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Discussion Starter #1
So today I was in the city and when pushing in 3rd the clutch started slipping.
The bike has 28k miles (45k km). Seems early...
though in the last trip I had to use a LOT of clutch going through 10 km of mud. And back.

If I need to replace it. Any recommendations?
Any other stuff to do ?
How can I check? Other than disassembly ?


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Search this forum for lots of advice & links to repair videos. Hope you aren't getting slipping because of oil seal leakage, which is not unusual. Commonly clutch lasts considerably longer.
 

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I feel your pain. Did you look at the seam between the intermediate housing and the transmission for oil leakage? Mine started to slip at about the same mileage as yours and was due to gear oil contamination from multiple leaking transmission seals.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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This clutch will slip if it is abused until it cools off. Like a pissed off stop to avoid a collision then forgetting you are in second gear and you smoke the clutch trying to get away! Really the best test is to get up to highway speed (60 - 70 MPH) in 5th gear and roll on the throttle hard. If the RPMs go up quickly the clutch is slipping, try it a second time and if is slips again right away it is getting close to the wear limit. If it will not slip the second time you are OK for a while yet.
 

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I had similar problems with my 1999. Check it in 5th as suggested, that is the best test. I lost the main seal at 28,900 miles. That was the problem, had to replace the seal and the clutch. If this is what you need, hope you can do the work yourself. The dealer charges an arm and a leg.
 

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Enjoy The Ride
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I replaced a customer's clutch that had less than 10,000 miles on it last year because it had been slipped to much while it was being engaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had similar problems with my 1999. Check it in 5th as suggested, that is the best test. I lost the main seal at 28,900 miles. That was the problem, had to replace the seal and the clutch. If this is what you need, hope you can do the work yourself. The dealer charges an arm and a leg.

No dealer here in Nicaragua.
So, not even upset. If I have to do it, I’ll use the chance to lube the shaft. It’s never been lubed or the splines.
And I’ll do it myself. I’ll use Kirk’s excellent video as a guide.


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Discussion Starter #8
I feel your pain. Did you look at the seam between the intermediate housing and the transmission for oil leakage? Mine started to slip at about the same mileage as yours and was due to gear oil contamination from multiple leaking transmission seals.

Looks pretty dry. Got there below and only one side seems a hint of wet. But probably due to the recent oil change.

Right side:



And this is from below:

It’s bone dry.

More pics of below.


One more.



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Discussion Starter #9
This clutch will slip if it is abused until it cools off. Like a pissed off stop to avoid a collision then forgetting you are in second gear and you smoke the clutch trying to get away! Really the best test is to get up to highway speed (60 - 70 MPH) in 5th gear and roll on the throttle hard. If the RPMs go up quickly the clutch is slipping, try it a second time and if is slips again right away it is getting close to the wear limit. If it will not slip the second time you are OK for a while yet.

Well, I was listening to Metallica’s Death Magnetic and trying to “race” smaller bikes off the traffic light. Hope it just overheated.
It did slipped in third. 4th and 5th was harder. But lower gears was very easy and controllable.

I did revved it to 5k rpm once to take off somewhat not like a train try lying to move.
And I started thinking, “man, I’m lucky that this thing has seen so much traffic and the clutch is still good”.
Right then I gave it gas and started slipping. Not too bad. But it did it every time after.
Made it home no problem, but passing cars was slower.

Any recommendations on clutch brand?
What about the engine seals?
Should I change them regardless ?
Is that a doable job?

Thanks !


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Well, I was listening to Metallica’s Death Magnetic and trying to “race” smaller bikes off the traffic light. Hope it just overheated.
It did slipped in third. 4th and 5th was harder. But lower gears was very easy and controllable.

I did revved it to 5k rpm once to take off somewhat not like a train try lying to move.
And I started thinking, “man, I’m lucky that this thing has seen so much traffic and the clutch is still good”.
Right then I gave it gas and started slipping. Not too bad. But it did it every time after.
Made it home no problem, but passing cars was slower.

Any recommendations on clutch brand?
What about the engine seals?
Should I change them regardless ?
Is that a doable job?

Thanks !


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You be the judge. I can’t believe it has been almost 4 years since I did this. It seems like just yesterday. The good news, is that my LT has run great since then and has taken me around the US, Alaska and back and most recently Key West and back.

https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/150330-2007-slipping-clutch-repair-saga.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You be the judge. I can’t believe it has been almost 4 years since I did this. It seems like just yesterday. The good news, is that my LT has run great since then and has taken me around the US, Alaska and back and most recently Key West and back.

https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/150330-2007-slipping-clutch-repair-saga.html
Thanks Matt,

BTW, is the Sachs OEM clutch any good?
They're very cheap right now.

Or should I go to something better?
Anything else I should replace?
 

