BMW K1200, K1300, and K1600 Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I have a 2000 K1200RS. I love the bike and have done allot of upgrades to it.

View attachment 29570

I have invested allot more into the bike than I paid for it. But I have a very expensive problem that the 3 mechanics I have taken it to, all certified BMW mechanics, cannot figure it out. I bought the bike used with 15,000 miles. It now has 26,000 miles and I have put 4 clutches in it. The Third mechanic is the only one who brought to my attention that it was a dry clutch, Which I knew nothing about, and asked me if I feathered the clutch. I admitted that I did and he explained that I could not ride it like a wet clutch.

I took his advice and accepted fault and began to educate myself on how I should be riding this bike with a dry clutch. It wasn't the smoothest ride at firs but I quickly got accustomed to it and rid myself of the habit of feathering the clutch. I do not ride with my hand resting on the clutch. In fact, every time I pull the clutch lever, I see $1,500.00 flashing before my eyes. I was very careful. And yet, I only got about 3 months longer out of this clutch than the last one. 6,000 miles total since the last new clutch.

The BMW service mechanic who has it now is the same mechanic who replaced it last time. They have indicated that this is not normal at all. I could never sell this bike for what I have into it nor did I want to. I'm just not sure where to go from here. Is it me? Is it something else that may be faulty with the bike? I would appreciate any input that may shed light on this because I cannot afford these repairs every 8 to 10 months and even if I could sell the bike for what I had into it, It would bother me to know I was pawning the problem off onto someone else.

I am open to criticism if it will help me to make the best choice I can make regarding this issue. I am unfortunately unqualified to work on this bike and rely completely on mechanics who's invoices are painful at best to discover and resolve the issues with this bike and as of clutch number 4, where ever the problem is, it remains.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Pictures? What does the failed plate look like? The metal surfaces? Is the plate lining gone, or glazed really badly? Are the pressure plate surfaces discolored? Replaced everything? Or just the plate? What are the symptoms when it begins to fail?
The feathering/slipping the clutch a little bit on 1st gear pull away is not a problem unless you are really revving it and slipping it hard. On the other hand, there should be no "feathering" on the rest of the up or down shifts. On a BMW box the less time you have the clutch disengaged the smoother your shifts will be (trust me, once you can shift a R75/5 4-speed box without a clunk you can shift anything). There are millions of dry clutches out there in everything from motorcycles to tractor-trailer rigs and they all HAVE to be feathered on initial launch. But not slipped hard!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pictures? What does the failed plate look like? The metal surfaces? Is the plate lining gone, or glazed really badly? Are the pressure plate surfaces discolored?

Hello and thank you for your time to inquire further. I do not have the old clutch yet for this time as they have not replaced it yet but they did show me the plate after the last time they changed it and it was visibly worn down and discolored. (to me and as I remember anyway)

Replaced everything? Or just the plate?

So last time they changed the clutch plate, all the seals, and something else. I can get that information tomorrow what it was, but they did not replace the pressure plate. It had been replaced in the clutch job I had prior and it had only about 4000 miles on it. They did an inspection of it and told me that it was in good shape and replacement of the pressure plate was not necessary.

What are the symptoms when it begins to fail?

The first thing I notice in each case the clutch has gone out is a slight loss of power in 1st from a stop. that loss of power gets more and more noticeable very quickly. usually only a few days to a week before it can hardly get going any longer at all. I know that because it sometimes takes a couple weeks from the time I call the dealership and the time they can get me in and I continue to ride it until it is no longer ridable.

I would add that the first time I had the clutch changed and it went out just 1 1/2 months later and that mechanic refused to look at it again, the second mechanic told me after he did the job that the first mechanic did not change the pressure plate or the seal underneath and that it had dried and cracked letting oil leak into the compartment which disintegrated the new clutch. it cost me an additional $500 for him to clean the entire housing just to get it ready for the new seals, plate and clutch. the clutch he put in and the next clutch I had put in, did not show any signs of oil leaking into the compartment. The second of those 2 clutches is what is in the bike now and I do not know its condition as the mechanic has not yet opened it up to inspect.

I thought that if I could try to get as much information as I could or at least some suggestions about what might be the problem it would be better to learn as much as I could before he opens it up so we could look into those suggestions at the same time.


The feathering/slipping the clutch a little bit on 1st gear pull away is not a problem unless you are really revving it and slipping it hard. On the other hand, there should be no "feathering" on the rest of the up or down shifts. On a BMW box the less time you have the clutch disengaged the smoother your shifts will be (trust me, once you can shift a R75/5 4-speed box without a clunk you can shift anything). There are millions of dry clutches out there in everything from motorcycles to tractor-trailer rigs and they all HAVE to be feathered on initial launch. But not slipped hard!

