R1200RT Clutch Service (2011) - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 10:12 am Thread Starter
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R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

I have decided to replace the clutch on my 2011 R1200RT, and to do it myself. I am looking for a comprehensive list of consumables and special tools needed to do the job, to avoid any surprises after I start tearing the bike apart on July 4th weekend.

For example, I know the rear subframe must be separated, and this means the ABS and clutch hydro lines must be disconnected - right? If so, do these require bleeding or any other special procedure - or any associated special tools? These are the kinds of questions I don't want to have to ask after I have already started. I pretty much have one shot on a holiday weekend, so ordering parts in the middle of the job is a no-go.

Wunderlich R1200 RT (2005 - 2013) Clutch | Wunderlich America has a nice page showing the parts I would need, but it is missing one of the seals and I'd like to replace the swingarm boot (it's cracked) while I have access to it, but it's not there either.

I believe the clutch slipping is a combination of oil contamination and my riding style, but I won't know until I open it up. If the plates are clean and smooth and still have life left in them, does it make any sense to install the $800 worth of new plates or can I reuse them? The bike has 29K miles of mostly in-town commuting, and based on what I've read my riding style is no bueno for a dry clutch.

Again, I'm looking for a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING I would need to consider regarding special tools, fluids, consumables, fasteners, etc. Also what other maintenance should I consider doing that is made easier with the rear subframe removed?
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post #2 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 11:18 am
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Any hydraulic line you open, that system will need to be bled. Do you have the Factory DVD, Clymer's manual, if you have never done the job before don't walk in with out data. Don't re use seals from inside. Bolts like flywheel bolts (clutch housing) and shaft nuts are generally a one use item. Watch all the YouTube videos you can find.

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post #3 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 12:02 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Beemer Bone Yard might have the parts. I know thereís a clutch that tolerates oil, but Iíve read itís grabby. Replace any seals while everything is apart. Use a good torque wrench too.


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post #4 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 12:46 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Search YouTube for Chris Harris. He's got several videos, including one that's over 2 hours long, that go over the procedure in excruciating detail. He also passes on a lot of good general mechanical how-to's. The guy reminds me someone who could be Captain Ahab's First Mate.

...skip to two minutes for one of my favorite parts...


While his videos are for earlier models, the clutch mechanics, how they work, and how they are disassembled and put back together are essentially identical to the Camhead and make for great how-to tutorials. I'm talking about when you get the transmission cleared and ready to remove, not necessarily what all needs to be done to get the rear frame off.

Now, having said that, you are only a week or two out of your target window. In my opinion, you are not giving yourself enough time to learn what you need to know (like whether to bleed lines or not) to be successful in such a short time.

I have never done one but I've spent a lot of time here and there over the last year+ of owning my first BMW studying up on the procedure in anticipation of doing it one day (I hate paying people to do what I am capable of doing). After studying the Clymer manual and the BMW OEM shop DVD, I am convinced that I can do it but I'm going to give myself at least two or three weeks of after work and weekend time because I know I'm going to need or find something I didn't anticipate.

Good on you for wanting to take on the task but you should try to give yourself more time if at all possible so it won't be so stressful.

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post #5 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 12:52 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponch View Post
Beemer Bone Yard might have the parts. I know there’s a clutch that tolerates oil, but I’ve read it’s grabby. Replace any seals while everything is apart. Use a good torque wrench too.


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I bought a CDI ($$$) torque wrench in metric (Newton-Meter) that I use only for my RT. There is no substitute for a good, calibrated, torque wrench. Especially for torquing up bolts that are INSIDE the engine. This is expensive but, in my opinion, a must have tool.

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post #6 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 1:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy53 View Post
Search YouTube for Chris Harris. He's got several videos, including one that's over 2 hours long, that go over the procedure in excruciating detail. He also passes on a lot of good general mechanical how-to's. The guy reminds me someone who could be Captain Ahab's First Mate.

...skip to two minutes for one of my favorite parts...

Chris Harris Salty Takes...

While his videos are for earlier models, the clutch mechanics, how they work, and how they are disassembled and put back together are essentially identical to the Camhead and make for great how-to tutorials. I'm talking about when you get the transmission cleared and ready to remove, not necessarily what all needs to be done to get the rear frame off.

Now, having said that, you are only a week or two out of your target window. In my opinion, you are not giving yourself enough time to learn what you need to know (like whether to bleed lines or not) to be successful in such a short time.

