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Burning Clutch Smell on R1200RT


pbbeck

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My '05 RT has 19K miles on it. It produces a powerful, noxious burnt clutch smell. It has for thousands of miles and to me it seems to be getting worse. After waiting a month for my apointment at the local dealer, I brought it in. They told me nothing was wrong. There is no evidence of leaking or slipping, so they are unwilling to crack open the clutch to check for any other issues.

 

Could there be something wrong? Is this a case where the dealer must have "probable cause" to justify taking the time to crack open the clutch? What should I do? Get a second opinion? Wait for it to fail and say, "HA! I told you so!!" Or should I just suck it up, wear a clothespin on my nose, and ride it 'til it's dead? confused.gif

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My R12RT is the first BMW I have owned in 41 years of riding. I smelled clutch when I first got the bike, because I was slipping the clutch too much. It's kind of a Catch 22, because, when new, the engine doesn't produce very much torque down low. Therefore, you have to slip the clutch and use more revs to take off in the too-tall 1st gear.

I read a very nicely worded posting here on the forum that put it into clearer focus. That is, to prolong the life of the clutch, try to fully engage the clutch before the rear wheel turns one revolution. You can do it. I've never fried a clutch, but I believe this one needs to be babied to get good life out of it.

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Granted, my GS has a shorter first gear than your RT, but I really don't think first is too tall.

 

It took me some practice, too, coming from the world of 600cc sportbikes.

 

You need just enough throttle to keep it from stalling (1200-1500rpm) and the bike will take off as fast or as slow as you want to. It'll be a bit lumpy, but that's because you're asking power from a large twin with a light flywheel at low RPMs, and not because the engine is lugging and about to die.

 

600cc sportbikes have very light flywheels, but you have an easy-to-slip wet clutch, so it is easy to compensate with revs. However, I can get my sportbike moving (and in a hurry) with the same technique that works well on the GS and it is fine. And I bet I could double the life of my wet clutch (at least) doing this, too.

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My '05 RT has 19K miles on it. It produces a powerful, noxious burnt clutch smell. It has for thousands of miles and to me it seems to be getting worse. After waiting a month for my apointment at the local dealer, I brought it in. They told me nothing was wrong. There is no evidence of leaking or slipping, so they are unwilling to crack open the clutch to check for any other issues.

 

Could there be something wrong? Is this a case where the dealer must have "probable cause" to justify taking the time to crack open the clutch? What should I do? Get a second opinion? Wait for it to fail and say, "HA! I told you so!!" Or should I just suck it up, wear a clothespin on my nose, and ride it 'til it's dead? confused.gif

I had a burning smell coming from my R1200RT and the dealer found where the cap from a brake component had leaked brake fluid onto the exhaust manifold. They tightened the cap and I never smelled the burning again. Mine smelled like burnt rubber. When my bike was new in April I occasionally smelled the burn of the clutch but never after it got broke in. Now I have 20K miles on it and no problem. Check for things leaking onto the exhaust. (YMMV)

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I’m wondering if this might not be the awkward smell sometimes given off from the converter. Some fuels smell like clutch burning when it’s just the exhaust. Just a passing thought from my own experience. smile.gif

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You need just enough throttle to keep it from stalling (1200-1500rpm) and the bike will take off as fast or as slow as you want to.
Exactly. If you're applying more than 2000 (1800 even) RPM to do a normal launch, you're over-reving and dragging the clutch out. Which will burn them in a hurry.
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