K1300S Motorsport clutch judder - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 2017, 6:34 am Thread Starter
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K1300S Motorsport clutch judder

My K1300 is one year old, with just over 3000 miles on it. After the first 1500 miles or so, it developed a very bad clutch and transmission judder. It is worse once the engine is hot and is bad in slow moving traffic, in first and second gear, when the clutch is in and out and the bike is moving slowly, slipping the clutch a bit. The whole transmission shakes and the only way to stop it is to rev the engine more, while slipping the clutch, or to not slip the clutch at all, which is not ideal in slow moving traffic. It is also bad on the change down at low speed, especially if you dont match the revs perfectly!.
The bike has been back to the main dealer and apparently the clutch assembly was replaced under warranty, as they found a damaged clutch plate. They said to give it a few miles on the new clutch, to bed it in, but after 300 miles or so, the judder is just as bad.
The bike is due it's annual service soon, so I'm hoping an oil change might help, but I'm not holding my breath. It is certainly at its worst when the engine is hot in traffic and presumably the oil at its thinest, but I've not experienced it with any other bike, and even the air cooled engine bikes, are fine in the summer traffic.
Anyone had any similar experience with the K1300S clutch?
Thanks, Russ.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2017, 8:30 am
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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There is a thread named "Clutch Chatter" which discusses the same issues as yours. My response is the last. Take a read.

This is probably the most common problem with K 12, 13 bikes. and is their biggest most expensive problem. The factory has been avoiding a real fix because they are going to discontinue this hummer soon.

The problem is with the clutch only. Your Transmission is fine. When ever a trans Clunks into gear as K-bikes do, its because the clutch is still dragging when you pull in the lever and so the Shifter Dogs still have tension on them and they are still rotating when engaged into the slot of the chosen gear, thus the clunk.

As I think I mentioned in the other post, The damage usually extends to the whole Clutch Basket including the springs on the backside. This assembly alone is over $1200. If the Plate Stack is ruined, that's another $1100 and that's just the parts.

Now your bike is still on warranty but with the apparent cost of these parts. they are going to be as conservative as possible. So what you get is a continual hesitancy to fix the whole thing correctly. That's why your clutch is still chattering.

There have been at least 3 updates to the clutch oiling system and other revisions that all should be in your newer bike including a Black Hard Anodized Basket. Check that. Earlier bikes had bare aluminum baskets and the plate movement ate the Hell out of the grooves they are supposed to slide in.

I could go on for a few pages here but the post would "time out" and cancel. I've had that happen.

Good Luck, Chris Olsen

Last edited by SpaceViking; Apr 12th, 2017 at 8:35 am.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2017, 3:50 am
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thank you for your reply SpaceViking; good info. i recently purchased a 2009 K GT. i also noticed a "judder" as i let out the clutch; only in first. the bike has 15.3K on it. although i know it is hard to predict, do you have any knowledge as to if and when the clutch will need replacing? i know this ? is like asking you what the lottery # will be tomorrow. i am a moderate rider; that is i don't ride too aggressively.
i did read your post in the other thread you posted. i absolutely love this bike and i want to put 100K miles on it.

2009 K1300GT
2001 Ultra Custom Ground Pounder
2002 Kawasaki KLR 650
1972 Harley Sportster
1977 Big Wheel (Dukes of Hazard)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 2017, 5:20 pm
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That's an easy question. It will be time to fix the clutch when It dives you so nut's, you can't stand to ride the damn thing anymore. %^D

Seriously, No clutch should chatter like this. As I mentioned earlier, when any kind of plate oscillation develops, It's just the first perceptible indication of a destructive cycle that gets worse the longer you wait to fix it. This isn't good for your Trans, both Right-Angle Drives or your Drive Shaft.

It's the Basket that seems to take the beating the worst, mainly because it's all made of Aluminum which has no Rockwell #s to speak of; 7075 is about as hard as you can get Alum. and It's still MUSH. I'm an old H-D rider from the '60 and those machines are now considered dinosaurs but my clutch hubs were Steel and my baskets had steel rails screwed in to carry the movement of the fiction plates. They never wore out.

