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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I have a 2003 K1200RS that’s now fully serviced & in beautiful shape. It’s done 43K miles. I don’t live in USA full time, but plan to visit at least once every year to do a motorcycle tour. The next one starting in July 2023 is probably around 6,000 miles over 6-8 weeks.
I understand eventually the clutch will probably go out, even though I never slip clutches & will try to make it last as long as possible.
I don’t have extensive workshop facilities for such a repair easily available in USA, though that might change in the future. Meanwhile 4 questions.

1. I assume the first symptom is the clutch slips when pulling a high gear. How long do you have in terms of miles before that turns into a roadside breakdown?
2. With care & good riding style can the clutch be persuaded to last almost indefinitely?
3. Assuming I have to get the repair done by professional mechanics due to lack of time/facilities, what is the ballpark price for parts & labour on this job, including everything that should get done while the bike is torn in half?
4. Also assuming the job was done perfectly by professionals using best quality parts available, how long do the repairs usually last?
If this is a once in a lifetime event for someone doing about 6,000 miles a year, there appears little benefit in buying tools/lift etc to learn how to do it myself.

Thanks for any input on the above. I like to have some idea of what I’m facing in terms of $, time & trouble, when an apparently commonplace wear & tear mechanical failure visits me on the road.

All the best, Arwen’s Rider
 

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Well first of all these bikes don't have a clutch issue with regards to normal wear. What happens is the rear engine seal leaks and that contaminates the clutch, causing it to slip. Mine went out at 70,000miles, but up to that point the clutch was still good. Look for oil seeping out between the transmission/engine case seam. It will be a dark and gritty film. Dark from the oil gritty from the road dirt. Once the clutch starts to slip your done, park it and fix it. It's a huge job and not for the timid mechanic. The rear end of the bike needs to come off, the engine lowered and the frame raised so you'll need to devise a cradle of sort to support the frame. At 43K miles I'd say you're good for a while. 70K seems to be the time to keep your eyes open, some never have the issue but that's few and far between. The seal is one of those, "not if it happens, but when". Have a great tour in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for some very encouraging input. Based on my luck running, could be 6 years hence before it needs tearing apart. Unless one of my two mechanic sons is open to persuasion at the time, I’ll probably pay a professional to do such a large job.
I’m up for routine maintenance but not major repairs. Which brings up the issue of how much do folks reckon a good mechanic would want for such a repair?
Cheers Arwen’s Rider
 

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two K1300S bikes, S1000R & Vespa 150 Primavera clown paint job
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If the mechanic has done a couple before about 8 to 10 hours are needed. If you have warped pressure plate or damaged other parts and the need for new bolts and main nut requires lead time. If the friction disk is oil impregnated that too needs to be replaced. The culprit is a simple O-ring. It gets dried out, hardens and cracks. #11 is the 19x4mm Oring that fails and causes all this head ache. Your #3 spring plate can not show any signs of head damage like being blue. Same with #4 and #6 . And both of these need to be checked for being flat and not blue either.
It is a big job, the home shop guy will take 25 hours due to how much has to come off the bike. And all rubber bits in the area need to be changed out also as with the age of your bike, they are done. So don't think this will be an easy repair on a trip if needed. Step in and do it proactively. Buy a Viton 19x4mm oring to have on hand because BMW does not sell them. Once done correctly your bike will be all set for years. Nut number 8 needs to be new. The whole assembly is best if balanced. But you are not going to believe the work to get in and out.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This kind of input makes decisions easier. 8-10 hrs labour for a professional/experienced mechanic is not the sort of job I attempt myself. Too faint hearted!
Sadly, the hourly rate of a good mechanic could see most of $1K disappear right there, before any parts.

I’ll watch for signs of trouble & meanwhile check out folks in AZ that may be up for the job, when needed. It would be better to get the bike to someone I know, rather than rely on finding someone capable in place unknown, mid-tour. Thanks for the added detail on just how much is involved.

Arwen’s Rider
 

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Some of the on line parts houses and BMW will overnight parts. Last I checked BMW will over night for 10% of value so not too bad. MAX bmw parts will over night also.
 

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A good source. Years back when I had airheads, I called them inquiring about a new rotor for the generator set up. Got the information and we ended the call. I went to test things, called eme back the next day to order the rotor. He said is was already in the mail as he knew I would need one.
 

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Don't forget the clutch slave (actuator)! They wear out and when they do, they leak the clutch fluid into the bell housing, which contaminates your clutch plates and attacks exposed rubber seals in that area. I agree with the Viton ring and engine seals, but when you do this job, replace the clutch slave, too. Stay away from the cheap aftermarket ones. Insist on using the BMW part that is made by Magura.
 
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