Pending clutch issue? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 9:58 am Thread Starter
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Pending clutch issue?

I've noticed lately that my bike is lurching when I go to start it with the clutch pulled in. When I park it, I just lower the sidestand to kill it while in 1st. When I'm ready to ride off, I just raise the stand, pull in the clutch, and hit the starter. Doesn't always do it, but there have been numerous times when, with the clutch pulled in, the bike will lurch forward like it's in gear. I've even noticed that if I pull in the clutch and try to push the bike without starting it, it acts like it's in gear. And I'm starting to get the squeal on take off more often now.

Anyone else experiencing this behavior?

Doug Turner
'86 Concours
'99 K1200LT - gone
'06 K1200GT - the new kid in town
'08 Wing - gone
Marshall, TX
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 10:06 am
JCW
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Probably worn clutch basket...
Meese has a small collection of worn-to-early baskets and inner hubs from what I hear.

See here.
http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19733

'06 K1200R- in pieces
'73 Honda CB500F- slow but fun.
'77 Yamaha XS 750 triple- kinda
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 11:45 am
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Yep, I agree

Get your wallet out, and it better be REALLY thick!!!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 1:54 pm Thread Starter
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Ok, now you're scaring me guys.

If it's the basket, I wonder if my extended warranty will cover it? Hmmm.......better go read the fine print....................

Doug Turner
'86 Concours
'99 K1200LT - gone
'06 K1200GT - the new kid in town
'08 Wing - gone
Marshall, TX
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 2:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Ok, now you're scaring me guys.

If it's the basket, I wonder if my extended warranty will cover it? Hmmm.......better go read the fine print....................
"Watch out how you or your shop words it!" I think someone here said they paid over $1,800 for a clutch job?

If they say, "Metal fatigue and it broke " it might weigh more in your favor than "He wore the clutch out under normal wear, or possible abuse." Personally, I'd want to see the paperwork before it was sent in - and don't let them phone it in or you really won't have a leg to stand on later, plus they could bilk both you and the insurance and neither would know.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 2:23 pm
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I hope it does, but as I mentioned in the other thread, clutches are considered a wear item, so to cut costs, the manufacturer might save a few bucks not making them last with more expensive material. Ideally, I'd have used a forged billet basket with anodized surface. Probably better than a billet basket.

These clutches are going bad too quickly on a bike that should last for a long time.

It is easily a $1-2 grand job. $700+ for the basket, $600+ for the inner hub and plates (they do not sell the plates separaetly), the labor to replace it...

'06 K1200R- in pieces
'73 Honda CB500F- slow but fun.
'77 Yamaha XS 750 triple- kinda
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 2:27 pm Thread Starter
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Seems to me like if it is the basket, that should be covered. I can see where the plates would be a wear item, but that basket should last virtually forever.

Hell, I had to replace the "finger" springs on my Connie clutch at 99K. Everything else was still good.

Doug Turner
'86 Concours
'99 K1200LT - gone
'06 K1200GT - the new kid in town
'08 Wing - gone
Marshall, TX
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 3:46 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
I can see where the plates would be a wear item, but that basket should last virtually forever.
You sound like this is your first BMW . . .

Clutches generally aren't covered under warranty or extended warranty. The whole package usually just falls under the "wear item" category. Note that some BMW dealers replaced clutches under warranty for the juddering issue, but more often it was met with "that's normal, they all do that."

So good luck there.

Personally, I think BMW is still getting the hang of these new-fangled multi-plate wet clutches and hasn't quite worked all the bugs out yet. I think they are having problems with the friction material, as well as with the surface hardness of the splines on the inner hub and outer basket. Simply put, they may stand up to normal, "gentle" riding conditions, but for those who actually use the power and performance of these bikes, the clutches simply aren't up to the task.

In your case, there could be two easy causes for the clutch still being slightly engaged even when the lever is pulled in. First, there could be a problem with the hydraulic circuit such that the lever is pulled, but the slave cylinder isn't quite getting enough pressure to fully compress the springs and thus release the plates. That should be an easy fix with a fluid change & bleed, along with inspecting for any leaks in the system.

Second, it's possible that your clutch splines have worn many small grooves in them so that the plates don't slide quite as smoothly as they should. That would cause them to hang up a bit and thus still have some engagement even with the lever in, and it would also account for some of the squealing noise and juddering on takeoff. The wear might still be small at this point, such that the problem isn't quite as sever or immediate as it could be.

Two of my three clutch replacements had this exact spline wear problem. I suspect the first replacement did too, but that was done under warranty so I never saw the old parts. But I do think this type of wear is endemic to the new BMW clutches. I also think that the Japanese manufacturers know about this, but they've had decades to engineer their clutches to handle the power of modern inline-4 motors pushing up to 200 HP.

So BMW will get there eventually, but who knows how soon?

FWIW, both of the low-mileage K13GT demos that I've ridden had the clutch squeal present, albeit to a much reduced degree. But it was still there. That, plus the fact that BMW keeps changing the oil spec to deal with this issue tells me that they haven't quite got it licked yet.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 4:10 pm
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BMW outsources the clutch baskets... Some german company's name is stamped on the basket.

I don't think it's their (BMW) inability to get it right. I think it's their attempt at keeping costs down with a "cheap" clutch basket. Actually almost every manufacturer uses a cast basket. It's just the way things are done.

It's not hard specifying a stronger forged anodizing piece. They're BMW after all!

I believe they just don't want to cause they don't have to.

This is what BMW should offer. Clutch porn...


'06 K1200R- in pieces
'73 Honda CB500F- slow but fun.
'77 Yamaha XS 750 triple- kinda

Last edited by JCW; Sep 29th, 2009 at 4:18 pm.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 2009, 8:55 pm
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Nice looking (porn photo) basket JCW!

I'm sort of surprised they haven't figured out a way to place a harden shoulder where the plates reside and slide against. If they can do it to a cheap drill bit, saw blade, or even an entire chain saw blade with some cheap piece of carbide or ceramic, why can't they (other than being cheap [email protected]!) do it to the clutch baskets? That way, they could use almost any metal they wanted for the plates and springs without worrying the major piece holding the stuff together getting galled up and sticking. Then again, they couldn't spec out some $50/qt. special oil either.

Okay, add ceramic ball bearings to the finals too (although those final drive issues seemed to have quieted down a bit of late). Great thing outsourcing for inferior parts to save $1.

What a racket!

Here's to the 2011 K1300GT (??) being done right...maybe.


Mack
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