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clutch slipping 96 R1100RT


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Short version - had clutch replaced last year, now it's exhibiting the same symptoms as before. The clutch seems to be slipping. It happens in every gear. I smell burning clutch lining.


Is there an adjustment to be made that can help or will I just have to take it in again. I'm not up for breaking it all the way down to get at the clutch.


And is there anything other than user error to explain going through a clutch in a year and less than 3000 miles? I've been driving sticks for 20 years and never had any similar problems. Never had problems on my other bikes (with chain drives).


I think this bike had some clutch slippage when I got it 3 years ago, but I was unfamiliar with this type of bike and thought it was normal for the model until it started getting worse.


I have two manuals - Haynes and Clymers (??) - but haven't had a chance yet to peruse for this issue. You can refer me there if there are relevent sections and it'll save you typing.



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Definitely not normal and unless you're really abusing the clutch (and it doesn't sound like it) then some other problem is at work. Is the clutch cable properly adjusted? Bad throwout bearing? Or perhaps have a leaking oil seal that is contaminating the clutch?

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Sorry about the clutch. What was the cause of the clutch first replacement? Was it worn out or was there some contamination that wasn’t addressed when the clutch was replaced? Through ’97 it appears that some of the seals on the transmissions failed for a number of reasons. This leak causes oil to contaminate the friction plate and therefore a slipping clutch. With so few miles after a replacement you could be in that same boat. It could also mean that the clutch plate installed was defective. There is a clutch adjustment but if there is some free play it’s highly unlikely that you can adjust out the slip.

The bad news is that you won’t know until you pull the transmission. The good news is you’ll be an expert at it.

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try following the procedure outlined in your manual. Loosen the cable at the lever, then adjust the bolt at the back of the transmission. Then readjust the cable. The bolt at the transmission is a real PITA to get to, but could be the problem if it is too tight.

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According to the mechanic - a BMW master w/ 25 years experience who just works on BMWs - the clutch was "shredded" by the time I brought it to him. I don't remember any mention of contamination, but possibly it would have been hard to tell considering the condition? Don't know. Hard for me to believe he'd have been unaware of that possibility, but anything's possible.


I'm not noticing any oil under the bike - would that be likely in the bad seal scenario?


I'll try adjusting the cable when I get a chance and see if that does me any good.


Thanks all.

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It doesn't take much oil to contaminate the clutch, as it would slip long before you would see signs on the ground. The engine main seal could also be a culprit. You may be able to peak into the area by the starter motor, and given that the clutch is new the area should be clean, there is a possibility that you might see something.

It could just be that the seal issue(if that's what it is) happened after and was not related to the initial clutch replacement.

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I agree with the oiled disc senario. If your smelling it that usually equates to it being wet. Slipping is also par for that course.


Did the mechanic replace the seal on the shaft when he serviced it? I worry he may say yes either way frown.gif


Sorry about your troubles.

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Go through the clutch cable adjustment procedure first and see what happens after that. If it still slips unfortunately it will have to come apart to inspect. frown.gif

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