Your description above is exactly how I ride it. Yes, I did encounter a clunk at times at first but I quickly grew accustomed to shifting at the RPM's that produced the smoothest transitions from one gear to another and I never stopped being mindful of it. $7000 in clutches in just over 2 years and about 5 months of accumulated time of it being in the shop, how could I forget. I was actually hoping it was my fault or riding style because if it was, problem solved.

Thank you again for your thoughts, suggestions and time. I know that people can be very busy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Well, if the second clutch failed due to oil contamination I'd write it off as bad luck because of the shop work. But, you still shouldn't be going through clutch plates like that. Mechanically, there are only two things, well three I guess, left that could cause you to burn through the plates that fast. The clutch master cylinder, the clutch slave cylinder, and the clutch line/hose. An issue with any of the three that results in the clutch spring not being fully released and the pressure plate fully engaged would cause it to go through clutches pretty fast. So... A master cylinder that is sticking or has the pushrod miss adjusted, a sticking slave cylinder, or, a line that has a partially collapsed liner that is not letting the hydraulic pressure release from the slave cylinder as it should (that actually happens more often than you'd think on automotive disc brake systems).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Why is the clutch plate going bad? Oil contamination or wear? I find it hard to believe anyone could wear out three clutch plates in 15000 miles unless they were drag-racing it. Not likely. If the clutch is contaminated with oil, are the "mechanics" replacing the seal and o-ring? If not, you're just wasting your money. Ask them to give you the failed clutch parts so you can see for yourself. Find a good independent BMW mechanic (they are out there) and show him the worn parts. Time for a second opinion away from the high-priced stealerships. Better yet, see my thread on the Kevin Johnson repair videos and watch him replace a clutch on a K1200LT. (same engine and transmission as yours). Then you'll know as much if not more than the BMW mechanics.
 

·
Premium Member
2009 K1300S, 2017 S1000R & 2021 Vespa Primavera clown paint job
Joined
·
911 Posts
The rear main seal is quite robust. It is the nasty Buna-N 19x4 oring that is the problem. Change it every time your are near it. Use Viton!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
The others know far more about clutch replacement than me - I got 100,000 km before needing to replace a clutch (but I ride like pretty conservatively). My first thought is the obvious one - you're chewing through dry clutches way too fast for it to be riding style. Second suggestion is that I'd be asking to see and keep all the old parts, and taking photos too. My mechanic is used to me be being pain and happily shoves a box of dead bits at me each time. Third, for me, key diagnostics are burnt oil / discolouration / sheen on the clutch plate's friction wearing surfaces, and / or uneven pronounced wear if there is no oil staining or discolouration. Both suggest different issues.

If there's oil staining, I'd also go back over your service receipt and see exactly which parts you were billed for each time. It the seals, including the pushrod seal, weren't on the list each time then go back to each of the mechanics and have a conversation about why not. There might be a dead sound reason, but I would sure need to convinced ...

It there is pronounced wear but no oil staining, my money's on Beech's call: a sticky master cylinder, a poorly placed or adjusted pushrod, a sticking slave cylinder, or a dodegy clutch line. Of all these, the only simple one to fix is to check and replace the clutch line. My K1200 is pretty old, like its owner, so I'd suggest changing over to stainless brake and clutch lines if you haven't already.

K-Aus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for everyone that has commented on this post. The mechanic has been on vacation and will be back on Tuesday. I have an appointment to do a conference call with him and the service rep that is handling the account. I will be going over all of the suggestions you have offered on this thread.

I did have installed Spigler stainless steel brake lines but I did not do the clutch lines.

I will obtain a copy of the last work order and will request photos of the old clutch when he opens it up as well as updates as to the inspections on the items suggested in this thread. Hopefully the suggestions all of you have offered leads us to a solution to the problem. Thank you once again for the time all of you have spent trying to help. To interact with people who are willing to put time into helping a stranger is appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update. I am attaching a copy of the last service record. The mechanic indicated that the clutch plate was worn all the way to the rivets. I will be getting those parts back in 2 weeks.

I am having all the clutch, springs seals and rod replaced. I am upgrading the clutch line to Spigler Stainless Steel to match the brake lines I installed already. I am using the Viton O-Ring seal and since they already have it torn apart, I am having them replace the Slave Cylinder. The master can be done any time.

Once repairs are completed, I guess the only thing I can do is wait for 6000 miles to see if the clutch goes out again or if the repairs solved the problem.
 

Attachments

1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top