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K1200 clutch puzzle


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I was wondering if anyone can shed some light on a clutch puzzle. The facts:


In 4/05, BMW replaced the clutch on my 2003 K1200GT under warranty at 8,000 miles. A seal had failed and oil had gotten onto the clutch.


Thirteen months later, in 5/06, the clutch has failed again, this time after fewer than 5,000 miles. The dealer says it's worn down to the rivets and there is no evidence of oil present.


Let's suppose that I haven't abused it and know how to operate a clutch vehicle. I've gotten 120,000 miles out of a Honda civic on the same clutch. I also own and have owned other motorcycles and clutch equipped motor vehicles and have never had any thing like this happen before.


I also have complete faith in the honesty of the dealer. I imagine they are as puzzled as I am.


Any insight out there?

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...I also have complete faith in the honesty of the dealer...



Did they show you the old parts?


My first suspicion would be that they buggerred something up the first time they were in there.


Even if you DIDN'T know how to properly operate a clutch, you'd still be hard pressed to wear one out in 5k miles! Something else is wrong with that clutch. I'd be real cautious if their solution this time is just to replace the parts again and put you back on the road without any attempt to find the underlying cause of the problem.


Just my $0.02



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I agree with Derek, there is no reason for a friction disc to wear out in 5K miles unless you were slipping it constantly.

My K1100 friction disc got contaminated by a failed O-Ring. I pulled it apart at 125K miles and the friction disc thickness indicated it was still almost new but it was oil-soaked. New, they are about 6mm and the wear limit is 4.5mm



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There's a story around these parts about an R1150RT-P motor officer ruining three clutches in an afternoon on the training course. Serious slipping of the clutch was to blame until they corrected him.


Unless you have similar habits, I don't see that happening in 5k miles. There isn't much that can go wrong while assembling the clutch if you have any experience at it. The stock clutch plate in my K has gone 100,000+ miles and still checked well within spec. Just changed it because I was in there. A riding buddy with a K1200RS had to replace his at 60,000 due to slipping, I don't know if it was contaminated with oil, but I expect that it was since the dealer also replaced the output shaft seal.

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Slipping the clutch to the point of failure would more likely be a glazed/burned clutch face rather than a worn (quote: to the rivets) clutch.


I'm hard pressed to understand how one would manage to slip a clutch enough for that kind of wear in 5k. A more likely scenario is an incorrect pressure plate or thrust bearing assembly. Even dealers I would trust make mistakes once in awhile.

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