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Thanks Matt,

BTW, is the Sachs OEM clutch any good?
They're very cheap right now.

Or should I go to something better?
Anything else I should replace?
I have no experience with it so I can’t say. I had mine rebuilt by Southland Clutch in San Diego and I absolutely do NOT recommend that route. I think I read somewhere that the OEM clutch was sourced from Sachs, but I can’t confirm that at the moment. Hopefully, someone else will chime in. If I had to do it again, I would have left my metal parts as they were as they were in good shape, other than scuffing them a little with 400 grit sandpaper and I would have bought an OEM clutch disk. I would have been money ahead and had a better result.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have no experience with it so I can’t say. I had mine rebuilt by Southland Clutch in San Diego and I absolutely do NOT recommend that route. I think I read somewhere that the OEM clutch was sourced from Sachs, but I can’t confirm that at the moment. Hopefully, someone else will chime in. If I had to do it again, I would have left my metal parts as they were as they were in good shape, other than scuffing them a little with 400 grit sandpaper and I would have bought an OEM clutch disk. I would have been money ahead and had a better result.
Yeah, that picture is of the OEM Sachs clutch.

They're going for $250, but found a site selling them for $129.

Where can I get the new Viton type engine seals?
Do I need a special tool to change them?

I'll view Kirk's videos again.

It could be that the clutch slipped because I was getting pretty happy with the throttle, but I highly doubt it.
It's never slipped before and I've done the same previously.

I saw some reinforced, or oil resistant clutches elsewhere, but I didn't see a reinforced, sintered resistant clutch plate as well.
So, probably a stronger clutch pad would just wear the metal out more. Methinks..

Thanks!
 

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If your going in to do the clutch for the use listed above, I would not change the engine main seal while you are in there. They are tough to re set and seldom damaged. A long term part for once. Only the 19mm oring that seals the main housing. I can send you a viton oring 19x4mm for the job if you send me your mailing address (didn't you have one in Flordia?). Free of course. Anyone else who wants one let me know.
If you have a copy of Clymer's manual for this bike it will really help. I know you do a lot of bike repairs but this will point out some good things. Maybe change out the engine breather tube. And pay attention to how the intake manifold clamps are orientated. Have to go back in exactly the same using the original clamps. A bit of a trick but can be done. You need some long needle nose pliers to help. It is a big job and pesky. Check your pressure plate to make sure it is flat. Slipping the clutch will heat it up and it tends to warp. Much more than a few thousandths of an inch and it really won't work well. I tossed mine at .010" out of flat. They go concave. You need a straight edge that will fit in there and some feeler gauges. Of course video and advice are on the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Beech!

Yes. I still have an address in Florida.
Will PM you.

Same clutch pad then as OEM?


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You won't really know what clutch parts you will need to replace until you get in and see the condition and how much dishing there is. I have attached a few pictures. the first is Matts ( Voyager) thrust plate and even though he sent it off for resurfacing, it was not necessary. In fact, it is the best looking one I have seen come out of a bike so if yours looks like that, move on to dishing. The second pic is from someone who abused his clutch trying to use it like a wet clutch slipping it a lot. If yours looks like this, toss it and buy new parts. The other thing to worry about is dishing. Get a straight edge and lay it across the plates to see how much there is. Much more than 5 thousandths in the center and you will have decreased contact and pressure. Also good reason for replacement.
 

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A word of warning. If whether you are lowering the engine or raising the frame, DO NOT forget to unplug the engine temp sensor. It will stretch and break the wires and you don't want that. See it circled in red in the attached pic. It is the bottom one of the 4 under the Tupperware panel.
 

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A word of warning. If whether you are lowering the engine or raising the frame, DO NOT forget to unplug the engine temp sensor. It will stretch and break the wires and you don't want that. See it circled in red in the attached pic. It is the bottom one of the 4 under the Tupperware panel.
Yes, follow the manual(s) very carefully. I used both Clymer and the BMW REPROM. Clymer is good for more detailed instructions and advice on special tool substitutes, but jumps all over the place from chapter to chapter and has often has the “assembly is the reverse of disassembly” which is generally true, but often hard to follow. The BMW “manual” CD is much better as a checklist as it shows all operations in a linear form including re-assembly. I personally used the BMW manual much more than the Clymer as it is just so much easier to follow.

Also, as tedious as it will be, I would suggest you read all 400 and some (I think anyway) posts in my thread. Many relate to other things I did such as TBI cleaning, O2 sensor replacement, crankcase ventilation manifold replacement which you can skip, but you may want to read some of the challenges I encountered and how I worked around them. Probably the most frustrating was getting the transmission to clear the frame and drop down. Some recommended using brute force and just getting a pry bar and forcing it, but my experience says that is seldom the right approach. Even though I had followed JZ’s tip to replace two of the engine mount bolts with small 1/4” bolts (which I highly recommend), I still could not get the transmission to clear the frame and drop down. After pondering a day or two, I lowered the Jack just a little so it was maybe 1/8” below the transmission. I think gently lifted on the valve cover and that slight clockwise rotation caused the transmission to slide past the frame and back onto the jack. Easy peasy and I was off and running again with no need to pry anything hard and risk cracking a frame or transmission housing.

