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1996 r1100rt clutch?


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I did my first bigger ride today and while i loved the bike and felt that there were no "issues" with it, i did have one thing i wanted you guys input on.


I ride pretty hard, deep braker and hard throttle kinda...for a fat old guy...


An idiot cager slows down and pulls to the right side of the road, i cautiously begin to pass her on the left, and at the last second, i see her LEFT turnsignal pop on and her wheels cut to the LEFT... :eek:


Fortunately, i see it early enough and stand on the binders, shake my head and pass when safe...as i see my window to go by, I stand hard on the throttle, probably 3rd or 4th gear from about 15 mph and the clutch just sounds like it is slipping like crazy, and i smell burnt clutch.?. The adjuster at the lever is all the way in, and there is a little bit of play in the lever, but at times, and only at times the clutch feels like it slips....any ideas on what this is and how to fix it?

tell me it DOESNT need a new clutch at 15,000 miles?

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You were simply in the wrong gear, and, I assume, you gave it a heavy dose of throttle since you were peeved. At 15mph you should have been in 1st or 2nd. My 96 RT is at 151,000 on the original clutch.


Better gear selection and throttle control is all you need to keep that from happening again.

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This thread talks a bit about adjustment. By your description (engine revving, bike not accelerating) it sounds like your clutch is slipping and initially would suspect improper adjustment which is very critical on a cable actuated. If the adjuster is all the way in and you have 15k miles for whatever reason it is not adjusted properly regardless a bit of play at the lever. If you follow the thread you will see a diagram for proper adjustment. And with 15k on the clutch proper adjustment might resolve the issue. My clutch was toast at 24k miles (mileage when I got the bike) because of improper adjustment.


As is stated by Paul M in the thread "Common check for actual clutch slippage: In 5th gear at around 60 mph give it full throttle. If the rpm climb noticeably without the bike going faster, the clutch is slipping."


I did this and it slipped. With 15k miles an adjustment may be all you need.


Of course it may not be slipping at all...

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I know that 3rd or 4th was too high of a gear for that speed, butthat is the gear i was in when i jammed on the brakes, then i just grabbed a hand full of throttle as i saw an open hole to get clear of the idiot cager....


I still worry tho that the motor should NOT have revved and not drivven forward more...i even rolled off the throttle and clicked down to 2nd and it still felt like it was really slipping. I pulled the clutch in and then let it out again and let the rpm and the speed sync up and then just rode smoothly for awhile and it seemed to stop, but there were still a few times when i got on it and it felt a bit slippy...


Im gonna have to look at the adjustment thread and check it out.

I REALLY hope it is just adjustment and not starting to burn already...that is why i bought this particular bike. It has a salvage title which i dont care about, but the mileage was really low, so i was hoping for a long life with little to no repairs. I would rather ride an ugly bike that runs great than a pretty bike that runs like crap....hence the switch to BMW from HD....lol


Overall it has very little paint damage, i almost have to point it out for my buddies to notice it, yet it was totaled...i thought "great deal, i just wanna ride"

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You might want to fill out your profile. If it comes down to it, replacing the clutch has been done by more than a few folks here and there maybe someone close at hand who can help out). It's not simple, but a person with reasonable wrenching skills can do it in a day (maybe a weekend). But try the adjustment, you never know.

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Morning kmac


From your observation it does sound like your clutch is/was slipping. What we don’t know is why.


Seeing as you are new to that bike is it at all possible that is that emergency situation you had you left hand on the clutch lever? If so it only take a very slight pressure on that clutch lever to get a slipping clutch.


If you are ABSOLUTELY SURE you had your fingers completely clear of the clutch lever then you might have clutch issues.


As mentioned above start with a proper clutch adjustment but if you have lever play and a little cable slack that doesn’t sound like the problem.


Do you have any signs of oil leakage at the seam between the engine and transmission? If so maybe a little oil on the clutch surfaces.


As far as needing a new clutch at 15K? Not normally, but you have no idea how the previous owner treated that clutch. The BMW clutch is rather large for the weight of the bike but doesn’t have a lot of spring pressure to clamp it together.



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I REALLY hope it is just adjustment and not starting to burn already...that is why i bought this particular bike. It has a salvage title which i dont care about, but the mileage was really low, so i was hoping for a long life with little to no repairs.
Salvage title? That opens up other possibilities. Such as whether the speedo is actually the original speedo. Maybe more than the 15k miles on it? Could it be that some oil got onto the clutch plates at some point?


As noted in the other thread, there are cable adjustments at both ends of the cable. The lower end is a bit awkward to get at without the special BMW tool, bit it is possible. However, it is not unheard of for the lower adjuster to back off if the lock nut has not been set properly.


Adjust your clutch and then see how things go from there.

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it is the original speedo, and the salvage/repairs were done by a shop with 99.3% positive feedback, and i got a good feeling from all of my dealing with them. I got a signed odometer certificate...


Anyone have a complete service manual for sale....probably cant ask for that on this thread huh...

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I recommend the Haynes manual for the 1100 / 1150's. It's quite good. Lots of pictures. The BMW service manual is not very informative, but makes a good supplement to the Haynes. The CD version is available for download from various e-Bay sellers.

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If you felt that the clutch was slipping under normal riding conditions in a higher gear then it probably was. Adjusting the clutch cable could help if there isn't freeplay at the handlebar lever, but '96 M94 gearboxes were prone to having the seals leak causing the clutch plate to foul/slip. Mine went at 14K.

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NOT what i wanted to hear Edgar....but i do appreciate the input.

Only had it 4 days, but i havent seen any oily spots...or leaks

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My '96 r1100r had a leaky input shaft rear seal. Oil can travel up the pushrod from the rear seal to the clutch plates. Later 1100's had a felt ring on the pushrod to help prevent oil from travelling forward.

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