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R1100rtp - clutch...again??


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Hello all, this is my 1st post on the site although i've been reading and enjoying for years. Hope i'm following the correct posting procedure? Here is is my issue, thank you in advance for any input.

2 years ago a purchased an R1100RTP with 11,200miles on. When i got the bike i immediately realized the clutch was slipping and took it in to the dealership, they replaced the clutch and I have been keeping up with all scheduled maintenance ever since.

The bike now has 22,000 miles. The bike(Orca) was running great until last night when i felt the clutch slip again, but this time it wasn't like before? it was slipping in lower gears and would first slip and then catch itself, last time it was only really slipping at higher rpms in 5th?? I also had no warning at all? Earlier that day I got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in my morning commute for an hour, the engine heated up right up to the last bar below the redline (the fan kicked in), it was on my commute home that i noticed the slipping. About a week i checked my oil and noticed it was low (sight glass empty), so i added 1 qrt of mobil 20w50 and the bike was running great, i took it for a quick 100mile hill country run on Sunday and had no issues and then the bext day - clutch slip??

Do you think the low oil or overheating had anything to do with this?

I have been checking the clutch freeplay for last 10K miles and it's good?

Could it be anything other than the clutch is gone again? Thanks!

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Could possibly an oil leak from the main seal. Sometimes on dry clutches they get wet and slip. When they sit they might dry out a bit and work but as they heat up the oil resurfaces and slipping can start again...just one possibility, I am sure others may have other test.


I know if you pull the starter you can usually see in the clutch housing area and see if there is any oil in there flung out, that could a good indicator.


I bought my bike with 13,500miles on it and the clutch was fried.


Not to be critical, just something to check out, do you ride with fingers on your clutch? Do you slide the clutch out gentle or let it go quite quickly?


I have only ridden wet clutch bikes and mostly dirtbikes before this BMW and I had to DRASTICALLY change my riding style with regard to clutches.

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Afternoon Marty


Are you sure it is the clutch slipping & not the trans jumping out of engagment (then back into engagment).


If it is clutch slipping then look of signs of oil leakage at rear of engine. There is also a clutch adjustment at the handlebar clutch lever & another lever adjustment on the trans itself.


If your problem is now in the lower gears then might be a trans engagement issue but that is not so much a smooth slipping as that is usually a very harsh re-engagement.


So, can you give us a bit more info here?--


Is your issue a smooth slipping with an engine flair to go with it or more of a very harsh jumping out then back into gear?


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Thanks for the reply kmac.

I do ride with 2 fingers (lightly) on the clutch lever, but ever since the MASSIVE clutch replacement bill i got 10K miles ago, i am always aware of the clutch and check the freeplay religiously.

I ride Orca hard but generally slide out the clutch, no dropping.

If its a main seal leak - how do you go about fixing that?

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Both of those things are not good for the BMW clutch. Even 2 fingers on the clutch like riding a dirtbike puts slight pressure on the clutch, it takes away that slack adjustment of 10mm and can cause a little slip.

Then letting the clutch out slowly causes heat and slippage. I am not saying just DUMP the clutch, but let it out as quickly as you can smoothly.


The dry clutch was a huge adjustment for me. Heat is murder on these. I have even started doing many of my upshifts without clutch, just gently blip throttle and upshift.

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Hi dirtrider,

I haven't ridden the bike since last night, i'll check for signs of oil leakage tonight. I'm always checking the freeplay at the handlebar but not on the trans.

It's definitely a smooth slip with engine flair vs. a hard jumping.

I'll take it out again this evening, please let me know what else i should check for.

I really appreciate the help.


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Afternoon Marty


Yes, do see if you have an oil leak.


In any case, with the smooth slipping, it sounds like a slipping clutch, so IF the lower adjustment is correct & you have a slipping clutch it will probably have to come apart to repair it. (very big & expensive job)


Unless you have the tools & a basic mechanical know-how both the clutch replacement & possibly engine rear main oil seal can be a real task for a home project.


If you have cable slack at the clutch lever then I seriously doubt a lower lever adjustment will change anything but you should check it

anyhow just to be sure.


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