As you can tell above, I did the “block the rear subframe and lower the engine/transmission” method as it was easier to do on my lift. However, I have often wondered if the method recommended by both BMW and Clymer might have worked more easily. They both, as I recall anyway, recommend blocking under the engine and raising the rear subframe. I suspect that may let the frame move around more and avoid the clearance issue between frame and transmission. In theory, the methods should be the same, but I am not sure in practice that they are, but it has been done both ways and will work.

My other recommendation is to take LOTS of pictures of every connector you remove and all bolts and linkages such as the shift linkage and routing of all wires and hoses. I thought I had grossly over killed it with pictures, but during assembly I still had things I had missed and had to ask here or use my best guess during assembly. Hopefully, you can put it off a awhile, but once the clutch starts slipping, it won’t heal itself. I rode mine for a couple of years with the oil contaminated clutch, but finally it got to where I could no longer safely pass vehicles or climb long interstate grades in 5th gear so I bit the bullet and did the job. And, as Gordon said, you really should take the bike apart before you order your parts unless you want to spend the money and buy every possible part in advance to save some downtime. For example, I ended up needing all three rotating shaft seals for my transmission, but I did not need a slave cylinder or engine output shaft seal and mine is still going strong 30,000 miles later. I did replace the o-ring as it is know to fail, but mine had not failed and likely could have been re-used, although I probably damaged it during disassembly. My issue was entirely leaking transmission seals and not leaking engine oil or clutch fluid.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you all for your thoughtful and helpful replies.
My issue as always is that living in Nicaragua makes for a logistics nightmare getting parts into the country.
It’s a 2 month affair.
I’ve done it in the past, if opening and then ordering. And ended up with a 3-year project (K12S) because I couldn’t make myself to finish it.
So, even if expensive, I might wanna go that route and getting it done all at once.
Like this country but don’t like how there’s NOTHING here.

... I need to make more money to sustain my stupidly expensive hobbies ... will work for parts !


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Thank you all for your thoughtful and helpful replies.
My issue as always is that living in Nicaragua makes for a logistics nightmare getting parts into the country.
It’s a 2 month affair.
I’ve done it in the past, if opening and then ordering. And ended up with a 3-year project (K12S) because I couldn’t make myself to finish it.
So, even if expensive, I might wanna go that route and getting it done all at once.
Like this country but don’t like how there’s NOTHING here.

... I need to make more money to sustain my stupidly expensive hobbies ... will work for parts !


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Well, I don’t have the logistics issues that you endure, but one of the main reasons I bought a KLR650 last year (I’ve never before owned more than one bike at a time) was the downtime of the LT for just normal maintenance. Even things like valve adjustments often take two weeks as I always need a bucket size I don’t have. And often during normal maintenance, I find an issue like bad FD pivot bearings and need to order them. I generally have at least 2 weeks a year where my LT is not rideable and a few times where it has been 5-6 (FD rebuild was 5 weeks and clutch was 6 weeks). I now have the KLR to ride while the LT is down awaiting parts.

I never had this issue in the 17 years I owned my Kawasaki Voyager. Maintenance was generally half a day once a year with maybe a 30 minute oil change in between. The only thing on that bike that was hard to get to was the electric fuel pump (it was not FI, but it had the tank under the seat so still needed a fuel pump to get gas to the carbs), but that never went bad. The air filter and battery were both under a plastic “false gas tank” that came off with two screws and two Dzus style fasteners if memory serves. Valve lifters were hydraulic so no adjustment ever. Everything else was easy and quick to maintain and my local dealer was 25 miles away and could generally get parts in 2-3 days. And for normal maintenance, you generally had to remove only the false gas tank cover. I could do an annual maintenance on the Voyager in less time than it takes to R&R the Tupperware on my LT. And that is not an exaggeration.

I have been watching some maintenance videos on the RT and it looks like that is light years ahead of the LT. It doesn’t look as straightforward as a Kawasaki, but much better than the LT. Although it still has some of the inherent BMW stupidity like an oil filter that drains right on top of the exhaust header. One wonders if the engineers that design BMWs ever actually work on them?

I think a few folks here have created pretty comprehensive lists of parts they bought for their clutch repair. However, I believe you are talking north of $1,500 if you buy all of the metal parts as well as all the possible seals you might need and a slave clutch cylinder and such. The problem with buying parts in advance is that there are at least four ways a clutch can fail and to buy all of the parts to handle all four will be very expensive and you likely will not have needed half of them.
 
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