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Discussion Starter #1
Frequently in this forum I read about clutch slippage problems leading to clutch replacement. I was surfing around today and found this site. I called and spoke with their tech rep and he said that his company is developing a clutch plate that is superior to the LT stock clutch plate. What else would he say?

Anyway, in the page linked to above they give a pretty good summation of why the LT stock plate has the problems we have all heard about if not yet experienced first hand. I was wondering what opinions others have on replacing the stock friction plate with a redesigned plate.

Currently I am not experiencing any problems with my clutch. However, I do have a spare FD assembly (just in case) and I'm thinking about pre-ordering one of these friction plates in the belief the I will eventually need one. I don't relish the thought of installing another inferior stock plate.

Any advice from others that have had clutch problems or especially those engineer types who have specific knowledge of clutch design would be appreciated. Also, please pass along any information you may have about other friction plates that are superior to the stock plates that I should consider.

Regards,
 

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The site looks good, Have you looked at Barnett Clutch's? Anyone comment on either?
My Slave's leaking and I'd like to have everything ready when it goes!
 

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I am thinking The 360 for $325.00 is a steal.

Now I wish I knew of someone who had firsthand experience with them in any application.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
LAF said:
I am thinking The 360 for $325.00 is a steal.

Now I wish I knew of someone who had firsthand experience with them in any application.

I hear you. However, the guy I talked to (said he was the tech rep) said that the Turbo six paw is the one you would want. A little more expensive but I don't know how that compares to the stock plate.

I'm like you; I would love to hear from those on this forum that have more knowledge of clutches than I do.
 

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I don't think there is anything wrong with the stock clutch.
It has problems when something leaks oil on it but otherwise it works fine.
Some folks like to beef up the drivetrain so they can push the bike really hard, so in that case go ahead and beef up the clutch....have fun.
But as a preemptive measure to prevent future problems, there is nothing in the history of the KLT clutch to suggest that preemptive changes to the clutch itself will save future troubles.
It may be that drilling a weep hole in the clutch slave will save a clutch, no real data on that but we certainly know that leaking clutch slaves have taken out clutches. Drilling a weep hole makes sense to me as a preemptive measure; changing clutch components doesn't.
And when a clutch slips due to oil contamination, the clutch plate needs to be replaced but generally the pressure place and housing cover do not need to be replaced unless severely scored due to extended use after slipping is first detected. Full BMW price for the clutch plate is about $170.
http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/MainDiagrams.asp?mospid=47964
 

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Right after they build a FD that out last the ones on HDs.

Rumor is that on the new LT they chrome it since they couldn't fix it. :)

Best from Tucson
Bob
 

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BecketMa said:
Right after they build a FD that out last the ones on HDs.
<GRIN> Since the HD "final drive" is a belt that can usually last at least 100K miles, They have their work cut out for them. **AND** when it fails, it's a couple of hundred to repair.
 

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Curtis I hear you but I have also seen many write ups on clutches that have gone, and in very few miles and the dealer denied it as warranty.

Now I know I was not there as they rode their bikes but most have all said no speed racer stuff, and the housing was just filed with shredded clutch.

I also agree the slave hole drilling is one of the best counter measures to avoid a leak from taking out the clutch.

Still would be interested in an after market if I ever need one. I would think just on cost alone it would save you money.
 

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LAF said:
...... I hear you but I have also seen many write ups on clutches that have gone, and in very few miles and the dealer denied it as warranty.....
Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember a couple such reports. (CRS syndrome?) I came away thinking that there must have been an alignment or assembly problem. I didn't think of it as cases of inferior clutch plate, but maybe it was. Who knows?
Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #11
LAF said:
...I have also seen many write ups on clutches that have gone, and in very few miles and the dealer denied it as warranty.

...I also agree the slave hole drilling is one of the best counter measures to avoid a leak from taking out the clutch.

...Still would be interested in an after market if I ever need one. I would think just on cost alone it would save you money.
Lee,
I agree with what you are saying. I also agree that a slave hole is the way to go. I doubt any dry clutch friction plate will survive a good douse of oil.

I also thought I remembered reading about possible design flaws with the LT stock clutch. I'm not sure what the exact problem was and I'm not sure it deals specifically with the friction plate.
 

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Original cluch works well, if used normally and no oil leakage happens.

Stronger clutch would be advantage, but not necessary. Bigger problem for cluch is first gears long gear ratio. With racing clutch starting to drive will be even worse than with std cluch.

Stronger clutch plate would be needed 100 % sure, if you would install a turbo charger into LT. Otherwise most likely cluch will slip. With strong cluch it would not slip but then there would be a danger that final drive won't last long. It is weak enough with original parts and original power already.

Regards
Leiboshi
 

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leiboshi said:
Original cluch works well, if used normally and no oil leakage happens.

Stronger clutch would be advantage, but not necessary. Bigger problem for cluch is first gears long gear ratio. With racing clutch starting to drive will be even worse than with std cluch.

