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1995-2001 RT Spline Lube


Sp8er8er

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It's been a while since I've posted but I thought this would be the best place to get some feedback on the spline lube for the earlier RT series bikes.

 

Some well respected mechanics recommend lubing the clutch splines at 40k yet the BMW service manual doesn't even mention this.

 

Have you done this or had it done?

What did you find when you opened it up?

Is it necessary?

Should I get off the laptop and go ride?

 

Appreciate the input- Thanks

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I did my wife Jan's '96 R1100RT at 70,000 miles. Splines on both tranny and clutch disk looked almost like new. I did replace the clutch disk & pressure plate as the friction material was about 2/3 worn out. Lubed all splines wand clutch parts with Honda Moly stuff. Sold the bike to my son in Colorado. He doesn't do long distance trips so it may never get lubed again.

 

Stan

 

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It's been a while since I've posted but I thought this would be the best place to get some feedback on the spline lube for the earlier RT series bikes.

 

Some well respected mechanics recommend lubing the clutch splines at 40k yet the BMW service manual doesn't even mention this.

 

Have you done this or had it done?

What did you find when you opened it up?

Is it necessary?

Should I get off the laptop and go ride?

 

Appreciate the input- Thanks

 

Afternoon Sp8er8er

 

Lots of different & varied views on this subject.

 

To me the biggest gain from tearing the thing apart to lubricate the clutch splines is that it allows a thorough cleaning & inspection of the spline joint.

 

The downside is, that if there is ANY wear present then you can increase future wear by not reassembling the clutch disk on the spline shaft in the exact clocking as it was before removal (not an easy thing to do on the enclosed BMW boxer clutch pack)

 

Then you have the actual lubricating aspect-- If the thing is taken apart at 40K & no wear present then there is/was no real reason to take it all apart to begin with.

 

On the other hand if wear is found then any lubricant added won't last long enough to do much good due to the spline joint moving around (working) under load.

 

I personally know of only one 1100 oilhead spline failure & have only heard of few others over the years. On the one that I know of that failed, that one was pulled apart to lubricate the splines at 35K & the spline failure came at a little over 88K.

 

Bottom line here for me personally-- I sure wouldn't go out of my way to lube an 1100 Boxer spline unless I was in there for some other reason but I might remove the starter at 40K to do a clutch disk rotational free movement inspection.

 

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The spline issue is prevalent in bikes with the six speed transmission. It's very rare for a five speed bike to have a problem. Ride it and forget it.

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I have a '99 RT. Bought it as the 3rd owner with 33,000 miles. Bike has been problem free. I like doing my own maintenance and am hugely thankful for forums like this for the advise and assistance they give me. That is why I am sharing my experience. I attended a seminar at the '14 BMW MOA rally about bike maintenance. I didn't realize until then that I was having slight issues shifting. These bikes are known for hard shifting but I realized that over 3 years and 20,000 miles of my own riding the shifting had slowly been changing. Not as smooth as it had been prior. By networking with people and doing a lot of listening I discovered that this subtle change in shifting can be a sign of needing a spline lube. I talked with people, read forums and watched YouTube videos (shout out to Chris Harris) in an effort to learn if I can do this myself. Sure enough I broke down the bike, did the needed spline lube, checked out my clutch and cleaned everything up prior to reassembly. When I started riding again I immediately noticed smoother shifting. There was no doubt in my mind that in my case, on my bike, this maintenance was essential. It definitely helped the performance and I am so thankful that I had the peace of mind that the bike was in good shape because I was off on a 6,600 mile trip from MN to Hyder, AK and back. Based on my experience I would recommend it. Thats just my experience and my 2 cents. Good luck.

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Morning RieweBMW

 

Interesting observation.

 

So you took it apart & ONLY did a spline lube? No new transmission gear oil installed, no lubrication of other shift parts such as ball studs or pedal pivot when you had it apart?

 

No clutch adjustment done at time of spline lube?

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Thanks for your replies and for starting the polls. I'm glad I brought this topic up.

 

In case anyone is wondering I have a '99RT with 50k I've had since 2001. It is the most problem free machine I've had of any kind. I listed it for sale and a couple responders were asking about this 'issue'. I remember a 'surging issue' years back too and it's foreign to me. I never experienced that one either.

 

I need to take Jim's advice and just go ride it more.

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Good point. I went to the point of removal of the transmission & measured my clutch friction disk (that was okay so I never removed it). When putting everything back together I replaced the clutch cable, lubed those connection points & replaced the tranny gear oil. All those factors could have an impact on the function of the bike afterwards.

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Good point.... When putting everything back together I replaced the clutch cable, lubed those connection points & replaced the tranny gear oil. All those factors could have an impact on the function of the bike afterwards.

 

Well, not wanting to be a smart alec, I think you can see why your shifting improved. New Cable and Lubed joints. I am not convinced changing the oil would have given you the 'wow' factor, but definately the cable and joints.

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