I have never done one but I've spent a lot of time here and there over the last year+ of owning my first BMW studying up on the procedure in anticipation of doing it one day (I hate paying people to do what I am capable of doing). After studying the Clymer manual and the BMW OEM shop DVD, I am convinced that I can do it but I'm going to give myself at least two or three weeks of after work and weekend time because I know I'm going to need or find something I didn't anticipate.

Good on you for wanting to take on the task but you should try to give yourself more time if at all possible so it won't be so stressful.
Thanks, but this is my one shot - I've got four uninterrupted days in the machine shop at work, and it's either then or never! That's why I'm trying to get myself prepared in advance. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a single competent resource for everything I need to know. For example, I'd like to get a mechanic's perspective on replacing clutch plates over a clutch plate salesman's perspective. The guy at Wunderlich was very nice and helpful, but in the end his bottom line is to sell me clutch plates.

I've browsed several of Chris Harris' low-res videos, but he doesn't hold a candle to this Italian video:
. It's unfortunately on an older model too, and a GS - but I think the principles are mostly the same. And he doesn't replace the clutch plates!
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post #7 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 1:20 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Replace everything and you start from a place where everything is fresh and known. Treat it like an aircraft.


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post #8 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 2:31 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Yeah. If you've got it all apart, just put new parts in. That's what I would do given how much work it is to get in there...

Whatever you do though I wish you best. Be sure to pass on any lessons learned. I'll be doing this on mine day...

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post #9 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 2:36 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Nice find with that video!

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post #10 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 4:23 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

I applaud you for taking this on. A few weeks ago you were talking about junking the bike and you've gotten pretty far with the other repairs and are now onto this. Well done.

I agree with others in terms of using new parts while you're already in there. The work to get to the clutch far exceeds the investment in the parts themselves. It sounds from your other repairs like you work methodically and pay attention to detail, so I have no doubt that you'll be successful in this.

I wish I knew a mechanic that you could speak with who's done the job, but I don't. A repair manual, youtube videos, and the guys at beemer boneyard (in terms of parts needed to do the entire job) are my only suggestions.

Hopefully you're done in 2 days and be out riding for the other 2!

Good luck


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post #11 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 4:53 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

If you need to bleed the clutch fluid (you may not but just in case) remember that it's not brake fluid, it's mineral oil (BMW part number 07512240347).

There's a felt ring around the actuator arm that might need to be replaced: 0923211230440

Engine output spline lube: 18219062599 CASTROL OPTIMOL PASTE TA
Use VERY sparingly so as not to have it fling off and contaminate the clutch plates.

To lock the flywheel: 83300401562 ENGINE LOCKING DEVICE (you can probably fabricate something like this...)

Harris uses locating (guide) pins he made to help get the transmission back on.

Beemerboneyard is a great resource and so is the fiche at MaxBMW for correct part numbers and tools/fixtures, etc.

Might want to have a spare clutch slave cylinder handy just in case yours is leaking. Don't forget that your slippage could be caused by some kind of leak that's contaminated the friction plate. I think your problem is a little premature despite what you said about your riding style.

Might want to have a rear main seal handy too. Maybe you could order the parts and return them if you don't open them?

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post #12 of 33 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 9:39 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Harris doesnít work on anything newer than oilheads. There probably are differences. The MOA has a hexhead tech section. It might have a clutch procedure. Iíd have to look.


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post #13 of 33 Old Jun 24th, 2019, 2:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

I ordered the following items from Wunderlich:

2121595 Clutch Flywheel/Pressure Plate
2121740 Clutch Housing Cover
7387053 TRW Lucas Clutch Disc
2121469 Clutch Housing Bolt
2121771 Flywheel Bolt, R1200
7220686 Clutch Centering Tool
2312086 Transmission Input Shaft Seal
2321440 Felt Seal for Clutch Rod
1111418 Rear Main Seal

And from MAX BMW:

33177685599 RUBBER BOOT

???CAN YOU THINK OF ANY PARTS I MISSED???

I think the only open question is how to deal with reconnecting the ABS lines after reassembly. I'd appreciate any wisdom here.

I have faith that I will not actually need a new clutch pressure plate or housing cover, but I have ordered them just in case.
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post #14 of 33 Old Jun 24th, 2019, 3:33 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Mineral oil for the clutch system just in case. It's not something you can get at Autozone (at least I don't think you can).

Bleeding the brake system does not require anything special but the GS-911 tool has the ability to cycle the ABS actuator. SOme will argue that this is required but the OEM service manual doesn't list it as part of the bleed procedure. Have DOT4 fluid at the ready.