Stronger clutch plate would be needed 100 % sure, if you would install a turbo charger into LT. Otherwise most likely cluch will slip. With strong cluch it would not slip but then there would be a danger that final drive won't last long. It is weak enough with original parts and original power already.

Regards
Leiboshi
Thanks Leiboshi,
That makes sense to me. It's better to have the clutch slip than to have to replace a transmission.

Thanks for the information,
 

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No "better" clutch plate will help when the slave cylinder leaks (without the drain hole), or a tranny or engine oil seal fail. Then you will just be replacing a far more expensive plate which did not gain you much if anything in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As I said in response to Lee in a few posts back:
jarhead354 said:
Lee,
I agree with what you are saying. I also agree that a slave hole is the way to go. I doubt any dry clutch friction plate will survive a good douse of oil.

I also thought I remembered reading about possible design flaws with the LT stock clutch. I'm not sure what the exact problem was and I'm not sure it deals specifically with the friction plate.
__________________
I am in total agrement that oil or fluid contamination will cause friction plate failure.

Maybe I'm just smoking something but I thought I read somewhere in this forum a while back that there were design flaws with the LT clutch.

If that's not the case then we'll just let sleeping threads die.
 

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The only real advantage to this particular clutch is the use of spring dampening to lessen/eliminate the wear and tear on the input shaft to the trans.

I would buy this clutch disk for this feature alone.

I have two bikes that probably need to have spline lubes. And the stock clutch disk damages the splines in the transmission input shaft because there are no springs to dampen the shock of engagement/disengagement.
When the time comes that I do tear one apart for a spline lube, I just might consider changing the clutch disk ..

What they need to do is build one in ceramic so that oil won't bother it.
Maybe their Paw clutch disks would fall into that catagory ?


John
 

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jarhead354 said:
As I said in response to Lee in a few posts back:


I am in total agrement that oil or fluid contamination will cause friction plate failure.

Maybe I'm just smoking something but I thought I read somewhere in this forum a while back that there were design flaws with the LT clutch.

If that's not the case then we'll just let sleeping threads die.
There has been periodic mention of the LT clutch being less than perfect. However, most of the reported failures involved contamination from leaky seals. Those who ride aggressively (okay, so that's most of us) or extra heavy loads like sidecars could see some benefit from an improved clutch but with reasonable riding you can get good wear (I'm at 100k on the original). If I have to replace it I may consider an upgrade as long as I'm at it.
 

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jarhead354 said:
I called and spoke with their tech rep and he said that his company is developing a clutch plate that is superior to the LT stock clutch plate.
Caution, RBR has been saying that their LT clutch is "in development" for a whole lotta years now (at least 5 years, probably more).

I know one guy who had them add a turbo to the K12RS and he was happy with it. I know several other folks that have been very unhappy with their parts, service, and overall experience.

Besides, why buy a new clutch plate (even if it wasn't vaporware) just to have it sit in a box in the garage?

The LT's clutch is adequate for "normal" riding, but isn't quite as over-engineered as most of BMW's parts (especially on an 850-lb bike). So most riders won't see a clutch problem unless they get a leak from the slave cylinder, rear main seal, or front tranny seal (all too common, unfortunately).

As others have said, drilling a weep hole near the slave cylinder and bottom of the clutch housing is a good idea. Other than that, Just Ride It and don't worry so much. :)
 

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meese said:
-----------------------------------So most riders won't see a clutch problem unless they get a leak from the slave cylinder, rear main seal, or front tranny seal (all too common, unfortunately).-------------------------------------------------------
That should be front OR REAR tranny input shaft seal. Either will take out the clutch, just like the slave cylinder will. If the front one fails, almost immediate clutch failure, if the rear fails it will take just a little longer, as the oil has to travel up the actuator shaft hole just like brake fluid from the slave.
 

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meese said:
Caution, RBR has been saying that their LT clutch is "in development" for a whole lotta years now (at least 5 years, probably more).

I know one guy who had them add a turbo to the K12RS and he was happy with it. I know several other folks that have been very unhappy with their parts, service, and overall experience.

Besides, why buy a new clutch plate (even if it wasn't vaporware) just to have it sit in a box in the garage?

The LT's clutch is adequate for "normal" riding, but isn't quite as over-engineered as most of BMW's parts (especially on an 850-lb bike). So most riders won't see a clutch problem unless they get a leak from the slave cylinder, rear main seal, or front tranny seal (all too common, unfortunately).

As others have said, drilling a weep hole near the slave cylinder and bottom of the clutch housing is a good idea. Other than that, Just Ride It and don't worry so much. :)
Sure it is working better in RS, which has less weight and shorter gear ratio in 1st gear (my quess). To change cluch plate into better one would not harm anyone. But do you get any advantage of it? Original one is always smoothest to use, I think.

And I agree. It is not over-engineered. More likely it has been ok for lighter models, but LT is such a monster, that cluch is already on limit to be under-engineered part in it. But still work well in it.

Regards
Leiboshi
 
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