BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I am at a Lee Park Total Rider Tech Class in Indianapolis this weekend. Today was slow speed maneuvering in a parking lot setting. Lots of slow riding using the "friction" zone on the clutch. That is where the clutch is not totally engaged or totally disengaged. Basically it's feathering or slipping the clutch with the engine speed at about 2500 RPM's. The problem is that the clutch started smelling and fading after only about 1 or 2 minutes of this activity. I mean really smelling. Other people commented on it. The idea is you keep your clutch in the friction zone, the throttle steady at 2500 or so and modulate your speed with the rear brake. It works very well because you are using the gyroscopic effect of the motor to add stability. But it wasn't long until my clutch was barely disengaging even with the lever pulled all the way in. I would have to go drive around for a couple of minutes to let it cool off and then it would be okay after that. The clutch was not slipping, i.e, if I was in 2nd gear and gave it wide open throttle, it did not slip.

There were other bikes at the class and no one else was having this problem and we were all doing the same exercise. The instructor, who was riding a K1300R was very surprised and thinks there is something wrong with the clutch. After class I rode around town and it felt fine.

I just picked this bike up last week. Only had 1,900 miles on it. I have ridden it about 400 miles. I really, really like this bike. The original owner seemed to take very good care of the bike. This is not my first bike. I have an FJR, Goldwing, Bonneville, R90/6, etc.

Any comments, help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks much,

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
I'm thinking it's due to the dry clutch, nothing else. I could do parking lot rodeo stuff all day long on my Harley without any issues thanks to the wet clutch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
SquareHead said:
Hey Guys,

I am at a Lee Park Total Rider Tech Class in Indianapolis this weekend. Today was slow speed maneuvering in a parking lot setting. Lots of slow riding using the "friction" zone on the clutch. That is where the clutch is not totally engaged or totally disengaged. Basically it's feathering or slipping the clutch with the engine speed at about 2500 RPM's. The problem is that the clutch started smelling and fading after only about 1 or 2 minutes of this activity. I mean really smelling. Other people commented on it. The idea is you keep your clutch in the friction zone, the throttle steady at 2500 or so and modulate your speed with the rear brake. It works very well because you are using the gyroscopic effect of the motor to add stability. But it wasn't long until my clutch was barely disengaging even with the lever pulled all the way in. I would have to go drive around for a couple of minutes to let it cool off and then it would be okay after that. The clutch was not slipping, i.e, if I was in 2nd gear and gave it wide open throttle, it did not slip.

There were other bikes at the class and no one else was having this problem and we were all doing the same exercise. The instructor, who was riding a K1300R was very surprised and thinks there is something wrong with the clutch. After class I rode around town and it felt fine.

I just picked this bike up last week. Only had 1,900 miles on it. I have ridden it about 400 miles. I really, really like this bike. The original owner seemed to take very good care of the bike. This is not my first bike. I have an FJR, Goldwing, Bonneville, R90/6, etc.

Any comments, help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks much,

Chris
There's nothing wrong; it's how you're using the clutch that is the problem.

Keep the RPM below 1,750, and use the clutch to control your speed, not the rear brake. You're abusing your clutch with the RPM at ~2,500 and will negatively impact the lifespan of it. You can control your speed using the friction zone without rear brake from nearly a standstill on up. It's all about getting practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,779 Posts
I have read these techniques of the school. You are abusing your clutch. It can't take it. Find a different riding technique and ignor comments about something wrong with your bike. I know the GS guys do this to an extent. If you feel this is a good way to ride, get use to buying clutches. Would you do this with your automobile clutch on a hill? :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Yes the clutch can smell a bit with a lot of slipping use. I was helping out at a Slow riding skills day we run for our local IAM club and could smell the new RT12 clutch.

However, not disengaging does make me wonder if you have air trapped in the clutch line or slave cylinder. All that heat produced might have a worse effect if you have a bit of trapped air somewhere.

Might be worth mnmetioning to the dealer and getting them to bleed it through?
\v/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
beech said:
I have read these techniques of the school. You are abusing your clutch. It can't take it. Find a different riding technique and ignor comments about something wrong with your bike. I know the GS guys do this to an extent. If you feel this is a good way to ride, get use to buying clutches. Would you do this with your automobile clutch on a hill? :(
Agreed. With the limitations of the clutch, you have to adjust your technique. Once you get it though, you'll run rings around the other bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
It works very well because you are using the gyroscopic effect of the motor to add stability.
This would be true for most bikes, but not a boxer engine R. As the boxer flywheel rotates perpendicular to the forward movement of the bike it will not stabilize the lateral movement of the bike. As such you need to rely on the rotation of the wheels for stability.