The clutch system works backwards from the brakes. As the clutch disk wears, the fluid level rises. Have you checked to make sure it's not full? If the reservoir is full, that will act like a hydraulic lock and stop the clutch from fully disengaging and will present just like a slipping clutch. Might want to check this before you start tearing it all apart.

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post #15 of 33 Old Jun 24th, 2019, 5:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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Mineral oil for the clutch system just in case. It's not something you can get at Autozone (at least I don't think you can).

Bleeding the brake system does not require anything special but the GS-911 tool has the ability to cycle the ABS actuator. SOme will argue that this is required but the OEM service manual doesn't list it as part of the bleed procedure. Have DOT4 fluid at the ready.

The clutch system works backwards from the brakes. As the clutch disk wears, the fluid level rises. Have you checked to make sure it's not full? If the reservoir is full, that will act like a hydraulic lock and stop the clutch from fully disengaging and will present just like a slipping clutch. Might want to check this before you start tearing it all apart.
How does this look?
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post #16 of 33 Old Jun 24th, 2019, 6:56 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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How does this look?
Yeah. That's fine...unfortunately. By that I mean the clutch reservoir being full as the root-cause of a clutch issue on any dry clutch BMW isn't intuitive. We're all "trained" to think "full is good, empty is bad." In this case you're level is good so the simple answer isn't it. Sorry.

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post #17 of 33 Old Jun 24th, 2019, 8:16 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Does the balancer have a seal?


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post #18 of 33 Old Jun 25th, 2019, 10:13 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

I did mine on my 07 two years ago.
I followed the instruction on the BMW RSD DVD
You do not have to bleed the clutch or the brakes
I replaced my friction disk with a Kevlar Heavy Duty disk.
I took my time and took some pictures to make sure things looked the same before and after





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post #19 of 33 Old Jun 26th, 2019, 7:39 am
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Perhaps you can link him to the extensive post that you had on your clutch works! Should give him some ideas as to what's involved.

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post #20 of 33 Old Jun 26th, 2019, 8:45 am
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Quote:
Originally Posted by veteranbicycle View Post
I have decided to replace the clutch on my 2011 R1200RT, and to do it myself. I am looking for a comprehensive list of consumables and special tools needed to do the job, to avoid any surprises after I start tearing the bike apart on July 4th weekend.



For example, I know the rear subframe must be separated, and this means the ABS and clutch hydro lines must be disconnected - right? If so, do these require bleeding or any other special procedure - or any associated special tools? These are the kinds of questions I don't want to have to ask after I have already started. I pretty much have one shot on a holiday weekend, so ordering parts in the middle of the job is a no-go.



Wunderlich R1200 RT (2005 - 2013) Clutch | Wunderlich America has a nice page showing the parts I would need, but it is missing one of the seals and I'd like to replace the swingarm boot (it's cracked) while I have access to it, but it's not there either.



I believe the clutch slipping is a combination of oil contamination and my riding style, but I won't know until I open it up. If the plates are clean and smooth and still have life left in them, does it make any sense to install the $800 worth of new plates or can I reuse them? The bike has 29K miles of mostly in-town commuting, and based on what I've read my riding style is no bueno for a dry clutch.



Again, I'm looking for a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING I would need to consider regarding special tools, fluids, consumables, fasteners, etc. Also what other maintenance should I consider doing that is made easier with the rear subframe removed?


Wow, itís not an insurmountable task but difficult nonetheless. My buddy tried to do his clutch and still ended up taking it to the dealership. Itís a 10hr job and roughly $1200.00. For that much money, Iíd consider maybe tweaking your riding style. Iím at 50k miles just about on my 2013, and my clutch is fine.

Good luck!


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post #21 of 33 Old Jun 26th, 2019, 10:29 am
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

I believe the clutch slipping is a combination of oil contamination and my riding style, but I won't know until I open it up. If the plates are clean and smooth and still have life left in them, does it make any sense to install the $800 worth of new plates or can I reuse them? The bike has 29K miles of mostly in-town commuting, and based on what I've read my riding style is no bueno for a dry clutch.

Again, I'm looking for a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING I would need to consider regarding special tools, fluids, consumables, fasteners, etc. Also what other maintenance should I consider doing that is made easier with the rear subframe removed?[/QUOTE]



No matter what vehicle, if you slip a dry clutch a lot you will generate enough heat in the flywheel side to eventually damage the main oil seal causing oil leakage which in turn will cause clutch to fail. Once automatics came into being car companies were happy to promote them to get rid of all the warranty claims from people ruining their clutches rather quickly.

