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How often should the clutch fluid be changed?


Bernie

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How often should the clutch hydraulic fluid be changed on a 2007 HexHead R1200RT?

All the routine service documents only mention to check the system, but I haven't seen a specific time frame or mileage when the hydraulic fluid should be changed or flushed.

I am in the process of changing the clutch slave cylinder.

The fluid in the system is more black than green. Also there is a lot of small black, greasy bits in the reservoir.

What is everyone else doing?

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Bernie - good question. BTDT.

 

I changed the clutch fluid in my 2009 last year at about 65K miles not because of any schedule or performance issue, but because I pulled the top of the reservoir and found just what you did - a whole bunch of black crap in the fluid and in the reservoir. I figured that can't be good. Now that I've seen that I suspect I'll probably change it more regularly. I do a "supermajor" service on the bike (everything including plugs and transmission fluid) every 24K miles, and I'll come up on another one at 84K so I'll probably do it then. That will be a bit short of 24K on the clutch fluid but heck, it's cheap.

 

If you haven't noticed, the bleed valve is located at the same end of the slave cylinder as the inlet (common with hydraulic clutches). So if you're not precise in how you bleed it then you may not change the fluid in the slave cylinder. Here's how I do it:

 

1. Siphon out the crappy fluid in the reservoir and wipe the reservoir clean. Fill with fresh fluid.

 

2. Fully squeeze the clutch handle, and hold it in. This fills the slave cylinder with fluid.

 

3. Open the bleed valve and let the diaphragm spring pressure force the fluid out.

 

4. Close the bleed valve.

 

5. Release the handle.

 

6. Check that you still have fluid in the reservoir, and refill if necessary.

 

7. Repeat 2-6 until clean fluid comes out the bleed valve. My recollection is that it took several cycles to flush the system but that the demarcation was very obvious (I use clear poly tubing on the outlet side of the bleed valve).

 

And be sure you use the right fluid! The hexheads did not use brake fluid in the clutch system, it's a Vitamol. The stuff I got from the dealer was Vitamol blue.

 

Good luck.

 

JayJay

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Jay, thanks for the write up.

My RT has a little over 157,000 miles and I am in the process of changing the slave cylinder. I have also picked up some of the Vitmol V10 Blue, which is the factory recommended fluid. I guess I need to change it a little more often, I guess every 24K or when ever it is also time for a brake flush.

 

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Hard to imagine what might contaminate this fluid.

 

You wonder about construction equipment with gallons and gallons of hydraulic fluid for the cylinders--how often does this get replaced?

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Hard to imagine what might contaminate this fluid.

 

Afternoon lkchris

 

The fluid lasts a long time but some can eventually get contaminated with slave cylinder bearing grease & residue from the piston seals.

 

If the fluid holds it's original color then no problems but if the fluid turns black or has debris floating in it then time for a change. If the black or the debris comes back then time to find the contamination point.

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Jay, thanks for the write up.

My RT has a little over 157,000 miles and I am in the process of changing the slave cylinder. I have also picked up some of the Vitmol V10 Blue, which is the factory recommended fluid. I guess I need to change it a little more often, I guess every 24K or when ever it is also time for a brake flush.

Brake fluid flush is 24 months, at least for me that's not quite to the 24K mile mark. Looks like for you it might be - you obviously ride a lot! I picked 24K miles out of the air because it's a convenient milestone.

 

As far as construction equipment, yes on well maintained equipment there is a periodic hydraulic fluid replacement. The interval is based upon hours run time, but I've been out of the construction business for over 20 years and I frankly don't recall what the interval is. I do remember the maintenance contractor doing it on equipment at the jobsite, though.

 

On poorly maintained equipment the hydraulic lines often blow and they get the fluid replaced after that repair ...

 

JayJay

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Just for reference as there are different types of Magura fluid sold by BMW dealers.

 

 

Product Description---

 

 

4oz bottle of genuine Magura "Blood" red hydraulic mineral oil. This is the fluid Magura recommends for use in their hydraulic clutch systems found on all 2005 & later K1200/1300S, R, S, & GT bikes and also the new K1600 bikes. Not for use on the R1200 Hex/Camhead or water-cooled bikes. Also not for use on older bikes which have their reservoir caps marked "DOT4 Fluid". One bottle is enough for one clutch bleed with some left over.

 

Beemer Boneyard says the Red is incorrect for the 1200RT (hexhead)

 

 

4oz bottle of genuine Magura "Blood" blue hydraulic mineral oil. This is the fluid Magura recommends for use in their hydraulic clutch systems found on all R1200GS, RT, ST, R, S and also the newest water cooled R1200GS & RT. Not for use on the K1200/1300 bikes (2005 and later) or the K1600 bikes. Also not for use on older bikes which have their reservoir caps marked "DOT4 Fluid". One bottle is enough for one clutch bleed with some left over.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for this folks. I'm a camhead owner and was just searching the site for this very information. Just goes to show, these forums are an excellent source of good information. Thanks again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wondering about the compatibility of the Motorex hydraulic clutch fluid. The description says it works with all types of seals but I wonder if its compatible with Magura red and or blue ?

 

 

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Wondering about the compatibility of the Motorex hydraulic clutch fluid. The description says it works with all types of seals but I wonder if its compatible with Magura red and or blue ?

 

 

 

Afternoon Tri750

 

Good question, even the red shouldn't be mixed with the blue so about the only real answer is to call both Magura & call Motorex & see what they have to say about mixing products.

 

My past experience tells me to not mix them but to do a total drain, good flush, then re-fill the system.

 

The Magura is cheap enough so that would probably be the way to go, just get the proper color for the bike being serviced.

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