What surprises me is Beemer got away with doing the hub in Alum. as well; I haven't seen them nearly as chewed up as the Baskets.

Something to be taken into consideration with clutches is the whole issue of oiling. This has been the sores of at least 3 Bulitins from the factory. They have increased oiling in increments hoping to better lubricate the metal to metal ware with only limited success. On the other hand, Dry Clutches with no oil to the mechanism whatever, work just fine. Ducaties have run on Dry Clutches for years, only going to a Wet Clutch recently. They are even exposed to the open air for cooling and you can hear them rattle as they go by. My old H-D Sportster had a completely sealed clutch housing which only became problematic if oil leaked in.

The adverse effect of an oiled clutch is it coats the plates and assists in promoting a Suction Seal. The plates get stuck to each other and resist separating when the operator is trying to disengage them. This adhesion makes for clutch drag and is why K-bikes have such a huge Clunk going into 1st gear. That damned clunk isn't doing your dive-line anymore good then the frigging Chatter.

A treatment which goes a long way to alleviate this is to "Dimple" the Steel Plates. The process creates hundreds of evenly spaced perfectly uniform small depressions stamped on both sides of the Steels. This helps allow air to enter between the Steels and Frictions to let them separate when the clutch is disengaged. The better the disengage, the less the clunk. Is this the cure for our K-bike clutches? No one could say for sure without some diligent experimenting but it certainly couldn't hurt.

As I think I mentioned previously, The factory does not want to invest time and money into fixing this because the Transverse 4 cylinder K-bike is at the end of it's run. Maybe we can get Barnett to come up with something.

At any rate, To answer your question, I'd get in there without too much delay. You can have it apart in one afternoon. See what you've got. Have the parts within a week and back together in one afternoon. All you need is the small engine lock tool and the large ring that goes over the basket to hold it while you get the nut off and back on. I don't know what they go for because I made mine. You'll need a 30mm socket and a Torque Wrench to retighten the hub nut. The process is described in the CD manual. You should have bought one of these the week you got the bike.

Oh, one other thing to knarl away at the back of your mind; Your GT is what, another 100 lbs. heavier then my S? If you ride a GT, it probably means you ride 2 Up a lot (another 120 lbs.). And then there's all the stuff you jam into those big bags you got on the back (another 40-50 lbs.). Do the math and what you come up with is the need for a healthy clutch right now.

Last edited by SpaceViking; Apr 16th, 2017 at 5:51 pm.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2017, 7:14 am
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thank you for your reply. upon further investigation, it seems that i adjusted the clutch lever to the mid position on the lever. the levers were replaced with new ones, that have quite a bit of travel; well guess what, the clutch wasn't being engaged sufficiently. now that it is in the highest position, MOST of the chatter is gone, and shifting is smoother.....i feel like a dolt.

although it does bang into first gear more than my 96 RT did, i have read that this is quite normal on the 1300GT.

i absolutely love riding this bike. if i have to a new clutch will be installed. this is the best motorcycle i have ever ridden. i've been riding for 55 years and have owned a dozen bikes.

again thank you for you insightful reply. you have a wealth of knowledge and sharing it on this forum is much appreciated.


2009 K1300GT
2001 Ultra Custom Ground Pounder
2002 Kawasaki KLR 650
1972 Harley Sportster
1977 Big Wheel (Dukes of Hazard)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2019, 12:50 am
Join Date: May 2019
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2015 K1300S Motorsports Edition. Bought the bike with 1300 miles on it. Clutch “judders” or “pulses” when i get underway in first gear........but not all the time. There is no noise involved. No rattle. I have not noticed on downshift.

I just ignore it as every bike I have ever owned has a quirk or two. But, it’s also just a bit disappointing on an otherwise excellent motorcycle.

I am up for any fixes that are cost effective. I will not be buying $2000 of BMW parts that may or may not do the trick.

Thanks all.
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