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post #22 of 33 Old Jun 26th, 2019, 10:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

It's funny how YouTube refuses to give up search results no matter how specific I get, until later on (several days in this case!) suggesting videos covering the exact topic I searched for. Duh.


Considering the bike he's working on is significantly older than mine, I still take comfort knowing that I'll be replacing the parts he mentions were bad. However, it's looking more and more like I'll be reusing the steel plates and saving $800. I guess we'll see.
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post #23 of 33 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 7:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Hey guys! Quick update here!

I have the bike apart, and I REPLACED THE CLUTCH PLATES. Man, they were TOAST! You may be able to see that some of the original machined face was still present, so it was also warped.

The bolts were way over-torqued from the factory, and would not budge even with a breaker bar. I had to go to Harbor Freight and buy a full-size corded impact to break them free. I replaced them with fresh bolts from Wunderlich; I would appreciate any insight into the correct torque spec, since the Haynes manual recommended a degree disc instead.

I can't seem to separate the shaft from the transmission. Does this require a special tool?

I don't have a photo, but the splined shaft from the transmission that fits into the clutch disk WAS BONE DRY - no grease or any kind of lube at all. However, it doesn't appear worn; I can't help but think this may have led to the clutch's demise.
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post #24 of 33 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 9:36 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Is this what your looking for?
You will need to go to the dealer and get that special size tie wrap for the front boot to reinstall it.
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post #25 of 33 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 10:24 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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I can't seem to separate the shaft from the transmission. Does this require a special tool?
There is a snap ring on the transmission side that holds the driveshaft in. I do believe you can put a large screwdriver in the u-joint and pry out the shaft.
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post #26 of 33 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 10:30 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

The flywheel or pressure plate looks like it has a lot of cracks in it. That's from heat I guess. I would replace all the clutch components.

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post #27 of 33 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 10:39 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

I see why this is a $1000+ job at a dealership. Wow


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post #28 of 33 Old Jul 5th, 2019, 11:13 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

The bolts are not torqued but set to an initial low torque and then turned a certain amount of degrees. No sub for this procedure.

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post #29 of 33 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 9:07 am
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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Originally Posted by TF1200RT View Post
There is a snap ring on the transmission side that holds the driveshaft in. I do believe you can put a large screwdriver in the u-joint and pry out the shaft.

Not all bikes seems to need them

My 07 doesn't have those snap rings
There was no snap rings when I took it apart.

The part fiche shows snap rings on the picture but the part number is listed as Drive Shaft complete.
Those rings do not appear in the parts list.

The RSD doesn't mention them in the procedure either

I bought them for nothing.
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Daniel


If you can park it, and not turn around to admire it before walking away, you bought the wrong one.
IBA # 56396
MOA # 171966
R1200RT 2007
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post #30 of 33 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 10:02 am Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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Originally Posted by beech View Post
The bolts are not torqued but set to an initial low torque and then turned a certain amount of degrees. No sub for this procedure.
OK Cool. The Haynes manual just says to use a degree disc, but not how many degrees! What's that spec?
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post #31 of 33 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 1:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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Originally Posted by veteranbicycle View Post
OK Cool. The Haynes manual just says to use a degree disc, but not how many degrees! What's that spec?
Nevermind. I was too impatient to look in the beginning of the Haynes Manual. I found it.
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post #32 of 33 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 2:56 pm
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

Per the REPROM:

Flywheel to Crankshaft screw: 40 newton-meter torque then an additional 40 degrees.


Disclaimer: This is a very critical value and I'm just repeating what I see in the REPROM that I think is correct for you bike. Buyer beware.
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'13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition
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post #33 of 33 Old Jul 6th, 2019, 3:17 pm Thread Starter
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Re: R1200RT Clutch Service (2011)

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Originally Posted by Pappy53 View Post
Per the REPROM:

Flywheel to Crankshaft screw: 40 newton-meter torque then an additional 40 degrees.


Disclaimer: This is a very critical value and I'm just repeating what I see in the REPROM that I think is correct for you bike. Buyer beware.
Thanks! Again, I found these values in the Haynes Manual - not realizing there is a section for them, separate from the instructions.

I am reasonably certain I tightened them to within a few degrees of 40, and they were definitely WAY tighter than that from the factory!
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