of Europe to Southernmost) run in 72 hours. His slave cylinder blew when he was riding North and he had to return back home over 1000 miles with a clutchless bike.
Luckily he had the weep hole drilled so his clutch was not lubed with clutch fluid and we changed his slave cylinder.
I talked with a BMW master technician about this incident and his comment was that sitting on the bike with clutched pulled in for instance in traffic lights wears out the slave cylinder faster. I respect the opinions of this technician as he has worked with BMW bikes since early 80's and he knows them like hs own pockets.
I don't want to discuss the safety point of this habit as I understand that in the US it is safer to have the bike on gear while waiting for the green light. Over here our traffic lights go from red to green through one second yellow so we get a little warning and actually time to put bike (or a car) on gear before rushing forward.
But technically, to me it makes sense that if the clutch is pulled in and thus the bearing (and piston around it) is under more pressure than when the clutch is released. I admit that the bearing is under some pressure all the time but when the clutch lever is pulled in the pressure becomes significantly bigger.
Does this make sense to anybody else...?
I have read the arguments on both sides of this practice and I prefer to shift into neutral and release the clutch at almost every light I stop at. The exception is lights that I believe are about to change or be very short. I do this for several reasons:
1. I beleive it lessens wear on the throw-out bearing.
2. It is easier on the hand, although the LT clutch effort is pretty light so this isn't a big deal.
3. I live in a rural area so I don't all that often have cars come up behind me at lights.
4. If a vehicle was coming up really fast, by the time you reall knew what was going to happen, I don't think most people could actually get out of the way in any event. Many would panic and pop the clutch stalling the engine.
If I see someone coming up at a high rate of speed, I can very quickly pop the bike back into gear and will occassionally do that. However, I am still not convinced that I could actually get out of the way by the time I know for sure that the person isn't going to stop.
A car approaching at 40 MPH is covering nearly 60 ft per second. So, if you decide whenthe person is still 120 ft away that they are not likely to stop, you have only 2 seconds to get out of the way. LTs don't launch all that fast. Go out and sit on your LT with it at idle and in gear. Have someone with a stopwatch stand 10 feet in front of you. Have them click the stopwatch and see how far you get in 2 seconds. I bet you will be lucky to past them. And moving 10 feet is probably the minimum to get out of the way enough to not get hit.
To me, the "keep it in gear so I can get out of the way" philosophy is great in theory, but I don't think it holds up in practice for most people in most situations.