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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've been searching the forums and I haven't found anything that quite describes what I have going on. My bike has 70k miles, 30k of which in the last 18mos (since I bought it) I haven't had any major issues, (outside of blown brake hose last month, and had to get the exhaust welded) I stay on top of my oil changes, and she's been a pretty good bike.

Starting yesterday, I noticed a weird smell. Once i realized it wasn't someone else, I started to get concerned. It is most noticeable when coming to a stop. I don't want to prejudice anyone's opinion on what my issue is, but it smells like gear oil. I immediately got concerned about FD issues, but my FD is dry, showing no signs of leaks. I see no wet spots on or under the bike. In a possible unrelated issue (possibly NOT unrelated also,) I stalled the bike twice on my way home yesterday. I never stall, I'm very used to how the bike takes off. Here is my theory: The clutch lever may be actuating in a different spot than usual, so when concentrating more on traffic than taking off, I stalled it because I was going by habit, not by what the bike wanted.

My theory: Slave cylinder going bad? Leaking on the disc causing the smell, and explaining why the clutch lever is feeling different?

I know some of you have had slave issues, but I am unaware the symptoms. I don't want to keep driving it if that is the case. Thanks for any insight.
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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I thought Doug's old bike was brown.

You may be on to it with your assessment. A leaking slave bad enough to contaminate the clutch would show a "leak down" symptom if you held the clutch in for any length of time and try to engage the clutch. Usually this contamination will not burn off easily so it should fail the 5th gear test. Rapid accelleration while in 5th gear around 3,500-4000 rpm and it should slip at least once. Also during normal wear the fluid level rises in the master cylinder but if leaking it will go down.

Only way to know for sure is to pull the swingarm and pop the slave. (See the weep hole videos at the top of the page).
 

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Any odd vibration when decelerating ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Doug had 2 LTs, the other may have been brown...

Anyway thanks for the input. The master cylinder was a little low when I checked last night. I didn't do any of the leak-down ideas mentioned, but I will check into it tonight. It makes sense, I just have to get to work.

I haven't noticed any weird vibrations on deceleration, but I thought I felt a general lack of smoothness the last couple of days. I was thinking that I was probably going crazy, but that doesn't mean there isn't a vibration... What would that mean?

I don't plan on riding it until I get it figured out, I don't want to deal with any of the clutch problems I've heard about...
 

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Bring it over and we can put it on the lift, pull the swing arm, and check the slave.

Yes, I know you are in upstate...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I got it up on the lift, watched the video (love it) and when I popped the slave cylinder, i saw no signs of leakage. It looked dry, as did the hole it came out of. So as I was scratching my head, and looking around underneath, I thought I ought to take a picture of this and show the world... Is this a significant enough leak as to where I would smell the gear oil, and make the clutch feel different? (I don't horse on the bike, so I never felt the clutch slip, but it just felt different.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not that this will in any way change the diagnosis, but I really, really, really hate the idea of doing a main/input shaft seal job.
 

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Recheck the FD. I noticed a burnt rubber and/or gear oil smell prior to when mine went out. It was only noticeable when coming in off the highway. While mine looked dry, it did have quite a bit of leakage which I found when I removed the FD. Check just above the pivot arm on the front of the case and grab a mirror to check the back side. Also if your main seal on the FD is failing, it leaks onto the hub and disc brake area, not the FD case.
 

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Drill a weep hole in your clutch housing , similar to the slave weep hole and see if anything leaks out. That will tell you right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I thought about drilling a hole in the bellhousing... but I got scared. Could you tell me (as close to) exactly where and how big of a hole I can drill?
 

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I have mine dead center of the housing, lowest point so anything will flow out. You just need a hole big enough so something will flow out. 3-5 mm in diameter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
On the transmission side? Close to the seam?
 

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Going from front to back. Measure from the seam of the engine/clutch housing and try drill a few inches back from there. Your clutch is closer to the front of the housing, toward the engine side.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you, I will do it tonight and update. Granted I can get my drill in there, I'm thinking I may have to invest in an angle drill.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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The joint there is not a tight seal so it will leak and I see no benefit of drilling a hole. I did on mine and nothing ever came out of it. Even stuck a pipe cleaner up there and never got anything. I did have oil there at one time and I cleaned the area thoroughly and it never re-appeared. I recommened a good scrubbing of the area and then watch for what shows up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
John, I didn't see your reply until just now, after I drilled the hole. So for a sad story short... well, you can see the picture.

I drilled a 7/32 hole, it pools and drips about every 5 seconds. I stuck a zip-tie up in there and it comes out soaked.

I think my next thread will be looking for someone in the Rochester area who has done this job before...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Another question... Now that there is a hole for the fluid to drain out, could I continue to ride it without ruining the clutch? The transmission fluid level isn't particularly low, so I don't think it is a massive leak...

As I'm looking at the little smiley pictures on the right side of this screen, I don't see one with a cry-face... ha
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dammit Loren you just made me spit cheerios all over my laptop!
 

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The choice now is, do you want to do all the work to get to the main seal, and only change it, or replace all your seals and buy a new clutch and replace it while there. That is what you have to ask yourself. There is a chance that your clutch is already contaminated, in that case, ride it till it won't go anymore then change it out this winter.
If you want to just change out the seal and chance it, stop riding and fix it when you can.
 
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