I was taught to feather the clutch for low speed work and only use the rear brake if you need to reduce your speed. Has worked fine for me (30 years riding) and only burnt out one clutch (off road race, rock got caught between the chain guide and chain- what a smell!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I am not sure of your control technique but as stated keep your RPM's under 2000 and stay off the rear brake while in the friction zone. The Harley almost REQUIRES the rear brake for courses that I only tap it on the RT. I can ride courses all day and not smell what you are smelling. However I can take off in 2nd gear and it is immediate, don't ask me how I know. A good starting point is to use the idle only in a straight line and feel that friction zone. Perfect your technique of staying in the friction zone at these low RPM's without going in and out. It will make your control smooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
556ALPHA said:
I am not sure of your control technique but as stated keep your RPM's under 2000 and stay off the rear brake while in the friction zone. The Harley almost REQUIRES the rear brake for courses that I only tap it on the RT. I can ride courses all day and not smell what you are smelling. However I can take off in 2nd gear and it is immediate, don't ask me how I know. A good starting point is to use the idle only in a straight line and feel that friction zone. Perfect your technique of staying in the friction zone at these low RPM's without going in and out. It will make your control smooth.
I was wondering if you were a motor officer? I noticed it is an RTP in your avatar. I help teach the Ride Like a Pro course here in NC and have used Electra Glides and a Road Glide. The 2011 Road Glide burnt up the clutch after a few thousand miles and 2 classes. I went through another 2 clutches as well and was told by some motor officers that the 2011 had a clutch easier to burn out due to the 103. I went to a hardcore lifetime clutch and it has almost 20,000 miles on it with no problems and several RLAP courses.

Next weekend (5/11 in Greensboro www.ridelikeapronc.com if interested) will be my first RLAP with the new RT and I was wondering what advice you may have for all day training.

Thanks!

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
For slow speed maneuvers with the RT I used a method I picked while riding a Burgman 650 (maxi scooter). Because the Burgman had no clutch, you had to control slow speed with the rear brake while keeping RPMs up. Same method works like a charm on the RT. Leave the clutch alone in 1st gear and just use the rear brake to regulate speed in tight turns. The RT will lug along very slowly quite well without the need to pull the clutch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Whatever, the angular momentum of operating the engine at 2500 rpm won't improve stability from gyroscopic effects. They will give a pitch response (torque about a lateral axis) from yaw motion, and a yaw torque (about a vertical axis) from pitch motion. That's the way gyros work.

The benny you probably get from more engine rpm will be less likely to stumble. Go for lower rpm unless you have an uncle in the clutch repair business. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Travman said:
For slow speed maneuvers with the RT I used a method I picked while riding a Burgman 650 (maxi scooter). Because the Burgman had no clutch, you had to control slow speed with the rear brake while keeping RPMs up. Same method works like a charm on the RT. Leave the clutch alone in 1st gear and just use the rear brake to regulate speed in tight turns. The RT will lug along very slowly quite well without the need to pull the clutch.
That is exactly the method i use. Always have.
Regards
Paul :bmw:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
tvguy said:
Here is what a clutch repair looks like...

That is one thing no one wants to mention about the RT.
OUCH!! Must be a costly repair.

Here are the steps I found in the service manual.

Removing seat
Disconnecting battery
Removing tank rail
Removing left-hand trim panel
Removing left fuel-tank cover
Removing right-hand trim panel
Removing storage compartment lid
Removing right fuel-tank cover
Removing fuel tank
Installing engine lifter
Removing silencer
Removing intake air pipe
Removing injection valves
Disconnecting both throttle-valve stubs
Securing throttle valve stub with cable divider
Removing left footrest plate
Disengaging servomotor for exhaust-flow control valve
Disengaging plug for gearbox potentiometer
Disengaging selector rod from shift lever
Removing clutch slave cylinder
Removing right footrest plate
Disconnecting rear brake lines from pressure modulator
Removing rear-light unit
Disengaging wiring harness at rear
Removing rear section of motorcycle
Disconnecting plug of gearbox potentiometer
Removing starter
Remove the clutch cover
Remove the gearbox

And then you have to put it all back together.

Better have a reputable dealer do the work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
OK, I always knew that you had take the engine apart to repair the clutch but breaking the bike in two to make the repair is just plan stupid. What engineer came up with this idea. Is the clutch supposed to last the life of the engine? No wonder the repair is estimated to be 2-3k.

So how many out there have actually had to have this done?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
Exactly what the first couple of responses said. The BMW dry clutch is not a Harley clutch that all the instructors are used to seeing.

My '04 RT-P had a new clutch put in it at 29K miles, shortly before the PD retired the bike.
Dealer billed the city for $4,100! No, you do not want to replace a clutch!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
I also have a Harley and the friction zone/rear brake technique works well with the multiplate wet clutch and side to side crank but is not the way to go with the RT. As mentioned previously the crank spins the wrong way to help as a gyro and that clutch is not meant to be slipped. I had the original clutch in my 06 RT w 57000 miles and it showed no signs of giving up the ghost. Seems like oil leaks are the big clutch killer but I'm sure slipping it until it burns up wont help. I wouldn't worry about what is done and just go on from here. I'm sure it will last you a long time.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top