K1200RS 1997 Where is my clutch fluid gone! - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2020, 4:09 pm Thread Starter
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K1200RS 1997 Where is my clutch fluid gone!

Hi All, a few weeks ago i checked my clutch fluid on the left handlebar and was confused when the reservoir was empty. I checked the floor for any liquid spill but nothing. I filled it up with more that i bought from a Motorbike shop here in Germany and all has been well apart from today i decided to go for a ride and after about 30 min i started to see some black liquid on the fairing underneath the clutch. I stopped and wiped it away hopefully no damage to the paintwork and when i got home i had a closer look and the bottom half of the housing the plastic bit seems to be un-clipped and the lever where it is on the pivot end had liquid on it.
Anyone had the same issue and whats the resolution as i dont want to take a 1997 bike to BMW as the bill will probably be more that what the bike is worth however the Bike rides really well and really had fun with it in country lanes today, so solid and stable on the road. Im also planning a trip back to the UK in April where i do have a friends garage i can go to but not sure if it can wait that long. The trip back to the UK will be about 600 miles.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 3:30 am
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Clearly you are losing clutch fluid somewhere but the description you are offering is too vague to give you clear advice how to proceed. I suggest you thoroughly clean the area you are describing and then go for a ride. Then photograph the area and post here for a diagnosis. There are a number of possible causes, some more serious than others.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 9:31 am Thread Starter
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Thank you I will do as soon as I get a chance and will post pics.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 11:24 am
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Clutch fluid leaking into the slave cavity! Nasty will destroy the transmission seal and migrate to the bell housing via the pushrod passthrough thus destroying all the other seals.

That is if the transmission rear seal hasn't failed first thus destroying the slave seal?Not compatible with gear oil the slave seal and transmission/engine seals aren't compatible with brake fluid.

Any fluid at the bellhousing/transmission seam?Ouch...!
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 1:35 pm
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BMW service bulletin, only part of the story:



Problem #1: Air in clutch line.
Effect: Poor clutch disengagement; gearshift difficulties.
Action: Higher tightening torque of banjo bolts at clutch slave cylinder.
Tightening torque: Dry
Lubricated with brake fluid
6.5 Nm
5.5 Nm
Problem #2: Splash water collects between gearbox case and clutch slave cylinder.
Effect: Water flows into the gap and into space between the gearbox input
shaft and clutch control.
Consequence: Rust forms on shaft and damages the sealing surface
of the shaft seal. Leak from gearbox = clutch contaminated, secondary
sleeve on piston in slave cylinder swells = piston moves stiffly or snags.
Action: Install / replace gasket 23 12 2 352 156 at
mating surface between clutch slave cylinder
and gearbox case. Renew damaged parts.

Caution: Shaft seals in the gearbox are not
resistant to brake fluid. Sealing elements
in the clutch slave cylinder are not
resistant to gearbox fluid and engine oil!
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Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 2:48 pm Thread Starter
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I haven't been able to look at the bike yet but by the sounds of it should I be looking at taking it to my local bmw specialist?
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 4:16 pm
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Yeah.....ask him for a quote? Could be scary in labor alone.But I am sure they have seen a few leaky Ks/failed slaves,seals etc.... so could assess.

And if clutch needs replacing? Early Ks as in 97 had a different clutch and if in need of replacement them early parts aren't available so the updated parts could be required.

I'll post the early clutch bulletin later.

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 4:39 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks H96669. Scary indeed it may be but as long as I don't have the thing developing problems I don't mind forking out for this. I know it's not a new bike but having said that the mileage is low and the ride is brilliant for me. Let's see what happens when he checks it out and gives me a quote. If you guys don't hear from me then the quote would of stopped my ticker lol
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 8:14 pm
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If just the MC wouldn't be too bad,quite a few low milleage MCs on fleabag last time I looked!And a rebuilt kit is still available if the bore is good/not pitted.But$110 USD the rebuilt kit.Outrageous for what it is!

Anyway if I remember there might have been a design change from BMW/Magura around them years?...earlier MCs the bore was plain aluminium and then they changed to an anodized MC bore in 98?99? for better corrosion resistance?

But black fluid I'd be worried.It should be reasonnably clear less it washed some dirt from the assembly as it seeped out?When the transmission seal fails the slave cylinder piston can suck gear oil back into the clutch fluid and can contaminate it to the point where one can actually smell gear oil in the clutch reservoir!And of course the seals will fail.

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2020, 12:16 pm
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Just in case a specialist isn't aware of the early clutch details there you go:


Problem: Poor disengagement when subject to high heat load as well as
premature clutch wear on K 1200 RS and - with the exception of the
R 1200 C - all R 259 models.
Effect: 1. Start-off and gearshift difficulties as the result of distortion in the
clutch drive plate at high component temperatures.
2. Clutch slip caused by premature clutch lining wear.
Action: Modified clutch (VALEO) with clutch lining that is 0.3 mm thicker and
more resistant to wear in conjunction with adapted pressure plate.
K 1200 RS: Clutch pressure plate 21 21 2 332 974
VALEO clutch disc 21 21 2 332 973
R 259: Clutch Kit 21 21 2 325 876
consisting of:
diaphragm spring 21 21 1 242 353
pressure plate 21 21 2 325 863
VALEO clutch disc 21 21 2 325 864
casing cover 21 21 2 330 024
The clutch disc 21 21 2 325 862 with reduced play (tighter fitting) on
the gearbox input shaft should be installed on R 259 motorcycles with
high noise (rattle/clacking) at idle speed. If necessary, also replace the
gearbox input shaft if wear is present and a tight fit cannot be achieved
(but do not replace gearbox complete).
Note: If a pressure plate with a white identification mark is still installed on a
motorcycle,
21 21 2 330 023.2 (R259) or 21 21 1 464 570 (K 1200 RS)
the pressure plate must also be replaced while replacing the clutch
disc otherwise there is a risk of poor clutch disengagement when new
due to unfavorable tolerance matching. This would then result in
gearshifting difficulties.

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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